Governor Tim Walz wants to horse-trade with Republicans to get their help to pass a bonding bill for state public works projects. House Republicans have said for them to provide necessary votes on a bonding bill, Walz must give up or scale back his COVID emergency powers. Walz indicates he’d agree to do that, if Republicans support a face mask mandate and stand with him on it. “The idea is, if the governor’s executive orders are the things that are bothering them, they could actually get rid of most of them by simply asking for a mask mandate,” he says.
The governor adds, “I think if you wear a mask there wouldn’t need to be a cap on the people [customers] in retail businesses. Now bars, that’s an entirely different subject.” But Walz says occupancy limits could also be done away with in salons and health clubs.
House Republican leaders couldn’t be reached for comment.