Budget bills begin to take shape

The Senate had a full agenda in committee this week as omnibus budget bills began to take shape and pass to the floor.

The first year of the biennium is the year that the Legislature creates a budget to fund state agencies, programs. It is this funding that pays for the essential services that Minnesotans have depended on as we weather the COVID-19 pandemic: the health department that is responsible for testing, vaccinating, and managing the pandemic; the educators who are trying to keep our kids afloat during a crisis; the department administering unemployment and job-retraining for laid off workers.

Unfortunately, many of the budget bills fail to adequately invest in these same services and programs, and some make significant cuts that will hamper the ability of Minnesotans to get back on their feet and recover from the effects of the pandemic. Senate Republicans have decided to pursue policies and an agenda that will only hurt our state.

The Minnesota Senate DFL is committed to working together to build the state all Minnesotans deserve. As these budget bills arrive on the floor, Senate DFLers will fight to reject extreme right-wing policies that target workers and our most vulnerable, and instead fight for the values that Minnesotans all share.

That includes fighting for equitable policies, opportunities, and protections for all – at home, work, school, in their environment, and at the ballot box. This will allow for healthy and secure families, students who feel supported, and a robust workforce. It will also create a clean environment and strengthen our democracy so that our children can thrive in Minnesota for years to come.

With five weeks until the end of the legislative session, now is the time to get to work and build a budget that ensures a fair and full recovery for every Minnesotan.