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Et Cetera …

County following orders

Minnesotans are understandably frustrated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the state shutdown that has harmed many businesses. The governor’s actions are meant to promote the health and safety of all citizens, but they weigh heavily on the economy and people’s rights.

Martin County commissioners have been dealing with a series of proposals by a local activist who wants the county to rebuff the governor’s orders. Commissioners are sympathetic, but will not reject what Walz has done. We agree with them. We all need to remember on occasion that the constitution is not a suicide pact.

Reopening pace slow

What Minnesotans can do to get Gov. Tim Walz to move forward on reopening the state’s economy is to contact his office and the offices of their state representatives. The proper place to aim one’s discontent with the state is at the state.

Walz recently announced he would allow more businesses, including bars, restaurants and salons, to reopen. But the rules associated with this permission are onerous. Other businesses — gyms, theaters, bowling alleys — and churches are still awaiting word on when they can open.

At this moment in time, we would say Walz needs to pick up the pace.

State fails on funding

Martin County has been seeking state assistance to build a $40 million Justice Center and jail. But the state Legislature’s recent failure to pass a state bonding bill means the project remains on hold.

Martin County was looking for $20 million from the state, which created the rules that make the county’s current facility out of compliance and obsolete. The House would have given the county $2.1 million.

The county will continue its fight for funding. That’s good. The burden is too much for local taxpayers.

Tragedy compounded

It is horrifying to consider what people dealing with medical issues have had to go through amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are, of course, those dealing with the virus itself, and we have all heard the stories about family members not being able to be with loved ones who pass away.

But there also are all the people with serious illness, or potentially serious illness, who could not see providers or undergo needed surgery. These procedures were deemed “elective,” an utterly ridiculous description. The pandemic toll will reach well beyond just the virus in coming months and years, making it a double tragedy.

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