President Biden Visits Minnesota
President Joe Biden visited Minnesota this week for the first time since the 2020 election to highlight signing the $1.2 trillion infrastructure funding bill that recently passed Congress. The president also promoted his $1.75 trillion social and economic bill, referred to as the Build Back Better Act, which is currently being negotiated in the U.S. Senate.
Speaking to a small group at the Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Biden stressed the need for skilled workers and said schools like the technical college would benefit from passage of the Build Back Better Act and provide training for tomorrow’s workforce.
Capitol followers have expected the legislature to be back this fall to pass legislation for frontline COVID worker pay, but that has yet to come to fruition. However, it appears something may happen before the end of the year — as a major barrier has been removed.
Throughout the fall, the Senate majority held firm on its right to take up commissioner appointments during the special session. Gov. Walz was unlikely to call a special session over concerns the Senate might take up, and reject, the confirmation of Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. However, just before Thanksgiving, the Senate majority announced it is willing to set aside the issue so that talks on a special session can move forward.
The working group responsible for putting together a proposal on frontline COVID worker pay met throughout July and August but was unable to reach an agreement by their self-imposed September deadline over two major sticking points — who should be eligible and the size of the bonus. Instead, they put forward two proposals for further negotiation among the House, Senate and the governor. The legislature and the governor will need to find agreement on frontline worker pay for a special session to be called.