This week at the Minnesota Senate was less about what happened and more about what didn’t get done on behalf of working families throughout the state.
Despite promises at the end of the 2021 session and throughout the summer and fall, another week has passed without action to deliver the $1500 in one-time bonus pay to essential frontline workers or $10 million in drought relief for hard-hit farmers. Senate DFLers joined with their House colleagues and frontline workers in supporting these bonuses Thursday, and while the House passed legislation to provide this bonus the Senate remains a roadblock.
While these priorities remain unfinished, Senate Republicans made their priorities clear by hearing bills that would hurt our schools and impose obstacles to voting. On Monday, Senate Republicans heard legislation that would shift up to $178 million in taxpayer funds from public education to private schools and charters. They also heard legislation backed by extreme right-wing interest groups that threaten the ability of schools to provide safe and welcoming communities to their students.
Despite once again leading the nation in voter turnout, they also continued their efforts to impose barriers to voting by hearing their third bill of the session that would change Minnesota’s elections for the worse. This week’s legislation was aimed at restricting early voting options, a measure that would especially impact rural voters and increase costs to local election administrators.