Paul Gazelka’s Top 10 Moments As Senate Majority Leader
Today, following his announcement to step down as Senate Majority Leader, here are Paul Gazelka’s top 10 moments:
- Four months into the pandemic, Gazelka falsely claimed that “the emergency part of this pandemic is over.” Since this statement, the U.S. has lost more than 640,000 people to COVID-19.
- Gazelka held a 100+ person, maskless dinner for Senate Republicans, resulting in a COVID-19 outbreak. Following the event, Gazelka refused to notify his DFL colleagues or the venue that there was a COVID-19 outbreak at the event.
- Gazelka led the effort to block legislation to ban conversion therapy. And as Senate Majority Leader, he proposed dangerous legislation that would allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples.
- Gazelka blocked efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and promised to “stand in the way” of any new commonsense gun legislation.
- Despite having a significant budget surplus, Senate Republicans led by Gazelka proposed no increase in the per-pupil funding for schools despite school districts preparing to lay off teachers and drop programs following the unexpected budget impact of COVID-19.
- Gazelka promised to hold hearings on police reform following the killing of Daunte Wright and then walked back this commitment and refused to hold a single hearing on police accountability.
- Gazelka is opposed to all abortion and as Majority Leader he authored a bill that forces a 24-hour waiting period before obtaining an abortion. These government-mandated delays serve no purpose other than to make obtaining an abortion more difficult, dangerous, and expensive.
- Gazelka blocked legislation to establish paid family and medical leave, during a global pandemic.
- Gazelka tried unsuccessfully to stop Governor Walz’s “Clean Cars” emission standards initiative and even went so far as to force the resignation of Laura Bishop, the Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency after being unable to stop the Governor’s climate agenda.
- Gazelka tried to create a school voucher program to funnel tax dollars away from public schools to private and religious schools.