Nort Johnson, President/CEO of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today the Governor's COVID emergency powers need to be over.

Johnson was sad to hear Walz was going to extend the shutdown for bars and restaurants across Minnesota.

He said the state needs to have, "Faith in our business community to manage their businesses.  Take the appropriate measures with distancing, sanitizing hands, masks, etcetera. They do it in kitchens every day.  They have been doing it successfully in their restaurants and I believe in them."

Johnson said the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and their members are going to continue to lobby for the end of the executive powers Governor Tim Walz has had since March.

"We want our local elected representatives to have a voice in this process now. I believe it is, I'm not going to use any harsh words that become accusatory, but I'm going to say that I believe that it is wrong for one person to maintain an executive authority in America for an entire state for this long.  We had an emergency at the beginning.  It's time to let our voices be heard as we manage through the rest of this.

Johnson added, " I think there were good moves that were made in the beginning as we were learning about how we can manage through this.  Now we've got so much more information, the vaccine is at the door.  It's time to let government work the way it needs to so that it is representative of the people of the state.  The continued grasp on the executive powers in my personal view is very wrong.  In our industry's view, it's an overreach.  From a citizen's view I'm going to say flat out I want the people that I voted for representing us to have a voice in what's happening. It's time."

Johnson believes emergency powers should not be in place this long.  He said, "I think the brilliancy of the policy to be able to do that in times of emergency is important.  There's business that we don't have time to discuss together.  But now we're at a point where we can even push off press conferences for weeks and days.  Not in order to consult our elected officials in an official way where they have part of the decision making capacity.  Yet we're still making the decisions on our own."

Johnson says, "You can consult  whoever you want and that's absolutely appropriate but the constitutional manner in which the state is organized in the way that we conduct business has a people is not with executive authority for that period of time.  It's time to end that.  It's time to manage business in the manner that it should be done,"

You can listen to the program for Wednesday, December 16, 2020 below.


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