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Minnesota’s poor people’s movement welcomes court decision against Pawlenty

By Welfare Rights Committee |
May 7, 2010
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Twin Cities based Welfare Rights Committee.

Welfare Rights Committee Hails Supreme Court Ruling on Unallotment
Demands Legislature Take Action for Poor and Working People

Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court made the right decision. They took away Governor Pawlenty’s “royal powers” over the state budget.

The Welfare Rights Committee’s Linden Gawboy stated, “Pawlenty thought he was a king. Now he is just pathetic.”

Last year, Governor Pawlenty played dictator with his illegal unallotments and other cuts. He put his personal whims into action and slashed away at some basic safety net programs for the poorest of the poor. He eliminated General Assistance Medical Care, food assistance for the ill and supplemental aid for the disabled. He increased taxes for renters and many cut from many other programs.

The members of the Welfare Rights Committee have felt the effects of all of his cuts to the poor. We have watched as ourselves, our families and friends are forced to scramble for basic needs.

So we hail today’s State Supreme Court decision. After witnessing months of suffering, it is long overdue.

Deb Konechne, of the Welfare Rights Committee says, “Pawlenty thought he could get away again with outright stealing of money from poor Minnesotans, as he has done over and over in his term as governor. Finally his thievery has been challenged and the highest court in the state has deemed his actions unlawful. We, the poor and working people of Minnesota, have always known Pawlenty is a thief. The Supreme Court has righteously agreed.”

Now, we demand justice from the legislature. Many democrats have not been stating what really needs to be done. The state of Minnesota has been in a budget crisis for almost a decade. The state of Minnesota and the rest of country are in the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Still, some - the wealthy - are not feeling our pain. In fact, they are getting richer off of our suffering. It is time for them to pay. We say, tax the rich. The DFL must take this opportunity to propose a budget to tax the rich and undo the cuts.

The Welfare Rights Committee will do whatever it takes to drive this message home to Minnesota’s politicians. The Supreme Court has spoken. Now it is up to the people to make sure the legislature and the governor do the right thing.