The legislature’s second special session of the year ended early this morning, again without a bonding bill because House Republicans refuse to provide necessary votes unless Governor Tim Walz relinquishes his COVID emergency powers. Farmington Republican Pat Garofalo points to continued restrictions on the economy. “COVID-19 is not going anywhere, folks, and this requires a change in our emergency power statutes,” he says, “otherwise we are going to be in place where Governor Walz is going to have emergency authority until January of 2023.”
The governor’s backers say he’s responding appropriately to protect Minnesotans’ health as COVID resurges in some areas. House Democratic Majority Leader Ryan Winkler calls Republicans’ demands a “stick-up”. “Either give in and let a bunch of anti-vaxers, COVID-deniers, conspiracy theorists run Minnesota’s health care or you can’t have a jobs bill,” he says.
House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt fired back at Democrats, “We’ll be back here in three weeks, and hopefully next time when you want our votes, you’ll actually include us in the negotiations, just like you told us you were gonna do.”