With a little over a week to go in this year’s legislative session, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka announced on the Senate floor today that he will end all COVID-19 safety protocols on the Senate floor, beginning next week. This includes allowing all members back to the Senate floor at the same time, without social distancing, and without masks. This would go into effect before the restrictions have officially been lifted for other Minnesota workplaces.
In response to Senator Gazelka’s comments, Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) released the following statement.
“I am very disappointed that Senate Majority Leader Gazelka decided to prematurely lift the safety protocols on the Senate floor before the new guidelines go into effect for all Minnesotans. The Senate should lead by example for the rest of the state around workplace safety, not create exceptions for ourselves.”
“The fact is, many of our DFL and non-partisan staff and members are not yet fully vaccinated, and the policy change shows real disregard for others who work in the Senate. Senator Gazelka announced the decision without consulting with the bi-partisan Senate COVID-19 Working Group or any DFL or non-partisan staff leaders. As a caucus, we have requested written clarification of the new policy and will develop plans to continue to keep our staff and members safe in these final days of session.”