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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Erik Mortensen (R)

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Friday, May 7, 2021



The conference committees continue to meet and hash out their differences which from a policy perspective the Republicans are on a VERY different plane than the Democrats.  The Democrats refuse to provide the PPP tax relief for every business eligible; instead, they want to increase taxes and regulations on businesses and landlords.

But from a budget perspective the Democrats and Senate Republicans are battling between the 40-yard lines.  There are literally a couple percentage points differences in the budget amounts between the two parties.  It’s clear from a spending perspective that the Senate Republicans have already sold us out and Senate Majority Leader, Paul Gazelka, hasn’t even gotten anything for it in exchange when he should be demanding that the Never Again bill be signed into law before giving away the farm.

You can watch my weekly video update below.



Never Again, It's Not a Recommendation

This past week we have seen a lot of disappointment from the Senate. Even though the Never Again bill is gaining traction, the Senate has still made no clear demand for Chapter 12 reform. If we don’t prevent the Governor from doing this again, we will find ourselves locked in our homes every flu season. We are not done yet, far from it. If you have not done so already, please contact your state Senator HERE and encourage them to sign on to the Never Again Bill in the Senate. It's time to get back to the real normal with assurances that the governor cannot just unilaterally declare another emergency.

Walz Capitulates to Pressure, but still Hold onto Emergency Powers

Is it Over?

This Week Governor Walz adjusted his dials again, yet he still holds his Emergency Powers and leaves one of the most disastrous of his orders still in place. We are at the precipice of herd immunity, and states that have removed their restricts are on the bounce back. Still Walz insists on keeping his mask made in place for the next few months. Unless of course we have another “spike” in which case we could end up right back under his thumb. This is why we need the Senate to pass the Never Again bill.

The three-step process will end nearly all state COVID-19 restrictions by May 28, and end the statewide masking requirement by July 1 at the latest.

Step one takes place at noon on May 7th. It includes initial steps to relax some restrictions, primarily in outdoor settings.

  • Removes limits for outdoor dining, events, and other get-togethers, and ends the mask requirement outdoors except at large venues with over 500 people.
  • Eliminates the state-established mandatory closing time for bars, restaurants, and food and beverage service at other places of public accommodation.

The second step begins on May 28. The remaining capacity and distancing limits will come to an end, including indoor events and gatherings. The requirements that will remain include:

  • Face coverings indoors and for outdoor events that exceed 500 people.
  • There will be no new safety requirements for businesses, though they must maintain their plans to keep their employees and customers safe – as they have from the beginning of the pandemic – guided only by a minimal universal state guidance document.

The third step takes place once 70 percent of Minnesotans age 16 years and older – 3,087,404 Minnesotans – get at least one dose of the vaccine, but no later than July 1.

  • The remaining face-covering requirement and the requirement for preparedness plans will end. Work on vaccines will continue, and local jurisdictions and entities may set their own mask policies.

However, the Governor still intends to keep the Safe Learning Plan for schools in place until the end of the school year. Additionally, the Governor intends to keep the eviction moratorium and a ban on price gouging. Local jurisdictions and businesses may still require masks and have other requirements beyond July 1. Target has already announced they intend to require masks in their stores beyond July 1. Walz needs to follow the science and end these emergency powers today.

Renter Assistance

rent help

RentHelpMN is Now Open for Applications for up to 15 months of taxpayer-funded rent, and utilities assistance.

The Minnesota Dept of Housing announced that RentHelpMN is now open and accepting applications. RentHelpMN makes it possible for eligible renters to request taxpayers' financial assistance to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

rent help 2

Please note that RentHelpMN is in Phase One, in which people with past due rent who meet eligibility requirements are invited to apply. If you are a property owner with tenants behind on rent or utilities, please refer your tenants to this website to see if they qualify. If you are a landlord looking for assistance in unpaid back rent please click HERE to see if you qualify. 

To apply for RentHelpMN, please visit or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about RentHelpMN, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Visit to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements and to apply.

Remember if you want to be politically respected you must be politically feared,

Mort isg

Erik Mortensen 

State Representative, 55A


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at

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