Sen. Pratt statement on funding state government in the event of a legislative stalemate

Senate Finance Committee passed bill to keep state government open, prevent furloughs for 35,000 employees

Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) released the following statement after the Minnesota Senate Finance Committee passed legislation to fully fund state government for the next two years and prevent a state government shutdown:

“While I have full faith that our legislative leaders and Governor will come to a bipartisan budget compromise, this bill allows us to keep Minnesota open and avoid a worst-case scenario,” said Senator Pratt. “From parks, to schools, to nursing homes, this legislation ensures essential services will continue to be provided to Minnesotans. Further, 35,000 state employees could see furlough notices as soon as June if we do not have a plan to keep our state operating, and this takes the pressure off those hard-working families.”

The bill passed the Senate Finance Committee on a party-line vote, with all DFL members opposing the measure. Due to a recent 2017 Minnesota Supreme Court decision that ruled the court cannot allocate funds from the state treasury without a specific appropriation, all state government operations would cease during a shutdown, closing everything from prisons to nursing homes, possibly putting the safety of all Minnesotans in jeopardy. This legislation would prevent that scenario.

“This bill is an insurance policy that guarantees Minnesota stays open for business,” added Senator Pratt. “I hope Governor Walz and the House of Representatives join us in passing this into law.”