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TAG | Minnesota Senate Republicans



Senate Republicans preparing for shutdown

Government Shutdown

By Ken Martin, DFL Chairman

“The same Republican Party that brought Minnesota into a government shutdown in 2011 is already preparing itself for another destructive shutdown.

“On Wednesday afternoon, with several weeks left before a shutdown would be triggered, state Sen. Sean Nienow (R- Cambridge) attempted to advance a bill he calls ‘Plan B,’ even while negotiations between legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton are still in progress. Every single Senate Republican voted for Nienow’s motion.

“Make no mistake: this Plan B is just a desperate attempt to deflect accountability from their Party, which has refused to move from their negotiating position for weeks. Minnesotans don’t want to eliminate MinnesotaCare for 100,000 of our neighbors. We don’t want an education budget that would force cuts in our school districts. We don’t want to end up with a budget that sacrifices long-term fiscal stability for a temporary tax cut. Minnesotans will see through their cynical politics if Tea Party Republicans continue to propose such destructive policies and try to dodge responsibility for the results.

“While Republicans are busy preparing Plan B, Senate DFLers are still working hard on Plan A: negotiating a compromise with the House, passing a responsible budget and keeping the government from shutting down in the first place. If Senate Republicans are truly concerned about Minnesota’s future, they should work to avoid a shutdown instead of spending the last days of session avoiding the blame.”

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Senate GOP education plan falls short in helping rural Minnesota

By Ken Martin, chairman, Minnesota DFL

School CorridorSenate Republicans recently announced their major education proposal of the year, claiming that their plan is designed to help rural school districts catch up to suburban neighbors. Make no mistake: this bill was designed to put talking points first, and responsible policy second. It may appear to be a great idea at the outset, but the flat increase proposed by Senate GOP members does a disservice to the students that most need our support.

It’s true that additional money is needed in Minnesota school districts, and if it took political convenience to finally persuade the Senate Republican caucus of this fact, then that’s at least some progress. The problem is that by giving every district the same per-pupil increase, this plan actually helps most rural districts comparatively less. Many schools need additional money for special education costs, expenses related to growing diversity, and especially high transportation costs in rural communities. On top of all that, drawing away from the formula means that fewer dollars will be allocated to early childhood family education (ECFE) programs across the state. In light of recent DFL investments in all-day kindergarten and other initiatives designed to help our youngest Minnesotans, this seems particularly irresponsible. (more…)

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347