Gov. Tim Walz's COVID-19 emergency powers will end on Thursday

He'd planned to end them on Aug. 1.

Gov. Tim Walz will end his COVID-19 emergency powers on Thursday, July 1, a month earlier than planned

Walz's plan to end his emergency powers, which have been in effect since March 2020, was released Tuesday night, after his administration reached an agreement with the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect emergency SNAP food benefits, a news release says.

After the agreement, Democrats in the Minnesota House introduced an amendment to the state government budget bill that "allows for an orderly transition of the state's current COVID-19 emergency response," the release said. 

Walz's announcement came shortly before midnight as the Minnesota Legislature continues to work on a few remaining budget bills in order to avert a government shutdown on July 1. The governor's emergency powers have been a sticking point over the past year, with Republicans in the Senate voting more than a dozen times in favor of ending his powers. 

“The COVID-19 peacetime emergency allowed us to respond quickly and effectively to the pandemic this past year. We built testing sites from the ground up, we secured emergency personal protective equipment to protect our healthcare workers on the frontlines, and we developed a nation-leading vaccination program to get life-saving shots into the arms of Minnesotans,” Gov. Walz said. “The peacetime emergency also made Minnesotans eligible for federal hunger-relief funding for 15 months. 

"Our agreement with our federal partners to extend those benefits for Minnesotans, coupled with the thoughtful plan outlined in the House Democrats’ amendment to wind down the emergency response in state government, means that we can close this chapter of our history and celebrate the brighter days ahead," Walz said. "I ask our colleagues in the Minnesota Senate to adopt this amendment, help us finish the job, and avoid a government shutdown.”

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter

The House passed the bill, with the amendment, 70-63 early Wednesday. About an hour later, the Senate passed it on a 54-12 vote, sending it to the governor for his signature. 

The bill not only ends Walz's emergency powers but also provides funding for various state agencies, boards and commissions, as well as makes a few election provisions and addresses policy issues related to veterans, Session Daily reports

"The peacetime emergency has finally come to an end, and the Legislature has once again taken back its place as a co-equal branch of government," House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said in a statement. "This move is long overdue and we should now turn our attention to a permanent rewrite of the Chapter 12 statute to make sure that no governor can ever again abuse emergency authority like Gov. Walz has for the past year.

"House Republicans are thrilled that the peacetime emergency has come to an end, but it's clear that emergency powers are in desperate need of reform to strike a proper balance between the executive and legislative branch," Daudt added.

Walz says his deal with the USDA will allow Minnesota to continue to get $45 million in monthly emergency food assistance benefits for more than 575,000 Minnesotans even after the state of emergency expires on Thursday. 

Next Up

Ky Thomas

Potts, Gopher defense dominate Buffaloes

Trey Potts ran for three touchdowns in a 30-0 victory in Boulder.

police tape, crime scene

Suspect dies by suicide after 11 hour standoff in Wisconsin motel

The standoff occurred at a motel in Balsam Lake.

U.S. district court minnesota - federal court

Four sentenced for home invasion on northern Minnesota reservation

The incident took place in October 2019 on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

4-year-old girl killed by falling branch in Mankato is identified

She is from South Dakota, and was attending the Mahkato Annual Traditional Powwow.

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 6.35.24 AM

No. 1 Lakeville South dominates No. 2 Eden Prairie

The Cougars ran away with the Class 6A showdown.

Lake Nokomis

Boy hospitalized after being rescued from Lake Nokomis has died

He was one of two children pulled from the Minneapolis lake.

39075 Shoreline Hwy, Westport, California - October 2017

Minneapolis man found dead at bottom of California cliff, half-brother arrested

The homicide happened near a beach park and campground for RVs located at the ocean.

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville, Savage

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.


Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz offers pathway to 'wind-down' his emergency powers

"I recognize our shared interest in finding a pathway ... to ensure an orderly end of the peacetime emergency when it is no longer needed," Walz writes.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz convenes special session to extend emergency powers

The Minnesota Legislature will convene for its fourth special session on Sept. 11.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz says he will end his COVID emergency powers Aug. 1

Republicans have been calling for an end to the COVID emergency since three months into the pandemic.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz extends Minnesota's COVID-19 peacetime emergency

The order is likely to be challenged in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz extends COVID-19 peacetime emergency

It comes as the Minnesota Legislature starts its 3rd Special Session.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Gov. Walz will provide COVID-19 update at Monday press conference

He'll talk about the state's response to the pandemic.


COVID-19: Here's what Gov. Walz, Republicans are proposing to help businesses

Once they come to an agreement, Walz will call a special session to pass the legislation.