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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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Legislative update

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Please join me this Memorial Day weekend in honoring the men and women of our armed forces who have fallen. We owe an incredible debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made to protect us and in defense of liberty.

On an unrelated note pertaining to those who have served, a Veterans Virtual Career Fair is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. this Thursday, May 28. The career fair is open to veterans, transitioning service members, currently serving Reserve and National Guard, family members of veterans, and caregivers of veterans. Click here for more information regarding the event, including registration details.

As for legislative news, the House adjourned at midnight Monday as scheduled. A number of “smaller” bills were passed during the final days of session, but a bonding package and a tax bill were not among them. The governor is expected to call legislators back to St. Paul the middle of next month, so work on the unfinished items of business could take place at that time.

A number of retirement speeches were issued on the House floor on Monday, including one from me. Click here for that video.

On Wednesday of this week, we were hoping for some good news from the governor regarding his plans to re-open Minnesota but, unfortunately, the guidance he issued doesn’t come anywhere close to providing businesses with the ability to safely re-open soon enough And, the fact he is waiting until June 1 to provide even the slightest breathing room means Memorial Day will be a lost weekend for so many of our hospitality businesses. Here are some of the key points from his guidance for the next phases of his Stay Safe MN plan:

  • Restaurants: Outdoor service only, maximum of 50 customers, masks required, six feet distance.
  • Personal Services (salons, tattoos, barbershops): Six feet distance, maximum 25% of capacity, masks required. 
  • Churches: Services of 10 people or less indoors and outdoors, drive-up services allowed. 
  • Campgrounds: Open with guidance
  • Gyms, personal fitness, yoga: CLOSED
  • Entertainment (bowling, movie theaters, arcades): CLOSED

The inconsistencies in the governor’s guidance are mind-boggling. It doesn’t make sense to allow hundreds of people in the aisles of big box stores while limiting churches to 10 people, or that salons are allowed to reopen but restaurants are restricted to outdoor service. We must trust our businesses to protect the health and safety of customers and employees. 

This is disappointing to say the least because we are losing businesses by the day and the latest announcement by the governor undoubtedly (and sadly) will seal the fate for many more. 

Look for more news as we make our way into the interim, especially regarding a special session next month. Have a good Memorial Day weekend, stay safe and let me know how I can help.

Sincerely,

Bud

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