Several DFL legislators say that Republican budget cuts would unfairly target low-income and minority children.
They held a news conference at the Minnesota State Capitol Thursday to highlight the potential harm of recently passed cuts in education, health care and public safety programs.
Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-Minneapolis, said the GOP budget would put poor children at greater risk of remaining in poverty as adults.
"Children of color and American-Indian children in Minnesota already face the largest resource gaps of any state in the nation, she said. "The proposed Republican cuts are a direct assault on Minnesota's communities of color."
Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said the implied discrimination is false. Hann said GOP leaders are simply trying to do the best they can with available revenue.
"I don't think any of the things in the budget have anything to do with racial politics. I think trying to inject racial politics into the budget is a little strange," he said.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch of Buffalo said the Republican budget makes some changes in school funding to try a new approach to closing the persistent achievement gap.