This afternoon, Governor Walz partially opened up Minnesota by turning the dials, as they say in St Paul. Meaning Walz is continuing to exercise his illegal emergency powers which he believes allow him to move the metaphorical "open or close" dial for Minnesota businesses and citizens.
Despite the massive evidence suggesting that the COVID pandemic is extremely overblown, Walz refused to open up restaurants, bars, gyms, resorts and churches fully. Instead they are capped at 50% capacity (gyms are 25%). And...get this, the new loosening of restrictions doesn't take effect until June 10th. Minnesota restaurants and bars will have to suffer another beautiful Minnesota summer weekend with no cash flow.
Action 4 Liberty has chatted to hundreds of businesses in the last couple weeks who are affected by Walz' illegal orders. One of those businesses made headlines when they planned opening up early. Walz sent Attorney General Ellison to the scene who threaten a lawsuit and massive fines for disobeying the order.
By our count, at least 50 business secretly opened up last Friday throughout the state. More are expected to open up this weekend in defiance of Governor Walz. Businesses in Greater Minnesota just can't survive another weekend with their doors closed.
In the press conference, Walz stated that his partial reopening leaves uncertainty on the impact of spreading the Coronavirus in the state. However, our neighbors to the East have now been reopened for over three weeks without a spike in COVID related deaths. On top of that, South Dakota never closed and remains in good shape.
Action 4 Liberty believes Governor Walz has clearly shown he is violating the oath of office by trampling on our rights. We encourage people to sign the petition to Recall Walz.
The Liberate Hanover Resolution was passed last night by the Hanover City Council that nullifies the illegal orders by Governor Walz. According to the resolution, "city resources, whether physical, financial or otherwise, including but not limited to city staff and personnel, city contractors and subcontractors, or assistance of any kind tied to the city, or any cooperation to any other governments including federal, state, or county, shall not be used to enforce any of Governor Walz’ COVID-19 Emergency Executive Orders."
Hanover's mayor, Chris Kauffman, signed the resolution into law. The City Council recognized the individual rights of its citizens and their oath to uphold the protected rights in the Constitution. Here's a copy of the Resolution:
Minnesotans have endured nearly three months of horribly misguided public policymaking by Governor Walz. Not only has the COVID-19 modeling been completely wrong, but Walz has taken unprecedented steps in usurping his constitutional powers by mandating the closures of a large segment of our economy. For this reason, we joined the effort to Recall Walz.
But the time has come for Walz to realize his mistakes and remove his illegal orders so we can start dining at restaurants, have a drink at our favorite restaurants, get our haircut by our barber or, for God's sake, go camping in northern Minnesota! Even Michigan has opened back up!
Afraid that a sudden reopening of bars/restaurants will lead to countless deaths? Well, where's the body count in our neighbors to the East. It's been 3 weeks since the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Evers shutdown orders, and there's been no spike in deaths in Wisconsin and no drastic spike in cases. In fact, newly reported deaths (highlighted in light blue) have remained relatively flat since the 5/13 reopening.
The data in Minnesota, just like in Wisconsin, suggests that the deaths due to COVID are overwhelmingly experienced in our older populations. The average age of COVID related death is higher than the average life expectancy. Let that sink in.
If Walz was really concerned about mass gathering leading to deaths, then certainly the protestors he empathizes with flooding the streets of the Twin Cities will have blood on their hands. Look at the crowds outside his mansion yesterday.
Minnesota's greatest joys like summer parades, county fairs and the Great Minnesota Get-Together are all now cancelled for the summer based on Walz' orders. Think of the jobs and businesses connected to those events that are now facing serious financial turmoil.
Enough is enough. Walz needs to own up to his mistake and end the shutdown now. Minnesota has suffered greatly this year and we're at a boiling point. Are we going to continue down the path of Walz' failed leadership and illegal policies, or are we going to work together to safely open our state back up? The time has come to reopen Minnesota!
We're under 72 hours left of the 2020 Legislative Session and the chances of terminating Walz' Emergency Powers are deteriorating because some Republican legislators are more concerned about passing a large debt bill than opening all of Minnesota. Rep Jeremy Munson and members of the New House Republican Caucus have brought a vote to the House floor twice on the Resolution to End Walz' Emergency Powers, but the Senate Republicans refuse to do the same in their chamber. Republicans have a three person majority and could pass it immediately.
Action 4 Liberty has discussed the resolution with several Republican state senators and all of them have told us that senate "leadership" does not support it. Instead, Sen Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) put energy into a fake open bill that would require the Governor's signature (the Munson Resolution only requires the Legislature). Gazelka continues to tell the press that a large debt bill (aka bonding bill) will be a priority of the legislature before the session ends.
The Senate Republicans appear to be blind to the gloomy fiscal realities in Minnesota. Last week we learned that the state is projected to run a $2.4 Billion budget deficit in the next year, so a debt bill at this point would be fiscally irresponsible.
Even more concerning is the tone deaf Democrat majority in the Minnesota House. On Wednesday they passed a bill that gave state employees pay raises while the private sector is experiencing catastrophe. The pay raise bill would add another $440 Million cost to Minnesota taxpayers. While all Republicans in the House are now on board to Ending Walz' Emergency Powers, not a single Democrat voted for it.
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Spectacle Lake) has made numerous statements lately that House Republicans won't help pass a bonding bill unless Walz' powers are terminated. Democrats need six Republicans on board in order to hit the required 60% needed for a debt bill's passage. Sources at the Capitol tell us that Daudt is cutting a deal behind the scenes with Democrat leadership to deliver the six votes needed. Most likely, the bargaining chip will be some pork projects that help Republican members. Daudt may also ask Democrat leadership to drop the ethics investigation into his employment with a D.C. lobbying firm.
Action 4 Liberty continues to call for an end to Walz' Emergency Powers. Passing a debt bill is not a valid compromise for the pain and suffering business owners and families across Minnesota are feeling. SIGN THE PETITION!
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.