On Monday, March 14, the Senate’s State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, will hear a bill to take away essential bargaining rights from Minnesota teachers (S.F. 208 – Hann). In response, Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights, issued the following statement:
“Minnesota Republicans may claim they’re focused on the economy and budget, but it’s becoming clearer every day they’d rather bring Wisconsin politics into the Minnesota Capitol.
On Monday, Senate Republicans will hold a hearing on a bill that would take away essential bargaining rights from Minnesota teachers and allow school boards to unilaterally implement contracts without employee approval. This bill is yet another assault on middle-class families from the Republican majorities in the Minnesota Legislature.
Just yesterday, we heard Republican leaders promise to spend the next two weeks putting together their property-tax raising, all-cuts budget. Now we see Republicans are more interested in attacking working families than doing the hard work of balancing the state’s budget.
Committee budgets must be passed by March 25. Sen. Parry’s committee has been charged with cutting the budget of state agencies and veterans programs by 53% over the next two weeks. How is the committee moving any closer to meeting that goal by taking on collective bargaining rights? I find it ironic that a committee that purports to value government efficiency is spending its time on controversial policy instead of the state’s $5 billion budget shortfall. Rather than attacking workers, we should be getting to work.
This is a very important time at the Capitol. We are just beginning the important process of putting together the Legislature’s budget proposal. This is not the time to bring such a divisive, ideological agenda into the Capitol.”