Uncertainty Remains at Capitol

The Senate avoided the passage of controversial bills again this week in the wake of the arrest of DFL Senator Nicole Mitchell on first degree burglary charges. After being absent last week, Senator Mitchell returned to the Senate Floor this week for the first time since her arrest. In response, Senate Republicans attempted various motions designed to prevent her from voting. With Senator Mitchell voting, the DFL Majority rejected these motions on a party-line 34-33 vote, citing Mitchell’s right to due process in the Senate Ethics Committee. The Senate Ethics Committee will hear an ethics complaint against Mitchell on May 7.

Late Senator David Tomassoni Honored

The House and Senate passed a bill this week renaming a portion of Highway 169 in honor of the late Senator David Tomassoni, who served the Iron Range in the state legislature for nearly two decades until his passing in 2022. Governor Walz signed the bill into law on Wednesday with Senator Tomassoni’s family present.

House Passes Transportation, Labor, and Housing Bill

The House made progress on passing supplemental budget bills this week. H.F. 5242, which contains the supplemental budget bills for transportation, labor and housing, passed the House by a 69-60 vote. The Senate is expected to address the bill next week.

House Debates Gun Legislation

The House devoted a significant amount of floor time this week to gun legislation. On party-line votes, with DFLers voting in favor and Republicans voting no, the House passed bills to: 1) require lost or stolen guns to be reported to law enforcement; and 2) to expand firearm storage requirements. These bills face an uncertain future in the Senate.

Home Stretch

The 2024 Legislative Session is entering the home stretch, with just two full weeks remaining until the mandated adjournment date of May 20. With just 9 official legislative days remaining (and only 8 when bills can be passed) and numerous supplemental budget bills still needing to pass both bodies, it is expected that the House and Senate will be spending some long days on their respective floors in the next two weeks.

May 3, 2024