Sen. Cohen comments on GOP budget impact hearing

“Earlier today, I had the honor of chairing a hearing that gave a voice to dozens of Minnesotans that would be impacted by the Republican’s all-cuts budget proposal.

We heard from disabled citizens that will lose their independence and in-home care because of these budget cuts. The Minnesota Hospital Association predicted 13,000 to 18,000 lost jobs resulting from the GOP hospital budget cuts alone.

We heard from college students from campuses around the state, who stressed that higher education isn’t Minnesota’s budget problem; it should be the solution. It’s the key to creating jobs and educating tomorrow’s workforce – goals that will suffer if funding is slashed to the same levels as 10 years ago.

These same disabled citizens, college students, metro- and rural-Minnesota residents came together to tell us how the cuts to transit will devastate their lives. Transit helps get people to work, it provides jobs, and it keeps Minnesota’s economy moving.

Today’s hearing made perfectly clear that Republicans have the wrong priorities for Minnesota. Republicans, by drawing a line in the sand and refusing to compromise with Gov. Dayton, are choosing to protect the richest 2 percent of Minnesotans at the expense of middle-class families, seniors, and the most vulnerable in the state.

We all know that this budget crisis will require us to make tough choices. The Governor’s budget reflects those tough choices: He’s proposed cutting spending by nearly $2 billion. But his proposal is also fair and responsible –balancing the budget through a reasonable approach of spending cuts and new revenue, while protecting 98 percent of Minnesotans from property or income tax increases.

The Minnesotans we heard from today all had the same message: Gov. Dayton has the right priorities for Minnesota. I can only hope that Republicans heard that message, and come to the table and work with Gov. Dayton on finding a balanced solution to this crisis.”

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Senator Richard Cohen
Richard Cohen represents District 64, which includes portions of the city of Saint Paul in Ramsey County.

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