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Week in Review: Feb. 8-12

A sign noting mask usage is required inside the State Office Building. A bill heard this week would make Gov. Walz's executive order requiring face coverings in all indoor public settings law in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Paul Battaglia
A sign noting mask usage is required inside the State Office Building. A bill heard this week would make Gov. Walz's executive order requiring face coverings in all indoor public settings law in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Paul Battaglia

Another week of virtual meetings are in the books and on the record, with many participants likely glad they could stay home and hunker down to avoid a below-zero blast of arctic air.

With the frigid weather, it was good timing that several House committees heard proposals this week meant to address the state’s housing shortage, including a plan to use housing infrastructure bonds to raise $100 million for new dwellings and rehabbing existing structures. There was also a bill discussed to provide $6 million for workforce housing in Greater Minnesota and a trio of bills to provide additional safeguards for renters.

And other legislation considered during the week would provide homeless people with additional help recovering from medical issues and make it easier for homeless youth to obtain identification.

Week in Review: Feb. 8-12

Those were just a few of the issues considered and acted upon over the past few days, and next week shows no signs of slowing down, although the usual Monday morning meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee is cancelled.

But lawmakers are likely in for a long day anyway with HF445 on the Calendar for the Day, when members gather as a full body at 3:30 p.m. The controversial bill would establish a State Aid for Emergencies account meant to reimburse local governments and state agencies for emergency response costs. Amendments are lined up for discussion.

Be sure to check the weekly schedule for updates on the days ahead, and here’s one last look at what you may have missed last week.

Stay up-to-date on House news and updates throughout the week at Session Daily.



Three House panels hear governor’s plan for big increase in public housing bonding



House judiciary panel hears bill to mandate parenting education in divorce cases


Judges might be able to lower court costs for low-income people


Bill would ensure ‘absolutely essential’ legal counsel to parents at emergency child protection hearings



Commerce panel holds over bill targeted at thefts of catalytic converter



House panel hears bill to fund $3.6 million in Greater MN business development grants



School boards could get authority to renew expiring referendums


Education policy committee approves comprehensive sex ed proposal


School districts could see 2 percent increase in general education revenue


Teachers unions get more say in class sizes, testing frequency under bill OK'd by education committee



Election financing, filing modifications OK'd for Hennepin County



Clean Energy First Act headed to House Floor — for third year in a row



Federal funds would flow to conservation-minded landowners under bill


Minnesota's turtle harvest could be permanently banned



Committee OKs $4 million toward Greater MN child care needs



Pilot project considered to increase support for parents with disability


‘Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act’ aims to reduce disparities impacting mothers and babies


Work could shift from paperwork to patients with consistent standards in mental health services


As fight against pandemic continues, lawmakers consider making mask mandate state law


Reforms to child care program are yielding results, committee hears


Health panel considers bills shifting responsibility for anti-tobacco efforts to state agency



Proposal would provide Greater MN $6 million for workforce housing


Homeless youth would have easier time getting ID under approved bill


Committee OKs trio of bills that would add new safeguards for MN renters


Additional services considered to support medical recovery for homeless Minnesotans



Lawmakers ask whether Minnesotans of color served well by Legacy funds



Builder or local government — who pays for development-related transportation upgrades? Division OK’s bill to clarify



MN VA could gain new position aimed at public outreach



‘We need to have their backs’ – more help for firefighters with cancer, heart disease under Hometown Heroes program


Public safety panel hears bill to train police to deal with people with dementia


Bill creating $35 million fund to reimburse mutual aid costs heads to Floor



House subcommittee hears GOP plan to end peacetime emergency restrictions


Sound the siren, committee approves state fire museum designation


Private or public? Bill would scratch off public disclosure of lottery winners' names


House panel approves bill to add $30 million to disaster assistance contingency account



Push for tax transparency gets some pushback


Proposed website would let Minnesotans see their tax dollars at work



Easing entry into ignition interlock program could make MN roads safer, lawmakers say


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