#unitecloud talked with Representative Jim Knoblach yesterday about the anti- refugee bill that we’ve been telling you about. We were happy to hear that his opinions on the bill are:
We will not back down, we will not surrender. We shall overcome the marginalization of our neighbors! And, we will do this as one Central MN community against hatred.
Minnesota government officials (including many from Central MN) are attempting to pass bills in both the House and the Senate concerning the cost of the national refugee resettlement program. In the beginning of April, the Stearns County Commissioners Board voted unanimously to draft a resolution in support of these bills. Their next meeting is this coming Tuesday, April 19th, at 9am, during which the “Resolution in Support of Legislative Transparency” is in on the agenda to be passed.
Summary of Minnesota Bills SF 2843 and HF 3034
Both bills propose conducting independent third-party financial audits of federal, state, local and nonprofit spending related to refugee resettlement costs and other services provided to refugees in Minnesota. To read the bills in their entirety, click on the links above.
- How much is this going to cost? There is no mention of the proposed cost in the bills. But, knowing the scope of the project, it would be a TON of money.
- Why is this even a thing? Don’t we have more important pressing issues to worry about like our hungry children and our homeless veterans?
- Why are our elected officials taking their time to work on this? What about our exhaustive infrastructure needs and economic disparities?
- Why are is our government wanting to put non-profits that are assisting refugees on the defensive? Think about that – locally, it would be places like Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities. These organizations don’t ask people if they came here as a refugee before they help someone. They help PEOPLE, no qualifiers needed.
- Stearns County already came out with a 60+ page report on public assistance because a local group was hell-bent on knowing the cost of assisting refugees. Check out the Times article on that report here, and our follow up article with a personal story here.
- What type of message does this send to refugees in our state?
I am a Stearns County resident, and I do not support these bills nor the resolution set to pass on Tuesday. I called my county commissioner and the commissioner board chair and shared with them my concerns and asked for a platform to speak on Tuesday.
What can you do?
- Call or e-mail the Senators and Representatives that are authors or co-authors on this bill. (contact info. below)
- Call or e-mail the Stearns County Commisioners to tell them your thoughts on the support resolution. (contact info. here)
- Let #unitecloud know if you hear of any other counties making resolutions like Stearns County is attempting to so we can speak with them!
- Tell us your ideas for any other ways to combat these bills.
Central Minnesota Senators who are Authors or Co-Authors of SF 2843
- John Pederson (R) District 14
- E-mail through form
- Represents St. Cloud, Waite Park and St. Augusta
- Bruce Anderson (R) District 29
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Represents Monticello, Buffalo and Annandale
- Scott Newman (R) District 18
- Represents Litchfield, Dassel, Cokato and Hutchinson
- David Brown (R) District 15
- Represents Clearwater, Clear Lake, Becker, Rice, Milaca and Princeton
Central Minnesota Representatives who are Authors of HF 3034
- Jim Newberger (R) District 15B
- Represents Clear Lake, Clearwater, Becker, Foley and Rice
- Sondra Erickson (R) District 15A
- Represents Milaca and Princeton