ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz officially signed an executive order extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency through Oct. 12.
On Wednesday, Walz had issued a proclamation calling a special session of the Legislature with the goal of extending his emergency powers by 30 days. The session is currently underway in St. Paul. The Republican-controlled Senate has previously voted to end the peacetime emergency in past special sessions, while the House has blocked those attempts.
He initially declared a peacetime emergency in response to the pandemic in March. The governor said the peacetime emergency allows the state to have more flexibility to respond to the pandemic.
“My top priority remains the health and safety of Minnesotans,” Walz said in a news release on Friday. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and the next stages of this virus continue to threaten our state. Today we extend our peacetime emergency, giving Minnesota the tools to quickly respond to this rapidly-evolving virus as we approach the fall and winter.”
Walz said the peacetime emergency protects Minnesotans against evictions, protects workers from unsafe conditions, requires Minnesotans to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, among other things. The governor added in the news release that if the peacetime emergency ends, it would jeopardize more than $50 million each month in federal funding.