Minnesota Democrat Leader: You’re Either with Us, or You’re a ‘Nazi’

A day before President Joe Biden was sworn into office with the stated goal of unifying the United States, the head of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) made sure to take one last jab at Republicans.

“I think the Republican Party has a choice to make because there’s two sides,” DFL Chairman Ken Martin said in an online press conference. “You’re either on the side of Nazis and White supremacists and far-right groups, or you’re on the side of Democracy and liberty and freedom and our Constitution.”

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Minnesotans Under the Age of 40 More Likely to be Murdered Than Die from COVID

Minnesotans under the age of 40 are two times more likely to be murdered than die from COVID-19, Center of the American Experiment economist John Phelan said in a recent article.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 42 Minnesotans under the age of 40 have died from COVID-19. According to the Center of the American Experiment, at least 88 Minnesotans under the age of 40 have died in a homicide since March 21 — the date of Minnesota’s first reported COVID-19 case.

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Minnesota Vaccine Pilot Program Targets Those Ages 65+, K-12 Teachers, Child Care Workers

Minnesota is launching a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program this week, but the number of vaccines available is extremely limited.

Nine appointment-only sites across the state will start offering vaccines on Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz said in a news release.

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Bill Introduced to Allow Reopening of Minnesota Businesses Despite Executive Orders

A bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature that would allow businesses to remain open despite further COVID-19 restrictions.

The bill, which was introduced by Sens. Andrew Mathews, R-Princeton, and Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, provides that businesses may remain in operation under executive orders as long as they create a COVID-19 safety preparedness plan.

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St. Paul City Council Approves Creation of Slavery Reparations Committee

The St. Paul City Council unanimously voted to approve the creation of a committee dedicated to researching reparations for descendants of slavery in order to engage in “racial healing.”

The resolution, which was approved during a Wednesday night meeting, names the new group the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission. The main goal of the committee is to “make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism in the City of Saint Paul.”

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Freshman Minnesota Rep. Working to End Governor’s Emergency Order

A freshman member of the state House of Representatives is working to pass legislation that would end the COVID-19 emergency order levied by Gov. Tim Walz (D). 

“Last week, as you may know, I again introduced a resolution to End Walz’ Emergency Powers,” Rep. Erik Mortensen (R-MN-55A) said in a Saturday press release. “The effort failed on a party-line vote which was disappointing given 6 Democrats had previously voted to end the peacetime emergency.”

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Minnesota Group Sues USA Powerlifting for Banning Trans Athlete

Gender Justice, a Minnesota-based gender equality organization, is fighting alongside a transgender athlete in a Ramsey County lawsuit against USA Powerlifting.

JayCee Cooper, a transgender powerlifting athlete from Minneapolis, is suing USA Powerlifting and USA Powerlifting Minnesota, with the help of Gender Justice and attorney Nicholas Kaster.

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Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Add Minnesota to Popular Vote Compact

State Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, introduced a bill Monday that would add Minnesota to a popular vote compact, securing the state’s electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote.

According to a press release from the Senate DFL, Wiger’s bill would add Minnesota to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. States that are a part of this agreement “pledge their states’ electoral votes to the presidential and vice presidential candidates who win the national popular vote as opposed to the popular vote in their particular state.”

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Minnesota State House Democrats Urge Republicans to ‘Repent’ for Their ‘Foolish statements’

Minnesota State House Democrats recently filed a complaint against their Republican colleagues who raised concerns about changes to Minnesota’s election laws, urging them to “repent of their foolish statements.”

Concerns about the complaint were brought up by Republicans during a Thursday House session.

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Minnesota Adapts California Vehicle Emission Standards

The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday aiming to stop Gov. Tim Walz’s administration from adopting California’s vehicle emission standards.

MADA, which represents 350 franchised new car dealers with more than 20,000 employees, alleges Minnesota lacks the authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to regulate motor vehicle emissions.

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Scott Jensen Claims Minnesota Is in an ‘Abusive Relationship with Gov. Walz’

Former Sen. Scott Jensen said that Minnesotans are in an “abusive relationship” with Gov. Tim Walz during a recent livestream. 

In a video explaining the checks in place against Gov. Walz’s emergency powers and why those powers have not been taken away, Jensen compared Minnesota’s situation to an “abusive relationship.”

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Asks Legislature to Enact COVID-19 Orders to Prepare for End of Emergency Powers

On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz asked the legislature to enact into law some of his executive orders to prepare for the end of his 11-month reign in a declared COVID-19 state of emergency.

Walz said they needed to work together to keep Minnesotans safe.

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Minnesota Gov. Walz to Loosen COVID-19 Restrictions; Gazelka Previews 2021 Session Priorities

Lawmakers kicked off the 2021 legislative session at noon on Tuesday, one day before Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce loosening restrictions on indoor dining and other settings after an improvement in the state’s number of COVID-19 cases.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, told The Center Square in a phone interview one priority is to craft a new two-year state budget without raising taxes on gas, sales, or income. 

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Details Emerge on Warrant Search of Dolal Idd’s Family Home

Details were released Monday regarding the search warrant executed at the family home of Dolal Idd, who was shot and killed by Minneapolis police last week during an attempted traffic stop.

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson is also defending the conduct of his officers during the search after the family made accusations of mistreatment.

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Minnesota Lawmaker Calls Protest Outside of His Home ‘Terrorism’

Minnesota Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-Saint Paul, called an anti-lockdown protest outside of his home “terrorism.” 

Anti-shutdown protesters held a demonstration Saturday outside of  Mariani’s home, using a similar tactic as the left-leaning Sunrise Movement, which has endorsed several DFL lawmakers. 

During the protest, attendees blocked the street with vehicles and chanted for the representative to come outside to meet them. Some of the protesters arrived with body armor and firearms, including handguns and rifles.

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Minnesota State Senators Say Walz ‘Must’ Announce Plan to End Business Closures

Minnesota Sens. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, and Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz asking him to reopen bars and restaurants.

In their letter, the two senators urge Gov. Walz to reopen bars, restaurants, and other “vital economic engines” by January 11. The letter also asks Walz to let businesses know of his plan by Jan. 4 so they have time to prepare.

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Let Them Play Minnesota Calls Out Walz for ‘Ignoring the Science’

Let Them Play MN, a nonprofit, issued a press release outlining its concerns regarding the newest guidelines for youth sports.

A guidance released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Dec. 28 requires all youth sports players to wear masks during practices and, when the time comes, during games. A few exceptions exist, including wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming and diving.

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Minnesota Asks Court to Raise Daily Fines Against Restaurant Owner

State officials are now seeking additional penalties against Larvita McFarquhar, a defiant restaurant owner in Lynd, Minnesota, who is being fined $250 per day for remaining open.

A Ramsey County judge ordered McFarquhar to close her restaurant earlier this month and comply with Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders. But she refused and was found in contempt of court, which comes with a $250 daily fine for non-compliance.

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Tom Emmer Only Minnesota Rep to Vote Against $2,000 Stimulus Checks

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican, was the only member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to vote against a measure to increase COVID-19 stimulus checks to $2,000.

All of Minnesota’s Democratic members of Congress voted in favor of the proposal, which passed the U.S. House Monday in a vote of 275-134.

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Minnesota Department of Health Guidance Says Masks Will be Required at All Times for Youth Sports

The Minnesota Department of Health released guidance for youth and adult sports Dec. 28, announcing that games and scrimmages will be able to take place starting on Jan. 14, in addition to practices being allowed beginning on Jan. 4.

Masks will be required at all times for players during both practices and games, with very few exceptions. According to the guidelines, “People are not permitted to remove their face coverings during activities that involve a high level of exertion.”

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Social Justice Favorites Including LGBT+, Climate Change Take a Prominent Role in the New Draft of Social Studies Standards in Minnesota

Minnesota’s newly proposed social studies standards for public schools place significant emphasis on race, gender, climate change and LGBT issues.

Under the first draft of the proposed standards, students will be asked to “develop a respectful awareness about how ideas and norms about gender have changed over time,” accept that “some forms of slavery continued even after emancipation” and learn how the “fight for social justice” continues today.

Students will also be asked to “analyze how resistance movements in the U.S. have organized and responded to oppression,” and “imagine and work toward an equitable and caring future” in keeping with the social justice model.

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Minnesota’s Henry Sibley High Drops Literary Classic ‘Of Mice and Men’ After Complaints

Henry Sibley High School recently set aside “Of Mice and Men” and “Montana 1948” from its curriculum after receiving complaints from parents.

Henry Sibley High School, which will have its name changed to drop the name of Minnesota’s first governor, has put a “pause” on the use of multiple books. The school board sent out a letter to parents explaining why the books were set aside.

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State Representative-Elect Mortensen Introduces Proposal to Suspend Gov. Walz’s Pay

State Rep.-elect Erik Mortensen (R-Shakopee) has promoted a “bill” calling for the suspension of Gov. Tim Walz’s pay until Minnesotans are back to work.

Mortensen, who was elected in November to the Minnesota House, posted a “bill” on Facebook calling for the suspension of Gov. Walz’s pay. The bill calls for Walz’s pay to be suspended until his COVID-19 emergency orders restricting businesses are revoked.

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Minnesota Supreme Court Easing Continuing Education Requirements for Attorneys

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a petition that will ease regulatory burdens on lawyers by doubling the amount of on-demand continuing legal education (CLE) credits that are accepted.

Every three years, attorneys in Minnesota need to finish 45 credit hours of CLE courses to maintain their licenses but previously capped on-demand credit hours at 15, although some lawyers argue they are more convenient, relevant, affordable and numerous than in-person CLEs.

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Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Keith Ellison Shut Down More Restaurants and Bars

Three Minnesota restaurants are facing liquor license suspensions after opening for on-premises dining against the governor’s executive orders.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division has let Cornerstone Café in Monticello, The Interchange in Albert Lea and The Pour House in Clarks Grove know of its intention to revoke their liquor licenses for 60 days for violating Gov. Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99. Last week, agents of the DPS saw patrons in each of these establishments consuming alcohol indoors.

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‘Boogaloo Bois’ Member Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Hamas

A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis to a charge of conspiring to provide material support to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald and National Security Division Assistant Attorney General John Demers announced last week the plea by Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, to one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources, namely property, services and weapons, to Hamas.

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St. Olaf Prof Echoes Call for School to ‘Repent’ of Systemic Racism

The director of St. Olaf College’s Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community echoed a call for the school to “repent” of systemic racism.

Deanna Thompson wrote an article for the Minnesota school’s blog entitled “Uncomfortable Grace: Drawing on St. Olaf’s Lutheran Identity to Guide Our Path to Anti-Racism,” in which she argued that “racism is embedded deep within institutions across the United States, including St. Olaf College.”

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Minnesota Attorney General Sues Two More Restaurants Open for Dine-In Service

Keith Ellison

Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office yesterday filed lawsuits against two restaurants that have been open for dine-in despite the governor’s executive orders. Cornerstone Café in Monticello and Cork in Anoka are Ellison’s latest projects.

Ellison’s office issued a statement that says these restaurants have been running in “open violation” of Gov. Tim Walz’ orders, putting the “community at risk by violating ban on on-premises dining intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

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Minnesota State Lawmakers Call for Audit of COVID-19 Death Certificates

In a “dangerous video” released Thursday, two state lawmakers called for a full audit of the death certificates for Minnesota’s 4,723 COVID-19 deaths.

“When people live in fear, they make irrational decisions and they look at the world through a different lens. Their life is based on fear instead of living their life to their full potential,” said state Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, who obtained some of the “raw files” of COVID-19 death certificates from the Minnesota Department of Health.

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Minnesota Unemployment Claims Continue to Decline Despite Lockdown Measures

Minnesota’s new unemployment claims last week dropped by 9,254 from the week ending Dec. 5, according to Department of Labor statistics released Thursday morning.

Unemployment claims in the state continue to drop despite the ongoing prohibitions of indoor gatherings imposed by Gov. Tim Walz to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On Wednesday, Walz announced he was extending his lockdown orders through the holiday season.

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‘Ridiculously Short Notice’: Minnesota Gov. Walz Has Delayed Closure Announcement Twice

Restrictions on bars, restaurants and other small businesses are set to expire Friday, but Gov. Tim Walz has twice delayed an announcement on what will come next.

The announcement was initially expected to take place last Friday, Dec. 11, but was moved to Monday. His office then moved the announcement from Monday to Wednesday.

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‘Willful Disregard of the Law’: Minnesota Suspends Defiant Restaurant’s Liquor License

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety suspended the liquor license of Boardwalk Bar & Grill, a restaurant in East Grand Forks that reopened last week in violation of the governor’s coronavirus mandates.

The Polk County District Court granted Attorney General Keith Ellison’s motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to prevent the restaurant from remaining open. The business also was issued a cease and desist order by the Minnesota Department of Health.

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Defiant: Minnesota Businesses Plan Mass Reopening

by Anthony Gockowski   More than 150 businesses plan to reopen this week in defiance of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s coronavirus shutdown. The businesses have organized as the Reopen Minnesota Coalition. This group has created a Facebook page and GoFundMe to raise awareness and money for business owners who will likely face legal consequences…

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Over 90 Percent of Minnesota University’s Top Faculty Donations Went to Democrats, Study Finds

Data from the Federal Election Commission show that 90.8 percent of the top 100 donations to political candidates and committees from University of Minnesota employees and affiliates went to Democrats, according to a recent report by Minnesota Business Daily.

The analysis found that UMN employees and affiliates donated $201,383 to political candidates and committees. Of that amount, $182,919 went to Democrats. Another $11,125 went to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party.

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Minneapolis City Council Votes to Raise Property Taxes, Cut $8 million from Police Budget But Aims for Higher Police Staffing Target

The Minneapolis City Council voted to cut $8 million from the Police Department (MPD) in their 2021 budget. However, the Council also also added a caveat to allow for additional future police recruitment, likely dodging a veto from Mayor Jacob Frey.

In a 7-6 vote Wednesday night, the council’s decision doesn’t change the number of officers in 2021, but sets a higher target number for replacing officers who are currently out on leave for post-traumatic stress disorders or other reasons with the council’s authorization.

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No Trial, No Jail for Man Who Destroyed Columbus Statue

Michael Anthony Forcia, the man who organized the destruction of Minnesota’s Christopher Columbus statue, never faced trial and will not go to jail.

Forcia once faced a first-degree criminal property damage charge, which has now been suspended, and his trial was replaced with a virtual Zoom-based hearing. Instead of going to jail, he will have to perform 100 hours of community service and write a letter acknowledging that he destroyed the statue, according to Fox 9.

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Hospitality Industry Plea with Legislature for ‘Fighting Chance’

It’s been 19 days after the second forced closure of many businesses of 2020, and hospitality businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy if aid doesn’t come soon.

For JD Fratzke of Purpose Driven Restaurant Group in St. Paul, it’s the second time he’s been laid off this year.

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Minnesota Letter Allegedly Sent to Suburban Resident Claims Christmas Lights Are ‘Harmful’ and a Reminder of ‘Systemic Biases’

A St. Anthony resident claims to have received a letter in the mail on Monday that chastised her for her Christmas lights display.

The letter states that the “twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of the division that runs through our country” and that such displays can have a “harmful impact.”

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Consulting Firm Co-Owned by Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Husband Received $600,000 in COVID Relief

A consulting firm co-owned by Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband received more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds while taking millions from Omar’s campaign.

Records show that E Street Group received $134,800 from the Paycheck Protection Program and $500,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Omar’s campaign has paid the firm $2.78 million since July 2019, according to Federal Election Commission records. Between July 23 and Sept. 30, E Street Group received $1.1 million from Omar’s campaign for expenses related to advertising, digital consulting, video production and editing, travel and more.

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ANTIFA Carries Sign Telling Minnesota Trump Supporters to Kill Themselves

A group of agitators dressed in black-bloc attire and carrying makeshift shields crashed a pro-Trump demonstration outside the Minnesota governor’s residence Saturday.

Activists with Hold the Line Minnesota have been holding “Stop the Steal” protests outside Gov. Tim Walz’s home every weekend since Nov. 3, part of a national movement to draw attention to alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election.

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Minnesota Health Agency Suspends License of Defiant Restaurant Owner

A local health agency has suspended the food service license of a Lynd, Minnesota, restaurant owner after she opened her café for in-person service in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s orders.

Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS) sent a letter last week to Larvita McFarquhar, owner of Haven’s Garden, warning her that a scheduled open-mic night would violate the state’s COVID-19 regulations.

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Drug Overdose Deaths Increased 31 Percent Year-to-Date in First Six Months of 2020

Previously unseen costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns are coming to light.

Drug overdose deaths increased 31% during the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019, according to new data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

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Minnesota Gyms Say Science, Data Don’t Justify Shutting Them Down

Gyms and fitness centers shuttered through Dec. 18 by Gov. Tim Walz claim the state’s own data doesn’t justify the mandate.

From June through Nov. 14, state data reported gyms accounted for 47 COVID-19 outbreaks, making up roughly 7.7% of the states’ 603 total outbreaks during that time.

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52 Percent of Minnesota Renters Say They’re Likely to be Evicted in Next Two Months

More than half of Minnesota renters surveyed recently by the U.S. Census Bureau say they’re either “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to face eviction in the next two months.

This data comes by way of the bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey, which regularly collects information about American households. The bureau cautions that data collected by these surveys are considered “experimental” and “sample sizes may be small and the standard errors may be large.”

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Christmas Likely to See Similar Restrictions, Walz Says

After prohibiting private gatherings over the Thanksgiving weekend, Gov. Tim Walz said Minnesotans can expect to see “very similar” restrictions around Christmas.

“I went from John Lithgow in Footloose to the Grinch,” Walz said during a Monday press conference when asked if people should start thinking about canceling their Christmas plans.

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New Ethnic Studies Requirement Seeks to Turn Minneapolis Students into ‘Agents of Change’

The Minneapolis Board of Education hopes its new ethnic studies requirement will help students develop “skills to become agents of change” and create a learning environment “that leads to action.”

Starting with the class of 2025, all Minneapolis students “must earn a passing grade in an ethnic studies course,” according to a resolution passed by the school board earlier this month.

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Minnesota Sheriff Calls Walz Orders a ‘Big Government Overstep’

Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting called Gov. Tim Walz’s restrictions on private gatherings a “big government overstep” earlier this month.

“To start to tell you how many people you can have in your residence, I don’t necessarily think that that is any place for the government to tell people,” Empting told KVRR in a Nov. 11 interview.

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