Minnesota House speaker tests positive for coronavirus

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Wednesday she tested positive for the coronavirus but would not be sidelined in the final days of the 2022 legislative session. .

“My allergies seemed a little worse this morning than a normal spring day so thought it would be safe to check,” the Brooklyn Park Democrat tweeted. “Out of an abundance of caution, I took a COVID test which came back positive. I am fully vaccinated, boosted and feeling fine. I will continue to participate in end-of-session negotiations remotely.”

But Hortman’s need to isolate himself will complicate efforts by House Democrats to reach compromises with the Republican majority in the Senate and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz on a long list of unresolved issues before the mandatory adjournment date of the May 23.

Lawmakers have yet to agree on what to do with about $7 billion of the state’s $9.25 billion budget surplus. Senate Republicans are pushing for permanent income tax cuts for all taxpayers, while House Democrats support more targeted tax relief with higher spending on education and other programs. There are also deep differences on public safety legislation and other policy issues.

Hortman’s counterpart, Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller of Winona, said in a statement that he spoke to her by phone Wednesday morning to wish her a speedy recovery. His spokeswoman said he was following federal guidelines, had no symptoms of COVID-19 and did not need to self-quarantine.

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