House Leadership Confer

(FILE PHOTO) House Speaker Kurt Daudt and House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman confer during the 2019 Legislative Session.

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ST. PAUL, MN —  House bill HF4531, a package of bills that continue the Minnesota Legislature's response to the COVID-19 pandemic passed on an overwhelming 99-4 vote.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, issued the following statement regarding the bill, "Minnesotans always come together in times of crisis to support each other, and over the past several days legislators have been working around the clock to respond to the COVID-19 crisis without the partisan bickering we've seen in Washington D.C.," Daudt said. "This bill will help every Minnesotan in some way shape or form, and provides needed flexibility and assistance to small businesses and their employees, childcare providers, farmers, veterans, educators and countless others."

“We have grave and difficult days ahead," Democratic House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said just before the vote. ”We do not know — and probably not knowing is the most difficult part of what the course of this pandemic will take. ... We have much work to be done. This is just the beginning. But it is an important first step."

Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, responded saying “The COVID-19 outbreak is presenting us with enormous challenges, which underscores the importance of coming together to do the work for Minnesotans as we did with this bill” Anderson said. “This strong show of bipartisanship in the House bodes well for our state and should be encouraging as we continue working together to overcome this virus. Businesses and families throughout our state are suffering and more work will need to be done as issues related to COVID-19 continue to arise.”

Over the past week, the four legislative caucuses have been working together to negotiate a variety of provisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the efforts of House Republicans, there are multiple sunsets, reporting requirements, and other accountability measures included throughout the bill. Earlier this month, the legislature approved $221 million in funding to assist with COVID-19 preparation and response.

This article originally ran on voiceofalexandria.com.

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