Bill Aims to Ban Minnesota Vaccine Passports

Senator Michelle Benson

As Minnesota returns to a semblance of normalcy with an increasing number of injected COVID-19 vaccines, one Republican aims to ban “vaccine passports.”

 SF 1589 aims to ban forced COVID-19 vaccinations, forced digital contact tracing, and required proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering a government business.

“Your personal health information should not be made public. I stand against the special interests that want your private health information,” Senate Health Committee Chair Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, posted on Facebook.

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Backs Bill to Give Progressive Groups Influence over Hate Crimes Data, Police Training

Gov. Tim Walz expressed his support for a bill that would give progressive organizations influence over the state’s collection of data on “crimes motivated by bias” and police training standards for responding to those crimes.

“Words matter. It, to me, is stunning that we would not hold hearings in the Minnesota Senate to debate this bill that simply does the obvious, that makes it a crime to discriminate against a neighbor for any reason of who they are or their origin or their religious preferences or you name it,” Walz said at a Tuesday press conference on the bill.

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Walz Hits Goal of 70 Percent Seniors Getting First COVID-19 Vaccination, Expands Eligibility to 1.8 Million Minnesotans

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced Minnesota is expanding vaccine eligibility after reaching its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotan’s seniors.

The state will expand eligibility to the next two phases of Minnesotans, starting Wednesday.

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Bipartisan Group Demands Minnesota Gov. Walz ‘Immediately Remove’ Vaccine Questionnaire Requirements

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz Sunday asking for the immediate removal of personal questions on the COVID-19 vaccine sign-up form.

Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, has been leading the charge in advocating for senior citizens’ prioritization for the vaccine. Housley is now raising concerns about invasive questions being asked of seniors before they can receive the vaccine, such as questions about gender identity, sexual orientation, and mental or emotional condition.

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Home Schooling in Minnesota Skyrocketed 50% Amid School Closures

Homeschoolers

A Friday report from the Minnesota Department of Education confirmed what many have suspected all along: parents are opting to take their children out of public schools.

Overall public-school enrollment decreased by 2% between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, MDE said in its report, which translates to a net loss of about 17,000 students. This decrease was driven largely by a 9% drop in public kindergarten enrollment, according to the MDE.

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Announces Plan for All Schools to Offer Some In-Person Learning by March 8

On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz updated Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan to allow more middle school and high school students to return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning as early as Monday.

Walz expects all schools to offer their students some form of in-person learning by March 8, but said he won’t force them to comply.

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Pushes for Subsidized Biofuels but Economists Warn of Climate Damage, Higher Food Prices

Gov. Tim Walz asked for President Joe Biden’s continued support for the biofuels program last week, despite economists’ concerns over concerns about biofuels’ inefficiency and costs. 

Biofuels — bioethanol and biodiesel derived from plants — since 2005 have been pitched as a solution to climate change because they decrease dependency on fossil fuels.

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Minnesota Legislators Push to Abolish Walz’s Power over Public Schools

Republican lawmakers want to strip the governor of his ability to “unilaterally” close schools during a peacetime emergency.

Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, authored a bill that would make Gov. Tim Walz’s peacetime emergency powers invalid in the realm of shutting down in-person school. The governor may “advise and consult” with school boards and leaders, but may not take any action himself, the bill states.

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Gov. Walz Activates National Guard for Third Time in a Year over Former Police Officer Chauvin’s Trial

For at least the fourth time in the last year, Gov. Tim Walz has activated the National Guard.

This time, it’s to keep the peace during former police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial. The former police officer stands accused of killing George Floyd in May 2020.

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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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Republican to Host Thanksgiving Gathering, Sends Walz and Ellison Invite

Representative-elect Erik Mortensen (R-Mn-55A), said he has invited Gov. Tim Walz (DFL) and Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL) to his home for a Thanksgiving celebration this week.

Their presence at Mortensen’s home, of course, would be a violation of the governor’s four-week prohibition on social gatherings with people from other households. Gov. Walz announced sweeping new restrictions on the economy and private events in an executive order issued last week.

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Gov. Walz Signals Tightening of COVID-19 restrictions on Bars and Restaurants

Gov. Tim Walz hinted Monday he would enact targeted restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 but didn’t describe the new rules planned. 

Walz said the state health department had identified three major infection sources of spread: social gatherings, bars and restaurants.

It appears as if those restrictions will mostly affect bars and restaurants. 

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Gov. Walz Activates National Guard after Chauvin’s Third Degree Murder Charge Dropped

Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard on Thursday to assist local law enforcement in protecting the greater Twin Cities.

“In light of developments in the George Floyd case, we’ve taken the precautionary step of asking the Minnesota National Guard to prepare to help ensure safety for Minnesotans,” Walz said in a statement. “I want to remind Minnesotans that today’s ruling marks a positive step in the path toward justice for George Floyd.”

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Emails Suggest Walz Admin Quickly Decided Against Restoring Columbus Statue

Emails obtained by the Star Tribune indicate that Gov. Tim Walz’s administration decided not to reinstall a Christopher Columbus statue the same day it was toppled over by a group of protesters.

The statue, which stood outside the State Capitol building, was torn down in broad daylight by a group of vandals affiliated with the American Indian Movement (AIM). Mike Forcia, chairman of AIM, said he alerted Walz’s office of his plans prior to the June 10 incident.

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Gov. Walz Calls Special Session Monday to Extend Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday a special session will take place Monday, Oct. 12, during which he intends to extend his peacetime emergency declaration for the seventh time.

In the governor’s Proclamation for Special Session, issued Oct. 7, Walz said an “extraordinary occasion” has ensued, and, therefore, “it is necessary to extend the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.”

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Minnesota’s $6.9 Million COVID Morgue Converted into Storage Facility, Media Barred from Entering

Gov. Tim Walz’s administration purchased a warehouse for $6.9 million in May to be used for the “temporary storage of human remains,” but the facility was recently converted into a storage space for vaccines and other medical supplies.

The facility was intended to serve as “a building where we can properly handle with dignity and respect and safety the bodies of Minnesotans who may fall victim to the coronavirus,” Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly said at the time of the purchase.

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz Recall Effort Under Review by State Supreme Court

A recall effort has been filed against Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) over his mask mandate in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Minnesota Supreme Court will now review whether the grounds for recall stated in the petition are sufficient and meet statutory requirements. Two earlier efforts to recall Walz were dismissed by the supreme court because the petitions did not meet the legal standards to recall an elected official.

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St. Paul Primary Winner John Thompson Leads BLM Protest to Police Union Leader’s Neighborhood, Calls for Violence

Over the weekend, Democratic candidate John Thompson spoke at a Black Lives Matter protest by the home of police union leader Lt. Bob Kroll. Thompson recently won the Democratic primary for District 62A in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Multiple video coverages of Thompson’s seven-minute speech show him calling for violence against the “racists” of Hugo, Minnesota.

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Governor Walz Will Extend COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency Again

Governor Walz announced in a press release Friday that he will extend Minnesota’s COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency again by 30 days. The state’s peacetime emergency first went into effect March 13 – this is the fifth extension to date.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and rapidly evolving, and we can’t let our guard down,” stated Walz.

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Nine More Lawmakers Join Lawsuit Against Gov. Walz Over Use of Emergency Powers

Nine more Republican lawmakers have joined a lawsuit against Gov. Tim Walz regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Vice President Pence Tours Mayo Clinic, Criticized by Media for Not Wearing Mask

Vice President Mike Pence praised the innovation and leadership of Mayo Clinic during a Tuesday visit to the distinguished institution’s headquarters in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Minnesota Gov. Time Walz Reopens the Outdoors: Golfing, Boating, and Other Activities Allowed with Precautions

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Friday, which will expand permissible outdoor activities under his stay-at-home order.

The original order is set to expire on May 3. It allowed outdoor exercise such as walking, running and fishing.

Beginning Saturday, April 18, Minnesotans will be able to golf, boat and hike, provided they follow social distancing guidelines and stay close to home.

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Trump Tweets Support for Hundreds of Minnesotans Who Gathered Friday to Protest Gov. Walz

President Donald Trump expressed his support Friday for the hundreds of Minnesotans who gathered outside the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul to protest Gov. Tim Walz.

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Minnesota Governor Walz’s Ten Minute State of the State Focused Only on Coronavirus

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz touched on nothing but the coronavirus pandemic during his second State of the State address Sunday night.

The address was originally scheduled to take place March 23 before a joint meeting of the House and Senate, but was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead, Walz delivered a televised address from the Governor’s Residence that was just over 10 minutes long.

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Minneapolis City Council: Failure to Act on Climate Change ‘Antithetical’ to the Declaration of Independence

A Minneapolis City Council committee passed a resolution Monday to declare that “there is a climate emergency which demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse, and address its consequences.”

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Walz Administration Framing Gas Tax Increase as ‘Debt Service Fee’

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson-Kelliher is pushing a combined gas-tax increase along with what she’s calling a “debt-service fee” that would raise fuel prices by up to 15 cents per gallon, according to interviews with local news outlets.

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