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2021 Special Session Explainer

Brief explanation about the purpose of having a special session

6/30/2021 1:48:39 PM

ASL version

If you are DeafBlind or prefer to watch the video in a slow-paced, high contrast format, watch the DeafBlind friendlier ASL version instead.

English version

Hello! Maybe you noticed in the news that the regular legislative session ended May 17, but now they’re talking about a special session. Why? 

Minnesota is unique in the nation as the only state to have a politically divided House and Senate. What that means is that the House is controlled by the majority of one political party, while the Senate is controlled by the majority of a different political party. That usually results in longer debates and more time needed to agree on hot issues. With all the different perspectives being considered.

Plus, we had an unusual development this year. Originally, Minnesota was facing a deficit, like other states, due to increased spending on managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then, recently the federal government announced that it’d be distributing funds to help states recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

That means Minnesota is now looking at a surplus. Great! Thing is, the federal government did not communicate exact amounts to Minnesota until one week before May 17. What’s the significance of that date? May 17 is when the Minnesota constitution required that the regular legislative session adjourn this year. Legislators were left with one week, clearly not enough time to discuss and agree on all the hot issues.

The governor has since reconvened legislators for a special session, so they will continue to discuss the issues until they reach a budget agreement and the governor signs it. Right now nobody knows for sure how long the special session will last. We’ll continue to monitor issues in active bills until the special session adjourns.

Thanks for watching!


ASL by Alicia Lane-Outlaw, Government Relations Director

The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing thanks:

Jamie Schumacher for voiceover.

Keystone Interpreting Solutions for film production.


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