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Procedural vote on emergency powers repeal fails in House

An effort by House Republicans on Monday to force a vote on a resolution to end Gov. Tim Walz's peacetime emergency powers was unsuccessful.

Last week, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) introduced the resolution, which would end the peacetime emergency that Walz has used to issue dozens of emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution, which is like ones rejected for debate during special sessions last year, will likely come before the House Subcommittee on Legislative Process Reform, said Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL-Winona), the subcommittee’s chair.

But Daudt requested the resolution be brought directly to the floor instead. His motion to do so was defeated 69-63.

"Enough is enough," he said. "It's kind of insulting to stand here and be told that we need this to go through the committee process."

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) said the House should follow its designated pathway for bills.

The vote was the latest in the effort by Republican legislators to strip Walz of the emergency powers that were enacted in March. The GOP-controlled Senate has passed resolutions calling for the end of the emergency, but state law requires both bodies of the Legislature to approve of ending it.

Walz has said he is open to ending the peacetime emergency if legislators pass laws that he says have been critical to the state's pandemic response. Those include measures to protect workers, change the state's unemployment insurance program, require face coverings in public indoor spaces and provide school districts with flexibility to choose their learning models, among others.

Republican leaders said that Walz's demands aren't helpful.

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