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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

Friday, March 12, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Last evening, I voted once again to end Governor Walz’s peacetime emergency powers. I have voted to end the emergency more than a dozen times to restore the legislature as a coequal branch of government. Unfortunately, the House Democrat majority refuses to join us in our efforts.

All 5 surrounding states have had less restrictive requirements for several months and their infection rates and death counts are similar. I’ve been saying since the beginning that we need to protect the most vulnerable and allow the rest of society to open up with local control. We must trust Minnesotans to operate safely.

Many medical experts for months have agreed, like the Great Barrington Declaration signed by thousands of experienced medical professionals, that we should allow healthy individuals to return to normal with children back in school full time. These medical experts also state that the lockdowns have severe consequences to children and adults and have not reduced the spread of the virus. I good example of this is in New York where they have high death rates and infection rates despite severe lockdowns.

Because of the peacetime emergency, the Legislature—the voice of the people—literally has no say in this pandemic process, and too many local business owners are suffering because of it.

Click here to watch a video of my floor speech yesterday on this important issue:

As has been the case time and again, the vote sadly failed 63-70.

One Year of Emergency Powers

Saturday brings us to one full year of the Governor’s emergency powers. As COVID-19 vaccinations increase and infection rates drop, it’s becoming more difficult for Governor Walz to justify the need to keep these powers.

For the last 12 months, the Governor has been unilaterally making decisions that impact the lives of millions of Minnesotans. It’s past time for the Legislature’s role as a co-equal branch of government to be restored so we can participate in the decision-making process because, right now, we are lagging behind most other states.

I will continue fighting to end the emergency.

Governor Rolls Back Business Restrictions thankfully 

I wanted to pass along an update on the dial turns being announced by the Governor later today, Friday.

Unless otherwise noted, the adjustments are effective at noon on Monday, March 15. Highlights include:

  • Social gatherings: Up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people for indoor gatherings, both without household limits.
  • Youth sports: Pod size increasing to 50 for outdoor activities. 
  • Religious services: Remove occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
  • Celebrations: Follow venue guidance. 
  • Bars and restaurants: Increasing allowable occupancy to 75%, up from 50%, with a limit of 250 people. The limits apply separately indoors and outdoors. Bar seating increases to parties of 4.
  • Salons/barbers: Removing the occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
  • Gyms/fitness centers/pools: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%. Outdoor classes can increase to 50 people.
  • Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250.

As summer nears, the state will adjust guidelines for large venues. All venues can open at 50% capacity up to 250 people. Venues with normal occupant capacity over 500 can add additional guests, effective April 1:

  • Seated outdoor venues can add an additional 25% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people. 
  • Non-seated outdoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
  • Seated indoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 3,000 people.
  • Non-seated indoor venues can add an additional 10% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 1,500 people.

 As more Minnesotans are vaccinated, work from home will no longer be required – but it will continue to be strongly recommended – beginning April 15. All employers should continue to accommodate employees who wish to work from home.

This is good news and a step in the right direction, but further illustrates that one single person should not be making decisions for the entire state.

California Cars Update

The deadline to submit public comments on Gov. Walz's California Car Mandate is 4:30 p.m. this Monday.

The governor is seeking to implement this policy through administrative rule rather than the legislature. If enacted, the California Car Mandate would raise the cost of all new vehicles for Minnesota families by $1,000 or more, reduce consumer choice, and make MN the only state in the Midwest to place burdensome regulations on auto dealerships.

Let your voice be heard on this very important issue. Submit your comments here:

Staying in Touch

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns as it relates to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-4229 or via email at

Have a great day,


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