MN Government Updates 05.27

Walz Press Briefing

Today, Governor Tim Walz and other state officials held a press conference with reporters to respond to the death of George Floyd and update the public on state efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Tim Walz

  • Governor Walz stated that what happened to George Floyd was wrong and that he was glad to see that the Minneapolis Police Department removed the officers involved. He assured Minnesotans that the state will get answers and justice.
  • He also said that his role is to make sure there is a fair and expeditious process through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and that he wants to ensure anything he says doesn’t jeopardize the objectivity of the investigative process.
  • As it relates to COVID-19, the governor announced he has signed Executive Order 20-63, which implements Phase II of the Stay Safe MN Plan.
    • This includes a cautious, strategic turn of the dial for outdoor dining at restaurants and bar to start June 1 with safety measures in place and capacity limits.
    • Personal services like salons and barbershops can also open June 1 at a 25% capacity with safety measures in place.
  • When asked about whether restaurants will be allowed to serve customers indoors on June 1, the governor responded, “It won’t happen before June 1, we are taking very serious what the next step is.”

Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan

  • Lt. Governor Flanagan expressed her deepest sympathies to George Floyd’s family and friends.
  • She said the lack of humanity in George Floyd’s death is horrifying and that the state will get answers.
  • Flanagan noted that the same issues of systemic racism have led minority communities to be impacted more by COVID-19 than the rest of the state.

Attorney General Keith Ellison

  • Attorney General Ellison paid tribute to George Floyd, “His life mattered. He was an important person. The fact he is gone and the way he was taken is deeply tragic on multiple levels.”
  • The attorney general announced that both state and federal investigations into the death have begun. He emphasized that the investigation must proceed with objectivity so that the process isn’t questioned.
  • Ellison urged demonstrators to act peacefully and in accordance with social distancing protocols and asked law enforcement to exercise restraint with protestors.

Commissioner John Harrington, Department of Public Safety

  • Commissioner Harrington announced that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has moved quickly to take over the crime scene and begun a criminal investigation.
  • He also announced that the FBI has agreed to take on the case as a civil rights investigation.
  • The commissioner stated that the investigation will be conducted expeditiously.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced an additional 510 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the state total to 22,464 cases.
  • There was 33 more deaths due to COVID-19. This is tied for the state’s day-to-day highest number of deaths. The state total number of deaths is now 932.
  • Currently, 598 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 260 in the ICU, which is the highest daily total to date.
  • Yesterday, over 6,600 COVID-19 tests were processed.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
LOCKRIDGE GRINDAL NAUEN P.L.L.P.
100 Washington Avenue S | Suite 2200 | Minneapolis MN  55401

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