Governor Tim Walz called the legislature back to the Capitol July 13 for a second special session. In response, Senate Republicans presented a resolution intended to eliminate the governor’s peacetime emergency powers that were initially enacted to prepare the state for the COVID-19 pandemic. If the House agrees, it would put an end to the state’s longest peacetime emergency in history. Walz first put the state under emergency powers March 13, 2020. 

“The governor has extended his emergency powers for far too long, and it is time for balance to be restored,” said District 16 Senator Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls. “Minnesotans have proven they are ready to continue down the road to recovery without his overreach. We are voting to restore local control and fair representation for our constituents. It’s time major decisions affecting the State of Minnesota and our citizens be made by the Senate, the House of Representatives and the governor as outlined in our state’s constitution.” 

The Senate vote to end the peacetime emergency was 36-31, with one Democrat joining all Republicans in support of the resolution.

Additionally, the Senate voted to deliver funding for retention and reinvention grants to disability service providers who are under significant strain due to closures necessitated by COVID-19. 

“Many Minnesotans rely on these providers every day,” said Dahms. “We will support them just as we have supported countless other entities who have struggled through this trying time. The excellent care and quality of life clients receive is essential, and we will keep advocating for the excellent work providers do in our communities.” 

Senator Dahms is in his third term representing Senate District 16, which includes communities in Brown, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties. He also serves as chair of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee and is an assistant majority leader.