Today on the Senate Floor the GOP introduced Senate File 2 which would restrict the Governor’s response to protect students and educators during unprecedented times of need. The GOP has pushed forward their agenda despite the opposition from education organizations including the Association of Metropolitan School Districts, Minnesota Association of School Administrators, the Minnesota School Board Association, and the Minnesota Rural Education Association. Senate File 2 does not create local control, but creates an unfunded mandate on local school districts by forcing them to take on a tremendous responsibility without any additional resources – and removes any future Governor’s ability to lead in an emergency situation.
In response to this bill, Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) released the following statement:
“The Senate Republicans put forward a bill today that showcased extreme partisan politics. Senate File 2 aims to restrict the Governor from his ability to keep people safe during times of an emergency. In speaking with local school leaders in my district, and around the state, I have heard that they have appreciated the state’s guidance and resources through such unprecedented times,” said Senator Susan Kent. “As the majority party, Senate Republicans have had ample opportunity during the past year to hold hearings on COVID relief efforts and put forth plans that could put us on the path to recovery. Instead, they have chosen to use their time and their Majority power to criticize the Governor’s efforts to keep people safe, which effectively has not helped any Minnesotan during this pandemic.”
Minnesota has been a leader in COVID-19 response in the nation, due in large part to the leadership of Governor Walz and the hard decisions he needed to make along the way to keep people safe. With schools already set to reopen, whether fully or in a hybrid model, by March 8th, this is another attempt by the Senate Republicans to put partisan politics above bipartisan solutions to protect and support Minnesotans through the end of this pandemic.