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For Immediate Release
March 20, 2020

Contact: Donald McFarland
Phone: 651-236-0494

Saint Paul, MN - “One of our roles as members of the Executive Council is to provide checks and balances when we are moving quickly in new territory. Today, we approved Executive Orders that will help us better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Auditor Blaha.

Today, the Minnesota Executive Council voted to approve the following Executive Orders issued by Governor Walz:

Executive Order 20-09: Directing Delay of Inpatient and Outpatient Elective Surgery and Procedural Cases during COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency

Executive Order 20-10: Combatting Price Gouging During the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency

Executive Order 20-11: Securing Federal Authority to Continue Human Services Programs During COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency

Executive Order 20-12: Preserving Access to Human Services Programs During the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency

These orders will protect the continuity of health and human services, target medical resources to where they are needed most, and protect Minnesotans from price gouging.

“Delaying elective surgery and procedural cases makes sense so we can target our resources to the greatest needs,” said Blaha. “This will help health care professionals move equipment and staffing to where they are needed most.”

Blaha continued, “As we adapt to fight the pandemic, we need to protect access to vital health and human services. While flexibility is needed, I am glad to see there are ongoing checks and balances built into the DHS waivers.”

“Price gouging not only unfairly saps resources, but it also makes it difficult to plan for future costs,” said Blaha. “By enacting these protections now, we will be helping everyone, from large entities to the individual level, plan to make the best use of our resources.”

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The Office of the State Auditor is the constitutional office that oversees nearly $40 billion in local government finances for Minnesota taxpayers. The Office of the State Auditor helps to ensure financial integrity and accountability in local government financial activities. Julie Blaha is Minnesota’s 19thState Auditor. Follow us on Twitter @MNStateAuditor.

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