Sen Ortman To Media: MN Doesn’t Need To Read About Senate Cuts

If you want to get a reporter interested in a story, just tell him or her that they shouldn’t print it.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Julianne Ortman probably didn’t consider that adage when she told room of reporters “I’m not sure Minnesotans really need to hear and read all about this”.

She was commenting about cuts the majority party is making to the minority party’s legislative staff budget. Senator Ortman says the disagreement over the budget is “inside ball”.

Minority party saying Majority party using “misleading numbers”

Senator Ortman was responding to accusations from Senate Minority leader Tom Bakk that Republicans and the Secretary of the Senate’s office were using “misleading numbers” to argue for the elimination of 14 permanent DFL Senate caucus employees to reduce an anticipated Senate budget deficit of more than $2 million. There would be no loss of permanent staff on the Republican side.

Below is video of what Senator Bakk had to say.

Senator Ortman also made a claim at the end of her response that The UpTake has not been able to verify.

She says last year the Republican caucus reduced its staff by 14 positions, which it did after it added many more than that after taking over the majority, but it was still 14 fewer positions than the DFL had when it was in the majority. That is true.

But Senator Ortman also claimed that “last year they (the DFL) increased their staff”, which contradicts records from the Secretary of the Senate’s office obtained by The UpTake. Those documents show From 2010 to 2011 the DFL reduced it’s total permanent staff budget from 4.377 million to 2.001 million. From 2010 to 2011 the Republican Caucus increased its staff budget from 1.475 million to 3.533 million.

It is possible Senator Ortman may be referring to the previous year. From 2009 to 2010 the DFL added one permanent staff position (as did the Republican caucus) but the DFL payroll dropped $58,198 while the Republican caucus payroll increased $17,451

A call from The UpTake to Senator Ortman’s office asking for an explanation of what she meant by her statement has not yet been returned.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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