MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Republicans in Minnesota’s House of Representatives are calling for Gov. Tim Walz to set a date or provide clear metrics for the end of the peacetime emergency, which the state has been under since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The call, which Republicans have made for months, comes as the Democratic governor has hinted that the state will further scale back COVID restrictions this week. It remains unknown exactly which restrictions will be lifted or eased.READ MORE: COVID In MN: Nearly 60% Of State's Eligible Population Has Had At Least 1 Vaccine Dose
“Minnesota families and businesses remain in the dark about the governor’s plans this week, but it’s critical that he set out clear and transparent timelines to fully lift the remaining restrictions on our businesses,” said House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.
In a statement, the House Republicans pointed out that other Democratic states, such as New York and California, have established target dates for lifting capacity limits and other restrictions. They also noted that Republican states, like Florida, have already lifted all remaining COVID restrictions.READ MORE: COVID Restrictions: Walz To End Capacity Restrictions By May 28, Mask Mandate By July 1
The governor’s emergency powers currently need to be re-approved every 30 days by the Minnesota Executive Council, which is composed of all Democrats.
Last month, after the latest approval, the governor said that while he acknowledges the importance of discussing the parameters surrounding the emergency powers, he says they have made a difference in mitigating the effects of the pandemic.MORE NEWS: 'It Can Only Go Up From Here': Hospitality Industry Welcomes COVID Restriction Rollbacks
Minnesota is continuing to vaccinate more and more residents against the virus, and it’s also seeing new cases decline following a surge in spread in late March linked to variants. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 580,000 people in Minnesota have contracted the virus and 7,163 people have died.