MN Government Updates 06.03

Walz Statement on Attorney General’s Officer Charging Decision

Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that he has charged all four officers involved in George Floyd's death, and announced that he has increased the charge against former officer Derek Chauvin to second degree murder. Governor Walz released the following statement: 

“I laid flowers at George Floyd’s memorial this morning. As a former high school history teacher, I looked up at the mural of George’s face painted above and I reflected on what his death will mean for future generations. What will our young people learn about this moment? Will his death be just another blip in a textbook? Or will it go down in history as when our country turned toward justice and change?”

“It’s on each of us to determine that answer.”

“The charges announced by Attorney General Keith Ellison today are a meaningful step toward justice for George Floyd. But we must also recognize that the anguish driving protests around the world is about more than one tragic incident.”

“George Floyd’s death is the symptom of a disease. We will not wake up one day and have the disease of systemic racism cured for us. This is on each of us to solve together, and we have hard work ahead.”

“We owe that much to George Floyd, and we owe that much to each other.”

Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan also responded, saying “The community – in Minneapolis, in Minnesota, and across the world – has been crying out for justice. The charges announced today, including raising Officer Chauvin’s charge to second degree murder, are a meaningful step toward that justice. All four officers must be held accountable for George’s death – but we must also hold the system that brought us to this moment accountable. Justice is not done in one action, but in many.”

Also today, the Department of Health recommended that any Minnesotan who has attended a protest, vigil, or community clean-up get tested for COVID-19. Minnesotans should get tested right away if they have symptoms, and if they do not have symptoms they should get tested 5-7 days after the event. If the test is negative but you are worried you might have been exposed, seek another test 12-14 days after the event, even if you do not feel sick. Find a testing location near you

Walz Extends Nighttime Curfew

Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-71 extending the temporary nighttime Minneapolis and St. Paul curfew through Friday morning to provide safety for Minnesota residents from individuals who have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity in recent days and threatened the security of lawful demonstrators and first responders. 

The temporary curfew is extended from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., beginning tonight, through the morning of Friday, June 5. During the curfew, no one is allowed to travel on Minneapolis and Saint Paul streets or public places, except for first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness. Curfews are not limited to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Mayors and local governments across the state can issue their own curfews as necessary.

“Minnesotans need more than ever to lean on their neighbors, show up for their communities, and add their voice to this urgent conversation on addressing our systemic problems,” said Governor Walz. “Yet they’ve made those sacrifices to stay home through the curfew to help keep our neighborhoods safe. We’re incredibly grateful that Minnesotans are working with us so we can focus our conversation and energy on justice for George Floyd.”

All Minnesotans in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are urged to comply, and to comply with instructions from law enforcement. Peace officers will enforce the curfew and arrest those who refuse to comply.

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials from the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on state efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced that there are 372 more cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total to 25,870 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • There have been an additional 14 deaths. Of the 14 deaths, 10 were residents of long-term care facilities. This brings the total to 1,086 deaths due to COVID-19 in Minnesota.
  • Currently, 537 patients are hospitalized with 254 of those in the ICU. This is a steady decline in the total number of hospitalized from last week when the number was 606.
  • Yesterday, 6,791 COVID-19 tests were processed.
  • The commissioner encouraged anyone who participated in demonstrations or clean-up events over the past week to get a COVID-19 test.
  • For those not feeling sick, get tested 5-7 days after participating in the event. You can get tested again 12-14 days after exposure.
  • Testing can occur again 12-14 days after exposure.
  • Symptoms generally appear 2-14 after exposure. For some, symptoms don’t appear at all.

Director Kris Ehresmann, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division

  • Director Ehresmann reiterated the need for Minnesotans to donate blood given that blood supplies are low at the moment.
  • She also warned Minnesotans about a text messaging scam where scammers impersonate public health workers via text message saying that someone the individual has been in contact with recently has tested positive for COVID-19. The text message asks the individual to tap a link and provide information like a Social Security Number, bank information, passwords, and medical information.
  • Director Ehresmann said that the Department of Health or a local public health official would only text an individual after having a phone conversation with them first.
  • More information about the scam can be found on the Department of Commerce’s website.

Legislative Retirements

With yesterday’s deadline to file to run for the legislature, two more legislators announced they will not be seeking re-election. Representative Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines) and Representative Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset) both made the decision not to seek another term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Below is the full list of legislators who have decided not to seek re-election.

Senate

  • Senator Paul Anderson (R-Plymouth), 1stterm
  • Senator Dick Cohen (DFL-St. Paul), 10thterm
  • Senator Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), 1stterm
  • Senator Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights), 1stterm

House

  • Rep. Hunter Cantrell (DFL-Savage), 1stterm
  • Rep. Lyndon Carlson (DFL-Crystal), 24thterm
  • Rep. Jack Considine (DFL-Mankato), 3rdterm
  • Rep. Dan Fabian (R-Roseau), 5thterm
  • Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont), 13thterm
  • Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan), 4thterm
  • Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton), 2ndterm – running for Minnesota Senate
  • Rep. Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset), 2nd term
  • Rep. Ben Lien (DFL-Moorhead), 4thterm
  • Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul), 11thterm
  • Rep. Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville), 1stterm
  • Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls), 12thterm
  • Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines), 7th term
  • Rep. Duane Sauke (DFL-Rochester), 2ndterm
  • Rep. Bob Vogel (R-Elko New Market), 3rdterm
  • Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Minneapolis), 17thterm

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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