Minnesota attorney general warns businesses that violate stay at home order could face fines

As Governor Walz extends Minnesota's stay at home order into May, the state's attorney general is warning businesses he will take action if they don't comply with the order.

On Wednesday, Gov. Walz extended the state's stay at home order, which closes non-essential businesses and orders residents to stay at home, until May 4.

The order initially was set to expire on April 10 but, citing modeling that shows COVID-19 cases could max out beds in the coming weeks, Governor Walz extended the order with hopes to slow the coronavirus' spread and flatten the curve in cases.

In a statement following Governor Walz's announcement, Attorney General Keith Ellison said he backed the decision and said Walz's order was backed by Minnesotan law.

At the same time, he warned businesses that are considered non-essential they could face penalties if they didn't abide by the governor's order.

"I join Governor Walz in urging all Minnesotans and Minnesota businesses that are not exempted from the order to comply with it voluntarily," wrote Ellison. "If there are non-exempted businesses that do not comply with the order, however, I will use the full enforcement power that the Order extends to my office to ensure that they do."

Ellison warns that businesses could face fines up to $25,000 per violation.

Under the order, essential businesses include grocery stores, pharmacies, take-out restaurants, child care, hardware stores, mail and delivery services, and banks among others. But, that list could be further expanded as we get closer to May.

Governor Walz's stay at home order went into effect on March 27.