To the editor:

On Wednesday, Governor Walz gave a statewide address to announce new restrictions on businesses, restaurants, and social gatherings. The restrictions are in response to rising cases of COVID-19 across Minnesota and the strain it is putting on our hospitals.

Bars, restaurants, and several entertainment venues will be closed to dine-in customers. Wedding receptions and post-funeral events will be on hold and youth/high school sports will be cancelled for the time being. Church, wedding, and funeral services are still permitted and there will be no new restrictions for retail and personal services like salons and barbershops.

As has been the case since March, Governor Walz once again made these changes with no input from the legislature or organizations who represent these businesses. Instead of working together to keep Minnesotans safe and help our businesses thrive, he continues to inflict harm on Minnesotans by refusing to work with legislatures and businesses that will be impacted.

I have voted at least six times to end the governor’s unilateral rule and to restore the Legislature as a co-equal branch of government, but House Democrats continue to block those efforts. Lawsuits have been filed with the same intent but have failed to get traction in our state’s court system.

Please do what you can to help these small businesses during this difficult time. Buying gift cards and ordering takeout are just two ways we can do our part to help. These small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and employ our neighbors and families.

I will continue working hard in St. Paul to advance solutions to help businesses survive by using unspent state and federal COVID response money to help impacted businesses. We also should look into delaying loan and sales tax payments that are coming due as these shutdowns are being implemented.

We all must do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to wear a mask when inside a public space, wash your hands frequently, and socially distance when possible. We’re all in this together and together we will defeat this virus and get back to normal.

Brian Daniels

State Representative

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