State Senator Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, criticized the lapel buttons worn by Senate Republicans on Monday as yet another attempt to interject hard-edged partisanship into the Senate’s work and distract from the real job in front of the legislature: Solving the state’s $5 billion budget deficit.
“Last week, Minnesotans saw the Republican majority waste several hours – and several committee meetings – playing a political game by bringing the governor’s budget plan up for a vote,” Sen. Dibble said. “Today, our session was marred by most members wearing buttons, complete with the GOP campaign logo, intended to take partisan pot-shots at previous legislative sessions.
When are Republican leaders going to realize that the campaign is over? We’re two months into the legislative session that Minnesotans elected us to complete, on time. Instead of working toward this goal and finding a solution to the state’s $5 billion budget crisis, Republicans insist on playing political games and wasting time. What’s more, they’re dishonoring the Senate institution by bringing these campaign games onto the Floor of the Senate, something that our tradition of civility and respect has rightly rejected.”
The buttons’ slogan, “MN Senate Clean-up Crew,” is being worn by most Republican Senators to signify their desire to correct past mistakes. That’s a concept that doesn’t make much sense, according to Sen. Dibble.
“Whose mess are they cleaning up?” Sen. Dibble asked. “It was a Republican governor who insisted on eight years of short-term accounting gimmicks and shifting responsibility to solve previous budget problems. That same Republican governor created the current fiscal mess, mostly by relying on the same types of political games that the new Republican majority is playing today. The majority has an opportunity to correct those mistakes and create a responsible budget that moves Minnesota toward a successful future. With nearly half the legislative session already over, I hope they put the political charades aside and start working on this important task.”