FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT INFORMATION: Luke Sprinkel - (651) 296-9183 - Luke.Sprinkel@house.mn
RELEASE DATE: 4/30/20
REP. TIM MILLER: END THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER
St. Paul – Today, Governor Walz announced that he is extending the stay-at-home order until May 18. The stay-at-home order was set to expire on Monday, May 4th. However, the governor’s extension will result in Minnesota being in a lockdown for over seven weeks.
“The governor needs to realize how damaged our economy is due to his stay-at-home order,” said Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg). “Every sector of our economy is hurting. Wide-spread job losses and business closures have harmed or outright ruined livelihoods. We need to reopen Minnesota and let everyone get back to work.”
According to the most recent statistics, over 556,000 Minnesotans have filed for unemployment. This number shows that 17.8% of Minnesota’s labor force lost work or lost jobs due to this economic shutdown. For contrast, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Minnesota’s official unemployment rate in March of 2020 was 3.1%.
“Our agriculture economy has been decimated by this economic shutdown,” said Rep. Miller. “Minnesota is the third largest pork-producing state in the nation. However, due to the temporary shuttering of pork processing plants, hog farmers are currently over-stocked with pigs and have no place to send them. As a result, 3,000 pigs were euthanized in Minnesota last week. If our agriculture economy remains shut down much longer, 200,000 pigs could be euthanized. This will result in major revenue losses for our farmers. Governor Walz’ policies could put multigenerational farm families out of business entirely.”
In addition to extending the stay-at-home order, Governor Walz announced that he is allowing small retail businesses to conduct limited curbside business in accordance with state guidelines.
“Small businesses have been misled by Governor Walz,” said Rep. Miller. “Major franchise stores such as Target and Wal-Mart are allowed to stay open and reap major profits, but small businesses on rural main streets were shuttered. The governor should not be allowed to pick winners and losers. Minnesota small businesses are just as safe as any major franchise store. We just need to give them to the ability to reopen and reclaim their way of life.”
Rep. Miller concluded, “The governor initiated this stay-at-home order to ensure that our healthcare system was ready to combat this virus. However, Governor Walz himself has said that our healthcare system is now prepared with enough ICU beds and ventilators to manage this pandemic at its peak. Despite this, the governor has decided to perpetuate economic hardship by extending his stay-at-home order.”