Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bernie Burnham issued the following statement on today’s state budget forecast showing $9.25 billion in unallocated budget dollars:
“For the past two years, working people were forced to deal with a global pandemic, social crises, & economic uncertainty. These challenges served to widen the existing racial & economic inequities in our state. Today’s budget news means Minnesota has the resources to immediately invest in working people and families and begin building a more just and equitable state.
“With these additional dollars we can leverage federal matching funds for job creating state and local infrastructure projects; we can recognize the frontline workers who kept our state going during the pandemic’s darkest days with $1500 bonuses; we can begin a paid family & medical leave program that gives working people the freedom to care for themselves and the people they love without sacrificing pay; and we can fully fund the schools and public services that Minnesotans rely on.
“While a single legislative session or budget won’t solve our state’s racial and economic disparities, 2022 can be the year we take a big step towards building the more just and equitable state that Minnesotans deserve.”