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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REP. STEVE DRAZKOWSKI - DISTRICT 21-B

Friday, June 18, 2021

Greetings, everyone. I wanted you to know about some of the news here in St. Paul.

The Governor’s Emergency Powers  

Governor Tim Walz is using his emergency powers for political gain. Even though there is no immediate crisis in Minnesota, the governor continues to maintain total control. This is not normal. In our system of government, the three coequal branches are supposed to work together. However, Governor Walz is holding onto these emergency powers to have an upper hand in budget negotiations. Let me explain.

The Minnesota Legislature is currently in special session. We are attempting to finalize and vote on budget bills that will authorize Minnesota’s $52 billion two-year budget. As you can imagine, there is a lot of negotiating between Republicans and Democrats to make sure the details of these bills are agreed upon. In these negotiations, Governor Walz is using his emergency powers as a bargaining chip. He only wants to give up his emergency powers if Republicans agree to his demands. This is outrageous.

Governor Walz should not use his emergency powers to further his political goals. That is a misuse of the governor’s office and a despicable way to govern. In my view, his actions are nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to get a budget deal that will increase spending. The governor is not negotiating with Republicans in good faith.

Emergency powers should only be used to address an imminent crisis. Once the crisis has been handled, the emergency powers should go away. In this case, there is no imminent crisis. Therefore, Governor Walz should give up his powers.

On Monday, Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives attempted to pass a resolution that would strip the governor of his emergency powers. My Republican colleagues and I voted to make this happen. Unfortunately, the Democrat majority in the Minnesota House voted this resolution down.   

I first called for an end to this imbalance of power over a year ago. Unfortunately, we have been forced to suffer months of unconstitutional executive orders and restrictions.

Here is my speech about the governor’s executive powers:

Rep. Drazkowski - 6.14.21

The Never Again Bill  

Several colleagues and I are co-authors of legislation that will stop the governor from ever again taking unilateral control of Minnesota. The bill, HF 28, was introduced in this special session. My colleagues and I are calling this bill the “Never Again” bill.

The purpose of this bill is very clear. We cannot allow any governor to have total control of government ever again. Governor Tim Walz has had fifteen months of unchecked powers, and Minnesotans have seen the damage that has been caused.

I am appalled as I think about what Governor Walz’s unconstitutional executive orders did to the people of Minnesota. Family members were prevented from seeing each other, kids were unable to go to school, individuals lost their jobs, and businesses permanently shut down. The governor even encouraged people to call the authorities if they saw a neighbor leave their house in defiance of the governor’s executive orders.

No governor, Democrat; Republican; or independent, should ever be given such power again. The idea that one individual should be allowed to unilaterally shut you in your home is horrific.

The Never Again bill establishes measures that will allow the governor to reasonably respond to a real emergency without being given total control. Additionally, the bill ensures that your elected officials in the Minnesota Legislature are involved in the entire process. This will make sure that your voice is heard, and your interests are represented.

Furthermore, the Never Again bill specifically states that the governor is not allowed to take actions that would infringe on the right to free speech, the right to practice one’s religion, the right to assemble, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to travel, and the right to operate a business. We are eager to pass this legislation into law and make sure constitutional rights are protected from tyranny.

Currently, the House version of the bill has 11 authors, and the Senate version of the bill has three authors.

To hear more about the Never Again bill, please see the below video:

Rep. Drazkowski - 6.18.21

Steve Drazkowski

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