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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R)

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

St. Paul – Today, Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) put forward an amendment which would suspend the salary of Governor Tim Walz during the course of his peacetime emergency declaration. 

“The governor has unilaterally suspended the salaries of hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans, and it is only right that he feels the pain of the economic damaged he has caused,” said Rep. Drazkowski. 

The amendment authored by Rep. Drazkowski would reinstate the governor’s salary as soon as the peacetime emergency declaration is rescinded or terminated. The current salary for the Governor of Minnesota is $127,629 per year. 

“I look around the state and I see businesses which were supposed to temporarily close but are now permanently shut down,” said Rep. Drazkowski. “Workers who were supposed to be furloughed for a short time have now lost their jobs entirely. Governor Walz’s decision to shut down our economy has ruined livelihoods throughout our state.” 

Minnesota now faces a state budget deficit, having bled over $4 billion. 

“Nearly 16% of Minnesotans are unemployed because of the governor’s actions,” said Rep. Drazkowski. “Conversely, South Dakota has the lowest rate of labor force unemployment of all fifty states at 7.2%. Furthermore, South Dakota has seen their sales tax revenues increase by 4.5% from the same period last year. Here in Minnesota, we have seen our sales tax revenues decrease by 11.2%. South Dakota is far better prepared to face any budget issues that come their way because they did not shut off their economy. We should follow their lead.” 

Rep. Drazkowski concluded, “Governor Walz has been playing poker with the livelihoods of hard-working Minnesotans. South Dakota has less than half the number of COVID-19 deaths per million people than we do. Our neighbor to the west also has an unemployment rate less than half of our state’s unemployment rate. This is because South Dakota did not turn off their economy or shut down livelihoods. Tim Walz’s economy-killing shutdown is not helpful, it is not constitutional, and it remains economically destructive. It is time for him to put his wallet on the table.”