State Republican lawmakers released a contract vowing to “open Minnesota” if voters elect them into power in November.
The “contract,” which was released this week by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, promises five actions to reopen Minnesota and remove COVID-19 regulations. The contract promises that if Republicans take both chambers of the Legislature in the upcoming election, they will:
- Bring back in-person schooling, while allowing at-risk families to use distance learning.
- Allow schools to bring back activities and sports games.
- Allow schools to decide if they will let spectators attend sporting events and activities.
- Allow all houses of worship to open and put safety in the hands of faith leaders.
- End “one-size-fits-all” regulations and restore decision-making power to the people.
“We trust Minnesota families, schools, churches, and businesses to be responsible and live safely. Instead of concentrating power in one person or at the state level, we will return it to Minnesotans, and the local leaders they elected,” reads the contract.
“After weeks of school in Minnesota and around the country, the data shows schools are safe. We are more concerned about the other consequences of distance learning — mental health issues, children falling behind, and isolation. It’s time to trust Minnesotans and fully open up our state,” Gazelka told Alpha News.
Gazelka was joined by Daudt and Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, on the steps of the Capitol Monday to announce the new contract.
“The best thing we can give our kids is an education to prepare them for this world, and make sure that they have the tools they need to be successful. We need to make sure that we get our kids back into the classrooms where they can learn, and we can do that safely, and school districts know how to do that,” said Daudt.
“We’re also concerned about the rise in mental health issues related to isolation, loneliness, and not being involved in their schools and in their normal activities,” he added.
Gazelka noted that the state has had nine months to prepare for safely reopening and said the science shows kids need to be back in school.
“We’ve now had this pandemic for nine months. Nine months of looking at the data, watching what it’s doing for our communities and how it’s affecting it. We know now what to do, we know what to do,” he said.
In addition to the five promises in the contract, Gazelka said that if Republicans take the majority in both houses, they would remove Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers.
“Because when that happens, Representative Daudt and myself are committed to saying, ‘Governor, your emergency powers go away and now we work together.’ Because that’s how it always works best in Minnesota, is when the legislative branch is working together with the governor,” said Gazelka.
“That’s how you get the best policy, get the best decisions, when we’re working together. So we’re committed to those five principles, but also that we would remove the governor’s emergency powers so that we could again get to that place of Minnesota working together,” he continued.