ST. PAUL - Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) was among three Republican legislators to present a bill Monday who proposed a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the Minnesota Legislature from authorizing a school funding shift that reduced funding below 90 percent.
Dahms said the bill came from the intense backlash over the state's high amount of withheld school funding. He said Republicans were rightly criticized for the situation, and the proposed amendment would put a system in place to keep it from ever happening to that degree again. Dahms would have preferred to present the proposal as a law rather than a constitutional amendment, but he knows there would not be enough votes to pass it. He feels the bill in amendment form will generate serious attention and discussion.
However, he said the plan must be heard in the Education Committee. He said he doubts the DFL majority will allow the bill to get a hearing because the DFL has too much interest in keeping school shifts as a budgeting option.
The other Republican co-authors of the bill are Sen. Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) and David Brown (R-Becker).
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)