A bill heard in committee on Wednesday would limit Governor Walz’s authority to provide limits on business operations through executive orders during a pandemic or any emergency going forward. Additionally, it would prevent state agencies from providing any enforcement relative to other executive orders that have been issued.
The bill would also require any executive order limiting business operations to receive 2/3 support from the House and Senate. Businesses would also get 14-days of notice before the executive order would take effect. The proposal would prevent state agencies from providing any enforcement relative to other executive orders Governor Walz has issued.
Some restaurants and the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association testified in support of the proposal. Individuals from the Department of Health opposed the legislation as it would limit state government’s response to keeping people safe during this pandemic and any future emergency. They argued the executive orders have kept people safe and our deaths per 100,000 is lower in comparison to many of the neighboring states.
In early January, Governor Walz issued a letter to legislative leaders stating that he was interested in winding down the executive orders in partnership with the Legislature and provided a list of priorities he thought were important. However, Senate Republicans have not acted on most things outlined within the letter.
The bill was referred to State Government. (SF 1)