The Legislature conducted a sixth special session of the current interim today, once again called by the governor to extend his emergency powers yet another 30 days. It was back in mid-March when he first declared a state of emergency.
House Republicans offered a bill that aims to improve legislative collaboration and communication with the governor’s office during a peacetime emergency and restore some balance between the two branches of government. Specifically, the proposal would retain the governor’s ability to issue executive orders that would have the full force of law for 30 days. After 30 days, the Legislature would have the ability — but would not be required — to vote up or down on an executive order.
This is different from previous efforts to altogether end the governor’s emergency powers. The bill we put forward allows us to consider individual executive orders and vote on them as opposed to looking at emergency powers as a whole.
We all want Minnesota to stay healthy and, yes, it will take everyone working together to make that happen. This bill is an effort to do exactly that, taking a surgical approach in the spirit of compromise and collaboration. Our businesses, schools and constituents deserve a say in the process and this bill would help make that happen.
Unfortunately, the House majority blocked this effort just as it has stopped each previous proposal to bring the Legislature back into the decision-making process. One person will continue making decisions that impact us all instead of our state honoring the representative system of government Minnesotans deserve.
Look for more news from the Capitol as this issue and others develop.