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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Brian Daniels (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Brian Daniels

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is hosting a webinar on Friday to answer questions about expanding local meat and poultry processing markets in Minnesota and to discuss how we can adapt Minnesota's meat and poultry supply chain in response to the current pandemic. Topics of discussion will include the MDA's inspection requirements, grant opportunities, and marketing assistance programs. 

Click here to register: MDA Event: ABC'S of Small Meat Processing

Budget Update

On Tuesday, we received a budget update from Minnesota Management and Budget that revealed the state is facing a $2.4 billion budget deficit due to a projected $3.6 billion decrease in tax revenue.

This news is not necessarily surprising as a drop in tax revenue was to be expected due to business closures as the state deals with the COVID-19 outbreak. With the state facing such a large budget deficit, it’s clear that state government needs to consider ways it can reduce spending while still providing essential services for Minnesotans.

Governors in New York and Wisconsin have recently proposed billions in budget reductions to react to projected deficits, and it looks like Minnesota will have to do the same. Families and businesses should not bear the financial burden of this crisis alone—the government must also share in the sacrifice.

Working with the Governor

For the last two months, Governor Walz has been able to take unilateral action without approval from the legislature due to his peacetime emergency declaration. While it could be argued that the governor needed this capability early in the crisis, the need for swift, unilateral action has passed and it is time for the legislature to have a role in the decision-making process.

That’s why I have consistently voted to end the Governor’s peacetime emergency powers.

Minnesota’s Constitution makes clear that the state legislature is a co-equal branch of government and is the branch of government closest to the people. It’s clear that the people’s voice must be considered when responding to this crisis. For those reasons, the legislature must have a role in determining our path forward and I stand ready to work with Governor Walz on responding to the needs of the state of Minnesota.

If the governor wants to extend or make new orders, he can do so the way he normally would with approval from the House and Senate.

Elective Surgeries to Resume

On Tuesday, Governor Walz announced an end to the moratorium on many elective medical procedures and surgeries. According to the Governor’s office,

Executive Order 20-51 will allow hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and clinics – whether veterinary, medical, or dental – to resume many currently-delayed procedures once facilities have developed criteria for determining which procedures should proceed during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide a plan to maintain a safe environment for facility staff, patients, and visitors.

This is great news for folks that have had elective procedures delayed. It is my hope that this order will bring you some relief.

Staying in Touch

Please reach out to my office if you have questions or if I can assist you in any way.

I can be reached by email at rep.brian.daniels@house.mn or via phone at 651-296-8237.

God bless,

Brian