Walz to extend emergency powers, pressure builds for lawmakers to pass COVID aid

Gov. Tim Walz has called for Minnesota's seventh special session of the year in order to renew his peacetime emergency powers.

Minnesota Legislature File Photo.jpg
The Minnesota Senate convenes at the state Capitol in St. Paul.

ST. PAUL — Minnesota state legislators will be back in St. Paul on Monday, Dec. 14, for the seventh special legislative session of the year as Gov. Tim Walz plans to renew his peacetime emergency powers once again.

Walz announced on Wednesday, Dec. 9, that he would be calling lawmakers back to the Capitol as he intends to renew his peacetime emergency authority for another 30 days as the coronavirus pandemic stretches on. There is light at the end of the tunnel, with COVID-19 vaccines set to arrive in Minnesota for priority groups this month.

Rulemaking around distribution and prioritization of vaccines will be among legislators' tasks when they convene next week. They are also expected to consider a potential aid package to Minnesota small businesses and families as the economy continues to reel due to restrictions aimed to curb the deadly virus' spread — if the divided Legislature can agree on a deal.

“Minnesota’s small businesses and workers are bearing a large burden of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect their entire community amid restrictions that are saving lives,” Walz said in a Wednesday news release. “I call upon our state legislature to come together and ensure our businesses stay afloat, our workers are supported, and our families can put food on the table.”

As of earlier this week, legislators of the Democratic House and Republican Senate said they had not come to a consensus on an aid package. Pressure is mounting for them, though, with business and industry leaders — as well as everyday Minnesotans —pleading for a lifeline to make it through what's expected to be a dark winter.


Legislators will be returning once again to the Capitol on Jan. 5 for their regular session.

Mearhoff is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. You can reach her at or 651-290-0707.
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