Governor Walz’s Plan Defers to Schools for Campus Openings

Governor Tim Walz announced Thursday that Minnesota schools will have the majority of authority on if or how they open campuses, based on discretionary assessment of their district’s localized data.

According to Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-82 and the accompanying “Safe Learning Plan,” schools must watch the spread of COVID-19 in their communities to determine the learning model that will suit their needs. These models are also subject to change throughout the school year, a protocol that Walz refers to as “dialing back [or] forward” in his executive order.

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Minnesota Lawmakers Pass Police Accountability Package

The Minnesota Legislature passed a broad slate of police accountability measures early Tuesday that includes a ban on neck restraints like the one that was used on George Floyd before his death in Minneapolis.

The package also bans chokeholds and so-called warrior-style training, which critics say promotes excessive force. It imposes a duty to intercede on officers who see a colleague using excessive force. It changes rules on the use of force to stress the sanctity of life. It makes changes in arbitration rules affecting police unions. Officers will get more training on dealing with people with mental health issues and autism. The measure also creates a new advisory council for the state board that licenses officers.

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DFL Targets State Senate Republicans on Police Reform in New Ad Campaign

The Minnesota DFL Party launched a new ad campaign this week targeting key Republican state senators who are accused of “standing in the way of passing real police reform.”

Jason Lewis, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said in a recent interview that Democrats don’t “want reform” so much as they “want a political issue.”

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Lt. Gov. Flanagan Shares Post Calling Mount Rushmore ‘Symbol of White Supremacy’

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan shared a post on social media over the Independence Day weekend calling Mount Rushmore a “symbol of white supremacy.”

“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today. It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide,” said the post, which Flanagan shared on her Instagram.

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Minnesota Board of Medical Practice Investigating Republican Senator for Speaking Out on COVID-19

State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), a practicing physician, revealed Sunday that anonymous complaints were filed against him with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice for his public comments on the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is one of the most important videos I’ve made and one of the hardest,” Jensen said in a video posted to Facebook. “Less than a week ago, I was notified by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota that I was being investigated because of public statements I had made.”

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State Senators to Hold Oversight Hearings on Handling of Minneapolis Riots, Ask DOJ to Investigate Police

Three Republican state senators called on U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice to investigate the Minneapolis Police Department and its response to recent unrest in the city.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) announced plans to hold a series of legislative oversight hearings beginning July 1 on state and local responses to the riots.

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Minnesota Business Owners Call for Reopening Economy During Press Conference at the Capitol

Several small business owners called for reopening the economy during a Monday press conference at the Minnesota Capitol.

“We desire to honor our God, and our government and governor. We think we can do both. But we have no idea how to get a plan approved, to whom to submit it, or if anyone needs to or will consider it. The church needs to gather, we are more the church when we gather than at any other time. Please, Gov. Walz, help us by providing clear ways for plans to be approved and for us to meet,” said Rory Martin, pastor of the Liberty Baptist Church in Eden Prairie.

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Gov. Walz Refuses to Take Down ‘Communist’ Hotline for Reporting Stay at Home Violations

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has rejected requests from Republican lawmakers to suspend a “communist” hotline that allows residents to report violations of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

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Senate Leaders Signal Disagreement with Walz’s ‘Unilateral and Unchecked’ Coronavirus Actions

Gov. Tim Walz has issued 12 executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but Senate Republicans think some of his actions aren’t within his constitutional authority.

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Republicans Say DFL ‘Marching Left’ After Suburban Democrat Ousts Iron Ranger for Leadership Role

  Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) defeated Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) for the role of Senate DFL minority leader during a Saturday meeting, a move Republicans think signals the party’s shift to the left. Kent (pictured above) emerged victorious Saturday evening after the 32-member caucus met at the Carpenters Union Hall…

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Minnesota’s Senate Republicans Unveil 2020 Agenda, Includes Consideration of Red Flag Laws, Clean Energy Proposals

Minnesota Senate Republicans unveiled their “2020 Vision” agenda during a Monday press conference, highlighting their priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

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Court Orders Portion of Line 3 Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement to Return to Minnesota Public Utility Commission for Reconsideration

  The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a portion of the environmental impact study of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. The court’s ruling is available here. The ruling says: Although we reject most of realtors’ assertions of error, we agree that the FEIS is inadequate…

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No Gas Tax Increase for Minnesota

  An omnibus transportation budget bill is on its way to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk without any gas tax increase. After clearing the DFL-controlled House Friday evening, the bill passed out of the Senate later Friday night in a 54-13 vote. It’s official…no gas tax increase in Minnesota. Senate just…

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Minnesota Teachers Union Calls for Voting in a ‘New Senate’ After Education Budget

  Education Minnesota, the state’s largest teachers union, urged Minnesotans to “vote in a new Senate” after an education budget agreed to by party leaders was released. “This is a lukewarm outcome to a legislative session that had a lot of potential for Minnesota students,” Education Minnesota President Denise Specht…

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Walz’s Revised Budget Proposal Still Includes 20-Cent Gas-Tax Increase

Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) was forced to reexamine his budget proposal “line by line” after the state’s budget forecast came up $492 million short of November’s estimated $1.5 billion surplus. But his recently released revised budget recommendations still include a 20-cent gas-tax hike. “The governor recommends the state commit to…

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Walz Will Reexamine Budget Proposal ‘Line By Line’ After Forecast Comes Up $492 Million Short of Previous Estimates

Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) will have to reexamine his budget proposal “line by line” after Thursday’s budget forecast came up $492 million short of November’s estimated $1.5 billion surplus. It’s only been nine days since Walz unveiled his first budget proposal for the 2020-2021 biennium, which capped out at $49.5…

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Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus Rallies at the Capitol Amid Renewed Gun Control Efforts

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus hosted a rally at the State Capitol Saturday to “defend the Second Amendment” and take a stand against gun-control legislation making its way through the House. “Michael Bloomberg’s out-of-state gun control agenda is already out in full force during the 2019 legislative session after spending…

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Minnesota Republicans Continue Pro-Life Push With Several Pieces of Legislation

Several pieces of pro-life legislation have been introduced by Republicans in both the Minnesota House and Senate. While they all face uphill battles against a Democratic-controlled House and a progressive in the Governor’s Mansion, pro-life leaders think that at least some of the measures should attract bipartisan support. Senate File…

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Governor Walz’s $49 Billion Budget Proposal Will Make Minnesota a ‘Cold California’

Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) unveiled his highly anticipated budget proposal for the 2020-2021 biennium at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. When all is said and done, the two-year budget registers at $49.5 billion with no cuts to any existing spending. “I’ve often said that a budget is far more than…

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Minnesota GOP Has Harsh Words for Walz After Pipeline Appeal: ‘This Is a Big Mistake’

Republican members of the Minnesota House and Senate called a joint press conference earlier this week to condemn Gov. Tim Walz’s (D-MN) decision to re-appeal the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project. “The science is sure that this would be environmentally much safer to replace a 51-year-old pipe with a…

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Minnesota Republicans Stand Against ‘Barbaric’ Pro-Abortion Bills

Minnesota’s Republican legislators called a press conference Thursday in the lobby of the Minnesota Capitol to oppose the radical pro-abortion measures being passed across the country. As was widely reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) signed the Reproductive Rights Act into law last week, clearing the way for abortions up to…

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Minnesota’s Republican-Controlled Senate Introduces 91 Bills, Seeks to Punish Sanctuary Cities

Minnesota’s Republican-controlled Senate hit the ground running Thursday by introducing 91 pieces of legislation. Many of the items correspond with the top five priorities Republicans outlined at a Tuesday press conference, though there were several noteworthy outliers. Senate File (SF) 80, for instance, would impose “aid reductions” on sanctuary cities…

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Second Amendment Groups Vow to Fight Minnesota DFL’s Gun Control Efforts

The only thing barring Democrats from total control of Minnesota’s government is a one-seat Republican majority in the Senate, but that might not be enough to block gun-control efforts during the upcoming session. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) recently indicated that he has “some openness” on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL)…

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Enbridge Responds to Minnesota Gov’s ‘Erroneous’ Appeal of Pipeline

Mark Dayton

Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved permits to replace Enbridge’s aging Line 3 Pipeline in November, but departing Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) is now appealing the decision. The Public Utilities Commission’s November vote to approve the replacement project was protested and disrupted by environmentalist activists who have opposed the project…

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