St. Paul – The members of the New House Republican Caucus (NHRC) released the following statement regarding Governor Tim Walz’s decision to extend the peacetime emergency declaration:
“Governor Walz’s decision to extend the peacetime emergency order is foolhardy, dictatorial, and self-centered. The emergency declaration is the mechanism which gives the governor the ability to issue his executive edicts. However, the governor knows that his executive orders no longer enjoy the consent of the governed. As such, the governor announced that the stay-at-home order will expire on schedule, and businesses will be permitted to operate in an extremely limited capacity. Clearly, the governor still believes he has the almighty authority to suspend our God-given rights. But instead of going full speed in the wrong direction, Governor Walz has now opted to go half-speed in the wrong direction.
Moreover, a majority of Minnesota legislators are complicit in allowing the governor to maintain total control. The legislature could cancel the peacetime emergency order and end the economic shutdown today. Our caucus has led the effort to stop this governor’s unconstitutional actions by moving to end his peacetime emergency declaration. Instead, every single member of the Democrat majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives has repeatedly voted to give up their election certificates and authority to the governor. Those legislators have brought shame upon themselves that the history books will record. They have surrendered their seats to the governor’s office, and Governor Walz seems to enjoy nothing more than accumulating power.
So far, the most impactful thing Governor Walz has done during his tenure as our state’s executive is create a devastating recession. Proportionally, Minnesota has suffered twice the amount of COVID-19 deaths and twice the amount of unemployment as free states. That is not a record which demonstrates leadership, thoughtfulness, or capability. In the interest of five and half million Minnesotans, it is time for Governor Walz to admit his huge failure and end his destructive shutdown in its entirety. We are beginning to hit the rocks and the ship is breaking up.”
The NHRC is led by Rep. Steve Drazkowski (Republican-Mazeppa). It includes Rep. Cal Bahr (Republican-East Bethel), Rep. Tim Miller (Republican-Prinsburg), and Rep. Jeremy Munson (Republican-Lake Crystal).
House Democrats voted for a bill (HF2768) yesterday that gives government employees in Minnesota a pay increase while the private sector is seeing unprecedented job losses and a contracting economy. The bill covers salaries of employees in the state's various agencies, including pay increases for those in Universities.
The 74-60 vote did not receive any Republican support and one Democrat, Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), voted with the Republicans against the bill.
Many accuse House Democrats like Brad Tabke (DFL-Shakopee) of being tone deaf to the current struggles of the private sector which is experiencing an unemployment rate in Minnesota of over 20%. Erik Mortensen, the Republican challenger against Tabke, stated "my wife and I have volunteered to take pay cuts to help save jobs within our companies. This is utter BS!"
The bill is not likely to pass in the Minnesota Senate unless the Democrats use it as part of their bargaining for the final legislative session deal. Legislators have until 11:59 pm on Sunday to pass legislation before the constitutionally mandated adjournment.
The Minnesota Senate Republicans passed a bill with DFL support today that was promoted as an "Open Minnesota" bill, but would keep Governor Walz' Emergency Powers in place and require businesses to follow guidelines by unelected bureaucrats before opening their doors. SF4511 authored by Sen Andrew Matthews fails to do what the Rep Munson Resolution in the House does: strip Governor Walz' of his illegal and unconstitutional emergency powers.
A bill or a resolution?
The Munson Resolution that received 100% Republican support in the Minnesota House on April 28th could be passed immediately by the Senate Republicans who have a three person majority in the chamber. Action 4 Liberty has called upon Senator Paul Gazelka to pass the Resolution while we put the heat on the 10 Democrats in the House needed to pass it in that chamber.
Senate Republicans instead are working on a bill that would require Governor Walz' signature to be signed into law. With only 6 days left of the legislative session, it appears the Senate Republicans are not serious about ending Walz' Emergency Powers.
Contact Paul Gazelka today and tell him we don't want a phony bill that needs the Governor's signature. Pass the Munson Resolution (HC8) now!
The Minnesota state government now faces a $2.4 Billion budget deficit for the biennium budget that ends on June 30th, 2021 according to a report released today by Minnesota Management and Budget. Projected revenues have fallen by over $3 Billion due to the downturn in the economy from the Governor's shutdown, while the Legislature has passed $500 Million in new spending this session.
Today's budget deficit announcement stands in stark contrast to the February Budget Forecast that projected a large budget surplus. Most experts and Capitol insiders predicted the surplus would be eliminated, but the level of deficit projected by the state economist has left many worried about how bad things will get in state finances.
State governments must balance a budget, which means either the Governor and the legislature will need to raise taxes to collect more revenue or start making cuts to government spending. Either option would be politically problematic for the remaining 12 days of the legislative session.
The state does still have a massive budget reserve fund over $2 Billion (often referred to as the "Rainy Day Fund"). Action 4 Liberty has long alleged this fund will be used in a crisis for government to continue operating in its bloated state instead of giving back to taxpayers who were overtaxed. Governor Walz alluded to spending rainy day funds to cover the deficit in his 2pm press conference.
On top of that, the federal government is likely to go further into debt and engage in another round of money printing to bail out state governments facing budget deficits. A similar move was made a decade ago during the Great Recession.
The Senate Republicans held a press conference this morning detailing the pain endured by small businesses throughout communities in Minnesota, but failed to announce an actual plan to open Minnesota back up. Tone deaf Senators like Paul Gazelka are ignoring the thousands of calls they are receiving by Minnesotans to take action now and terminate Walz' Emergency Powers.
At one point in the bizarre press conference, Gazelka says he will "ask Governor Walz" to turn the dials more to allow more businesses to open. However, after an emergency declaration is declared, the legislature has the power to terminate a governor's emergency declaration so that laws are no longer being written by one individual. So the Senate Majority could pass a resolution today to end the pain.
So where's the bill???
The Minnesota House has voted twice now on removing Walz' Emergency Powers. In two weeks, the bill gained 400% support by the second vote and is now waiting on DFL House member support to pass. If the Senate Republicans were to pass the bill in their chamber, there would be a lot more momentum in getting the bill passed.
Action 4 Liberty calls on the Minnesota Senate to pass the End Walz' Emergency Powers now.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have embraced the concept "never let a good crisis go to waste" as he announced moments ago a ban on 1,500 makes and models of popular sporting rifles. Starting today, sales, transportation or use of the firearms is illegal in Canada.
The massive ban was not passed through legislation, instead it was an executive order issued by Trudeau himself and now being enforced by Canada's Public Safety Minister. Owners of these firearms have a two year amnesty period to comply with the ban.
Many states, including Minnesota, are allowing the same kind of illegal, unconstitutional executive actions by Governors become the laws of the land despite legislatures who are actively still in session. Governor Walz has used illegal powers to shutdown large portions of our economy and impact civil liberties like religious practice.
Are gun bans next in Minnesota?
If Governors like Walz are not limited by the separation of powers clause in the state constitutions, then it's reasonable to think we're one gun tragedy away from seeing this at home.
Governor Walz extended his illegal "Stay Home or Else" order until Monday, May 18th. He outlined the details of the extension in a 2pm press conference from the Governor's Mansion which made exceptions for some small retailers in the state to partially open back up as long as they follow the government list of approved activities.
At this point, bars and restaurants, camping in state forests, and playing team sports in the local park are still against Walz' illegal order and violators could face fines and time in jail if local law enforcement agencies choose to enforce it.
Action 4 Liberty streamed the opening part of the press conference live and provided commentary.
Walz to Extend "Stay Home or Else" Order
We're providing live commentary on Walz' Emergency Order abuse. Sign our petition: http://www.action4liberty.com/end_walz_emergency_powersPosted by Action 4 Liberty on Thursday, April 30, 2020
On Tuesday, Representative Jeremy Munson and a couple other legislators made a motion to End Walz' Emergency Powers. The motion failed, but received unanimous support by Republicans in the House, which was a 400% increase in support from two weeks prior when the relatively same motion was made.
Internet tough guy, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, tweeted that it's time to open Minnesota. But we've seen no action from him to End Walz' Emergency Powers despite a 3 person majority for Republicans in that chamber.
Action 4 Liberty encourages people to contact their legislators now and tell them to support the Rep Munson Resolution to End Walz' Emergency Powers!
Rep Jeremy Munson made a move again on the House floor to pass a resolution to end Governor Walz' emergency powers. Munson and Drazkowski made a similar motion on April 14th that failed to receive support from the majority of the Old Republican House Caucus after lobbyist legislator Kurt Daudt instructed his caucus to vote against the measure.
However, this time, the motion passed with unanimous support from all Republicans in the Minnesota House thanks to the numerous calls, emails and texts they received from Action 4 Liberty supporters. Speaking in favor of the bill on the floor was Reps Lucero, Munson, Baker, Albright, Miller and Drazkowski. Far left Majority Leader Ryan Winkler spoke agains the bill.
Here's the vote from the April 14th session.
The next step is for the vote to come up again in the Minnesota House with more pressure put on Democrats to do what's right for the people of Minnesota, not their Party's leader. Also, the Republican controlled Senate could make a big splash if they were to actually pass the resolution in their chamber.
Let's keep the heat on St Paul. Sign our petition and send a message to these Democrats that we want our economy opened back up again!
Our elected officials have had one response since the beginning of this pandemic and it's the wrong response and will cost us tremendously down the road. Since March, our dependence on government has grown to outrageous levels while government spending is skyrocketing. In St Paul, a massive budget surplus has been depleted in record time.
But growing government is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. Instead, we should take this opportunity to finally make long needed cuts to government and provide tax relief to Minnesotans - let them keep their money. Why aren't Republican leaders talking about this?
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka now has abandoned course on repealing the state tax on social security benefits. According to the Star Tribune, he believes that funding for COVID-19 takes priority over letting seniors keep their money.
Politicians in St Paul aren't completely tone deaf to the ploys of families struggling in this economy though. But they've punted the "problem solving" to the feds who have a printing press and the illusion of a solution. Take a look at the federal budget this year; or better yet, don't. Federal spending has increased by nearly 50% and we're likely to run a $3 Trillion budget deficit (over twice as much as the deficit at the height of the Great Recession). National debt is now approaching $25 Trillion and debt-to-GDP is well over 100% - which many experts warn will lead to economic disaster.
When this pandemic is over, countless small businesses will be closed down, jobs will be lost and publicly held debt will balloon to unmanageable levels. And one can only imagine the purchasing power of our dollars with all the newly inflated money circulating in our economy. It seems clear to us that the cure will be far worse than the disease.
But there is a better way to go about this. Total government spending (local, state, federal) is about 43% of GDP. The size of our governments were already strangling the private sector before this pandemic began. But now it's more important than ever to reduce our dependence on government so capital is kept in the hands of businesses and families.
We didn't emerge out of the Great Depression until government spending drastically fell. That's a story your history teacher most likely didn't tell you. Government gets in the way of progress and they are the great destroyers of wealth. Just look at how many bloated agencies, incompetent projects and fraud/waste/abuse exist in the government sector.
Now is the time for our elected officials to make some fundamental changes that favor liberty instead of government control. It's a pivotal time in our nation's history. We can continue to expand our reliance on government and go the direction of every failed state in history that's tried it, or we can go back to our roots of limited government and freedom.
Elected officials should start slashing programs, cutting budgets and repealing regulations. As spending decreases, large tax cuts should be passed that ease the pain on our private sector and let families keep their money. Our government should shrink down to the size of our Constitution like it was originally intended. And freedom should be returned to We the People.
Nothing would Make America Great Again better than that!
Ever wonder why nothing gets done in Minnesota for the conservative agenda? Even when Republicans control a body of the legislature, good conservative reform bills barely see the day of light.
We came across a post today from Sen Paul Utke that described why, despite receiving a plethora of calls from constituents to end Walz' Emergency Powers, Senate Republicans aren't poised to make a motion to strip Walz' power. Cowardly hiding behind the notion that Democrats control the other chamber, Utke and his colleagues have thrown up the white flag. Of course, on the other side of the aisle, Democrats never hesitate to push things like gun control even when they know it will be defeated in the Senate.
How sure is he and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka that groups like ours can't organize a big effort in the districts of 10 DFL House members to get them to vote in favor of it? After all, that's the purpose of our organization. But Action 4 Liberty too often finds itself fighting on the Republican side just to get some momentum on an issue. The Republican Establishment is no better than the Democrats. Even though their motivations come from a different place.
Take the Minority leader of the Republicans in the Minnesota House. He works for a Washington D.C. lobbying firm. You heard that right! Doesn't get any swampier than that. Kurt Daudt is a lobbyist legislator, something that most believe should be illegal. When Rep Munson and Drazkowski made a motion last week to strip Walz' of his power, the biggest fight they had was from Daudt and his loyalists (which appears to be shrinking in numbers these days - thank God!).
What's Gazelka and Senate Republicans' motivations? It doesn't appear as obvious as Daudt's. Perhaps its what popular Minnesota conservative blogger John Gilmore often states: "they're the dumbest Republicans in the nation".
If I was speculating, I'd say they're too worried about disrupting the status quo and hurting relationships with the Swamp. Gazelka and team care more about playing things cool for November's election prospects, than saving our small businesses. Although, we know their getting an ear full from that community right now.
This issue is far too important to sit idly by and let comments like Utke's go unchecked. Unemployment is rising rapidly in this state and our legislature is no longer acting as a co-equal branch of government with the Governor. Unilateral law-making by one person is something everyone on the Republican side should rally against. It's time we end Walz' powers NOW!
Join Action 4 Liberty's efforts to End Walz' Emergency Powers immediately. Sign our petition and share with others!