Republicans’ push to end Governor Tim Walz’s remaining COVID emergency powers immediately — rather than August 1st as he promised —  is among issues lawmakers are still arguing over, with two days until the July 1st deadline to finish a new state budget:

“When the Republicans are saying the emergency’s over, they’ve been saying that every week for 13 months and,  like a blind squirrel, they found a nut.   We *are* done with this.”

Walz has canceled nearly all of his COVID emergency orders, but says he must retain emergency powers to access federal funds and manage COVID vaccinations and testing.  Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (guh-ZEL-cuh) claims Walz wanted to hold onto his emergency powers even beyond August 1st, but backed off under Republican pressure.