As Minnesota moves towards what it is hoped to be a return to relative normality as the COVID vaccine rollout accelerates, Governor Tim Walz has rescinded a series of executive orders he enacted in response to the outbreak of the pandemic.
On Friday evening, Walz announced he was rescinding executive orders "that are no longer needed," which includes 20-03, which saw restrictions placed on visitors to Minnesota Veterans homes.
"Now that the vast majority of residents and staff have been vaccinated, Executive Order 20-03 is no longer needed," Walz said.
"Getting the vaccine has allowed grandparents to hug grandkids again, and it has let Minnesotans get back some of the parts of life that they have had to give up,” Walz added. “For our veterans, it means they can safely visit with their loved ones. I’m excited to announce that – because the vast majority of residents and staff have been vaccinated – visitor limitations on our Veterans Homes have been safely lifted."
The others rescinded include Executive Orders 20-25, which allowed the Department of Public Safety to suspend continuing education requirements for law enforcement officers and extend the license renewal requirements for firefighters, detectives, and protective agents.
Also rescinded are orders 20-41 and 20-57, which expanded access to distance learning in schools and summer school options during the 2019-20 school year, which are no longer needed as that school year has passed.
Finally, Walz has rescinded 20-102, which amended two previous executive orders expanding access to unemployment benefits during the pandemic. The element of the order that is being rescinded gave the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development extra time to calculate "experience ratings" from employers, which the governor says is no longer necessary due to changes DEED made with the help of the Legislature.
As well as rescinding five, Walz also signed a new one on Friday, EO 21-15, which prevents the most recent $1,400 stimulus payments from being counted against eligibility for programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.