We are into the final few days of the 2017 MN legislative session. So far 10 Omnibus budget bills and a handful of single bills have been vetoed by the Governor. and some have been passed. How did we get here? Quick update:
Last Tuesday, after late-night meetings finalizing bills, followed by early morning, barely announced hearings - so much for transparency and accountability! - the Mn Republicans stopped negotiating with the Governor and decided to keep their omnibus budget bills basically unchanged. They passed 5 of these bills through both chambers that day. On Friday, the Governor vetoed these bills, as he said he would. For an article on this - http://www.twincities.com/2017/05/12/mark-dayton-vetoes-reckless-and-foolish-gop-budgets/
Still using the same approach, this Monday the Mn Republicans passed the rest of the omnibus budget bills and sent them to the Governor, who vetoed them all. The sticking points are: the GOP are insisting on a great number of putting policy provisions into the bills; the extent of the cuts to essential services contained in the bills. Now, hopefully the political grandstanding is done with, and the real work can begin to agree on a budget before the end of session on 22nd May. For a good article on the situation, click here. http://www.startribune.com/dayton-calls-on-republican-lawmakers-to-take-policy-out-of-budget-debate/422337453/
So where does this leave us? We say focus on the Governor. Tell him to veto omnibus bills contain controversial policy provisions and that underfund state services, even if it means a special session or a government shutdown. In terms of single bills, tell him to veto bills that go against progressive values. You can also get in touch with your MN Senators and Representatives. These bills are going back to the House and Senate. There is still time to let them know where you stand on these issues. For an excellent summary, as well as a strategy that we like, from our friend Steve Kranz of Indivisible Minnesota Local a few weeks ago, click here.
See below for our most recent state-level Legislative Calls to Action. Pick the ones that you feel strongly about and get into action.
For more information from the Legislature on a specific bill visit this website and enter the bill number.