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February 14, 2022

Ongoing Criticism of No-Knock Warrants

Last week members of the House DFL Caucus held a press conference to announce a proposal restricting the use of no-knock warrants by law enforcement.  The use of no-knock warrants has been controversial in recent years but resurfaced as a topic of discussion after a Minneapolis Police Department raid resulted in the death Amir Locke earlier this month.  Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-St. Paul) subsequently introduced H.F. 3398 which would limit the use of no-knock warrants to hostage situations, kidnapping, and human trafficking.  Rep. Hollins said the bill could be heard as early as this week in the House Judiciary Finance & Civil Law Committee. 

Revising Bonus Payment to Frontline Workers

Following more than seven months of inconclusive negotiations, the Minnesota House of Representatives revisited the issue of bonus pay to “frontline workers” as the House Workforce and Business Development Committee took up and passed HF 2900 on Thursday, February 10th. The bill, authored by Rep. Cedrick Frazier (D- New Hope), would appropriate $1 billion to provide $1,500 checks to nurses, firefighters, teachers, grocers, and others. 


Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund 

Senate Republicans and House Democrats have made it clear that addressing the looming deficit in the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund a is top priority.  However, both parties have different approaches to addressing the debt.  Senate Republicans propose appropriating $2.73 billion to both paying off and restoring the trust fund to avoid any additional taxes while the House Democrats propose paying the UI trust fund debt and letting the fund replenish over time. While both caucuses work out the details, the deficit accrues $50,000 a day.

New Party in Minnesota? 

On Thursday, February 10th, Minnesota got a brand-new political party as former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced the Forward Party MN.  Commenting on the need and target audience for the party, Mr. Yang, said it was intended “for the logical, reasonable, solution-oriented voter in Minnesota.”  The party will flesh out some of its finer details at a launch event in May.

Important Dates to Remember:

The 2022 Minnesota Legislative calendar, complete with dates for the holiday recess, is below:

  • February 15, 2022 Redistricting maps expected to be released by the courts
  • TBD, February 2022 Updated budget forecast from MMB
  • March 25, 2022 1st Committee Deadline - committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin.
  • April 1, 2022 2nd Committee Deadline - committees must act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house.
  • April 8, 2022 3rd Committee Deadline - committees must act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills.
  • April 9 - April 17, 2022 Easter/Passover Break
  • May 23, 2022 Constitutional deadline to adjourn
  • August 9, 2022 Primary Election Day
  • November 8, 2022 General Election Date 

Federal Update

A Crowded Agenda and Midterms 

President Joe Biden may not have given up on  advancing parts of his climate and social safety net agenda, but as a former senator, he must know that a quickly filling calendar in a midterm election year means there will be limited opportunities.

Lawmakers already had plenty to deal with as the calendar turns toward spring, and that was before a Supreme Court confirmation was added to the Senate agenda.

The immediate priority is the deadline for funding the government, with another House-passed short-term continuing resolution (HR 6617) needing to clear the Senate by the Feb. 18 deadline. 

But that measure, which the House passed on Tuesday, would only buy appropriators until March 11 to finalize an omnibus appropriations bill to address discretionary spending for the balance of fiscal 2022.

By week’s end, leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees were signaling agreement on a “framework” that should allow the appropriators to write the omnibus spending bill, but no top-line numbers had been released.

In any case, the absence from Washington of Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., who is recovering from brain surgery following a stroke, means there aren’t currently 50 Democratic votes to advance legislation or nominations along party-line votes.

But that’s far from the only thing on the agenda.

Competition, Elections, Sanctions 

The House passed its version of competitiveness legislation (HR 4521) at the beginning of February, setting up a conference with the Senate on a sweeping measure intended to help the U.S. compete with China in technology and manufacturing.

Democrats want to see a quick conference agreement, but that may be wishful thinking given the number of provisions in the House-passed package that have been opposed by Senate Republicans who are crucial to advancing a further compromise.

The Senate bill (S 1260) passed June 8 of last year, and the two chambers will now need to reconcile differences through a formal conference or a less formal exercise in legislative Ping-Pong.

Democratic efforts to overhaul election and campaign finance laws have proved futile, owing in part to the opposition of Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., to using the so-called nuclear option to change the Senate rules to impose new limits on the legislative filibuster. But senators are working on efforts to update the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

That’s the law that governs the actual counting of electoral votes, which became fraught on Jan. 6, 2021, with an insurrection by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and Trump supporters in Congress backing meritless election challenges.

Also on the priority list is a Russia sanctions bill being led by Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez, D-N.J. Negotiations have been underway on finalizing language — though there’s no telling whether such a measure could advance before what may become a Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Supreme Court Confirmation

The pending retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, which was formally announced on January 27, also adds to the Senate’s workload heading toward spring.

Senate Democrats do not anticipate the absence of Luján to affect the timeline for considering the nomination of Breyer’s successor once Biden makes the announcement. There will be no immediate rush since Breyer plans to serve until the court departs for its summer break. Once Biden transmits a nominee, however, the Senate process could move quickly. 

A lot of the legislative agenda for congressional Democrats has been stalled since before lawmakers departed last year for Christmas. Senate Democrats’ most notable floor action so far this year was an ill-fated effort in January to change the chamber’s rules to advance voting rights legislation with only Democratic votes.

And there has been no sign of negotiation between the administration and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia on the pieces of the Biden economic agenda that have been priorities for inclusion in a budget reconciliation measure. 

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



Gerald Seck



Grady Harn


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Megan Knight


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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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