ST. PAUL, MN – Republican leaders today proposed an off-ramp to end emergency powers Governor Walz has held on to for 15 months to manage the COVID pandemic. The bill as proposed would allow the Governor to continue testing and vaccination efforts but put an end to other outstanding emergency powers and orders. Shortly after the press conference started, the Minnesota Department of Health announced there were no COVID deaths for the second day this week and 65% of Minnesotans over age 16 had received at least one vaccination shot.
“By all measures – from vaccination rates to falling cases and hospitalizations, the emergency is over and it is time for the Governor to acknowledge that fact and end his emergency powers,” said Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing). “Our proposal allows for a safe and orderly end to these powers while returning the legislature, the voice of the people, to its status as a co-equal branch of government. This is a good faith proposal and I hope the governor will work with us to end this state of emergency and finish the budget well ahead of the July 1st shutdown date.”
“For the Governor to write off all of our proposed plans because they ‘don’t work,’ while refusing to offer any alternative options, is outrageous,” said Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville). “The Legislature has continuously come to the table to compromise and find a solution, but we are shut out. Gov. Walz has, with his continued emergency powers, relinquished from the citizens of Minnesota their right to representation; a right that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, paraphrased as ‘immeasurable to them (the people), and formidable to Tyrants only. This bill limits the Governor’s emergency powers, ensures there is a tangible offramp to the eviction moratorium, and allows us to still spend the federal financial aid that has been allocated to our state,” Howe continued.
The Senate has voted to end emergency powers 8 times since May of 2020. House Republicans have attempted to force a vote on emergency powers XX times. It is expected Governor Walz will extend his emergency powers for another month on June 14th.
Read the bill online.