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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, March 12, 2021

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow marks a sober milestone. Tomorrow we will have lived under Governor Walz’s emergency powers for one year. Tomorrow will be one year since government has not intruded in our everyday lives.

How did we once live without government dictating when and how we go to work, to school, or to a restaurant? After a year, it’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have to wear a mask to go to the grocery store or the gym.

It is really incredible that we even reached a one-year anniversary of emergency powers. Where is the emergency? Cases are decreasing and more are being vaccinated. Death rates and hospitalizations have especially seen a dramatic decline. In the beginning, we needed the emergency powers to ensure our hospitals would have the capacity to treat COVID patients. That is not the state we are in today. We know how to fight this virus.

Walz is using “political science” to guide his decisions. States that had fewer lockdown orders, including South Dakota who had none, all had the same result with the virus. However, Walz seems to think he can negotiate with COVID on when and where the virus poses a threat. I hate to spoil the secret, but science doesn’t work like that Gov. Walz.

Today the Governor unveiled capacity increases for many businesses. This measure was much needed, but we still need to go farther. Red and blue states across the country have ended all restrictions on businesses. We need to join them. It’s time to end the emergency powers, give people back their freedoms, and gather together to enjoy the Minnesota summers we love so much.

What the new COVID guidelines mean for you

Gov. Walz’s announcement includes loosening capacity restrictions on restaurants, gyms, and event centers among other businesses. Starting Monday, the following changes will take effect: 

•    Social gatherings: Up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people for indoor gatherings, both without household limits.•    Youth sports: Pod size increasing to 50 for outdoor activities.•    Religious services: Remove occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
•    Celebrations: Follow venue guidance.
•    Bars and restaurants: Increasing allowable occupancy to 75%, up from 50%, with a limit of 250 people. The limits apply separately indoors and outdoors. Bar seating increases to parties of 4.
•    Salons/barbers: Removing the occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
•    Gyms/fitness centers/pools: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%. Outdoor classes can increase to 50 people.
•    Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250.As summer nears, the state will adjust guidelines for large venues. All venues can open at 50% capacity up to 250 people. Venues with normal occupant capacity over 500 can add additional guests, effective April 1:
•    Seated outdoor venues can add an additional 25% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
•    Non-seated outdoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
•    Seated indoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 3,000 people.
•    Non-seated indoor venues can add an additional 10% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 1,500 people. 

As more Minnesotans are vaccinated, work from home will no longer be required – but it will continue to be strongly recommended – beginning April 15. All employers should continue to accommodate employees who wish to work from home.

Just say no to the California Car Mandate

On Monday, March 15 at 4:30pm, the comment period on Gov. Walz’s California Car Mandate will close. The Governor is trying to enact this policy thru an administrative rule instead of working with the legislature. The California Car Mandate would raise the cost of all new vehicles by $1,000 or more, reduce consumer choice, and make Minnesota the only state in the Midwest to place burdensome mandates on auto dealerships. Perhaps most unbelievable is that this mandate would put an unelected board IN CALIFORNIA in charge of Minnesota’s auto standards.

Minnesota is already too much like California. We don’t need to make any changes that would add to the similarities. 

I highly encourage you to let your voice be heard on this important issue. Leave a comment here by signing in and then scrolling to the bottom of the page to submit your thoughts on the California Car Mandate.

Please Contact Me

If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me at either 651-296-3201 or I would love to hear from you.

It’s an honor to represent the best!


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