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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kristin Robbins (R)

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RELEASE: Statement from Rep. Robbins on Gov. Walz reopening guidance

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

STATEMENT FROM REP. ROBBINS ON GOV. WALZ REOPENING GUIDANCE

MAPLE GROVE — State Representative Kristin Robbins, R-Maple Grove, issued the following statement regarding the reopening guidance released today by the Walz administration.

"I am very disappointed Governor Walz continued his "one-size-fits-all" approach to re-opening Minnesota's economy with his announcement on bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and other establishments today," said Rep. Robbins. "Our Main Street bars, restaurants and personal services businesses are barely hanging on. At the Governor's direction, they put together comprehensive plans to re-open while protecting the health and safety of their employees and customers, expecting they would be reopening on June 1st. It is unfair for the Governor to raise their expectations, have them work incredibly hard on these plans, and then pull the rug out from under them."

"It is time to end the Governor's unilateral decision-making, where he continues to pick winners and losers. A lot of small restaurants and bars don't have outdoor patios and will not be able to re-open at all. The state should provide broad safety guidelines and then allow local officials and business owners to reopen based on local data. A statewide approach is killing our Main Street businesses."

"In addition, the guidance regarding churches is very problematic. It makes no sense that you can seat 50 people at an outdoor patio, or have 25% capacity at an indoor hair salons, but you can only have 10 people in or outside a church. This arbitrary decision imposes an undue burden on our first amendment right to free exercise of religion. I hope the courts take up the religious liberty cases that have already been filed soon."

Governor Walz also announced no games or competitive youth sports were to be part of the June 1st reopening.

"Keeping youth sports on the sidelines is very disappointing. As I outlined in the bill I introduced to provide guidance for safely re-opening the state, as well as a letter to Governor Walz, we should let local officials make the decisions on how to safely re-open youth sports programs."

"Many smaller communities, including in my district, have very few cases of COVID-19 and those that do tend to be in congregate living settings. They have developed well-thought-out plans for summer park and recreation opportunities. Local officials should be able to make decisions for their communities based on local data, not subject to a statewide mandate."

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