St. Paul, Minn. – Late Wednesday, the Minnesota Senate passed its Omnibus Education and Omnibus Transportation bills. In response, Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) issued the following statement:
“Our students, teachers, and school staff deserve our honest commitment at the Legislature. By providing a less than 1% increase to the basic funding formula and making zero investments in Minnesota’s special education program, the Senate’s E-12 bill shortchanges our students and teachers and fails to responsibly address education disparities in our state. Taking inflation into account, the bill will ultimately cause cuts to our schools. Duluth will be especially hurt by the lack of funding to address special education funding. It’s time for Minnesota to focus on special education and fully invest in fixing the problem statewide. At a time when Governor Walz is proposing historic funding for our public schools, this bill sets Minnesota back in our pledge to give every child a great education.
It’s no secret that Minnesota’s transportation infrastructure is deteriorating and the need to address this is becoming more and more urgent by the season. Over the next 10 years, our state highways and bridges will face a $6 billion gap in funding. The Senate Majority’s budget falls far too short and will have substantial consequences on our economy and public safety statewide. Minnesotans deserve access to reliable roads and safer travel options and the best way to achieve this is to provide additional and dedicated funding.”