The same week legislators held a hearing on the Republican bill to cut the state workforce by 15 percent across the board, the Center for Science in the Public Interest singled out Minnesota as one of two states nationally that is “…widely recognized for having strong investigating and reporting systems…” when it comes to handling foodborne illnesses. The CSPI report was based on a 10-year review of state responses to foodborne illness outbreaks and the agency gave letter grades to all 50 states.
“This is a wonderful report highlighting the incredible work by state employees in the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health who work hard to protect Minnesotans from foodborne illnesses,” said Jim Monroe, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. “We are proud of the MAPE members who are part of this ‘A’ team.”
Monroe continued by adding, “Taxpayers should know they are getting a good return on their investment as state employees are hard at work protecting them by making sure the food they eat is safe. It’s ironic that this national recognition arrives on the same week that Republicans pushed ahead to cut state services across the board without giving taxpayers the list of services those Republican lawmakers believe should be cut.”
The CSPI report, All Over the Map, went on to note that “Congress and individual state legislatures must commit to improving public health budgetarily, as well as theoretically. Cutting budgets at health departments has long lasting repercussions on food safety and consumer health; these essential services must be given top priority and fully funded.” View the CSPI report.
“We call on the Republican leadership to hold public hearings and let the taxpayers know what state services they believe should be eliminated,” said Monroe. “It’s taxpayer money funding state services – the legislative leadership has a responsibility to not only publicly disclose what services they believe Minnesotans want to lose, but allow public debate on these issues.”
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