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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Shane Mekeland (R)

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Mekeland calls on Walz to set clear end-date for emergency powers

Tuesday, May 4, 2021


ST. PAUL – Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake, is calling for a transparent and concrete process for ending Minnesota’s peacetime emergency that has been in place for more than one year.

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to soon announce a loosening of Minnesota’s COVID-19 restrictions. This comes after Florida lifted all remaining COVID restrictions, and governors of Democrat states such as New York and California have established target dates for the lifting of capacity limits and other COVID restrictions. Other deep-blue states such as Connecticut lifted capacity limits starting as early as March.

“The governor has maintained his emergency powers despite the fact we are not in an emergency and the public deserves to know where the off-ramp is,” Mekeland said. “I would prefer the governor just acknowledge we’re not in an emergency and cancel his emergency powers now but, absent that revelation, we owe the citizens a transparent process that sets out a data-driven timeline.

“The lack of clear communication, and inconsistent and arbitrary announcements from the governor’s office with seemingly no respect for people’s time or planning has been a major source of frustration for people over the last year. Let’s correct this problem, work to put a plan in place and share it with the public so Minnesotans can see where we are going and how we are getting there.” 

House Republicans have voted more than a dozen times to end the peacetime emergency and have put forward numerous proposals to end or modify the governor’s Chapter 12 powers, as well as proposals to establish timelines and metrics that would end the peacetime emergency. Democrats have refused to advance those proposals in the House, and have even stonewalled proposals from their own party to wind down the governor’s emergency powers.


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