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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Statement from Speaker Hortman and Majority Leader Winkler on federal guidance for American Rescue Plan funding

Monday, May 10, 2021

St. Paul, Minnesota — Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler released the following statement on guidance from the federal government on state funding from the American Rescue Plan:

“With increased federal aid coming to Minnesota and the increased flexibility in how those funds can be used, we can and should fully fund education to help our children recover from learning loss and mental health challenges arising out of COVID-19 and distance learning,” said Speaker Hortman. “Republicans have no reason to continue to advocate for budget cuts that will result in teacher layoffs at a time when our children need the most help. In addition, we can and should invest in our health care providers as they help Minnesotans get vaccinated so we can get back to normal economic and social interactions. We can and should invest in families’ economic security after a year filled with economic challenges. It is important to recognize that Minnesota is the state where George Floyd was murdered and Daunte Wright was killed — we also can and should pass reforms to build a more just and equitable criminal justice system. House Democrats are continuing to work to find common ground and complete a budget by the May 17th deadline.”

“Republicans have been holding critical bills as hostages for over a year. We can pass federal tax conformity, we can support our hospitals and front-line workers, we can fund our schools, and, critically, we can enact police reform and accountability legislation,” said Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. “We can do all of these things because of the support of federal funds from President Biden and Democrats in Congress. But we can accomplish nothing if extremist Republicans try to shut down state parks or cut school funding in order to pursue a right-wing agenda that has nothing to do with the lives or livelihoods of Minnesotans. It is time for Senate leaders to decide if they want to be responsible Republicans or part of the right-wing fringe.”