State Rep. Jeff Backer of Browns Valley. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

One local lawmaker is blaming the governor for his lack of leadership as major bills didn’t  pass in the just completed special session.

Browns Valley Republican Jeff Backer says there was agreement between the House and Senate on the CARES Act, which distributes COVID-19 recovery money to counties, townships and cities, and they were close on bonding. But he says the governor’s office insists on tying legislation to his emergency powers…

“The dollar amount and the projects are not our challenge right now,” said Backer. “What we’re using…and it’s political, we’re concerned about the balance of power…This is something that is affecting for decades and centuries and so forth.”

Lawmakers may return in mid-July. If Governor Walz seeks to extend his emergency powers an additional 30 days, he’s required to call another special session for July 12 to let lawmakers object. House Democrats blocked a Senate GOP attempt last week to remove the governor’s emergency authority.


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