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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Grossell (R)

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Gov Walz’s rocks-and-cows attitude toward Greater Minn. is killing our Main Street businesses

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

We know Gov. Walz has said Greater Minnesota is mostly rocks and cows, but it is frustrating to see the House DFL thinks that little of us as well. 

With that in mind, it is great to see county boards in our region (including Clearwater, Hubbard and Becker) taking matters into their own hands by approving resolutions asking Gov. Tim Walz to rescind his stay-at-home order. Many people in our area, especially seasonal workers, rely on income they earn in the next handful of months to hold them over during slow times and we can’t take that away from them.

Main Street businesses are suffering enormous losses and this shutdown needs to end now so people can earn a living. We can get our economy going again and still protect the health and safety of our citizens. The aforementioned county boards understand this and have approved resolutions asking the governor to back off so we can begin the process of bringing our economy back while at the same time protecting the vulnerable and continuing to observe social distancing.

Empty city streets

City streets in Blackduck and Baudette are empty during the stay-at-home order. This shutdown is killing Main Street businesses in our state and it needs to end now.


An email I sent last week touched on a resolution House Republicans put forward in an attempt at easing the governor’s Peacetime Emergency Declaration restrictions, while also keeping in place important measures to protect our citizens, small businesses and front-line workers as the state’s COVID-19 response continues.

House Democrats blocked that proposal in a party-line vote. While their lock-step vote against us was disappointing enough at the time, there are lingering concerns beyond simply the issue at hand. 

Let’s start with the majority’s lack of willingness to be active participants in solutions for the people who elected us. Why are House Democrats so content ceding authority to the governor, rolling over instead of rolling up their sleeves? We are co-equal branches of government, yet the House Democrats seem happy to sit on their hands and watch one man throw executive order after executive order at us.

House Republicans have been clear in calling for a safe, organized re-opening of our state. Once again, the data shows we can get our economy going again and still protect the health and safety of our citizens. It gets back to a point I’ve made about getting past “essential” and “non-essential” businesses and focusing on what is safe. For example, the meat plant that just shuttered in Worthington may have been deemed essential, but it apparently wasn’t safe. We need to be smart and take steps make sure these cases don’t happen elsewhere. 

By protecting the vulnerable and continuing to observe social distancing, we can begin the process of bringing our economy back. Yet, House Democrats refuse to get on board and have shown zero interest in participating in the process of safely re-opening Minnesota for business. Zero willingness to show leadership. How do they respond to constituents who are furious they are out of work or can see the business they’ve poured their heart and soul into slipping away?

It goes without saying Minneapolis and St. Paul are different beasts compared with Greater Minnesota. And Twin Cities legislators seem to see the world through glasses of a different color than those of us beyond the 494/694 loop. You know, out here where the governor may say it’s mostly rocks and cows, but legislators from both parties actually were elected to represent people as well.

You can bet House Republicans will continue bringing forward more proposals allowing legislators to work with the governor to get us out of this economic tailspin he caused by shutting down our businesses. Next time, I hope House Democrats – especially those from Greater Minnesota – join us so that our Legislature can start asserting itself as the co-equal branch of government it is.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and right now they’re about to collapse. If we don’t hear the people’s call to action now, will we ever? We can put the fire back in our economy and still protect the health and safety of our citizens. I hope House Democrats will get off the sidelines so the Legislature can leave the kiddie table and start working with the governor on safe, common-sense solutions to make that happen.

Please Stay in Touch 

Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts or concerns. My phone number is 651-296-4265 or you can email me at

Have a great week and God Bless!