Nothing but a playground bully: Sen Bill Weber expresses anger with MN Governor and House

MINNESOTA – Republican Sen. Bill Weber is mad and readily admits it.

On Wednesday, House Democrats voted to block passage of legislation to allocate $841 million in federal funding under the CARES Act to counties, cities, and towns throughout Minnesota. According to Weber, the bill was agreed to over the weekend by all four legislative caucuses and was passed 62-4 by the Senate on Tuesday, but then the House made a change by adding a $150 million supplemental budget to the bill.

“We had said we were going to do it, the House said they were going to do it, and then yesterday the House attached the Gov supplemental budget of $150 million,” Weber said. “We’re already in a deficit mode, adding $150 million to it is absolutely ludicrous.”

Weber said he believes Governor Tim Walz does not want the bill to pass.

“He knows he can’t veto it, because every city and township government would rise up and raise holy hell,” Weber stated.

Weber is the Minnesota Senator for District 22, which includes all or portions of Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, redwood and Rock Counties. Between those counties and the encompassed cities and townships, Weber said the districts portion of the CARES Act funding is almost $15 million dollars. All of the money would be spent on COVID-related spending including, Weber said, assisting local businesses who have suffered during the pandemic.

“If the House doesn’t get their act together, if they don’t cooperate on the bonding bill and providing us with a clean bill, we will adjourn sine die,” Weber said. “We are not going to be held hostage by this governor.”

Adjourning sine die means without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing.

“And so right now if they do not pass that bill cleanly the way the Senate passed it, quite frankly, it might not happen,” Weber stated. “And then were at the mercy of a governor who has become nothing but a playground bully.”

Weber said he has a reputation of being someone willing to work with people on the other side, to the point that he has been criticized by his own party at times. But he believes people want progress, and with that as a goal, he has a responsibility to step forward. With the governor’s use of bully tactics, Weber said he plans to be nice and walk away from it.

“The reality is his emergency powers run out on July 12,” he added. “He’ll probably call us back because he wants them. He does not want to give up his power. And to that, I say, ‘Shame on him.’”

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