The DFL-controlled Minnesota House voted Tuesday against two resolutions that would have ended Gov. Tim Walz’s peacetime emergency declaration and voided his coronavirus-related executive orders.
The first resolution, introduced by members of the New House Republican Caucus, failed to secure enough support to be debated and voted upon.
“The legislators who blocked this resolution essentially voted to silence the people,” Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) said in a press release. “The people are entitled to have their voices heard through their duly elected legislators. We demand freedom, representation, and the ability to legislate. The governor alone should not be writing policy for the entire state. To circumvent state legislators and the people’s house in responding to this pandemic is wrong.”
Gov. Walz extended his peacetime emergency declaration Monday for an additional 30 days and has issued 35 executive orders regarding the pandemic in just one month.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) said the governor’s emergency declaration “has awarded him unprecedented power to fundamentally change our state without the input of the people.”
“As state legislators, we all swore an oath to do our job. Unfortunately, the representatives who blocked this resolution have shrunk from their responsibility as elected leaders,” he added.
A second resolution to end the peacetime emergency was introduced by House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and was taken up for consideration but defeated in a vote of 57-76. Daudt’s resolution would have ended the peacetime emergency but kept executive orders aimed at protecting veterans, small businesses, and law enforcement in place.
“The administration’s own modeling indicates that extending the stay at home order will have no measurable impact compared to an approach that protects the vulnerable while we gradually begin to reopen our economy,” Daudt said in a statement.
“If we can start this process now without harming public health, we can potentially avoid three weeks of additional economic devastation. By no means are we suggesting flipping a light switch or putting lives at risk – under this plan, Minnesotans would continue to observe social distancing as they have been for weeks, and we would continue our efforts to keep vulnerable individuals safe,” he continued.
Every Democrat in the House voted against both resolutions during a Tuesday floor session. In fact, House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) introduced a resolution to waive the House’s right to terminate the peacetime emergency for a 30-day period.
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