The block. It’s a classic move in basketball, but in state government, when Republicans block important legislation, nobody wins. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening down at the Capitol. While DFLers are working to pass bills that advance Minnesotans’ priorities and uphold progressive values, Republicans are just standing in the way. We’re calling foul on these obstructive tactics (Can you tell we’ve got the Final Four on the brain?). Here are this week’s worst:
Blocking federal election security funds
Minnesota is proud to be a state with consistently high voter turnout, and we want to make sure that our elections are fair, safe, and secure. So when the federal government offered Minnesota $6.6 million for election security, it would have made sense to accept the full amount, right? Not according to Republicans, who authorized only about 20% of that.
Minnesota is the only state in the country that hasn’t authorized the full amount yet, and Secretary of State Steve Simon has warned that Minnesota’s elections are at risk of attacks. DFLers are trying to protect our elections, while Republicans are so determined to shortchange our state that they didn’t show up to a conference committee hearing on the issue.
Blocking efforts to provide more affordable, accessible health care
With so much uncertainty about what Trump and his Republican buddies in Washington will try to do with health care, Minnesotans need peace of mind here at home. That’s why DFLers this week released a detailed plan for their Health and Human Services budget, which would hold big pharma accountable and help Minnesotans get the care they need at a price they can afford. Meanwhile, Republicans are leaving us with a lot of questions.
Republicans have made it clear that they won’t stand up to big pharma any time soon (wonder why…) and they blocked efforts by the DFL in the Senate this week to expand health care access with Governor Walz’s proposed OneCare program. They’re also leaving critical funding for the MN Health Care Access Fund–and Minnesotans’ healthcare–in limbo. So who are conservatives really looking out for, working families or big pharma?
Blocking the Alec Smith Insulin Act
The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Bill, named for a young Minnesotan who died because he couldn’t afford his insulin, would set up a life-saving emergency fund for Minnesotans with diabetes who struggle with skyrocketing insulin prices. Senate Republicans voted along party lines this week to block a version of the bill. (Again, we wonder why…)
Blocking… pretty much everything
So far today I've watched the #MNGOP attempt to block paid family leave, sick and safe time, consumer protections on payday loans, and now attempting to block a public legal process reviewing Line 3. And that's not half of it. #mnleg
— Jim Davnie (@jdavnie) April 4, 2019
That about sums it up.
Minnesotans deserve leaders who will act on the issues they care about most instead of prioritizing big pharma and the wealthiest few. We need to stand up and let Republicans know that it’s time to get moving. Find out who represents you here.