ST. PAUL, MN – Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka released the following response to the Governor’s announcement of a reopening plan today:
My reaction today is simple: Not good enough and not soon enough. The emergency is over and the mandates need to end.
I said in January, when the vaccines were available to young, healthy people, the emergency is over. We’ve been there for weeks. It’s about time the Governor recognizes that vaccinations were the key. And while Minnesota stumbled mightily out of the gate to vaccinate the most vulnerable, we now have an abundant supply and appointments.
Senate Republicans have already passed legislation to safely open businesses and venues with a COVID plan in place, we don’t need to wait until Memorial Day.
We also provided an off-ramp to end the eviction moratorium and passed a bill to prevent one-man control from happening ever again.
This announcement won’t allow for kids to finish the year with normal graduations and celebrations like prom, or allow normal participation in sports and activities. It’s too late for many to find summer camps and plan vacations in-state. Outdoor spaces are still limited by distancing despite all the evidence that the outdoors is safe. A “normal” summer is still a long way off.
The Governor continues to lead alone, ignoring our suggestions and the suggestions of the businesses and medical community to find any compromise- especially on the mask mandate. This does not make our job at the Capitol to pass a balanced budget without raising taxes, and on time, any easier.