The beginning of a pushback from Senate Republicans on things remaining as is, is fulmenting in regards to state employees. In a release on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) put out the following statement.
Today Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka urged Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans to review state employee contracts with the following statement:
“I am urging Commissioner Frans to revisit the state employee contracts negotiated before the COVID-19 outbreak because it’s a foregone conclusion the surplus has evaporated and we are expecting a deficit as we craft the next budget. These contracts were negotiated in good-faith under completely different circumstances. We have to ask whether it’s prudent to provide pay raises and improved benefits for thousands of government employees when half a million Minnesotans are getting unemployment because the government shut down their business. Government should lead by example and make every effort to manage its budget during these challenging times.
“We appreciate the important work our state employees do. If the administration and workers can agree to modest contract changes now, we can prevent severe workforce reductions in the future. As we work to recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m asking that contracts be renegotiated to protect current state employees and reduce the cost of recovery to taxpayers.”
Additionally, Senate Republicans are actively promoting potentially positive activity here in the state by the Trump Administration. They highlighted the shipment to MN of the following on Wednesday,
- 440,500 N-95 Masks
- 1,837,100 Surgical & Procedural Masks
- 93,600 Eye & Face Shields
- 519,500 Isolation & Surgical Gowns
- 34,417,800 Surgical & Exam Gloves