Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent released the following statement today in response to the budget targets presented by Senate Republicans:
“As Minnesotans are still dealing with the consequences of a historic pandemic that has hit low-income workers the hardest, Senate Republicans’ top priority is to cut funding for the services that are most crucial in this moment: K-12 education, jobs, childcare, housing, broadband, and – inexplicably – public health. Minnesotans have significant needs, but very little support for them under this Republican plan,” said Leader Kent.
“The recent budget forecast shows a $1.6 billion projected positive balance, yet it is important to note that over 80% of this projected balance is one-time funds. The structural or recurring amount is only $260 million. To use a kitchen table analogy, it’s like we got a really nice year-end bonus at work, but not much of an ongoing pay increase. While there are many needs that can be met with one-time spending,they won’t bring sustainable solutions. Now is not the time for cuts, especially on the very state agencies that have been working overtime to ensure our communities are safe in a pandemic, our most vulnerable Minnesotans are cared for, and our students are able to learn.”
“Our state budget reflects our values, and we must support those who have borne the greatest burden. We must make investments so that Minnesota can recover from the pandemic, address the growing disparities in our state, and build for a strong future for all. We cannot cut our way through this challenge. A more balanced approach – modest strategic cuts, asking the wealthiest and most profitable Minnesotans to pay their fair share, and building up those who will make our state thrive as we move forward – will position Minnesota to offer a strong future for all.”