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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Poston (R)

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Capitol Newsletter from Rep. John Poston

Friday, May 07, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

On Thursday, Governor Walz announced significant changes to Minnesota’s COVID-19 restrictions. Below are the details from his announcement.

Step one takes place at noon on May 7th. It includes initial steps to relax some restrictions, primarily in outdoor settings.

  • Removes limits for outdoor dining, events, and other get-togethers, and ends the mask requirement outdoors except at large venues with over 500 people.
  • Eliminates the state-established mandatory closing time for bars, restaurants, and food and beverage service at other places of public accommodation.

The second step begins on May 28th. The remaining capacity and distancing limits will come to an end, including indoor events and gatherings. The requirements that will remain include:

  • Face coverings indoors and for outdoor events that exceed 500 people.
  • There will be no new safety requirements for businesses, though they must maintain their plans to keep their employees and customers safe – as they have from the beginning of the pandemic – guided only by a minimal universal state guidance document.

The third step ends the statewide mask mandate and takes place once 70 percent of Minnesotans age 16 years and older get at least one dose of the vaccine, but no later than July 1st:

  • The remaining face-covering requirement and the requirement for preparedness plans will end. Work on vaccines will continue, and local jurisdictions and entities may set their own mask policies.

Thursday’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction, but I am extremely disappointed that Governor Walz continues to insist that he maintain emergency powers. 

For more than a year, Governor Walz has been making unilateral decisions that have resulted in significant economic and social harm to millions of Minnesotans. 

With vaccines widely available and infection rates falling, it’s clear that the emergency phase of the pandemic is long over. It’s way past time for Governor Walz to give up his emergency powers and work with the legislature as the state’s constitution intended.

No New Taxes

With less than 2 weeks to go until the end of the 2021 legislative session, negotiations between Senate Republicans and House Democrats are intensifying.

Unfortunately, as the deadline grows closer, there is still little progress being made. This is largely due to House Democrats' demands for significant tax increases. It's time for Democrats to drop their demands for billions in tax hikes on families and businesses. With a $4 billion surplus ($1.6 billion state surplus + $2.6 billion in federal money coming), we can put together a responsible, bipartisan budget that funds our priorities without raising taxes. 

If we want to finish the work of the people on time, Democrats need to drop these unrealistic demands.

Staying in Touch

Please continue to reach out to me to share your questions, thoughts, or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4293 or via email at rep.john.poston@house.mn.

Have a great weekend,

John