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

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Friday, March 12, 2021

Happy Friday everyone, spring seems to have come early for now but snow is in the forecast for next week. Over in the House of Representatives we are far from blossoming. 10 weeks into this legislative session and we have passed only 4 bills; three were merely deadline changes to executive orders, with only 1 originating from the House. Last night the house debated for 4 hours over whether to end the Governor's Executive powers. This was the 17th vote we have had on ending the emergency powers. Unsurprisingly the motion failed along a party line vote. Today Walz announced his new roll back of COVID restrictions allowing us to have 50% of our freedom once again.

The Governor Adjusts the Dials

This morning the Governor announced another roll-back of his COVID restrictions on private businesses. This comes after the President announced last night we should be “back to normal” by July 4th. Up until this point Walz has never given us a time table for reopening. While I am happy to see this roll back we are still far behind our neighboring states when it comes to opening businesses. 

Unless otherwise noted, the adjustments are effective at noon on Monday, March 15. They include measures to:

  • Make it easier to safely gather with family:
    • Social gatherings: Up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people for indoor gatherings, both without household limits.
    • Youth sports: Pod size increasing to 50 for outdoor activities.
    • Religious services: Remove occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
    • Celebrations: Follow venue guidance.
  • Support small businesses:
    • Bars and restaurants : Increasing allowable occupancy to 75%, up from 50%, with a limit of 250 people. The limits apply separately indoors and outdoors. Bar seating increases to parties of 4.
    • Salons/barbers: Removing the occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
    • Gyms/fitness centers/pools: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%. Outdoor classes can increase to 50 people.
    • Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250.
  • As summer nears, the state will adjust guidelines for large venues. All venues can open at 50% capacity up to 250 people. Venues with normal occupant capacity over 500 can add additional guests, effective April 1:
    • Seated outdoor venues can add an additional 25% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
    • Non-seated outdoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
    • Seated indoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 3,000 people.
    • Non-seated indoor venues can add an additional 10% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 1,500 people.

As more Minnesotans are vaccinated, work from home will no longer be required – but it will continue to be strongly recommended – beginning April 15. This is perhaps one of the biggest changes, next to the complete lift of wedding restrictions, we saw from his announcement. This means offices that choice to do so can welcome new employees back. As the economy starts to flicker back to life we have to let our business return to normal and have an environment that encourages job creation.

One Year Under One Rule

1 YR

This week marks the one year anniversary of our state living under the Governor’s unilateral rule. To put that into perspective, that is one year of business owners being forced to close or jump however high the governor says jump to comply with his ever-changing, inconsistent, and often arbitrary restrictions. Incomes and livelihoods have been crushed, careers derailed, and some businesses permanently closed. Minnesotans have sacrificed so much over the past year to keep their head above the water. It's due time we start to trust Minnesotians to make the best decisions for themselves. 

The best thing we can do to help our businesses in Minnesota is to let them fully get back to work. A report by MultiState indicates Minnesota currently is in the bottom 10 nationally in terms of re-opening. For comparison, three of our neighboring states are in the top 10 most “re-opened” and another - Wisconsin - is in the middle. Throughout the entire pandemic our neighbors have remained significantly more open than we have. Yet if you look at the data you wouldn’t spot the difference. Our Infection rates per 100,000 are nearly identical, and our death totals are similar. All of this sacrifice, for what a marginal improvement?

Here we are, one year into the governor’s emergency powers and it's clear there is no “emergency” happening. Infection rates have tanked. Vaccinations are being administered at an increasingly high rate to those who wish to receive one. Hospitals are far from at capacity, with ICU beds to spare. Moreover the emergency powers are designed to be used when the legislature is not in session in order to allow the Governor to respond to natural disasters. We are here in St. Paul now and have yet to push any meaningful COVID relief or propose any changes. Yet the governor is clinging to his unilateral powers and the House majority refuses to get off its hands and do anything about it, voting 17 times to uphold his powers. 

What needs to happen for the governor to back off? A year ago, the governor said he needed his powers to flatten the curve and prevent an overrun on hospitals. Then it was about making sure front-line workers have enough personal-protective equipment. Then he wanted to avoid a shortage of ventilators. Fast-forward to today and can anyone honestly say why he needs that power without referencing unquantifiable objectives? It’s been a year. People deserve to know, in fact people deserve a voice. It is long overdue but it is time to end this “emergency” and start moving forward. It's time the Legislature does its job.

Food Freedom for Minnesota

Food Free

This past Monday my bill on food freedom was heard in committee. The bill, as mentioned in last week's update, is aimed at lifting restrictions on “cottage,” or home-made food producers allowing them to sell directly to consumers. This past year we saw, thanks to the pandemic, some of the issues in our food supply chains. Moreover, we saw a revival of your local neighborhood farmers markets over the indoor box chain stores. The goal of this legislation is to simply allow individuals to have a low bar for entry in starting their own cottage food business. 

Currently cottage food producers are capped at $18,000 in gross income, and if they want to sell online or sell products with a shelf life they are legally barred from doing so. During the holiday many communities in Minnesota have traditional cuisines they love to cook. You can see them on Facebook marketplace or on flyers in your local stores. Currently all of those transactions are done on the black market. 

By removing these caps and simply allowing individuals to sell directly to consumers we are giving farmers and entrupears a longer runway to start-up. No longer would they have to get industrial kitchens and copious licenses’ simply to sell tamales once a year. Wyoming, North Dakota, Utah, and Maine have food freedom laws, and there have been no reported increase of foodborne illness. These states have safely expanded their cottage food laws while creating a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs and increasing access to local food. 

Last chance to submit initial comments

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is working to adopt a new rule to reduce vehicle emissions and make more electric vehicles available to consumers in Minnesota, known as the Clean Cars Minnesota rulemaking. After the current open comment period closes on March 15, you will have an opportunity to respond to comments that other individuals or organizations have submitted into the record—known as the rebuttal comment period.On March 16, the Office of Administrative Hearings will publish a new e-comments webpage for rebuttal comments. We will post a link on the Clean Cars Minnesota rulemaking page as soon as it's available.

The current open comment period closes on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

In order to submit a comment you must write your question or comment down and submit through the Office of Administrative Hearings e-comments website, or by fax or mail according to the instructions in the public notice.

Step-by-step instructions for how to submit a comment and attach documents is available on the Office of Administrative hearings website: Directions for using the rulemaking e-comments website

All comments regarding the proposed rule must be sent to Administrative Law Judge Palmer-Denig to be included in the official rulemaking record.

You can submit rebuttal comments from March 16 through Monday, March 22, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

Vaccination Update


Today, it was announced that on Wednesday, March 10 vaccine eligibility will expand to the next two groups of priority populations – more than 1.8 million Minnesotans will become eligible to receive a vaccine beginning this week. These newly-eligible Minnesotans, the state has directed providers to prioritize appointments for individuals in the first of these groups. Providers will then have the flexibility to offer available appointments to people in the second group.

The first group includes:

  • People with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down Syndrome, or oxygen-dependent chronic lung or heart conditions, and those who are in active cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant
  • Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant workers
  • Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness

The second group includes:

  • People age 45 and older with ONE or more of the following underlying medical conditions; or, age 16 and over with TWO or more of the following underlying medical conditions (learn more about these conditions on the Who’s Getting Vaccinated page):
    • Active cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Diabetes - Type 1 or 2
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from HIV, bone marrow disease, chronic steroids for more than 30 days, immunodeficiency disease, or from taking immunosuppressive medications
    • Obesity - body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2
    • Pregnancy
  • People 50+ in multi-generational housing
  • Essential frontline workers: Agricultural, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, Postal Service workers.


On Walmart, you need to have a Walmart account but that’s easy to create. 

The Minnesota vaccine connector scans Walgreens, Walmart, Thrifty White and HyVee for vaccines throughout the day. Their website is HERE.

HyVee - You have to search by location. I’d recommend using the Hy-Vee store locator to find stores within 50 miles of your home and starting there.

Their website is HERE.  

CentraCare has a wide variety of appointments in Central Minnesota, you can schedule an appointment HERE 

In the near future the state is going to be rolling out mass vaccine events. To sign up for it, the person needs to be registered with the vaccine connector HERE 

Coborn's Grocery Store and Pharmacy has also added vaccine appointments. The website is a little tricky and you need to create account but there is availability HERE

Finally, if you’re signing someone up here’s the info you mostly need:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email (you can use your own)

In some cases you might need their Medicare number, but they can show their card at the pharmacy.












Thank you for being engaged in Government,


Jeremy Munson

State Representative, 23B


If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at

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