SAINT PAUL — Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon issued the following statement after Governor Dayton vetoed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill:
"Since March, I have worked with both DFL and GOP legislators to secure access to federal funding that would have been used to enhance our election cyber defenses ahead of the 2018 elections,” said Secretary of State Steve Simon. “This wouldn’t cost Minnesota taxpayers one additional cent – the funds I sought were made available to us by the tireless work of Senator Klobuchar and others who share my concern about election security. Two simple sentences would have authorized my office to tap the federal election cybersecurity funds. I repeatedly urged lawmakers to send the authorization to the Governor in a clean and non-controversial elections bill. I testified before legislators six different times, made numerous phone calls, and held countless in-person meetings with legislators and staff.
“Despite universal bipartisan agreement on the need for access to these funds, the legislature chose the riskiest path forward by including the authorizing language in an omnibus bill that Governor Dayton repeatedly promised to veto. The result for Minnesotans is a bad one: more than $6 million in federal cyber defense money will be left sitting in an account, untouchable until after the 2018 election. My office remains committed to working day and night to protect the integrity of Minnesota’s best-in-the-nation elections. That work would have been made easier had the legislature prioritized election security funding by finding an easy and trouble-free path for it. Instead, the legislature gambled and lost. Now, unfortunately, Minnesotans are left with a bad and completely avoidable outcome."
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