Clock winding down on legislative session at state capitol

As the clock winds down at the State Capitol, lawmakers are in a race against time to finish what needs to get done before the session ends on Sunday.

"It has been a hard session, but we have kept our eyes focused on the people of Minnesota and what we need to accomplish for them," said Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Erin Murphy.

In the house, legislators spent five hours debating whether to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2026 that would ensure equal rights and abortion protections before moving on.

Republicans offered a number of changes to the amendment, including adding religion as a protected class, but they were all voted down in the DFL controlled chamber.

"What a sham. I cannot wait to get out of this body and go talk to the people of Minnesota and tell them what this actually does," said Rep. Anne Neu-Brindley, (R-North Branch).

The house was expected to take up the contentious bill that would set pay for rideshare drivers statewide, but they decided to wait until a deal that Uber and Lyft would accept is done.

Governor Tim Walz says he is optimistic the sides can come together before the Sunday night deadline.

"We want to make sure people are compensated fairly and we want to make sure these services remain here. This idea there will be new services, that's fine if they go in but these are established services that people trust that we know that work," said Gov. Walz.

The house did vote to accept Senate changes to the Read Act, which was approved by both chambers last year, that add more money and more time for the legislation to be enacted.

The bill prohibits book bans, requires schools to implement cell phone policies and adjusts requirements on literacy instruction.