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Minnesota Lawmakers Point Fingers After Failure To Pass Bonding Bill

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- While Minnesota lawmakers did manage to pass a historic police reform bill overnight, they failed to come to an agreement on a bonding bill, which means it likely won't be addressed until August.

The $1.9 billion bonding bill would have included funding for jobs and infrastructure costs around the state. That bill would've required a super-majority to pass, and Republican leaders have said they would not agree to the bill without Gov. Tim Walz being relinquished of his special powers to declare a peacetime state of emergency amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Minnesotans deserve transparent, dedicated leadership, and Senate Republicans have failed to provide that. They shut us -- and the public -- out of critical conversations instead of reaching across the aisle. I'm extremely disappointed we adjourned without passing the robust local jobs and projects bill Minnesotans need because of political posturing by Republicans," Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent said.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt also spoke out following the failure to pass a bonding bill, saying Democrats blocked the restoration of "the legislature's role as a co-equal branch and crafting a bonding bill that can earn support from House Republicans."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is preparing to debate the next round of coronavirus relief. Republican leaders met with President Donald Trump at the White House to negotiate what's in it. The current plan in the Senate is expected to cost around $1 trillion. Republicans want tax credits that create incentives for businesses to bring people back to work as well as continued unemployment benefits, but with conditions.

"We're gonna make sure that we don't pay people more money to stay home than go to work. We want to make sure that people who can go to work safely can do so," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Negotiators say school funding is a priority but the Washington Post reports it could be tied to schools reopening in the fall.

"Kids in school, jobs and health care is the theme of the proposal that we hope to come together and present to our Republicans," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) countered that lawmakers are preparing to open schools in fall "without the necessary guidance and resources to open safely," and said "the country is crying out for relief."

Democrats in the House passed a $3 trillion measure in May and have been waiting for the Senate to act ever since. Both chambers hope to get some form of relief passed before the August recess.


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