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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Shane Mekeland (R)

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Legislative update

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Independence Day graphic

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day at a time when we aren’t exactly feeling independent. Businesses remain throttled down, fireworks shows and other community celebrations are being called off and now the governor is saying a statewide mandate requiring face masks to be worn in public is “on the table.”

If the governor were to issue a statewide mandate on wearing masks, it would be just the latest example of why we need to end his emergency powers and unilateral rule. It would be another abuse of power to make that call on his own, especially since he is expected to soon call another special legislative session so he can extend his emergency powers to a fifth month and counting.

The governor’s latest 30-day extension on his unilateral powers ends July 12. Unless pigs fly, a snowball survives Hades and the liberal House majority intervenes, all indications are the governor will enact a fifth month of one-man rule in our Minnesota. Even my DFL colleagues in the House continue to say they figure the governor will repeatedly set 30-day extensions to keep his emergency powers alive at least until mid-November.

Given the House majority’s unwillingness to act, the best shot we have of ending this dictatorship sooner is if a lawsuit I have joined seeking to end his emergency powers is successful. However it happens, we need to restore balance at the Capitol instead of having the governor cut the Legislature out of the decision-making process.

We may have more developments on a special session soon. It will be interesting to see what else may appear on that agenda. Work has been taking place to assemble a capital investment (bonding) bill to fund infrastructure projects throughout the state, including some in our district that are under consideration. I am keeping tabs on that and will follow up if/when that subject comes to the surface.

In other news, a number of new laws take effect tomorrow, including one regarding tractor safety. A voluntary tractor rollover prevention grant program that was created a few years ago expired in 2019 and is being re-established July 1. It permits the Agriculture Department to award grants to farmers and schools that retrofit tractors built before 1987 with eligible rollover protective structures. Farm safety has been a big issue of late and this program can help make improvements in one regard. More information on new laws can be accessed here. Summaries of all laws passed by the 2020 Legislature are available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services here.

Until next time, have a safe Independence Day holiday, however you may plan to celebrate. It looks like it’s going to be a hot week, so stay hydrated and keep an eye on anyone who may be vulnerable to the conditions. And, it should go without saying, but please do not leave children or pets in your parked vehicle.

Sincerely,

Shane

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