ST. PAUL, MN — During Tuesday's House floor session, House Republicans brought a resolution to the floor aimed at adjusting Minnesota's response to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting vulnerable Minnesotans while beginning the process of reopening Minnesota's economy.
The resolution, authored by House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, sought to end the peacetime emergency declared by Gov. Walz in Executive Orders 20-01 and the subsequent extension included in Executive Order 20-35, while keeping in place Executive Orders aimed at protecting Minnesota veterans, small businesses, and law enforcement as response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The resolution kept in place statutory provisions contingent on the peacetime emergency, and urged the public to continue physical distancing measures while taking measures to protect those most vulnerable to the virus until the outbreak has subsided.
This approach was detailed in Scenario 3 of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and University of Minnesota School of Health modeling presentation which showed identical ICU demand and mortality projections compared to the current approach which continues the Stay at Home order until the first week in May.
"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. "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. We all care about protecting public health, and if data suggests this approach will work while allowing many Minnesotans to return to their jobs, we should follow it."
The measure was blocked on a party-line vote, with all Democrats voting no. A similar measure brought by other lawmakers was also brought up Tuesday, but failed to secure the votes necessary to earn a recorded vote.