Minnesotans held a “Never Again” protest in response to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s extension of his emergency powers for the 15th time. The Never Again protest was in support of Representative Erik Mortensen’s (R-MN-55A) HF 2204 bill that would limit the emergency powers of governors and outlines the citizens responsibility in a public health crisis. The protest was promoted by Representative Erik Mortensen and Action 4 Liberty.
The protest was held in front of the Minnesota State Senate building before the Special Session convened regarding Governor Tim Walz emergency powers, and then moved into the State Capitol building as the session began.
A similar bill, HF 28, also called the Never Again Bill, authored by Representative Jeremy Munson (R-MN-23B) reads that it is “relating to emergency management; protecting citizen rights; specifying citizen responsibilities; establishing a civil cause of action; defining terms; requiring legislative approval to extend a declared emergency beyond five days; requiring legislative approval before certain executive orders and rules may have the force and effect of law.”
Representative Munson co-authored the bill, along with Representative Cal Bahr (R-MN-31B), Representative Eric Lucero (R-MN-30B), Representative Shane Mekeland (R-MN-15B), Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-MN-21B), and Representative Time Miller (R-MN-17A).
The Never Again Bill “defines a public health emergency and points to the laws in Chapter 144 as the appropriate way to deal with them. Chapter 144 gives the Department of Health specific powers to eradicate diseases. It contains the means for individuals to assert their rights, have privacy, and choose if they wish to quarantine or be vaccinated.”
The New House Republican Caucus wrote that “Minnesotans have suffered through almost 500 days of emergency powers. HF 28 ensures that it never happens again.”
In the latest Special Session on Monday, all Republicans and one Democrat in the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to end Governor Tim Walz emergency powers but the votes were not enough to pass the measure.
The New House Republican Caucus explained that the governor of Minnesota has unchecked powers because of Chapter 12 in Minnesota law. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the chapter of Minnesota law that governs these emergency powers – Chapter 12 – was put to the test. We have experienced over a year of unchecked, absolute power by our Governor. The power granted to the Governor through Chapter 12 completely usurps the power of the legislature, resulting in one-man rule.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]