On Columbus Day the stone pedestal that honors Christopher Columbus on the Capitol grounds is all that is left of the memorial immigrant Italians had erected to the explorer. Protesters pulled down the statue of Columbus because it was considered a symbol of genocide against Native Americans.
Gov. Tim Walz called back lawmakers to the Capitol for the fifth special session of 2020 to extend his peacetime emergency to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Once again the DFL House gave Gov. Walz the peacetime emergency powers on a 69-64 vote. And once again the GOP Senate voted to terminate Gov. Walz peacetime emergency 36-31.
During a news conference prior to convening the House for the special session, Speaker Melissa Hortman indicated the DFL caucus and six Republican members would be enough votes to pass a $1.36 billion public works package. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka indicated that the House and Senate agreement on the final bill could fail because of additional amendment and not being included in talks. Later in the day, the House Ways and Means Committee moved ahead voting 18-10 to send the bonding, tax and spending bill to the floor as a last chance to pass a bonding bill before the November elections.