ST. PAUL – State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said he opposed a $311 million budget reduction bill because it contained misplaced priorities. Minnesota faces a $993 million budget deficit, and this bill was the first step towards eliminating that problem.
“We do have to balance the budget, and we do have to cut, but we also need to determine what our priorities are,” Davids said. “Mine are K-12 education, nursing homes, veterans and public safety. This bill slashed funding to our veterans and public safety, and it appears nursing homes and classrooms will be next on the chopping block, and I’m not going to stand for it.”
Davids said House Republicans attempted to make the bill better in a number of ways, by offering a number of reform proposals that would have made government more efficient and more accountable to the taxpayers. Included was a proposal that would have reduced Local Government Aid to the Twin Cities and distributed that money throughout cities in rural Minnesota. Davids said this plan and nearly all others were rejected by the majority party.
“As usual, we offered dozens of provisions that would save money and make government better, and almost all were ruled out of order,” Davids said. “The majority leadership wants to do things their way and their way only.”
Davids also disputes the notion that this bill solves one-third of the budget deficit.
“The majority party used the taxpayers’ money to sue the governor in an unallotment lawsuit,” Davids noted. “If that lawsuit is successful, we have a big problem because the Legislature will then need to eliminate another $2.7 billion. If the overall deficit becomes $3.7 billion, this bill represents roughly 8 percent of the solution. This further illustrates the need for government spending reform, and I’m disappointed that it was severely lacking in this budget proposal.”
On a separate topic, Davids wanted to let his constituents know that the Minnesota House email server crashed recently and was out of service for four days. Though it is now up and running again, many emails were lost.
“If residents tried to contact me during that time, it’s extremely likely that their emails did not make it through,” Davids said. “I apologize for the inconvenience, and strongly encourage residents to email again if they have not heard back from me.”
Rep. Davids’ email is email@example.com.