April 26 - Omnibus Bills Heard - Capitol Concerns & Quiet
Inside the House and Senate Chambers omnibus bills are being heard. House remote members voices echo from speakers in the House Chamber as members debate omnibus bills. Senate members in remote caucus rooms come to the floor using microphones on either side of their chamber to debate bills. Minutes before the House and Senate met for their floor sessions the halls and rotunda are quiet in the Capitol. With only days left in the session, this would be a time when the halls and rotunda would be filled with lobbyists, protesters, and school groups on tours of the building. There would be the sound of voices confering and chimes calling legislators to their chambers to vote as the legislature works toward a May 17 adjournment. But this is a session that has brought quiet to the Capitol with concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, threats to the Capitol building after the storming of the U.S. Capitol and the unrest after the killing of George Floyd. All of these concerns have added to the quiet in and outside the fenced and lock downed Capitol building. This session will be like no other in Minnesota history.
Rep. Tina Liebling, chair of the Health Finance and Policy Committee, is projected on a monitor at the back of the House Chamber as she presents the omnibus health and human services bill.
Deputy Minority Leader Anne Neu moves to have the omnibus health and human services bill sent back to the Ways and Means Committee because the bill exceeds its budget target.
House Chamber from across the rotunda minutes before floor session.
House Chamber minutes before floor session
Quiet east rotunda outside the House Chamber
Quiet west otunda outside the House Chamber
Senate floor session
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer , chair of the State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee, presents the omnibus state government, elections and military affairs budget bill. The bill passed 38-28.
Sen. Jim Carlson, left and Sen. John Marty, right, confer prior to the Senate hearing the omnibus state government, elections and military affairs budget bill.
Senate Chamber from across the rotunda minutes before floor session
Senate Chamber minutes before floor session minutes before floor session
Quiet south hall outside the Senate Chamber
Quiet north hall outside Senate Chamber