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Minnesota Rep. Hornstein donates salary to NGOs hit by shutdown

Most legislators continue to collect their salaries while the state is shutdown, but Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis) is putting his July salary to good use.

Hornstein, who recently toured four nonprofits in and around his district of Southwest Minneapolis, split his July salary, about $2,000, between the organizations.

The organizations include Planned Parenthood in South Minneapolis, the Neighborhood Involvement Program, Southwest Senior Center and the Minnesota AIDS project.

Hornstein_1723.jpg
Hornstein_1723.jpg

Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis

“This government shutdown has deep and profound effects on many people, including state employees and state agencies, but there are also non-profits that are feeling the effects of this,” Hornstein told the Minnesota Independent. “People who are serving the most vulnerable seem to be the ones who are most adversely effected.”

Hornstein said he donated his salary, a fact that he didn’t mention in his press release about the tours of the organizations, to highlight the impacts of the shutdown and Republican-proposed budget.

“This isn’t just a distant shutdown that just affects people getting fishing licenses,” Hornstein said. “We have people in our own community, very near to us, our neighbors, that rely on non-profit organizations for very important services.”

Forty-eight House lawmakers plan to decline their salaries during the shutdown, according to City Pages. Hornstein said he hadn’t heard that some lawmakers were giving back their salaries, but said that “if anyone’s concerned about me taking my salary, yes, I took it, but it’s going right back into the community.”

Mary Ann Schoenberger, director of the Southwest Senior Center told the Minnesota Independent that her organization had been concerned about the impacts of the shutdown on their services, but that the greater worry lies in proposed cuts to health and human services and transit.

The donations were a surprise, she said.

“It just really shows how much he is concerned about all groups that are providing important services,” Schoenberger said. ”We invited him to come today to speak about the shutdown and he brought along a $500 check.”

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