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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

ST. PAUL – As Governor Walz continues discussions to turn back the dials and to lift COVID-19 restrictions, State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) said the time has come for the governor to give Minnesotans a target date of when capacity limits and other COVID restrictions will be lifted.


“We have been in a peacetime emergency for more than a year, and I think Minnesotans deserve a roadmap from the governor rather than this continued wait-and-see approach,” Torkelson said. “Other states have been moving forward and so should Minnesota.”


Torkelson noted that Florida has already lifted its remaining COVID restrictions, and Connecticut lifted its capacity limits in March. New York and California recently established target dates for this process.


Torkelson said he and all House Republicans have voted 18 times to end the peacetime emergency and have put forward numerous proposals to end or modify the governor’s Chapter 12 powers, as well as proposals to establish timelines and metrics that would end the peacetime emergency. House Democrats have blocked them all.


“Emergency powers should not be used as an end of session negotiating ploy,” Torkelson said. “The governor has already said the Minnesota State Fair is going to be pretty close to normal this year, so clearly there is a plan in place. Minnesotans have waited long enough. Its time for the governor to share his plans with the millions of residents his decisions continue to impact.”