Walz Extends Peacetime Emergency And It’s Upheld By Democrat-Controlled House
Senate Denies Confirming His Pick For Commissioner of Labor and Industry
ST. PAUL, Minn. (8:15pm Update) — Gov. Tim Walz is dealt a blow by the Republican-led Minnesota Senate during today’s special session.
They voted to deny the confirmation of Nancy Leppink as Commissioner of Labor and Industry.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said she wasn’t working out and that he asked Walz to find her another role.
The Senate also voting to end the governor’s newly extended emergency powers.
But the DFL-led House voted against blocking the powers and adjourned.
“I think what I would say to them is all 50 states are in this emergency,” said the Democrat.
“President Trump exercised his emergency powers and the authority last week and whether you agree with those decisions or not there were very few disagreeing that we were still in the pandemic.”
Walz says he made the decision to extend the emergency powers with the advice of public health experts, senior advocates, labor leaders, doctors, hospitals, and long-term care providers.
He responded to critics of his handling of the pandemic by saying Minnesota is more open than the state of Texas.
Walz also announcing a replacement for outgoing budget commissioner Myron Frans who is leaving for a job at the University of Minnesota.
He is leaving in the midst of the state’s worst budget crisis in a decade with a projected deficit around $5 billion.
Walz has appointed Jim Schowalter as Frans’ replacement.
Schowalter was the budget commissioner under former Gov. Mark Dayton.