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Higher costs and fewer opportunities for women in GOP budget
Saint Paul, Minnesota – DFL lawmakers joined at the State Capitol today at a press conference to voice their opposition to a Republican agenda that is creating barriers for Minnesota women to succeed. Citing a pattern of initiatives that increase financial burdens and reduce opportunities for women, lawmakers said the Republicans are not recognizing the importance of successful women for a successful Minnesota future.
“When Minnesota women thrive, Minnesota thrives," said State Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL – Rochester). “For decades we have understood this in Minnesota. It’s why a higher percentage of Minnesota women participate in the workforce than in any other state.”
“In every community in the state women are working, providing for their family, caring for their elderly parents, and doing so much more,” said State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL – St. Paul). “This is no time to create barriers and add more financial burdens to the hardworking women of Minnesota that are helping fuel our economic recovery while providing for their family and own well being.”
Women have shared in the job losses during the recession, losing 3 out of every 10 jobs in Minnesota. However, women are filling fewer than 1 in 10 job openings since the recovery started. Republican budget proposals would grow this chasm. Deep cuts to hospital providers are expected to cause layoffs that would impact nurses and other health care workers who serve seniors, the elderly and the disabled. 93% of nurses in Minnesota are women. In addition, policy provisions in the K-12 education omnibus bill would reduce wages and limit benefits in a field where 70% of those employed are women. The Republican agenda would intensify this gap.
“First, Republicans went after equal pay for women – a big step backwards,” said State Rep. Rena Moran (DFL – St. Paul). “Now at a time when we should be finding ways to grow jobs in Minnesota, Republicans are putting forth budgets that will cut jobs—especially in fields dominated by women.”
House and Senate GOP tax proposals lawmakers would add property tax increases and a reduction in the renters’ credit. In the House and Senate Health and Human Services bills Republicans make deep cuts to programs for seniors and people with disabilities. For thousands of families, that means a parent, and often the woman, will have forego work wages to take care of a child or an elderly parent. State Rep. Kim Norton (DFL – Rochester) said cuts to higher education will make it harder for families to provide a quality higher education for their sons and daughters.
“Minnesota women are sitting around the kitchen table balancing the family budget and trying to figure out how they can help their son or daughter afford college,” said Norton. “We should not be adding more burdens and taking more out of their pockets, but that’s what these budget bills will do.”
State Rep. Kate Knuth (DFL – New Brighton) said young women are concerned about an uncertain economic future.
“Women are entering the workforce with more debt and higher bills than ever before,” said Knuth. “We need to pursue an economic agenda that provides equal economic opportunities for all Minnesotans so that we can restore Minnesota’s economic competiveness together.”
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