Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A New Plan; Since the State of [fill in blank] is running short of money

The following resolution will be submitted to the Minnesota House of Representatives by state congressman Bill Hilty from the district surrounding Carlton. It came to my attention via Veterans for Peace/Chapter 27.

The resolution's authors, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Bill Hilty, want as many progressives as possible to submit it to various local organizations for official endorsements. That, they think, might help win it approval in the hostile pro-war, Republican-dominated Minnesota House and Senate.

For non-Minnesotan, of course, this idea could surely be adapted to other states by simply changing the dollar figures. 

Resolution Calling for Re-ordering of Priorities:

Whereas Minnesota is faced with a $5.028 billion budget shortfall; and,

Whereas past budget cuts have resulted in painful reductions in essential services and future cuts would further erode the quality of life for and, in fact, endanger the lives of many citizens; and,

Whereas many cities and communities in Minnesota are laying off police, firefighters, teachers and other essential employees; and,

Whereas past budgets have been balanced by cutting social services, under‑investment in essential infrastructure, and other measures that push the crisis onto local governments and the poor; and,

Whereas Minnesota taxpayers even during these times of economic crisis and fiscal austerity are poised to pay the equivalent of the entire state biennial budget, more than $35 billion over the next two years, for their share of the Defense Budget of the Federal government; and,

Whereas Minnesota taxpayers alone have already spent more than $27.5 billion, and will spend $8.4 billion more over the next two years for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and,

Whereas 58 cents of every dollar of federal discretionary spending is devoted to military purposes; and,

Whereas military spending priorities at the national level negatively impact budgets and quality of life at all levels of government and society; and, 

Whereas our nation desperately needs to better balance its approach to security to go beyond military defense and include the economic, social, and environmental needs of our communities, state, and nation;

Therefore be it resolved that we, the Legislature of the State of Minnesota call on Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, McCollum, Ellison, Bachmann, Peterson and Cravaack as well as Congressional leadership and President Barack Obama, to shift federal funding priorities from war and the interests of the few, to meeting the essential needs of us all. 

Approved [date]

By Jack Nelson-Palmeyer and Bill Hilty

Image credit: Poster for sale at Syracuse Cultural Workers website


okjimm said...

ya know. kiddo, that just makes much too much sense. I mean, you see, War creates jobs.... and if we end the war, well gosh... unemployment will just rise!
AND if we use THAT, the money not used for war, for building roads and hospitals and schools... why gosh... the maintenance of all that stuff would just, golly, increase the national deficit!

Border Explorer said...

Golly, come to think of it---you're right! Or at least that's what they're telling me on talk radio!!

vicenteduq said...

Laugh Out Loud with this : Banks and Wire Transfers in South Carolina oppose the Anti-Aliens Gestapo because it diminishes their profits - Nobody knows how much the Special South Carolina Police trained against Hispanics will cost : South Carolina Budget Deficit reaching one billion dollars

Perhaps the anti Hispanic Police will hire Hispanics to serve as police officers because of the Geography and Language difficulties of other students. - More and More State Employees !

Racial Politics is Funny !

The State
South Carolina's Homepage
Immigration police unit's funding in doubt
Fee to pay for force is dropped from bill
Friday, Apr. 08, 2011

Some excerpts :

The financial source intended to pay for a statewide illegal immigration police force was stripped Thursday from legislation, leaving questions about how the state would pay for the new unit.

A House subcommittee held a hearing on the bill Thursday morning during which 15 people spoke against creating more immigration laws in the state. While those against the bill included law enforcement officers, church pastors, college students and former educators, it was lobbyists from the financial industry who got the attention of the five legislators on the subcommittee.

Representatives for PayPal, Fiserv, the S.C. Retail Association and the S.C. Association of Convenience Stores opposed the bill, saying it would place an unfair tax on military members, missionaries, college students and other S.C. residents who electronically transfer money around the globe. And, the retailers said, the bill would place a burden on them because they would have to collect the fees on behalf of the state.

“It universally impacted monetary transactions,” said Lynn Murray, an attorney with McNair Law Firm who represents Fiserv, a company that provides electronic transfers for retail outlets and online businesses. “I’m not sure they had any idea how far-reaching it was.”

As a response to their complaints, the subcommittee eliminated a section that would have levied a $5 fee on international wire transfers of less than $500 and would have assessed a 1 percent fee on transactions of more than $500.

Legislators have no idea how much it would cost to establish the unit. The bill does not specify how many officers would staff it. Those officers would need to be hired, trained and equipped with cars, weapons and other police gear.

S.C. Rep. James Harrison, R-Richland, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he did not think the fee was an appropriate way to pay for the immigration enforcement unit. He suggested money come from the state general fund.

Harrison challenged the Senate to find the money.

“If this bill passes through the House, the Senate still has the budget,” Harrison said. “If they want to fund it, they can put it in the budget.”

Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens who led the effort to push the immigration bill through the Senate, said Thursday he did not know how the state would pay for the unit. He also did not know how much the fee would have raised.

“There would be some,” he said. “It truly would be helpful to keep it.”

The financial impact of the immigration bill was a constant theme during the hearing as people questioned whether the state could afford to train law enforcement officers in the nuances of immigration law and how the state would pay for an inevitable lawsuit. The bill is modeled after similar legislation in Arizona, which has been challenged in the courts.

Several opponents also argued the bill would push immigrants — no matter their legal status — out of South Carolina, forcing the state to lose the financial benefits of working people. And it will do nothing to improve the state’s dismal economy, which should be the Legislature’s priority, they said.