Hello, friends. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent news from the Minnesota Legislature and our state government.
Governor Walz Actions
Governor Walz has announced that his stay-at-home order will expire on schedule. The stay-at-home order began on Friday, March 27th and will now expire this coming Monday, May 18th. Governor Walz is asking people to maintain social distancing guidelines as the stay-at-home order ends. However, the expiration of the stay-at-home order allows for Minnesotans to travel and participate in gatherings of no more than ten people.
For more information please see the following link: https://mn.gov/governor/covid-19/news/#/detail/appId/1/id/431922
Additionally, Governor Walz announced that Minnesota retail stores and main street businesses will be allowed to reopen for in-person shopping. However, these businesses must adhere to specific guidelines put forward by his administration. Specifically, retail businesses are permitted to reopen if they operate at half-capacity and have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
For more details please see the following link: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/
Both of these actions will restore some measure of normalcy and freedom. That is good. However, the very idea that Governor Walz should be allowed to decide what constitutional rights we enjoy is reprehensible. No citizen should see their constitutional rights disappear. So far, Governor Walz’s strategy has only invaded our rights and created a devastating recession. The governor is still restricting our rights today. I have been calling for the reopening of Minnesota for over a month. I want to see Minnesota fully reopened.
In the wake of Governor Walz’s economic shutdown, Minnesota is now facing a $1.5 billion deficit. This is a devastating change from only a few months ago when we were projected to have a surplus of over $2.4 billion. The governor’s economic shutdown has wreaked havoc on our state revenue streams, our economy, and our livelihoods.
Moreover, the entire shutdown of our economy was totally unnecessary. There are seven states across the country which did not shut their economies down or issue a stay-at-home order. Those states are all doing significantly better than Minnesota. Proportionally, each of those free states have lower rates of unemployment and fewer COVID-19 deaths per million people.
Additionally, the states who have remained free will not face a budget deficit nearly as destructive as Minnesota’s budget deficit. For example, South Dakota did not shut down their economy or issue a stay-at-home order and they have seen their sales tax revenue increase by 4.5%. Meanwhile, Governor Walz has caused sales tax revenues to decrease by 11.2% because he shut down our economy. This is wrong, and Minnesota should be reopened in its entirety.
2020 Legislative Session
Despite the looming budget deficit, the Democrat majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives continues to maintain a big spending agenda. The State of Minnesota is fully funded through June 30, 2021, and we are now facing a budget deficit. Nevertheless, Democrats are insistent on passing big spending bills as the end of the 2020 legislative session approaches. Our fiscal horizon is unpredictable and looking gloomier and gloomier because of the governor’s actions. We cannot allow carefree Democrats to damage our finances further with an overblown bonding bill and foolish spending.
Additionally, the Democrat majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives have sat on the sidelines and allowed Governor Walz to maintain total control. Two days ago, the governor renewed his peacetime emergency declaration until June 12th. That declaration gives the governor unilateral control to do almost anything he chooses. I have led the effort to end the peacetime emergency declaration. I attempted to bring forward a resolution on April 14th to end the peacetime emergency. The proper balance of power must be restored to Minnesota government. The governor should not have the powers of a dictator. However, the Democrat majority in the Minnesota House has repeatedly voted against ending the peacetime emergency declaration.
The fight for freedom continues, and I want you to know that I continue to fight for the restoration of your liberties.
If you have any questions, please do not 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.