Minnesota State Senator ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by DFL Leader’s Threat to Cut Funding from County Over Refugees


A Minnesota senator said he is “deeply disturbed” by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s (DFL-Golden Valley) threat to cut state aid from Beltrami County after it voted to opt out of refugee resettlement.

Winkler made the threat on Twitter this week after Beltrami County became the first county in the state to refuse refugee resettlement. The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners passed a motion in a 3-2 vote Tuesday night to reject refugees in response to an executive order from President Donald Trump, The Minnesota Sun reported.

Under President Trump’s September order, refugee resettlement now requires the explicit consent of both the state and the county.

“Minnesota counties that want state aid funded in part by taxes paid by immigrants and refugees should consider votes like these. Beltrami County received a state bailout in 2019 but three commissioners voted like they are an island,” Winkler said on Twitter in response.

He noted that the state “decides what the counties’ human services obligations are,” meaning the Minnesota Legislature is “free to add a refugee provision at any time.”

“If the Beltrami County board wants to withdraw from the state and not accept refugees, why should the rest of the state help them? It’s my home county, and this vote does not represent the values of the community that raised me,” he added.

State Sen. Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) said in a statement Thursday that he was “deeply disturbed” by Winkler’s “threat to cut off funding to Beltrami County simply because the county did not vote the way he wanted.”

“This hostile behavior from the Majority Leader has no place in government, and we should not move towards a society that requires quid pro quo or else. Rather than engaging in this destructive behavior, I encourage the Majority Leader to visit Beltrami to learn the importance of state aid for the area and why continued support will be critical in the future,” Eichorn continued.

The senator said “local control is one of the most important principles in our country” and praised President Trump for empowering local communities to “have a voice in the decision-making process for the federal refugee resettlement program.”

John Hinderaker, president of the Center of the American Experiment, called Winkler’s comments a “rare moment of honesty from one of the DFL’s most powerful state leaders.”

“The urban/rural divide is not only real, it’s driven by liberal politicians who look down on Minnesotans who don’t agree with them, and will punish them for their independence by any means necessary,” he said.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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2 Thoughts to “Minnesota State Senator ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by DFL Leader’s Threat to Cut Funding from County Over Refugees”

  1. Neil D Thielke

    Ilhan Omar is the best thing that has happened to Minnesota political scene. Relax conservative friends… The reason for this is that she represents the true face of democratic politics in MN and accurately illustrates their motives. A vote for any democrat is indirectly a vote for her agenda. I will defer from using words like “nut job” on this post, but you get the idea. I graduated with honors from one of the most liberal colleges in MN. Trust me, this is their agenda.

  2. Mike

    Winkler grew up in Bemidji so he should know what and why we voted against the refugee resettlement because we need to think about our people in this community first. I don’t believe that the immigrants really pay there share of taxes as 92% of them are on welfare.. This means we the citizens of Minnesota pay for them to get a better life that they never try and do. Free money keeps them from trying to even improve there lives.. Wake up America it’s all about putting money in our politicians pockets. Winkler needs to understand he can’t push Everyone to do what the DEMONCRAPS want..
    Time to make up your own mines people America is about freedom not enslavement like the dems are trying to push. It’s even more important to help TRUMP get his second term as President so he may get the deep state drained and turn America around..