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May 31, 2022

Still No Word on
Possible Special Session

Legislators, Advocates Wait for News of Special Session

The 2022 Legislative session finished a week ago and there’s still no concrete plan for a special session.  Gov. Tim Walz and Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL- Brooklyn Park) have expressed their desire for a special session to address several spending and tax relief proposals that remained incomplete when the legislative session ended.  Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R- Winona), however, has been reluctant to commit to a special session, saying he instead wanted to give his caucus members the Memorial Day weekend to rest and spend time with their families before making a final decision. The power to call a special session is constitutionally vested in the Governor, but legislative leaders must still find consensus on multiple outstanding policy and budget matters if a special session is to be fruitful. 

Additionally, primary challenges to incumbent legislators continue to mount and may serve to further complicate the path towards a special session. The longer it takes for lawmakers to decide on a path forward, the more likely it is that legislators’ attention will have turned towards the campaign. 


Rural Relief & Liquor Reform Stand Out As Notable Accomplishments

While the vast majority of the supplemental budget bills got caught up in the end-of-session gridlock, one notable exception was a rural-focused package of drought relief and broadband funding.  Authored by Sen. Torrey Westrom (R- Elbow Lake) and Rep. Mike Sundin (DFL- Esko), S.F. 3479 appropriated $5.1 million to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to reimburse livestock producers and specialty crop farmers up to $10,000 in drought relief expenses.

The bill also appropriated $25 million from the general fund towards the state’s boarder-to-boarder broadband fund and directed the commissioner of the Department of Employment & Economic Development to apply for $60.7 million in federal dollars from the Capital Projects Fund, a program created by the federal government during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic for work, education, and healthcare monitoring.  S.F. 3479 passed the Senate 66-1 and the House of Representatives 101-33 on May 22, 2022, and was signed into law by Gov. Walz on May 24, 2022. 

A high-profile policy bill worth noting was the 2022 omnibus liquor bill (S.F. 3008) which passed both chambers on May 20, 2022, with broad bipartisan support.  Authored by Rep. Zach Stephenson (DFL- Coon Rapids) in the House of Representatives (where it passed 111-21) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R- Redwood Falls) in the Senate (where it passed 62-4), S.F. 3008 ushered in some of the most substantial reforms to Minnesota’s liquor laws in a decade.  

The bill allowed small breweries and distilleries to sell a broader variety of products directly to the consumer and raised the cap on the size of breweries able to sell growers.  The bill did not, however, expand the ability of convenience or grocery stores to sell “heavy beer” (beer with more than 3.2 percent alcohol by volume). Gov. Walz signed the bill into law on May 22, 2022. 


Special Election Primary in Southern Minnesota & Close of Candidate Filings

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Minnesota held a special election primary in the First Congressional District.  Former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger comfortably won the DFL primary while former state Representative Brad Finstad narrowly defeated current state Rep. Jeremy Munson (R- Lake Crystal).  The two now face off in the August special election which will be held simultaneously with the district’s biennial primary election. 

May 31, 2022, is the final day for candidates to file for election for state office.  

Important Dates to Remember

  • August 9, 2022: First Congressional District Special Election Primary

  • November 8, 2022: Candidate Filing for all constitutional offices and the MN House and Senate 

Please reach out to any of the Larkin Hoffman Government Relations team members with any questions. 


Our Team

Margaret Vesel



Peter Coyle



Peder Larson



Robert Long



Bill Griffith


Matthew Bergeron



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Brandan Strickland


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Larkin Hoffman provides counsel to a wide variety of ‎organizations, from ‎small businesses and nonprofits to  Fortune 500 companies, in ‎many areas of practice including ‎corporate and governance matters, litigation, real ‎estate, government relations, labor and employment, intellectual property, ‎information technology, ‎franchising and taxation. The firm also serves the needs of individuals in many ‎areas ‎including trusts and estates, personal injury and family law.


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