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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R)

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

St. Paul – Today, Governor Walz announced that the stay-at-home order will be extended until May 18. Furthermore, the governor has eased some restrictions on small retail businesses by permitting them to conduct limited curbside business in accordance with state guidelines. 

“We need to end this governor’s shutdown now. Tim Walz continues to crush Minnesota businesses, unnecessarily, by extending his stay-at-home order,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa). “Nearly 18% of Minnesota’s workforce filed for unemployment because of the Governor’s actions. Just a few months ago, Minnesota’s unemployment rate was in the low-single digits.” 

Minnesota’s stay-at-home order was previously scheduled to end on Monday, May 4th. In total, 43 states have enacted such an order. Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming remain the seven states which have not enacted a stay-at-home order. 

“Every state that has not issued a stay-at-home order has a lower rate of workers filing for unemployment,” said Rep. Drazkowski. “For contrast, South Dakota has seen 7.2% of its work force on unemployment. These states have allowed their people to continue to work and provide for their families. The longer Governor Walz waits to fully open the economy, the worse it will be for Minnesota. We all know this, and it is time to start rebuilding. Not in two weeks, not in a month, but today. Enough with turning your silly dial up one notch at a time. We need to reopen now.” 

According to the most recent statistics, there have been 62 deaths per million people in Minnesota. The seven states who have not issued a stay-at-home order are as follows: Arkansas – 20 deaths per million, Iowa – 52 deaths per million, Nebraska – 36 deaths per million, North Dakota – 25 deaths per million, South Dakota – 20 deaths per million, Utah – 15 deaths per million, Wyoming – 12 deaths per million. 

“Every state that has not issued a stay-at-home order has a lower coronavirus death rate than Minnesota,” said Rep. Drazkowski. “It appears that the governor’s unconstitutional edicts have not saved lives but may instead be costing them. The facts speak for themselves. Minnesota is surrounded by proof that this stay-at-home order has clearly not accomplished anything beneficial and must be ended. The governor is stripping millions of Minnesotans of their Godgiven rights and he is blatantly crushing the economy. Governor Walz is a failed and misguided leader.” 

Rep. Drazkowski continued, “We know that individuals living and working in nursing homes and congregate care facilities are most at risk regarding COVID-19. Our efforts must be educational instead of dictatorial and should focus on securing nursing homes and protecting the safety of the very elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.” 

In addition to extending the stay-at-home order, Governor Walz stated that his administration is examining next steps in potentially allowing elective surgeries to resume. 

“Health care workers have been laid off because Governor Walz canceled all elective surgeries,” said Rep. Drazkowski. “The governor said he initiated the stay-at-home order to assist our healthcare system, but his actions have resulted in the furloughing of nurses and doctors. The lost revenue from these elective surgeries have severely damaged rural hospitals. Moreover, many Minnesotans have suffered great pain, watched their cancer develop, or been prescribed opioids because their surgery was cancelled by the governor. Instead of calm, measured leadership, Governor Walz has simply thrown everything at the wall hopin something will stick. He uses government as an indiscriminate sledgehammer.” 

Rep. Drazkowski concluded, “If we fail to correct our course, we will see a devastating economic depression. Food shortages have begun and deaths from suicide, domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse will continue to rise if we do not make a change. No amount of government loans will be able to fix the societal destruction that has taken place. Governor Walz has offered only empty, feel-good rhetoric and cute slogans like ‘curbside commerce.’ Minnesotans do not need slogans. They need to be free to work. There are no ICUs or ventilators that will save our economy. Governor Walz must recognize this and make a course correction. For Minnesotans, the governor’s cure is worse than the disease.” 


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