ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – Governor Walz will keep his emergency COVID powers after the Democrat-led state House today voted (69-64) to support the extension.

State House Speaker Rep. Melissa Hortman (D-Brooklyn Park) says the powers remain essential amid the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 emergency has not ended, and our country has experienced needless deaths and suffering due to the President’s failed leadership,” said Hortman.

However, Rep. Anne Neu (R-North Branch) acknowledged the seriousness of COVID-19 but said no executive orders have been issued on the pandemic in months.

“This is like Groundhog’s Day,” said Neu. “We have been here every month doing this, since March and yet very little has changed, almost nothing has changed.”

The Republican-led Senate voted 36-31 against extending the governor’s emergency powers for another 30 days, but both Houses needed to vote against extending his powers for them to strip them from the governor.