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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Legislative update

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Just a quick housekeeping item before we get into legislative news: Today we reach the 60-day mark from the end of the 2020 regular session, after which House members are not permitted to send email newsletters such as this until after the November election. Of course, I will continue communicating with constituents on an individual basis and remain available to help people as needed. (I’m pretty easy to find around the district!)

Your input always is welcome and you also may visit my official Rep. Dean Urdahl Facebook page, where I am permitted to continue posting news and notes through this black-out period for emails.

As for notes from the House, we find ourselves in the midst of the second special session in as many months. The governor called this one – as was the case in June – largely to extend his emergency powers by another 30 days. This special session began on Monday and on Tuesday House Republicans made another move to end the executive governor’s executive powers. This was the fifth time such an effort has taken place and the fifth time the House majority voted it down.

I continue to say that, while urgent action may have been warranted four months ago in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the time has long passed to restore balance at the Capitol by involving the Legislature in the decision-making process.

Our representative system of government is being circumvented via executive orders, with the governor cutting legislators out of the decision-making process and abandoning the representative government citizens deserve and our Constitution provides. There may have been a time, last March, when urgent action from the governor was needed, but those days are long past.

We should be involving all 201 legislators in deciding our path forward, taking regional needs into account to manage our situation instead of handing down one-size-fits-all mandates. Meeker, McLeod and Wright counties, for example, have starkly different needs from counties such as Hennepin and Ramsey and that should be taken into consideration – again, with all 201 legislators at the table representing the people in their respective districts.

With the emergency powers having been extended for another 30 days, the special session is set to resume on Monday with other issues such as public safety reform, tax relief and capital investment the subjects of continued negotiations. I am working especially close with capital investment as the House minority lead on that subject and remain hopeful we can find common ground on a finished product to support crucial infrastructure projects in our state.

I will be back with more email news once the curtain is lifted and, until then, I hope to see you around the district.