ST. PAUL – Minnesota is set to mark the one-year anniversary of living under Governor Walz’s emergency powers, executive orders, and unilateral decision making, and State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) said it’s a troublesome milestone.
“It is difficult to comprehend why the House Democratic majority is allowing Governor Walz to continue his one-person rule in the State of Minnesota, yet that’s where we’re at,” Hamilton said. “And people who work in the hospitality industry continue to suffer because of it.”
The Governor’s Office recently announced that nearly 70% of senior citizens in Minnesota – the group most at risk from COVID-19 – have been vaccinated, which means vaccination eligibility has now expanded in the state and is another big step towards herd immunity.
Despite this very positive development, Governor Walz has no desire to give up the emergency powers granted to him by the Legislature one year ago. Hamilton said the Governor continues to insist that we are still in the “emergency” phase of our response to the pandemic, even though variants of COVID-19 have been circulating in Minnesota for more than six weeks and cases have continued to plummet.
Hamilton said also noted that three times this week – 15 times overall – House Republicans voted to end the governor’s emergency powers. House Democrats who previously voted to end the powers prior to last November’s election have now flip-flopped, continuing to enable the Governor's unilateral authority and refusing to restore the legislature as a Constitutional co-equal branch of government.
Meanwhile, those who own or work in restaurants, movie theaters, bars, event centers, salons, entertainment venues continue to operate with significant restrictions, while churches remain at 50% capacity.
“Vaccinations are up, COVID cases are down, and other states have begun the process of reopening,” Hamilton said. “The emergency is over, yet the executive powers continue. One person rule must end in Minnesota.”