In a party-line vote, legislation passed the Senate Floor that would penalize cities by requiring any unpaid assistance costs that they have incurred to come from their Local Government Aid or County Program Aid. Despite opposition from all major city and county organizations, the League of Minnesota Cities, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Cities, and the Minnesota Inter-County Association. By encouraging cities to charge each other for emergency assistance, it could disrupt the ability for Minnesotans to help each other in times of need.
In response to passage of the bill, Senator Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement:
“No matter where you live in this state when there’s an emergency and you ask for help, Minnesotans answer the call. Helping our neighbors when they are in need is one of our core uniting values, and this legislation is contrary to the very idea of mutual aid, and will only stoke division and resentment between our communities. If we continue down this path, where will Minnesotans go to when the next disaster strikes?
Minnesota is a state where we take care of each other and that should not change. Instead of dividing communities, we must find ways to unite in the face of the challenges before us, whether it’s unrest, a natural disaster, or the other urgent issues facing every Minnesotan. Only by working together can we address the issues before us, and I call on my colleagues in the Senate to unite, rather than divide.”