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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Poston (R)

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Capitol Newsletter from Rep. John Poston

Friday, May 14, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

It was good to see the CDC updated its COVID guidance yesterday by indicating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. This ultimately caused the governor to lift the statewide mandate on masks, with communities and businesses still able to require them if they so choose. This is 100% the correct decision and another important step in getting back to normal.

We’re heading into the final weekend of the 2021 with budget negotiations still at a standstill largely over Democrats continued insistence on raising taxes at a time when the state has a multi-billion-dollar budget surplus.

The Governor’s emergency powers are also playing a significant role in budget negotiations. Governor Walz continues to insist on maintaining special powers that not only allow him to make unilateral decisions to shut down schools and businesses, but also give him complete authority over how the state spends its allocation of federal COVID relief dollars.

This week we found out that he has already been spending some of these federal dollars on wasteful things like:

  • Nearly $100,000 to a non-profit which specializes in providing abortion doulas.  
  • $12,500 payment to a radio station to broadcast the Governor’s press conferences. 
  • $275/hour contract with a New York public relations company. 
  • $50,000 to a non-profit to establish talking circles, complete with $20 gift cards to incentivize participation. 
  • Nearly $20,000 to a non-profit to recruit volunteers to put together “wellness bundles” including tea and non-traditional health supplements. 

Reckless spending like this further illustrates the need to end the emergency powers and make sure that the legislature has oversight in how this funding is being spent.

Stay tuned as I will do my best to keep you updated on what’s happening in St. Paul as we approach the end of session.

Staying in Touch

Please continue to reach out to me to share your questions, thoughts, or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4293 or via email at

Have a great weekend,