In an interview with Alpha News, Rep. Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal, said that Gov. Tim Walz should let go of his emergency powers, which were first invoked in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Munson, who has spoken out against Walz’s emergency powers for months, said the governor should allow the State Legislature to help with the state’s response to COVID-19.
“The main streets in so many of the towns in my district have been shuttered,” said Munson.
“We need to end the peacetime emergency because we want the Legislature to write these rules or any laws … around COVID, and not allow somebody to just, on a whim, change [the laws].”
Munson said he believes businesses should be trusted to make their own decisions when it comes to COVID-19 precautions.
“I certainly think the government has a role in providing guidelines. I don’t think it should go as far as mandates or laws because so many businesses are different. So many restaurants have different layouts. Some are better suited to handle these [restrictions] than others,” Munson said. “I think we need to allow them to implement their own rules in their restaurants [regarding] how they are safely going to serve the public and protect their employees.”
Munson, along with other Republicans, called out the governor before Christmas in a video called “You’re a mean one, Mr. Walz,” a parody of the theme song to “The Grinch.” In the song, which Munson emphasized was a parody, legislators called Walz a “simple-minded commie,” a “fascist,” and a “failure.”
“He was stealing Christmas from people, and Thanksgiving, and Easter,” said Munson. “What he’s doing with unilateral lawmaking is tyranny. That is the definition of a tyrant: when they take unilateral power, especially during the time of an emergency.”
Munson noted that several Democrats have voted with Republicans to strip the governor of his emergency powers.
“It sounds like we have a majority of House members who are willing to end the powers, and, of course, there are several Democrats in the Senate who have joined Republicans in voting, multiple times, to end the powers,” he said.
Munson had a message for Walz toward the end of the interview.
“My message for Gov. Walz is to give it up. The people are sick and tired of your unilateral lawmaking, and you swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. That requires three co-equal branches of government. You need to restore the Legislature’s role in governing.”
Munson said that, by keeping his powers, Walz can “unilaterally write law and completely ignore the majority Republican-control of the Senate.”
“But,” he continued, “the people are sick and tired of this, and you need to give up your power.”