(St. Paul, MN) – The Minnesota Senate voted today to end Governor Walz’s peacetime emergency powers relative to the COVID pandemic. If the House agrees, it would end the state’s longest peacetime emergency in history. Walz first put the state under emergency powers on March 13, 2020.
“It’s time to end the executive orders and let business and life open back up,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. “I supported the Governor back in March getting prepared just in case something happens. But the ‘just in case’ didn’t happen. We all know the value of social distancing and I have faith the people of Minnesota will continue acting safe, even without the government telling us to.”
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen the majority of COVID-related deaths in long term care, but the focus from the Governor’s office was on restricting all residents and shutting down our businesses,” said Sen. Andrew Mathews (R- Milaca). “Our neighbors in Wisconsin completely re-opened weeks ago and continue to have lower rates and cases than we do. Continuance of his emergency powers is an insult to the people of Minnesota.”
“Minnesotans have stepped up, we have learned how to social distance, we have proven that we care for one another,” said Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester). “But the time has come for the peacetime emergency to end.”
“One Minnesota was never meant mean to be one ruler for Minnesota,” said Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska).
The vote to end peacetime emergency was 38-29, with three Democrats joining all 35 Republicans supporting the resolution.