Yesterday, Governor Walz announced significant changes to Minnesota’s COVID-19 restrictions. Below are the details from his announcement.
Step one takes place at noon, today May 7th. It includes initial steps to relax some restrictions, primarily in outdoor settings.
- Removes limits for outdoor dining, events, and other get-togethers, and ends the mask requirement outdoors except at large venues with over 500 people.
- Eliminates the state-established mandatory closing time for bars, restaurants, and food and beverage service at other places of public accommodation.
The second step begins on May 28th. Remaining capacity and distancing limits will come to an end, including for indoor events and gatherings. The requirements that will remain include:
- Face coverings indoors and for outdoor events that exceed 500 people.
- There will be no new safety requirements for businesses, though they must maintain their plans to keep their employees and customers safe – as they have from the beginning of the pandemic – guided only by a minimal universal state guidance document.
The third step ends the statewide mask mandate and takes place once 70 percent of Minnesotans age 16 years and older get at least one dose of the vaccine, but no later than July 1st:
- The remaining face covering requirement and the requirement for preparedness plans will end. Work on vaccines will continue, and local jurisdictions and entities may set their own mask policies.
Yesterday's announcement is a step in the right direction, but Governor Walz continues to insist that he maintain emergency powers.
As vaccines have become widely available and infection rates are dropping, it is abundantly clear that the emergency phase of the pandemic is over and Governor Walz should have given up his emergency powers months ago. Minnesotans want the Governor to work with the legislature in managing the pandemic. It’s time to end the powers and let Minnesotans make decisions for themselves to keep their families, friends, and neighbors safe.
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.
House Majority Still Set on Tax Increases
With 10 days to go until the end of the 2021 legislative, House Democrats and Senate Republicans are negotiating the differences between the two legislative bodies’ omnibus finance bills. Agreement is needed so that the final budget can pass both the House and Senate.
As the deadline grows closer with little progress being made, it's time for Democrats to drop their demands for billions in tax hikes on families and businesses. With a $4 billion surplus ($1.6 billion state surplus + $2.6 billion in federal money coming), we can put together a responsible, bipartisan budget that funds our priorities without raising taxes.
Democrats in the House are pushing a partisan budget that includes radical policies and significant tax hikes that have zero chance of passing in the Senate. Conversely, the Senate Republicans have been able to garner bipartisan support for each of their budget bills all while raising zero taxes.
If we want to finish the work of the people on time, Democrats need to drop their unrealistic demands.
The clock is ticking…
Staying in Touch
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share any thoughts or concerns you may have about state government or the job I'm doing as your representative. It would be great to talk with you. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,