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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Cal Bahr (R)

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REP. CAL BAHR - DISTRICT 31-B

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Governor Walz has announced new steps regarding Minnesota’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the Governor signed Executive Order 20-40 which ALLOWS roughly 100,000 Minnesotans to return to work but only if they follow overly restrictive and invasive requirements.

For more information on what businesses are reopening under Executive Order 20-40, please see the following link: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/non-critical/. But it's not NEARLY enough.

Additionally, Governor Walz announced that Minnesota schools will remain closed through the end of the school year. Instead, schools will continue distance learning measures. However, school districts state-wide are already preparing to "start over" next fall and include the instruction that students should have been receiving this year.

Minnesota is the third largest pork-producing state in the nation. However, due to the temporary shuttering of pork processing plants, hog farmers are currently over-stocked with pigs and have no place to send them. As a result, 3,000 pigs were euthanized in Minnesota last week. If our agriculture economy remains shut down much longer, 200,000 pigs or more could be euthanized in the coming weeks. Additionally, sows are not being bred or having their litters aborted because there is no space to raise the piglets. This will cause shortages well after we have resumed "normal" operations.

Our state unemployment rate is now even higher than New York's with over 16% of our work force filing for unemployment due to the shutdown.

Minnesota's economy is broken - and not because of the pandemic. It is broken because of government's response to it. The economic hardships imposed by Governor Walz must end, and all of Minnesota must be reopened.

 

End the Peacetime Emergency!

HC10 vote

On Tuesday, we, once again, attempted to bring forward a resolution to end the Governor's unilateral control over the pandemic response. With language that was nearly identical to the resolution we voted on two weeks ago, you can see that there is a significant increase in members of the House who have come to the conclusion that it is time for the Governor's Emergency Powers to come to an end and for legislators to return to the job of initiating state regulation.

Here is a portion of the statement the New House Republican Caucus released:
The time has come for Governor Walz to recognize the seriousness of our economic situation. Hundreds of thousands of Minnesota workers have filed for unemployment, businesses have permanently closed, and multi-generational farmers are on the brink of collapse. Small businesses are being threatened with extinction, not just on rural main streets, but urban areas too in vibrant immigrant communities. Closing our schools and made the achievement gap worse. We need to reopen the economy and let Minnesotans reclaim control of their lives. Instead, Democrats are making promises they can’t keep: loans and grants that they can’t sustain when state tax revenues have shrunk. Minnesota cannot spend its way out of this economic disaster with blank checks. The best way to get this economy moving again is to put people back to work. We will continue to push for this state to reopen, and we hope the people of Minnesota will make their voices heard by contacting their elected officials.

As we continue to deal with the fallout of the crisis CREATED by the government response to the corona virus, continue to contact the Governor and tell him it is time to get the ball rolling again in Minnesota.

 

All Minnesotans Should Get Necessary Care

Yesterday on the house floor, DFL Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said that members should be careful not to spread "misinformation" about patients needing surgery, delayed due to COVID 19 preparation. Since shortly after Executive Order, 20-09 was announced, people have been telling us about patients whose scheduled procedures, though not "emergencies" were serious enough that delay is having negative consequences. You can hear his statement here: https://youtu.be/lxvcqk4cZcM

No, Rep. Winkler, these are not "stories we share," they are REAL people who are facing declining health outcomes because of delayed care. That delay is adding unnecessary risks that will undoubtedly have lasting effects on their quality of life and perhaps even ending their life. Some of these consequences include cancer patients who have had surgeries to remove tumors indefinitely postponed and being forced to continue chemotherapy long after they should have completed their treatment. It includes Pain Patients waiting for corrective surgery and instead receiving extended courses of opioids in an attempt to manage chronic daily pain which gives them a higher probability of addiction. It includes corrective surgery for children with developmental disabilities being delayed as detailed in a Star Tribune story today. Delaying treatment in children could mean that their development will be affected for a lifetime.

None of our systems, including our healthcare system, can be as tightly controlled as DFL leadership and the Governor seem to think. When you disrupt these systems, starting them again isn't as easy as flipping a switch or turning a dial. If people are permanently harmed by the delay of so-called "elective" surgery, they will have been harmed by government policy choices, not by COVID 19.

 

Make Your Voice Heard

Livelihoods have been damaged or destroyed by this crisis. We need to let the Governor know that he should be working for us, not against us.

Contacting the governor’s office and sharing your thoughts is a great way to show your support for reopening Minnesota. Governor Walz needs to know that our economy and our jobs matter. The governor’s office can be reached at this phone number: (651) 201-3400.

Furthermore, information to write Governor Walz a letter or send him an email can be found here: https://mn.gov/governor/contact/.

Governor Walz needs to see the writing on the wall and get out of the way so Minnesotans can get back to work. The longer Governor Walz prolongs this shutdown, the more Minnesotans will suffer due to the economic damages.

Choose Freedom,

 

CalSig

Cal Bahr
State Representative, 31B

 

Contact:

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Barbara, at barbara.smith@house.mn.

Watch the Minnesota House on Public TV

Video: Streaming Website. Also you can watch committees and Floor Sessions on YouTube.

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