Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

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

Back to profile


Monday, July 20, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. – ST. PAUL, Minn. – Today, Representative Steve Drazkowski responded to a legislative proposal being negotiated between Representative Daudt and Governor Walz for a deal on a bonding bill in exchange for reconfiguring the Governor’s Covid 19 emergency powers.

“I commend Senator Gazelka for doing his best to bring the agreement to some of the thorny policy issues and do right by the people of Minnesota who have basic infrastructure needs, like clean water and road repair. Unfortunately, the current proposal is one that I cannot support. Money for skate parks, almost $90 Million in handouts for Minneapolis, including for a multimillion-dollar concert venue, and buying single family housing for people that the government selects, is the wrong approach.

In addition, borrowing $1.7 billion and trading that borrowed money for an artificial reconfiguration of the governor’s emergency powers for Covid 19 is a terrible trade.

Unfortunately, Representative Daudt has been hinting at a legislative proposal for weeks and passed it around to reporters today.

This proposal tries to pretend that we can both end the peacetime emergency and keep it going, at the same time. The proposal is not straightforward and honest with Minnesotans, as it would create something called a "COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE" with powers and processes just like the current peacetime emergency powers contain. It would write the Governor’s unconstitutional behaviors into law. "The peacetime emergency is terminated," it says at the end. In other words, long live the "COVID -19 Response!"

The weakness of this misguided proposal became very apparent as Daudt joked at the press conference that if the Legislature revoked some of the Executive Orders under this new rubric, the Governor could re-write them the next day for another 30 days!

Not only does this proposal accentuate the futility of negotiating with a governor who holds his currently usurped superpowers, it would completely undermine the lawsuit that I have been leading with the help of a bi-cameral coalition of 12 other legislators and over 40 Minnesota businesses. The district court heard the arguments against the governor’s unconstitutional power grab, and we expect a ruling soon.

We are at a crucial point in our state’s history. It is strange that anyone, let alone a legislative leader, would negotiate a proposal to cede power permanently to the executive branch for what appears to be little to no reduction in the governor’s excessive powers.  We need a win for liberty and we need it now.”

Link to COVID 19 Public Health Response Language