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MN Republicans demand state open up ahead of polls

Tuesday October 20, 2020

The popular Nicollet Mall during the lunch hour is almost deserted in downtown Minneapolis Wednesday. As a result of the coronavirus, many retailers are closing or cutting back hours. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness. Jim Mone | AP Photo

Minneapolis (HOL) - Republicans in Minnesota say that the state should open up it’s economy ahead of state elections.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt unveiled a one-page contract Monday, which includes allowing school sports and activities to resume, kids back in school and giving the community the option to decide whether restaurants are safe to open.

“We think it’s absolutely essential that kids are in school,” Gazelka said.

“We trust our parents and our school boards, we trust our city councils and our local communities to keep our citizens and our kids safe,” Daudt said.

Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz pushed back saying that he believes it’s still too premature. Walz, who was touring southern Minneota to unveil a federal COVID aid for farmers, said that without a cure it would be too risky.

“Maybe they found the cure for COVID while I was gone down here,” Walz said, visibly frustrated.

“I don’t want to see a set up like we did in Wisconsin. A hospital set up in the state fairgrounds,” Walz said.

Teddy Tschann, the governor’s spokesperson, released a statement on Monday evening:

Governor Walz ​will work with anyone to fight the virus, including Republicans in the state legislature. But as COVID-19 deaths continue to climb, he encourages them to take the pandemic seriously. A one-page plan to abandon all safety precautions is not a serious strategy to slow the spread or rebuild the economy.

Minnesotans will hit the polls in two weeks to elect 201 state legislators in two weeks. The Democrats currently hold a 16-seat majority in the house while the Republicans have a three-seat majority in the senate.

So far, there have been 124,439 confirmed cases of the virus in Minnesota with a death toll 2,239 people.


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