International, National and Minnesota Report

On Tuesday, Checks & Balances was the only media outlet to broach the topic of the Russian War with Ukraine during the Revenue Forecast press conference. We asked the following question of Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN):

“Governor Walz, in light of the War in Ukraine, and the impact it may have on our state budget, are you willing to follow the actions of fellow Governor Phil Murphy in New Jersey to call for a boycott of all Russian products and call upon Speaker Hortman and Senator Miller as well as your declared opponents in the Republican Senate, Senator Gazelka and Benson to put forward legislation to have a structured boycott against Russia as well as calling on the Investment Board to meet and divest any of Minnesota’s portfolio that has Russian ties?

Are you willing to go as far as suspending visas for all Russian students in our colleges and universities and send them home, with an acknowledgement that Donald Trump set the stage for this during his presidency and his kowtowing to Vladimir Putin?”

We saw earlier Walker Orenstein wrote a piece in MinnPost, Can the state of Minnesota take economic action against Russia? heading down the direction we first ferreted out, but failed in any recognition, we’re not so disrespectful.

Earlier today, the Walz Administration put out the following release.

Governor Walz Signs Executive Order to Condemn Russian Aggression, Support People of Ukraine by Ending Support to Russian Entities

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 22-03 to condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine and support the people of Ukraine by requiring that state agencies terminate existing contracts with Russian entities and refrain from entering into future contracts with Russian entities.

“Minnesota stands firmly with Ukraine and strongly condemns the Russian government’s actions,” said Governor Walz. “Today, I signed an Executive Order directing my cabinet agencies to stop doing business with Russian entities to help ensure that our state does not aid the Russian government’s aggression against Ukraine. I encourage other individuals, companies, and organizations to stand with their Ukrainian neighbors and end support to Russian entities. I also urge Minnesotans to support our fellow Russian Minnesotans, many of whom are horrified and alarmed by the Russian government’s aggression toward Ukraine.”

Following President Joe Biden’s recently announced significant sanctions against Russia – including cutting off Russian financial institutions’ access to global banking systems, disallowing certain technology exports to key Russian sectors, and barring Russian state-owned companies from raising money in United States markets – Executive Order 22-03 ends state contracts with Russian entities. Executive Order 22-03 also strongly encourages other individuals, companies, and organizations to terminate contracts with Russian entities and avoid future contracts with Russian entities.

We’re glad when the Governor have acted on a good idea. During the press conference he did not embrace our concern over the student population and felt they shouldn’t be punished for Putin’s actions, but what if they are Putin Sympathizers in our colleges and universities, aren’t they potential threats? At minimum, if they’re sent back to Russia, they are the best protestor’s because they will be angry with how Putin’s decisions have adversely affected their lives.