Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson is accusing Republicans of not taking seriously the social worker shortage for state child abuse investigations.Pederson appeared last week before a legislative committee drafting the department of human services budget. Afterwards, G-O-P lawmakers said hiring 98 new social workers is not their first priority. Pederson quotes the new Republican president in response saying “abuse is an important national issue.”Pederson says lawmakers do not grasp the scope of the problem social workers face as they sort through child abuse cases.The American Humane Society reviewed the department of human services after the death of Shelby Duis, a Spirit Lake toddler who died of abuse, and the Society concluded social workers’ caseloads were too high. Pederson says the 98 social workers are just an incremental step, and more should be hired in future years.