PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

It’s On: Flood Relief Special Session Today

September 11, 2007

St. Paul, MN – Governor Pawlenty has called a special session of the Legislature this evening to produce a relief package in response to heavy flooding in southeast Minnesota. The Governor says the emergency aid will support everything from rebuilding homes to helping local governments.

"In approximate terms, it will be at least a $150 million package, and may be closer to $160 million. In rough terms, it relies about half on bonds and half on cash."

House Speaker Margaret Kelliher says the session is aimed at helping residents get their lives back to normal, which she expects to be a long, hard process.

"Folks have homes and businesses that are gutted to the studs. They don't have heating. They have issues with employment right now, and we don’t want to make that any worse."

Niel Ritchie with the League of Rural Voters says it's good that state leaders have reached agreement to address the needs in southeast Minnesota, but he would have liked a broader agenda to include infrastructure improvements in the wake of the I-35 bridge collapse. The Governor and lawmakers were unable to reach a funding agreement for that project.

"The flood relief is desperately needed by the people in Southern Minnesota, but we have some concerns about continuing to borrow to pay for the needs that we have into the future. And, we still have a significant infrastructure issue in our transportation system that, unfortunately, will have to wait until spring. But I believe the people in Southeast Minnesota can't wait."

Seven counties have been declared disaster areas, but federal aid won't cover all the damage. The special one-day session begins this evening at 5:00 PM, and is expected to end by midnight. More information is available online, at

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN