The Lakefield MN City Council voted on Monday in a 3-2 vote to take a stand against what they say are unconstitutional Executive Orders by Gov. Tim Walz that continue to restrict businesses and the ability of the people to move freely.
The resolution starts out by referencing the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution and highlights the rights of citizens to due process of law before being deprived of life, liberty or property. The resolution states that the City Council opposes any Executive Order that restricts those constitutional rights of the citizens of Lakefield.
On April 30, Gov. Walz extended the stay-at-home order thru May 18, which was the second extension of the order that initially went into effect on March 27. The order left many businesses still unable to open, including bars and restaurants and those offering salon services.
The Lakefield resolution resolves that the city will uphold the Constitutional rights of its citizens and declared the city a “Constitutional and Business Friendly Community.”
The resolution specifically declares intent to oppose any infringement by Executive Order or any other directive on the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep their businesses open, and requests that power be restored to municipalities and local governments to implement COVID-19 emergency orders and response as they see fit.
The City Council vowed within the resolution that it will not direct any city resources toward enforcement of any Executive Order that prevents businesses from opening or operating.
The resolution supports the choice of residents to stay home, as well as the choice to move about and support local businesses while maintaining practices that help to reduce the spread of the virus.
Lakefield is located in Jackson County in the southwest area of the state and has a population of just over 1,600. A Chamber of Commerce website states that the city has 379 businesses. Over 66% of voters in Jackson County voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
As of Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Health statistics indicated that Jackson County has had 25 positive COVID-19 cases and zero deaths due to the virus.
During Tuesday’s daily COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Walz addressed what is likely to be a massive state budget deficit of $2.4 billion dollars, and he also said that he’s likely to again extend his “peacetime emergency” powers for another 30 days.
State Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) of the New House Republican Caucus addressed the budget deficit following the governor’s press conference on Tuesday stating that both the pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown are directly responsible for the sudden change in the state’s budget.
Drazkowski said that Gov. Walz “took a sledgehammer to Minnesota’s economy, and we are all suffering for that decision.”
“We knew our state’s economy would be impacted by the pandemic itself,” he said. “However, the governor has exacerbated that pain by shutting down our state economy. That shutdown has interrupted normal state government revenue streams and created this new deficit.”
Last week, Drazkowski called Walz a “failed and misguided leader” and urged the governor to end the shutdown. “The governor is stripping millions of Minnesotans of their God-given rights and he is blatantly crushing the economy,” he said.