A Republican representative introduced a bill last week to provide legal protections to churches during states of emergency.
Under HF 2422, authored by Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, health boards, whether at the state or local level, would not be allowed to impose restrictions upon religious organizations during a declared emergency. Read More
A proposal from Gov. Tim Walz to help cover the cost of security for ex-officer Derek Chauvin’s upcoming trial was stalled Monday in the Minnesota House.
Democrats, who have a 70-64 advantage in the House, blamed Republicans for the gridlock. Read More
While Minnesota is recovering from a 2020 budget deficit and public health hangover, Gov. Tim Walz proposed a $52.4 billion budget – a $4 billion spending increase from the prior biennium budget and the largest proposed spending plan in state history.
“As a result of rising costs and inflation, it is expected that budgets will increase biennium to biennium,” Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) spokesman Chris Kelly told The Center Square in an email. Read More
Former Sen. Scott Jensen said that Minnesotans are in an “abusive relationship” with Gov. Tim Walz during a recent livestream.
In a video explaining the checks in place against Gov. Walz’s emergency powers and why those powers have not been taken away, Jensen compared Minnesota’s situation to an “abusive relationship.” Read More
On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz asked the legislature to enact into law some of his executive orders to prepare for the end of his 11-month reign in a declared COVID-19 state of emergency.
Walz said they needed to work together to keep Minnesotans safe. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions starting Monday on restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues.
Walz cited improving COVID-19 numbers and a rollout of the vaccine in his decision. Read More
Minnesota Sens. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, and Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz asking him to reopen bars and restaurants.
In their letter, the two senators urge Gov. Walz to reopen bars, restaurants, and other “vital economic engines” by January 11. The letter also asks Walz to let businesses know of his plan by Jan. 4 so they have time to prepare. Read More
Let Them Play MN, a nonprofit, issued a press release outlining its concerns regarding the newest guidelines for youth sports.
A guidance released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Dec. 28 requires all youth sports players to wear masks during practices and, when the time comes, during games. A few exceptions exist, including wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming and diving. Read More
Restrictions on bars, restaurants and other small businesses are set to expire Friday, but Gov. Tim Walz has twice delayed an announcement on what will come next.
The announcement was initially expected to take place last Friday, Dec. 11, but was moved to Monday. His office then moved the announcement from Monday to Wednesday. Read More
Lawmakers announced an apparent $216 million stimulus deal with Gov. Tim Walz, House Democrats and Senate Republicans.
The Legislature plans to take up the bill in a special session Monday. Read More
Gyms and fitness centers shuttered through Dec. 18 by Gov. Tim Walz claim the state’s own data doesn’t justify the mandate.
From June through Nov. 14, state data reported gyms accounted for 47 COVID-19 outbreaks, making up roughly 7.7% of the states’ 603 total outbreaks during that time. Read More
After prohibiting private gatherings over the Thanksgiving weekend, Gov. Tim Walz said Minnesotans can expect to see “very similar” restrictions around Christmas.
“I went from John Lithgow in Footloose to the Grinch,” Walz said during a Monday press conference when asked if people should start thinking about canceling their Christmas plans. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that a bipartisan pandemic relief package may materialize as soon as next week to provide assistance to businesses hurt by the shutdown meant to slow the spread of the virus
Walz said during a tour of a Brooklyn Park warehouse facility where he was helping to package emergency food boxes that he and lawmakers are “pretty close” to an agreement on a relief package, the Star Tribune reported. The Democratic governor and Minnesota House Republicans unveiled separate relief initiatives on Tuesday to provide economic assistance to small businesses, workers and families struggling amid the pandemic. Read More
State Sen. Scott Jensen, a practicing physician, took to Facebook just before midnight on Nov. 18 to share his thoughts on Gov. Tim Walz’s newest COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’m beginning to conclude that this isn’t about fairness or even reasonableness,” Jensen said. Read More
On Wednesday night, Gov. Tim Walz introduced sweeping four-week restrictions to combat COVID-19, sparking outcry from restaurant groups and Republicans warning of the inevitable economic fallout.
The restrictions start on 11:59 p.m. Friday and stretch until Dec. 18. Among the restrictions are prohibitions on in-person social gatherings with anyone of another household; limiting restaurants and bars to offer take-out and delivery only; and shuttering gyms, fitness studios and event spaces. Read More
In a Tuesday media call, Gov. Tim Walz designated extended family Thanksgivings as “mini-spreader events.”
“That Thanksgiving dinner or watching that football game, or movie … is a riskier proposition than getting your hair cut at a salon where everyone is masked, distanced,” Walz said. Read More
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. Read More
Three residents sued the Anoka-Hennepin School District and the local chapter of Education Minnesota to stop the “illegal subsidy of union political activities through teacher union business leave.”
In a lawsuit filed Monday in Anoka County District Court, the plaintiffs assert that the “Working Agreement” between the district and Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota requires schools to provide teachers with 100 days of paid leave per school year to conduct work for the union. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday requested staffing support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for long-term care facilities and hospitals.
“Minnesota’s case counts are on the rise, which means the need for staffing support will continue to increase,” Walz wrote in a letter to FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor. Read More
A shocking report released this week provides an inside look at how state and local leaders responded to May’s Minneapolis riots, the second-most destructive period of local unrest in U.S. history.
The 55-page report is the product of four joint hearings convened by the Minnesota Senate and is based on testimony from witnesses, data practice requests, written testimony, press conferences and news articles. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam joined 10 other Democratic governors issuing a joint statement on Wednesday defending American democracy, vowing that every valid ballot will be counted in the election.
The statement comes after a contentious debate where President Trump expressed skepticism of mail voting. Trump also called on his backers to scrutinize voting procedures at the polls, which critics said could cross into voter intimidation. Without mentioning Trump by name, the governors noted his refusal last week to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz and his wife, Gwen, attended and spoke at a candlelight vigil Sunday night in remembrance of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.
According to Star Tribune reporter Liz Sawyer, “several hundred” people gathered at Boom Island in Minneapolis for the event, which was hosted by the left-wing group Gender Justice. Read More
Minnesota’s Secretary of State Steve Simon is sending letters telling those who haven’t requested an absentee ballot to vote from home. An estimated 2.3 million voters will receive the letter and an absentee ballot application. Read More
The letter asserts that staying safe and keeping other citizens healthy “means voting from home.”
In an interview with The Star Tribune, Governor Tim Walz set the first standards for possibly lifting Minnesota’s emergency executive orders. His statement didn’t promise total relinquishment of his executive powers. Read More
According to Walz, under 20 percent community spread and 4 percent test positivity rate would give Minnesota “a really good chance of doing most things.” The governor balked when questioned whether some of the restrictions were too harsh. Walz stated that his state has endured COVID-19 better than many states.
A viral post from The Coffee Nest shared it was forced to close after the state threatened the local business with imprisonment, fines, and more. They have since deleted the post, citing an influx of private hate messages. Read More
Most commenters expressed frustration over the negative impacts of Governor Walz’s executive orders.
Senator Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) continues to challenge Governor Tim Walz’s emergency executive powers, even after their private meeting Thursday. The two disagree about the necessity of Minnesota’s continued state of emergency.
Their meeting marked the 175th day of Walz’s orders. Read More
U.S. Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stated in a visit to Minnesota on Sunday that Minnesotans haven’t done enough to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The visit is part of a cross-country tour to gauge how well states are adhering to coronavirus guidelines. Read More
Birx commended the measures instituted by the state. However, she said that Minnesotans needed to do more – especially in rural areas.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved for Minnesotans to receive $300 in weekly unemployment benefits this fall. FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor issued the grant through the Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance program.
The approval comes one day after Governor Tim Walz announced his decision to apply for additional unemployment payments. Walz explained this was a necessary decision based on the continued COVID-19 mandates. Read More
The six-year battle in Minnesota over Enbridge’s 1960’s-era Line 3 pipeline will continue.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) on Wednesday will appeal the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) February decision that approved the project’s certificate of need. Read More
The Minnesota Senate rejected Governor Walz’s appointee for the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Commissioner Nancy Leppink in a close vote 34 to 32.
Following the four hour session on Wednesday, the governor’s office issued a news release sharing Leppink’s lengthy career and its successes, as well as statements from various councils and organizations who support her. Read More
Governor Walz announced in a press release Friday that he will extend Minnesota’s COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency again by 30 days. The state’s peacetime emergency first went into effect March 13 – this is the fifth extension to date.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and rapidly evolving, and we can’t let our guard down,” stated Walz. Read More
Minnesota’s House and Senate approved the SSHF1 amendment last Monday, a big bill positioned to issue widespread police reform throughout the state. Since its passage 102-29 in the House and 60-7 in the Senate, the bill now rests in the hands of Governor Tim Walz.
SSHF1 is as long as it is weighty in its impact, with around 15 action items up for approval. Not only does it endeavor to further define legal use of force, but it creates and funds an administrative host of units, councils, and boards. Read More
On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-81, ordering Minnesotans to wear a mask in indoor public settings and crowded outdoor spaces starting Friday at 11:59 p.m.
“COVID-19 has impacted every corner of our state and every aspect of our lives,” Walz said in a statement. Read More
Over a dozen Minnesota state legislators have joined ranks with the Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition to stop what they argue are Governor Tim Walz’s unconstitutional abuses of power. A hearing in the case will take place, July 16, 2020, in Minnesota District Court.
Minneapolis attorney Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A. is representing the group in a lawsuit against Governor Walz, whom they are charging with overstepping his bounds and interfering in the legislative process, violating civil liberties of legislators, business owners, and the 5.6 million Minnesotans. Read More
The result of a court hearing Thursday could impact the daily lives of about 5.6 million Minnesotans.
Ramsey County District Court Judge Thomas Gilligan heard from Minnesota Solicitor General Liz Kramer and Erick Kaardal, who’s representing more than a dozen state legislators and the Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition that claim harm under Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders. Read More
One of former President Barack Obama’s top health care officials said he asked Gov. Tim Walz to reclose all bars in Minnesota during a Sunday phone call.
Andy Slavitt, the former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said he urged Walz and Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm to close “all of the bars to indoor service across the state of Minnesota” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to extend his COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration for another 30 days when lawmakers return to St. Paul Monday for a special session.
The governor announced Friday night that he has convened a special legislative session for July 13, the same day his peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. According to Minnesota law, the governor must convene both houses of the Legislature if he wishes to extend a peacetime emergency when the Legislature is not in session. Read More
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.” Read More
Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis said parents should be refunded for property tax payments and tuition if schools aren’t allowed to reopen in the fall.
“The more we learn about COVID, the more it becomes apparent that we have done a huge disservice to our children in the way we have handled this virus. Research has proven that COVID presents minimal risks to young people. But what isn’t minimal is the toll this prolonged lockdown and social isolation has on our kids’ social, mental, and physical well-being,” Lewis said in a statement released Wednesday. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz is expected to call another special session by the end of the week in order to extend his peacetime emergency powers.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) alerted members and staff in a Monday email about the likely special session. Read More
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who welcomed the destruction of a Christopher Columbus statue, chairs the board responsible for Capitol artwork and monuments. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz recently filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit was filed on May 28 by four members of the New House Republican Caucus, the Free Minnesota Coalition, and at least eight businesses across the state. The complaint argues that the governor does not have the authority to “suspend the constitutional rights of Minnesotans.” Read More
Gov. Tim Walz has requested federal financial assistance to help the Twin Cities recover from more than $500 million worth of damage caused by rioting.
In a press release, Walz’s office said nearly 1,500 Twin Cities businesses were vandalized, burned, or looted during the late May riots, with current estimates of the damage exceeding $500 million. Read More
A Minnesota judge on Monday warned that he’s likely to move the trials of four former police officers charged in George Floyd’s death out of Minneapolis if public officials, attorneys and family members don’t stop speaking out about the case.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped short of issuing a gag order against attorneys on both sides, but he said he likely will if public statements continue that make it hard to find an impartial jury. Cahill said that would also make him likely to grant a change-of-venue motion if one is filed, as he anticipates. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz said a statewide mask mandate to help curb the spread of COVID-19 is “on the table” during a Monday press conference.
According to Walz, Republican governors who participated in a Monday phone call with Vice President Mike Pence were also “exploring the idea.” Read More
Gov. Tim Walz said $853 million will be distributed statewide to provide relief to Minnesotans battered by the COVID-19 pandemic starting the week of June 29.
The money comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Read More
The Minnesota Legislature’s recent special session ended with no major accomplishments, but the eight-day session will still cost taxpayers an estimated $108,000.
The special session concluded on June 20 after Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in the House failed to reach an agreement on police reform legislation, the allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds, and other leftover business from the regular session, such as a borrowing package for public infrastructure projects. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz approved plans Thursday to distribute $841 million in federal coronavirus aid to cities and counties across Minnesota, along with another $12 million for food banks and food shelves that have seen a surge in demand since the pandemic hit the state. Read More
It’s been two weeks since a Christopher Columbus statue was toppled outside the Minnesota Capitol, but the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the investigation remains ongoing.
A spokesperson for the agency told KSTP chief political reporter Tom Hauser that the “investigation continues as the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] works to identify other participants in the incident, beyond the leader.” Read More
Minnesota legislative leaders traded barbs Saturday after a special session collapsed with no deal on revamping policing following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a session that one group called “a train wreck.”
The two sides may be back at it in another special session next month. Read More