MN legislature latest: Lawmakers make final push before deadline

The deadline has passed in the Minnesota Legislature, and a number of bills passed in the last weekend of the session. 

Here's a look at what was approved at the end of the session. 

Uber-Lyft agreement

Legislators approved the deal to set the pay for Uber and Lyft drivers, that will prevent the ride-hailing companies from leaving Minnesota. 

The deal was passed by both the House and Senate before the midnight deadline Sunday, and will now go to Gov. Tim Walz to be signed. 

Lawmakers reached a deal Saturday night on a pay raise for ride-hailing app drivers after an ordinance passed by the Minneapolis City Council had Uber and Lyft threatening to leave the state. The agreement also preempts the ordinance the city council put in place.

The bill gives drivers a 20% rate increase, meaning drivers will make $1.28 per mile and $0.31 per minute. 

Minneapolis had set their rates at $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute. The new legislation overrides that.

If the bill is signed into law, the rates would go into effect next January. 

Uber Senior Director of Public Policy and Communications Josh Gold released a statement, saying, "We applaud the tens of thousands of riders and drivers who sent close to 100,000 emails to legislators - your voices were heard. While the coming price increases may hurt riders and drivers alike, we will be able to continue to operate across the State under the compromise brokered by the Governor."

Lyft representatives responded to the deal with the following statement: "We have long supported a minimum earnings standard and increasing driver pay in smart, deliberate ways, which is why earlier this year we announced a new commitment where drivers will always make at least 70% of the weekly rider fares after external fees. 

"This legislation builds on those efforts and marks an important compromise that allows Minnesota rideshare drivers to keep earning with Lyft. Through direct engagement with all stakeholders, we have found enough common ground to balance a new pay increase for drivers with what riders can afford to pay and preserve the service. We look forward to continuing to serve both riders and drivers across the state for the foreseeable future," the statement continued. 

House approves Equal Rights Amendment ballot measure, dies in Senate

While the Minnesota House approved putting Minnesota's Equal Rights Amendment on the ballot in 2026, the amendment died on the Senate floor after senators were not able to pass it before the deadline. 

The amendment would guarantee equal rights for women, including making all pregnancy decisions. However, opponents have called the legislation deceptive, saying it would allow abortion up until birth.

The exact language that would be up for the vote would read: "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to say that all persons shall be guaranteed equal rights under the laws of this state, and shall not be discriminated against on account of race, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, or sex, including pregnancy, gender, and sexual orientation?"

House passes rural ambulance funds, EMS oversight bill

The Minnesota House approved a bill Sunday to create a new Office of Emergency Medical Services.

The office was created after a 2022 report showing a lack of oversight for emergency ambulance services and failures by the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board.

The new office will replace that board. The bill also includes some much needed funding for rural EMS providers. In recent years, rural ambulance companies have faced a dire situation. Earlier in the year, Gov. Tim Walz included increased funding for rural ambulance companies in his supplemental budget.

The bill goes to Gov. Walz's desk for approval.

Saturday, the House also approved a bill boosting funding for rural hospitals.

Senate approves public safety legislation

The Senate approved a conference committee report on a public safety bill, sending it to Gov. Walz's desk.

Lawmakers say the bill will send $9.2 million to support crime victims' services and money to support staffing the Department of Corrections.

Gov. Walz signs bills

Sunday night, Governor Walz announced he signed a package of education and families bills into law.

Included was a bill that provided funding to help families purchase healthy goods for school-aged children over the summer. It adds an extra $40/month per child over the summer for families on EBT programs.

The bill also sends extra funding for food shelves, to help homeless young people, and to review the child protection system.

It also sends money for childcare improvements and expansion.

MN House approves housing bill

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed House File 5242, which includes the final Housing supplemental budget along with significant Transportation and Labor provisions. The bill now moves to the Minnesota Senate.

Key investments in the bill are:

  • $50 million to support building affordable homes.
  • $50 million to preserve multi-family housing.
  • $8 million for emergency rental assistance.

The legislation also clarifies the comprehensive planning process for metro area cities and resolves litigation over the Minneapolis 2040 Plan. Additional provisions include stronger worker protections for affordable housing projects, a task force to analyze homeowner associations' impact on housing affordability, and reforms for emergency rental assistance.

MN House approves Human Services Budget bill

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed Senate File 5335, which will aim to improve services for people with disabilities, and for people who are struggling with substance use. The bill, which has already passed the Senate, passed on a vote of 68-0. The bill now heads to Gov. Walz's desk. 

Investments in the bill include $24.8 million for expanded access to state-run treatment programs. It also includes $7.1 million for Acute Care Transitions, $5 million in additional funding for food security and $4.7 million for Personal Care Assistant services provided by a parent or spouse.