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Legislative Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

I have received questions from many of you seeking clarification on how exactly the peacetime emergency ended, thus removing Governor Walz’s emergency powers. The truth is, the peacetime emergency officially ended when the House of Representatives unanimously voted to terminate the emergency. This followed action earlier during the final week of special session from the Senate.

While the legislature finally voted for a clean end to the peacetime emergency during special session, Democrats forced through language in the Taxes bill on the last night of session that gives the Walz administration new unilateral authority to supersize the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Department of Human Services (DHS) under a new “public health disaster.” Now Minnesota law will give unelected commissioners more power and further embolden the Executive Branch.

The last-minute amendment to the taxes bill also gives the administration the ability to ignore state contracting, conflict of interest, and competitive bidding laws. This is an important note because it may shield the administration from any wrongdoing related to possible “no-bid” contracts they doled out to Democrat operatives working for Vault Health. 

Vault Health contracted with the state to provide COVID-19 testing at numerous sites around the state.

Minority Leader, Kurt Daudt, spoke on the House floor about the concerns we have with the language regarding state contracts and how it’s possible that it is being abused by the Walz administration. He does an outstanding job explaining the issue and our objections to the language. You can view those speeches here and here.

This is completely unacceptable, and I will continue working to rein in the Walz administration and make permanent reforms to Chapter 12 (the section of law government peacetime emergencies) to make sure we strike the proper balance between the legislative and executive branch powers.

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 rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn.

Have a great day,

Glenn

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