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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jeremy Munson (R)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

St. Paul – Today, Governor Tim Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20-81. This executive order requires Minnesotans to wear masks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) offered his reaction.

“Governor Walz continues to issue executive orders which are unconstitutional and destroy individual liberties,” said Rep. Munson. “No governor has the right to unilaterally impose his will on the people of Minnesota. However, Governor Walz has bypassed our constitutional system and resorted to totalitarian rule. I joined twelve other legislators and more than forty businesses in a lawsuit to end the Governor’s emergency powers. A ruling in that lawsuit is expected any day. Now more than ever, I hope that lawsuit will deliver a clear check on the Governor’s authority.”

Emergency Executive Order 20-81 requires Minnesotans to wear masks starting Saturday, July 25, 2020. Order 20-81 requires individuals to wear masks in stores, public buildings, and other indoor gathering places.

“I know Governor Walz is a former school teacher, but he may need another lesson in civics,” said Rep. Munson. “The Minnesota Legislature is a co-equal branch of government. However, the governor has been openly contemptuous of the legislative process. It’s no mistake that the Governor waited until the Legislature was adjourned to issue this mandate. Clearly, Governor Walz could not be bothered to seek the input of the people.”

A fine of up to $100 may be imposed on individuals who do not comply with the executive order. However, there are multiple exceptions to the mask mandate. For example, individuals with certain medical conditions and children five years old and under will not be required to wear masks.

“The Governor’s militant attitude on the subject of masks is very troubling,” said Rep. Munson. “As a result, I am concerned that Minnesotans who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons will be publically shamed.”

Rep. Munson concluded, “This debate is not about whether or not a mask is effective. If someone wants to wear a mask, then they should certainly do so. However, this action by Governor Walz sets a terrible precedent. The Governor has communicated that if you do not like the rule of law, the legislative process, and checks and balances, then you can simply circumvent them. All Minnesotans should be troubled by his actions."