Rep introduces bill to suspend pay of state lawmakers, governor during business closures

Mortensen also said he is finalizing articles of impeachment against the governor.

Left: Rep. Erik Mortensen/Minnesota House. Right: Gov. Tim Walz/Minnesota Governor's Office.

State Rep. Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee, recently introduced a bill (HF 126) that would suspend pay for Gov. Tim Walz and state legislators in the event of another business closure.

The bill would suspend compensation for state leaders if Walz uses his COVID-19 emergency powers again to implement an executive order that would not allow certain businesses to remain open.

“If they shut down restaurants, bars and gyms again, then they shouldn’t receive a paycheck. Period,” Mortensen said in an email.

The bill itself states that the “salaries of the governor and state legislators
do not apply or accrue and must not be paid during any period in which an order or rule
issued under the authority of a declared peacetime emergency is in effect that restricts the
operation or conduct of private business in this state.”

Because the Democrat-led House likely will not give the bill a committee hearing, Mortensen is looking to add it as an amendment to “any and all bills possible.”

Mortensen expressed concern with how fellow House members would vote on the bill, since just this month all Democrats voted against ending Walz’s emergency powers.

The vote, he said, will depend on six Democrats who last year voted to end Walz’s peacetime emergency powers five different times. However, “now that [these six] are the deciding votes, they flip-flopped and are voting against us,” Mortensen said.

Mortensen wrote in the email that Republicans are hoping some DFL representatives will “recognize the error of their ways and choose freedom over tyranny.”

In addition to the bill to suspend Walz’s pay, Mortensen is finalizing articles of impeachment against the governor and plans to introduce them “within the next couple weeks.”