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House GOP leader threatens to block bonding bill unless Walz ends state of emergency

Minority Leader Daudt says until the governor's peacetime emergency powers are rescinded, his caucus will not pass a public infrastructure or bonding bill.
Credit: AP

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has sent an ultimatum to Governor Tim Walz: Lift the state of emergency or no bonding bill. 

In a press release issued Saturday night, the top Republican in the House says he and his allies are willing to work with the governor on the administration's response to COVID-19, but that Walz must now work with the legislature on a path forward. 

"The governor needed his emergency powers to navigate the fast-moving crisis, but after two months of unilateral power and decision-making it's time for him to work with us on decisions and actions regarding the future of the state," Daudt says.    

Daudt says until the governor's peacetime emergency powers are rescinded, his caucus will not pass a public infrastructure or bonding bill. 

The top House Democrat, Speaker Melissa Hortman described the proposed end to the governor's peacetime emergency powers before the emergency itself has ended as "reckless," in a public statement Saturday night.

"It's disappointing to see the minority leader threaten to block much-needed investments in local jobs and projects in our communities. Governor Walz and his Administration have served the people of Minnesota well during this crisis, and his thoughtfulness is why Minnesotans overwhelmingly approve of his actions," she said.

Teddy Tschann, a spokesperson for Governor Walz issued the following statement: 

"As he follows the guidance of public health experts, Governor Walz is working with Minnesota lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, a bipartisan group of Midwest governors, and the White House to keep Minnesotans safe. The Governor is committed to getting Minnesotans back to work safely, and he’s asked the Legislature to join him by passing a robust Local Jobs and Projects Plan."

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.