Following the Passover and Easter recess, the Legislature was back in action this week. With just a few short weeks until adjournment of the legislative session we have a narrow window to act on the issues Minnesotans are demanding action on.
Senate Republicans up to this point have made clear what their priorities are: using the $9.3 billion budget surplus for tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the rich, starve our schools, and ignore the needs of our state. As we begin to take up budget bills, there is little money left for action on the critical needs in our state.
That became clear in their first budget bill passed off the floor. Despite being the environment and natural resources budget bill, Republicans are rolling back protections for our outdoor lands and clean water and ignoring efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Nothing could be a clearer illustration of how little Senate Republicans care about our future than passing an environment and natural resources budget bill that only spends $1 million. Coming just weeks after the latest UN report calling this moment “now or never” to address climate change and coming the day before Earth Day, Senate Republicans are ignoring any responsibility on these issues.
Missed opportunities will continue to be the theme as these budget bills come to the floor. Despite a $9.3 billion budget surplus, Senate Republicans are ignoring the needs of our communities. Senate DFLers will fight to take meaningful action – not just on climate and our environment, but on health care, child care, education, public safety, and ensuring the high quality of life every Minnesotan deserves.