St. Paul, Minn.—Senator Foung Hawj (DFL-St. Paul) released the statement below on the Minnesota Senate Republican’s Veterans Budget. The proposal came in with a $0 target, which absolutely fails to adequately provide for the needs of the state’s veterans and active military members.
“I’m appalled at the lack of funding Senate Republicans brought to the table for our veterans. When Minnesota has a $1 billion budgetary balance, it is unconscionable to cut more than $2 million from the National Guard when our services members are preparing for deployment, deployed, or recently returning from deployment. Having a $0 budget target is disrespectful for those who served valiantly for our country and is irresponsible when the state’s active military members are being deployed across the globe.
We offered amendments to not only restore this vital funding, but I also offered two amendments to designate a day to honor the Hmong-Lao Veterans of the Secret War in Laos. Both of these amendments seek to honor the many Hmong veterans who have sacrificed, suffered, and died defending U.S. national security interests. Both of these important amendments, which should not be partisan issues, were defeated on a party line.
Not raising revenues for budgets have consequences – if you don’t raise revenues, you can’t keep up with inflation, you can’t invest in important programs, and cuts need to be made to budgets that impact lives. The men and women who have served our country deserve better.”