By Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, MN

With the tumultuous times in our state, as your state senator I felt compelled to respond to the information that is reported by the main street media. Some of the reporting is informative and even helpful during the COVID 19-time frame. However, after the horrible incident that happened in Minneapolis, the information that our Gov. Walz and the state DFL has reported is very disingenuous, shameful and just wrong.

Minnesotans know the term “Art of Deflection” when it comes to politics, and it’s clear, our governor is using this tactic now. Gov. Walz is now blaming the Republican controlled Senate for failing to act after the terrible George Floyd incident that occurred in Minneapolis. This is the same governor that stood back and allowed angry protestors, turning into rioters, to block freeways as they assaulted the local cops and his own State Patrol. This inaction by our governor resulted in physical demonstrations that led to buildings (over 200) being burned, looted and destroyed, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. These businesses had already been struggling financially as a result of the COVID shutdown and then took another financial hit, while Gov. Walz sat back and lost control of the rioters and looters in his state. Gov. Walz is now expecting the state taxpayers to pay for the damages!

There is no question, Minneapolis has huge issues. It’s very clear that in the aftermath Mayor Frey, and his very Democrat progressive city council members, have made a decision that comes up short on public safety issues. These are the same people who spent their time trying to ban plastic bags and straws but overlooked the obvious needs for their public’s safety. Their answer to the Floyd killing is to defund and disband the Minneapolis Police Department. Gov. Walz has not yet spoken out publicly, thanking the many dedicated and trustworthy officers in law enforcement. A 29-year-old Grand Forks, ND law enforcement officer was shot and killed two days after the George Floyd death. His wife, 10-month-old baby and family suffer equally as the Floyd family. This officer was shot by a man of color and his death had very little news coverage with no riots or looting. The governor also allowed vandalism on the state Capitol grounds with a guarantee of no arrests, empowering the “revision” of history in Minnesota.

With all that said, it’s interesting that the Republican Senate is being blamed for not solving this myriad of problems.

The Senate Republicans passed, in a bipartisan fashion, the CARE Act bill, giving millions of dollars to counties, cities and townships. The CARE Act is federal money that Gov. Walz and the DFL House failed to allocate. We also passed a bill to allow millions of dollars for rural broadband and the DFL refused to pass this. We need a robust bonding bill that has yet to come from the House. And finally, the DFL and Gov. Walz want felons to vote as part of their public safety reform! Republicans put together a good criminal justice reform bill. Gov. Walz and the House DFL must get these very important issues done. Stop the “Art of Political Deflection.” Minnesotans deserve better.