We ended special session in the dark of night and, of course, there was a last-minute surprise.
You may have heard that on Tuesday night we voted to end the Governor’s emergency powers. We forced over 20 votes on ending the powers, but Democrats seemed content to not fulfill the Legislature’s constitutional role as a co-equal branch of government. It was a welcome change when the DFL finally joined us in voting to end the emergency powers.
However, Gov. Walz was evidently not pleased. By Wednesday night, he had alerted House Democrats that he was not happy about losing his emergency powers, so he forced them to bring an amendment to supersize MDH’s and DHS’s authority under a new “public health disaster.” Now Minnesota statues give unelected commissioners more power and further emboldens the Executive Branch.
The fight is not over. The legislature must act to make permanent changes to the Chapter 12 Emergency Powers statute to rein in the Governor and make sure future governors can't abuse emergency powers like Gov. Walz has for the past year. We need to hold Gov. Walz’s accountable for the damage he and House Democrats have done to our state over the past year and a half through their business shutdowns, executive orders, wasteful spending of COVID dollars, and more.
I am so glad that my bill to provide a sales tax exemption was included in the Tax bill to help downtown Alexandria after the terrible fire in February 2020. The city will also receive $120,000 to aid in the rebuilding. This is a big win for our community that will help in the revitalization of downtown.
The other major accomplishment my House Republican colleagues and I secured is full tax relief for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and unemployment benefits. This relief is long-over due, and I am proud to deliver this support for the businesses and families who suffered the most during the pandemic.
I’ll be out about about, as usual, now that session is over. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact my office.
Happy Summer from my staff and me!