Quam calls on Walz to set clear end-date for emergency powers
ST. PAUL, MN — Ahead of an expected announcement on Thursday by Governor Walz loosening Minnesota's COVID restrictions, House Republicans are calling for transparent and concrete dates and/or metrics for the end of the peacetime emergency. Just this week, Florida lifted all remaining COVID restrictions, and Governors of Democrat states like New York and California have established target dates for the lifting of capacity limits and other COVID restrictions. Other deep-blue states like Connecticut lifted capacity limits starting as far back as March.
"As we all wait for the Governor to make his next announcement, it's clear the emergency is over and it is time for a clear and transparent transition back to normal governance and being able to operate without restrictions," said Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron. "By giving a target date, it allows businesses to ramp up and be prepared for a return to normal. It also helps people to schedule and decreases their anxiety.
Rep. Quam continued, "The Governor has went so far to say the State Fair will be "pretty close to normal," signaling we are past the need for his emergency powers to be an obstacle to getting a budget deal done. We have made numerous good-faith attempts at ending the powers in a gradual fashion as well as voting at least 18 times to end the powers — it's now clear the only reason to keep these powers in place is to use as a bargaining chip. It's time to end the powers and get back to normal in Minnesota."
House Republicans have voted more than a dozen 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. Democrats have refused to advance those proposals in the House, and have even stonewalled proposals from their own party to wind down the Governor's emergency powers.