Hello, friends. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent news from the Minnesota Legislature and our state government.
Governor Walz Actions
Governor Walz has announced that the stay-at-home order will expire on schedule. The stay-at-home order began on Friday, March 27th and will now expire this coming Monday, May 18th. Governor Walz is asking people to maintain social distancing guidelines as the stay-at-home order ends. However, the expiration of the stay-at-home order allows for Minnesotans to travel and participate in gatherings of no more than ten people.
For more information please see the following link: https://mn.gov/governor/covid-19/news/#/detail/appId/1/id/431922
Additionally, Governor Walz announced that Minnesota retail stores and main street businesses will be allowed to reopen for in-person shopping. However, these businesses must adhere to specific guidelines put forward by his administration. Specifically, retail businesses are permitted to reopen if they operate at half-capacity and have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
For more details please see the following link: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/
Both these actions will restore some measure of normalcy and freedom. That is good. However, the very idea that Governor Walz should be allowed to decide what constitutional rights we enjoy is reprehensible. No citizen should see their constitutional rights disappear. So far, Governor Walz’s strategy has only invaded our rights and created a devastating recession. I have been calling for the reopening of Minnesota for over a month. I want to see Minnesota fully reopened.
Granite Falls Hydroelectric Facility
I am excited to announce the passage of this year’s energy bill in the Minnesota House of Representatives. This bill, HF 1842, includes a provision which will expand the Granite Falls hydroelectric facility.
Early in the 2020 legislative session I introduced the original bill to expand this facility, and the expansion was included in our energy bill. I am so pleased that the Minnesota House voted to expand the Granite Falls hydroelectric facility. I was excited to vote in favor of this bill after working with city officials from Granite Falls and Sen. Andrew Lang to ensure its passage. I am proud of what we have accomplished. So many of our most essential government projects do not come from the federal government. Often, they are the result of partnerships between state and local government.
The bill will award a grant of $2,750,000 to Granite Falls. The grant will allow the city to purchase a new turbine to increase the current capacity of the existing hydroelectric facility. Additionally, $400,000 of the grant money will be used to repair structural damage and erosion that the facility has endured due to flooding.
This facility will be transformative for Granite Falls. The hydroelectric facility currently meets approximately 30% of Granite Falls’ energy needs. With this new expansion, energy that is clean, safe, and cost-effective will be more readily available. Dependable energy is important to all Minnesotans, and this project will serve Granite Falls for decades to come.
The Minnesota Senate will also vote on this bill. If the bill is passed in that chamber as well, then it will be sent to the desk of Governor Tim Walz for his signature. The bill is expected to be passed by the Minnesota Senate and signed into law by Governor Walz.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my office. My email address is Rep.Tim.Miller@house.mn. Additionally, please reach out to my Legislative Assistant, Luke, with any questions. Luke’s email is Luke.Sprinkel@house.mn. Emailing is the fastest way to get in contact with me. Contact me anytime with questions or concerns. God Bless.