SAINT PAUL, MN – Ahead of an expected announcement this week by Governor Walz loosening Minnesota's COVID restrictions, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, is calling for a transparent and concrete end of the peacetime emergency. Just this week, Florida lifted all remaining COVID restrictions, and Governors of Democrat states like New York and California have established target dates for the lifting of capacity limits and other COVID restrictions. Other deep-blue states like Connecticut lifted capacity limits starting as far back as March.
“The period of emergency is over,” said Franson. “The Governor’s emergency powers should not be used as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations. In fact, no budget deals should be struck until the emergency powers end and there’s a complete ban on vaccine passports/certification. As session draws to a close, the Senate should hold all budget bills, vote to end the emergency powers and ban vaccine passports/certification. If the House rejects ending the emergency powers and the passport bill, then the Senate should send a lights on bill and sine die. It is time for Governor Walz to join other governors, lift COVID restrictions, and end the emergency powers.
Rep. Franson and House Republicans have voted more than a dozen times to end the peacetime emergency, and have put forward numerous proposals to end or modify the Governor's Chapter 12 powers, as well as proposals to establish timelines and metrics that would end the peacetime emergency. Democrats have refused to advance those proposals in the House, and have even stonewalled proposals from their own party to wind down the Governor's emergency powers.