Senate Republicans threaten to vote to end Walz's emergency powers following Stearns County bar controversy

Supporters stand outside Shady's Hometown Tavern, which the owner had planned to reopen early despite the governor's order. (FOX 9)

Senate Republicans are threatening to vote to end Governor Tim Walz's emergency powers.

Of the 35 GOP senators, 31 signed a letter that was sent Wednesday to Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison. The move comes after bar owner in Albany had planned to reopen his chain of restaurants depsite the governor's order. Ellison filed a lawsuit against the owner, warning he could face a $25,000 fine per location each day the businesses are open. Ultimately, the owner decided not to reopen.

According to the letter, Senate Republicans argue a gross misdemeanor - the criminal penalty business owners would face for violating the governor's order - oversteps the range of sentences allowed for executive orders.

Ellison, so far, has not sought to impose the gross misdemeanor against the Albany bar owner. Walz has defended his executive orders as "lawful" and said most other states have taken similar steps. 

A vote would find difficulty moving forward as the DFL-controlled House would also have to agree to end the powers.