Budget forecast is more evidence of an economy rigged for the rich

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. Feb. 26, 2021 – The state budget forecast released Friday predicts a $1.6 billion surplus in the next budget cycle, even as unemployment soars for low-wage workers and amid news reports that demand at food shelves in Minnesota has reached record levels. 

Education Minnesota President Denise Specht said the forecast reflects the growing distance between the biggest corporations and the wealthy few — and everyone else.  The following statement may be attributed to Specht: 

“If we’re serious about making sure every Minnesotan can pursue their dreams, regardless of what they look like or where they’re from, we need to get serious about how our state arrived at this moment. For decades, the richest few Minnesotans, and the politics they pay for, have rigged the economy against regular people while blaming the hard times on poor families, unions, Black and brown people and immigrants. The system they built made sure the rich got richer and everyone else got left behind during this pandemic.  

Spending a surplus in the two-year budget cycle and some federal COVID-19 relief dollars won’t rewrite the rules so everyone has an equal chance to thrive, but we can come together and insist the richest Minnesotans and biggest corporations pay their fair share in the next budget. If that happens, our state can make long-term policies to ensure everyone gets what they need, including access to affordable health care, childcare, broadband and fully funded public schools with trusted counselors, technical education and small class sizes. By joining together across race and place, Minnesotans can insist that our elected leaders create a Minnesota where everyone, without exception, can share in our state’s prosperity.” 

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

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