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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Bliss (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, January 15, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 

In last week’s newsletter, I mentioned an inconsistency I would like to see reconciled in the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions related to wedding ceremonies. (If food and drink are served at the event, then they are limited to two households or 10 people indoors and 3 households or 15 people outdoors. If there is no food or drink, they are covered by event venue guidelines.)

This week, I was among House Republicans who wrote a letter to the governor urging him to alter the current guidelines under Executive Order 21-01 on wedding and entertainment venues to match the guidelines for restaurants. Click here to see the full letter we sent to the governor, seeking common-sense resolution to this issue.

At the Capitol this week, House Democrats walked back their plan to change the House rules and require not a simple majority, but a super majority to end the governor’s unilateral rule. Raising the threshold would have further insulated the governor’s executive powers in response to Republicans gaining more seats in the House and narrowing the Democrat majority. 

While I am pleased to see the voting standard remain at a simple majority, several House Democrats who previously voted with Republican proposals to take a vote on the governor’s emergency powers switched their votes this week and prevented this issue from coming to the floor for a thorough discussion and vote of the full body. It was very disappointing to see rural Democrats turn their backs on small businesses and constituents by toeing the party line when their votes really counted and mattered most. 

On another subject, a new state website is available for anyone who, for numerous reasons, may want to track Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout. The website includes information on the number of doses allocated to the state by the federal government; shipped to Minnesota providers; and ultimately administered to Minnesotans.  The dashboard was produced by the Minnesota IT Services and the Minnesota Department of Health and will be updated at 11 a.m. daily. You can access the dashboard at this link

As always, stay in touch and I will be back with more news and notes from the Capitol soon. 

Sincerely, 

Matt 

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