Walz says if Malcolm’s job is at risk, so is special session

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says he would consider calling off a special session planned next month if Republicans pursue a threat to remove the state’s health commissioner.

Republican Sen. Jim Abeler, of Anoka, said at a rally against mask and vaccine mandates last weekend that he would like the GOP-controlled Senate to oust Jan Malcolm, who has led the response to COVID-19.

Abeler and other Republicans have critical of Walz’s emergency powers and public health restrictions. The special session is scheduled in order to approve special bonus pay for essential pandemic workers.

Walz tells Minnesota Public Radio that the idea of removing the commissioner during a spike in the delta variant “makes no sense” and he will rethink the session if Malcolm’s job is at risk.