Hello, friends. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent news regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
A Resolution to Restore the People’s Power
On Tuesday, I introduced a resolution to end the Governor’s peacetime emergency declaration and void his executive orders. My resolution would have given the Minnesota Legislature the power to write the law and policy surrounding Minnesota’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to restore the constitutional balance of power in Minnesota. The Governor should not be allowed to unilaterally dictate how every Minnesotan should live their life. Additionally, this resolution would have allowed the state to reopen and resume economic activity.
Here is a link to view my speech about this resolution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ypk72HePzU&feature=youtu.be
Unfortunately, a majority of Republicans and every Democrat in the Minnesota House of Representatives voted against the resolution. Our state leaders must recognize that people want to get back to work and get the economy moving again. In the past six weeks, one in five Minnesotans has become unemployed or lost work. We are quickly approaching economic devastation not seen since the Great Depression. My resolution would have reopened the state and ensured that those who want to work can work, and those who want to stay home can stay home.
The Governor’s Powers
The longer this crisis goes on, the more power Governor Walz accumulates. On Tuesday, the Minnesota House voted to give the Walz Administration total authority over seventeen chapters of law. Specifically, HF 4556 gives full authority to the Minnesota Department of Health to delay, waive, or modify different provisions across seventeen chapters of law. This bill represents an unprecedented concentration of power in the Governor’s hands. The executive branch should not be allowed to comb over our state laws and cherry-pick which laws to enforce, and which laws to forget. I voted against HF 4556.
Here is a link to view my speech about this bill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmzpZEzywJw&feature=youtu.be
This bill was passed by the Senate and signed into law by Governor Walz. Now the executive branch can make changes to these chapters of law as they see fit. For example, one provision found in these seventeen chapters of law states that the Minnesota Department of Health is forbidden from collecting gun data. However, under the new law Governor Walz signed, the executive branch can waive this provision and collect gun data if they so desire. Awarding total authority to the governor is wrong. The legislature is entrusted to write the law. If adjustments need to be made to existing statutes, then the legislature should make that decision. Instead, state legislators voted to shrink from their role as elected leaders and give their responsibilities to the governor’s office.
In the last several weeks, I have heard from many people across our district. Small business owners, farmers, teachers, hourly workers, students, families, and others have expressed to me their frustration with the governor’s decision to shut down our state’s economy. Furthermore, I know many are struggling just to get by in these times.
Livelihoods have been damaged or destroyed by this crisis. Let me be clear, I share your frustration and your concerns. I am a small business owner, and I have seen my own business suffer because of the governor’s actions. I am doing everything I can to reopen the state safely and get this economy moving again.
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/
I hope you share your support for putting Minnesota back to work.
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. My email address is Rep.Steve.Drazkowski@house.mn. Additionally, please reach out to my Legislative Assistant, Luke, with any questions. Luke’s email is Luke.Sprinkel@house.mn. Emailing is the fastest way to get in contact with me. Contact me anytime with questions or concerns.