Republicans can be expected to cut every corner when it comes to funding health and human services. This time around, they’re also using funny math to avoid responsibility for their cuts.
This is one of a series of short blogs about specific omnibus bills, with quotes from Governor Mark Dayton’s veto messages. For an overall perspective, see You go, Guv! and other posts on the Minnesota legislature.
The governor’s veto message called the half-billion dollar cuts “reckless and foolish,” especially in view of the state’s $1.65 billion budget surplus, and said:
“This bill would undermine services for the most vulnerable Minnesotans, including children, families, seniors, people with disabilities, and those who receive care in our state-run facilities.”
In addition, the bill promises savings that “are not substantiated with fiscal notes” and others that “are premised on invalid assumptions and do not comply with federal law.” Bottom line – “false promises” that “would undermine the fiscal health of the state budget in the future, when the savings would not be realized.”
Because of the inadequate budget in the bill, the Department of Human Services would have to fire people who provide direct services to more than 12,000 Minnesotans, as well as staff who investigate fraud and abuse.
The Republican budget for the Minnesota Department of Health would mandate “reduction of approximately 70 positions agency-wide that will impact services such as maltreatment investigations, services for sexually exploited youth, laboratory testing for infectious disease, and will reduce the agency’s capacity to issue licenses to health professionals across the state.”
There’s more – you can click and read the full text of the governor’s veto message.