Governor Tim Walz called the legislature back to the Capitol today for a second special session. In response, Senate Republicans presented a resolution intended to eliminate the governor’s peacetime emergency powers that were initially enacted to prepare the state for the COVID-19 pandemic. Walz first put the state under emergency powers on March 13, 2020.

“The governor has extended his emergency powers for far too long, and it is time for balance to be restored,” said Senator Gary Dahms (R ‒ Redwood Falls).

“Minnesotans have proven they are ready to continue down the road to recovery without his overreach. We are voting to restore local control and fair representation for our constituents. It’s time major decisions affecting the State of Minnesota and our citizens be made by the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the governor as outlined in our state’s constitution.”

The Senate vote to end the peacetime emergency was 36 ‒ 31, with one Democrat joining all Republicans in support of the resolution. The House did not back the measure and the governor’s emergency powers were extended for another 30 days.

Additionally, the Senate voted to deliver funding for retention and reinvention grants to disability service providers who are under significant strain due to closures necessitated by COVID-19.

Senator Dahms is in his third term representing Senate District 16, which includes communities in Brown, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Redwood, Renville, and Yellow Medicine counties. He also serves as chair of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee and is an assistant majority leader.