Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Ends Emergency Powers a Month Early
It's been over a year since Governor Walz declared a peacetime emergency ahead of the COVID 19 pandemic. Minnesota has been dealing with mask mandates, lockdowns, limited capacity indoors, and basically zero events of any kind for the last year. Recently, some of those events and planning for more has begun with has been a real sign of promise of a return to normalcy.
The emergency powers were set to end on August 1. The emergency powers have been a topic since they went into effect, essentially. But the DFL has fended off every effort to end those for more than a year. Now, the time has come to end those powers a month earlier than planned as Walz is saying that it's the right time because of the drop in COVID cases and the vaccination rate with most Minnesotans. Although the rate of vaccinations has slowed, it still remains high overall.
According to KARE 11, there are some elements that need to be added to the bill in order for the peacetime emergency powers to end on July 1, which is tomorrow.
- Allows Health and Human Services commissioners to declare a public health disaster related to COVID-19, to preserve emergency food benefits
- Continues executive orders related to state COVID-19 staffing and unemployment insurance regulations until Aug. 1
- Preserves the governor’s authority to coordinate, allocate, distribute, and manage COVID-19 vaccination and testing without a peacetime emergency—and also his authority to declare a new peacetime emergency as necessary
There is also still a need for a food plan to go to Minnesotans that still need that benefit. That will continue for the foreseeable future. There is still some debate on whether or not all of this will go through. A final decision on this and the rest of the budget needs to be done by tonight (Wednesday) at midnight to avoid another government shutdown. So, stay tuned.
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