Legislative Top 5: March 26, 2021

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Gimme a Break!

Following a busy week and a handful of committee hearings today, the legislature will begin its ten-day break. The break officially begins on Saturday, March 27, and lasts until 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 6. While some legislators will enjoy the break, others will be putting the final touches on their proposed committee budget recommendations. By the end of the day on Friday, April 9, nearly all committees are expected to have passed their omnibus budget bills out of committee.

Gimme a Break!

In spite of the legislative break, don’t be surprised if you continue hearing about legislative issues. Traditionally, the legislative break provides an excellent opportunity for elected officials to spend some time back in their districts to hear from their constituents. With omnibus bills on the horizon, advocacy groups often use this time to activate their members and fill local media with political messages.

The House Will Take a Piece

The DFL-led House of Representatives released committee budget targets earlier this week, with a total proposed budget of $52.5 billion. This proposed budget is approximately $300 million higher than the Governor’s revised proposal and $700 million more than the Senate’s target.

Grab Your Kit-Kat Bar

On Thursday, Governor Tim Walz announced that Minnesota would open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents aged 16 and over, beginning March 30. For those that haven’t yet been eligible and are anxious to get the vaccine as quickly as possible, be aware that initially the demand is expected to far exceed supply. If you are able to get in to your Thrifty White or other community drugstore, grab a candy bar while you are there and celebrate!

In Other News

The Minnesota Supreme Court this week overturned a third-degree sexual assault conviction in which a man took home an intoxicated woman and allegedly assaulted her. The Court ruled that the statute’s definition of “mentally incapacitated” does not include a person who is voluntarily intoxicated. Anticipating this ruling was likely, the House has been advancing a bill, H.F. 707 (Moller), that would close this loophole.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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