A deal coming on security funding, COVID tax cuts?

By Briana Bierschbach

Good morning and happy Friday. High of 46 degrees. I assume everyone in the state of Minnesota is grilling this weekend, probably in shorts. I'm announcing the official start of Spaghett Season. Please @ me, haters. I thrive on this very specific controversy.

Some news yesterday from Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, who said during floor session that legislative leaders are "fairly close" on a deal with House Democrats to create a fund to reimburse agencies that provide mutual aid.

"It is a bill that I think we recognize that there are places around Minnesota, whether it's Minneapolis or the north where the pipelines are, that there's a benefit of coordination for extra police help," he said.

Gazelka told MPR's Tim Pugmire that they've agreed on a final number, but wouldn't disclose what it was. The latest public proposals range from $15 million to $35 million. Gov. Tim Walz said yesterday that if they agree to something, he wants to sign it, via Axios' Torey Van Oot.

A deal is expected to come up for a vote on Monday, the same day Derek Chauvin's trial starts. Liz Navratil has the latest on trial costs for the county and city of Minneapolis.

Gazelka said a deal is also brewing on a proposal to cut taxes on COVID-19 aid for businesses and workers collecting unemployment during the pandemic.

Busy week for our Washington, D.C. bureau. Hunter Woodall scooped that U.S. Sen. Tina Smith says she supports ending the filibuster, which allows Republicans to block most of the legislation they oppose in the 50-50 split Senate.

But even with Smith's support, she conceded yesterday that Democrats still don't have enough backing to make it a reality. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has also supported filibuster reform and told Woodall that "something has to change or we're going to be just in this quagmire of not being able to advance legislation."

WHERE'S WALZ: Walz has a Minnesota Grocer's Association conference call in the morning and is hosting a COVID-19 briefing for legislative leaders. Later, he's doing an event on administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

MNLEG: Busy day of House hearings at the Capitol, including the latest in a series of discussions on the governor's peacetime emergency powers. The advisory Committee on Capitol Security is also meeting at 12:30 p.m. Full schedule here.


Have a great weekend. Ideas, news tips and grilling recipes should go to hotdish@startribune.com.

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