by Scott McClallen
Gov. Tim Walz on Monday said he will convene the sixth special session of the Minnesota Legislature on Thursday.
“Amid climbing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Walz intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days,” a news release said. The extension will mark a total of about 274 days or nearly nine months Minnesota has been under a state of emergency.
“This is a dangerous phase of this pandemic. We’re in the midst of a surge in case positivity and hospitalizations,” Walz said in a statement. “Extending the Peacetime Emergency will help ensure we have the tools we need to respond quickly to protect Minnesotans’ health and well-being.”
The special session follows an increase in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Minnesota’s case positivity rate is above 10 percent.
The state reported 3,930 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths on Monday, 14 of which were residents of a long-term care facility.
Minnesota’s peacetime emergency is consistent with the emergencies declared in 48 other states, so governors can quickly respond to COVID-19.
A majority vote in the House and Senate would override Walz’s emergency powers, but if the previous five special sessions are any indication, the GOP-controlled Senate will move to revoke his emergency powers, but the DFL-led House won’t.
– – –
Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.