Gov. Tim Walz sent a letter to Minnesota legislators outlining his requests for certain coronavirus measures to be made into law before he surrenders his emergency powers.
In the letter, Walz said he recognizes the interest to work together with lawmakers to “mitigate the effects of the pandemic and to ensure an orderly end of the peacetime emergency when it is no longer needed.”
“I encourage you to begin the work of enacting into law the core provisions of the emergency response that have been keeping Minnesotans safe,” he wrote. Included are seven “priority” measures, but Walz ensured his demands are not limited to only those he disclosed in the letter.
One proposal he wants made into law is the “requirement to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces and indoor businesses.” Others include what Walz called “commonsense measures” for businesses’ safety plans, more protections for employees against “unsafe working conditions,” and protections for citizens against price gouging.
“Flexibility for school districts to enable local determinations of learning models with appropriate safety precautions” is another request made by Walz in the letter. He also wants the eviction moratorium to be extended into law but “with a specific timeline for its end to avoid surprises.”
Changes to unemployment insurance, in order to allow more unemployed citizens to collect benefits faster, is another law Walz insisted be put into effect before he will give up his emergency powers.
Walz noted in the letter that Minnesotans have been putting in “hard work and sacrifice,” but “we are not yet out of the woods.”
“In the December special session, we showed Minnesotans that we could put aside politics and provide support for small businesses and workers,” Walz stated at the end of the letter.