Sen. Draheim: House Democrats playing partisan politics with critical COVID relief funds

On Wednesday, Democrats in the Minnesota House of Representatives will break a compromise to distribute federal COVID aid to communities across Minnesota equitably. That compromise had previously been agreed to by all four legislative leaders after comprehensive negotiations. It passed the Senate 62-4 on Tuesday, but House Democrats on Wednesday will approve a last-minute amendment adding the Governor’s supplemental budget to the bill, which prioritizes the metro and ignores Greater Minnesota.

Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) issued the following statement in response:

“I am deeply disappointed that House Democrats and Gov. Walz have chosen to play partisan games and put Minnesota’s counties, cities, and townships in jeopardy by refusing to distribute COVID relief funds equitably. Rather than work across the aisle to providing much-needed funding, the Governor and the House are using the funds and, by extension our communities, as political pawns to pass over $300 million in supplemental funds for their legislative priorities.”

“This puts us in an awkward position. Do we pass their hostage bill with the tacked-on excessive supplemental budget when our state faces a massive projected budget deficit? Or do we refuse to pass the bill as amended and allow the Governor to spend the CARES Act as he wishes, allowing him to prioritize the metro area? Regardless of the route we go, I am ashamed of the behavior from the Governor and House Majority. It’s absolutely despicable to claim to be “One Minnesota” but then so easily disregard the welfare of rural Minnesota communities that desperately need this relief now.”