Ahead of an expected announcement this week by Gov. Tim Walz loosening Minnesota's COVID-19 restrictions, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, is calling for a "transparent and concrete end" of the peacetime emergency.

In a news release issued Tuesday, May 4, Franson said that Florida lifted all remaining COVID restrictions, and governors of Democrat states like New York and California have established target dates for the lifting of capacity limits and other COVID restrictions. Other deep-blue states like Connecticut lifted capacity limits starting as far back as March, she added.

“The period of emergency is over,” said Franson. “The governor’s emergency powers should not be used as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations. In fact, no budget deals should be struck until the emergency powers end and there’s a complete ban on vaccine passports/certification."

If the House rejects ending the emergency powers and the passport bill, then the Senate should send a "lights on" bill, which would keep the government operating without an approved budget bill, and adjourn indefinitely, Franson said.

"It is time for Governor Walz to join other governors, lift COVID restrictions, and end the emergency powers," she said.

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Franson and House Republicans have voted more than a dozen times to end the peacetime emergency.