GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Walz announcement likely on Wednesday
Gov. Tim Walz has scheduled a live televised address for Wednesday at 6 p.m. to update Minnesotans on the state's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 10-minute address Gov. Walz is expected to say whether he'll extend Minnesota's state of peacetime emergency, which allows him to make temporary executive orders without prior approval of the legislature. He has issued 52 of those orders since early March, in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state and buy time for the medical system to expand its intensive care treatment capacity. The peacetime emergency expires Wednesday, and lawmakers have recently debated the wisdom of extending it. DFL legislative leaders say it's important for the governor to have to option of emergency powers in case he has to move quickly, although all of his decisions will eventually be subject to review or expire. Republicans have said the legislature has ceded too much power to the governor during the crisis, and that lawmakers are being left out of critical decisions about when and how to reopen different parts of the economy.
The Minneapolis Public Schools' Board of Education voted to approve the "Comprehensive District Design," which was introduced earlier this year. The Board hosted a virtual meeting that opened with voicemails of parents, students and faculty members expressing their opinions – both for and against the district's proposal – before the board made their vote. Votes were cast for a 6-3 outcome in favor of the redistricting plan. The plan, which had been in the works since December of 2017, is designed to improve racial equity, close the achievement gap, desegregate school buildings, reduce concentrations of poverty and boost enrollments in places like North Minneapolis. The new redistricting plan will go into effect in 2021 and 2022. Four of the five models will centralize magnet schools in the city and will reshape school boundaries, leading to an emphasis on "community schools" that keep neighborhoods and their schools together.
In Minnesota, high school students can’t receive unemployment benefits while enrolled in school. And many high schoolers who don’t qualify say they are left with two choices: Drop out of school, or become eligible for benefits so they can put food on the table and maintain stable housing for their families. Walter Cortina said he has helped support his family since he was 13. His mom was deported when he was 13, and his dad was when he was seven. Walter is now 17. While going to school full time, Cortina held down a job to support himself and his family. Then, COVID-19 hit and he was out of work, losing his job at a car wash. Walter is now advocating for out-of-work high school students in Minnesota to receive unemployment benefits. Cortina says the money will help him pay for rent and other essentials. He is also supporting an aunt, who once cared for him when his mom was deported, as she recovers from breast cancer.