Walz's executive order makes it easier for prosecutors to investigate COVID-19 violations

The order gives the attorney general, county attorneys and city attorneys the ability to investigate violations and recoup costs.
Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Gov. Tim Walz's latest executive order makes it easier for state and local officials to investigate violations and recoup costs associated with investigations. 

Executive Order 20-96, which Walz announced Tuesday and goes into effect at 10 p.m. on Friday, puts new restrictions on bars and restaurants, as well as weddings, funerals and other social gatherings (read all about them here) amid surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

In addition to the new restrictions, the order updates how violations of the executive order can be enforced and investigated. 

Although the governor hopes people will voluntarily comply with the order, anyone who "willfully violates" the order could face up to a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail, the order states. 

What's more, business owners, managers or supervisors who require or encourage employees, contractors, interns, etc. to violate the order could face a $3,000 fine and up to a year in jail, the order says.

What's different about this order is that it adds language that gives the Minnesota attorney general, county attorneys and city attorneys the ability to investigate violations or threatened violations.

It also gives the attorney general and city and county attorneys the ability to recoup investigation costs, attorneys fees and other relief in accordance with state law from the business/violator. That's in addition to the civil penalties the attorneys can seek against businesses that violate the order in an amount to be determined by the court (up to $25,000 per occurrence).

Businesses that are regulated, like bars and restaurants, could also be subject to licensure actions. 

This has happened at the local level, most recently on Tuesday when Olmsted County officials suspended the license of Rochester's Legends Bar and Grill after "repeated violations" of the executive orders.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 7.54.07 AM

Grand jury indicts 2 with aiding and abetting murder of Minneapolis Realtor

Four people have now been indicted by a grand jury in connection to the 2019 killing of Monique Baugh.

Nelson Cruz

White Sox sweep Twins for first time since 2016

The Twins' offense disappeared in a 4-2 loss on Thursday.

Mike Hughes

Report: Vikings trade Mike Hughes to Kansas City

The Vikings received a 2022 sixth-rounder in exchange for the former first-round pick.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Backup from fatal crash in Stearns County leads to another bad crash

The crash backed up traffic, which led to another crash in which two people were injured.

Gluten free pizza

For The Week: Monster cookies, and a search for the best gluten-free pizza in MN

BMTN food writer Lindsay Guentzel's weekly column aims to make life in the kitchen easier.

Flickr - SIMULIIDAE black fly gnat - D. Sikes

South Twin Cities metro besieged by aggressive gnats

Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has received more than 100 calls in recent days.

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater criticizes Panthers' practice habits

The former Vikings quarterback was not a fan of his time in Carolina.

Associate wearing PPE 2

Amazon will give $100 to new hires who are fully vaccinated against COVID

The company is hoping to hire 1,300 people in Minnesota.


1 killed, 1 injured after being ejected from 3-wheel motorcycle

The pair was ejected after the motorcycle left the roadway.

Alex Rodriguez

Reports: Agreement in place to sell Wolves, Lynx to A-Rod, Lore

The deal was first reported to be in the works on April 10.


Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Coronavirus: Walz signs 4 more executive orders

They give relief to livestock farmers and people relying on DHS benefits.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz executive order aims to make life easier for teachers during COVID

Education Minnesota calls it "a step in the right direction."


Monticello restaurant will pay profits to state after violating COVID order

The Minnesota Attorney General's Office has settled a lawsuit it filed against Cornerstone Cafe in Monticello


AG Ellison settles lawsuit with hookah lounge after it violated Walz's executive orders

Hookah Hideout in Little Canada agreed to pay a $4,000 to the state.


Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 8.21.11 AM

2nd MN restaurant found in contempt of court for violating Walz order

The Interchange in Albert Lea was found in contempt of court by Freeborn County District Court.

gov tim walz state of the state screengrab april 4 2019

Gov. Walz signs 3 more coronavirus executive orders

The orders are geared to help protect Minnesotans during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.