Minnesota Senate Holds Strong Against Stimulus Funds to Illegal Aliens as Special Session Concludes
By Shari Rendall | FAIR Take | June 2020
The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up its special session on June 20, without passing any major legislation. Since the Democrat-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate were far apart when it came to so-called “must-pass” legislation, the majority of bills received little attention. One of the bills that stalled during the special session would have given illegal aliens “stimulus funds.”
House File (HF) 10 was introduced on the first day of the special session. This bill, introduced by Aisha Gomez, was substantially similar to HF 4611 which she introduced during the regular session. HF 10 would appropriate $100,000,000 in “emergency community relief grants” to individuals experiencing “financial hardship” because of the coronavirus who are not eligible for unemployment insurance or federal stimulus funds. It designates that “community action agencies” would distribute the grants of up to $1,500 per individual, which is substantially more than legal immigrants and U.S. citizens alike have received in aid from the federal government.
Open borders advocates like the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota urged legislators to support stimulus funding for ‘all Minnesotans” during the special session.
Despite initially moving in the house during the regular session, the stimulus fund bill did not gain any momentum during the special session. Republicans oppose additional spending because the state is in a recession and the budget is headed towards a deficit.
Another factor that may have played a role in the so-called “stimulus funds” bill for illegal aliens is the upcoming election. All 201 legislative seats are on the ballot in November. This will be a high stakes election on the state level to determine whether the Senate remains in Republican control or whether the Democrats will control the governorship and legislature. This could mean legislators will focus more on messaging than legislating.
While the bill is dead for now, it could be considered in a future special session. Governor Tim Walz (D) could call the legislature back for an additional session or he could wait until he issues a 30-day extension of the emergency powers act he has been using to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. If he uses the emergency powers act, he is legally required to call a special session to allow lawmakers to object to it.