One of the biggest hurdles Action 4 Liberty encountered in the battle to end Walz' illegal emergency powers appears to have been overcome. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka mentioned in a press conference this morning that the Senate will vote on a resolution to end Walz' emergency powers. Thousands of Action 4 Liberty supporters have called and emailed their Senators in the past month to end the shutdown. It appears those calls have finally paid off.
If the Senate does pass a resolution, like the Rep Munson resolution in the House, the Democrat held House would have to pass it in order for Walz' powers to be taken away. All Republicans in the Minnesota House have voted in favor of removing Walz' powers.
At this point, the Minnesota Senate website does not show a resolution authored today that would end the emergency powers. Stay tuned to our facebook page early this afternoon when we bring live coverage of the Senate floor.
Update: Speaker of the House, Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), stated that they do not plan on voting to end Walz' powers. However, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Spectacle Lake) has made numerous statements that House Republicans won't give the Democrats the needed votes to pass a debt bill unless they end Walz' powers. Bonding debt bills require 60% support for passage.
The Senate Resolution is SC1, posted late this morning.
Governor Walz made the unprecedented move of extending his illegal powers of shutting down Minnesota by issuing a new emergency powers declaration. This move requires him by statute to call the legislature back to the Capitol for a Special Session. Walz is in new territory. This is the longest emergency declaration since WWII.
In the press conference, Walz alluded to the potential of turning the dials on the shutdown back up if there's an increase in COVID cases. Despite Minnesota's closest neighbors all experiencing flattened curves with full reopens, Walz appears to believe Minnesota will be different.
The most interesting aspect of the press conference is Walz' call to have the Special Session last indefinitely so that the legislature can pass policing reforms in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy. This stands in contrast to the messaging out of the Republican controlled Senate.
Stay tuned to Action 4 Liberty for more details on what to expect when legislators reconvene in St Paul this Friday.
Governor Walz broke several of his own orders while attending the highly politicized Memorial Service for George Floyd on Thursday. According to Walz's numerous press conferences on extending his illegal orders, his administration is using "science" to protect the health of Minnesotans by reducing the spread of COVID when ordering social distancing, the use of facemarks, reduced capacity, etc. Many of these orders were broken on Thursday and according to Walz' own statements, "endanger the public".
According to the Pioneer Press, Walz' order of 250 person maximum capacity was violated as they counted around 500 people in attendance for the service. The image provided by the Star Tribune shows Walz not adhering to the six feet social distancing rules, which is the basis of the capacity rule.
Walz Executive Order that was announced by his administration on May 23rd states:
Walz states in the executive order that he continues "to urge all Minnesotans to limit their in-person interactions with people outside of their households. And, as I have emphasized in previous Executive Orders, I strongly urge Minnesotans at heightened risk to stay home except for essential activities, and I urge faith communities to continue to provide remote services to the maximum extent possible."
Although not part of the executive order, Walz made an infamous statement when extending his orders in May that people should not sing in church. Floyd's Memorial Service was filled with singing. His Dept of Health has this recommendation on its website:
All of this occurred while Walz is keeping Minnesota restaurants, bars, camping/resorts and fitness clubs partially or fully closed for the exact reasons as stated above. Meanwhile, Wisconsin has had no spike in COVID related deaths in the three weeks since it reopened.
Action 4 Liberty has spoken to hundreds of Minnesota businesses in the past two weeks who are on the cusp of failure if they don't reopen immediately. Yesterday, Walz slapped those businesses in the face by ordering only a partial reopening on June 10th, costing them another weekend of revenue (we only get so many nice summer weekends here).
At this point, why would anyone follow Walz' illegal orders if he won't do it himself? The orders are clearly not based on well established science. All of the modeling data they used for policy-making has been overblown. And we know now that the virus mostly kills people who are already passed the life expectancy age, with few exceptions that are based on other underlying health issues.
Sure, the killing of George Floyd is tragic and we certainly aren't arguing against his family holding a funeral service. But all Minnesota families who have lost a loved one in the past couple months also deserve the same treatment by Governor Walz, even if it doesn't get him social browny points with voters.
Walz broke his own rules - it's time we break them as well.
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.