From: Rep. Steve
Over the past few years of serving as your state representative, I’ve always noticed a “we” versus “them” division when it comes to rural Minnesota and Metro Area priorities. Sometimes the difference is inferred, other times it is obvious—such as the state paying thousands of dollars more for a Minneapolis student when compared to a child from Southeastern Minnesota.
But on the first day of the 2013 Legislative Session, the new House Democrat majority made a blatant statement by assigning rural Minnesota’s agriculture and rural economy funding interests to environmental extremists from Minneapolis.
Think about that for a minute. Instead of funding ag needs through its own committee chaired by a rural Minnesota lawmaker, the new House Speaker—from Minneapolis—has decided to combine state ag and environment funding interests. He then gave spending control of our priorities to a nearly 30-year representative—also from Minneapolis—who is labeled on her own website as a “mother earth feminist.”
This is literally the worst case scenario if you live in rural Minnesota or have even a passing interest in agriculture.
Check out the extreme, anti-rural Minnesota voting record:
•Voted against a bipartisan environmental permitting bill that promoted economic development and job creation.
•Voted to implement a new water permitting processing fee on groundwater usage, which would increase the cost to farmers who use irrigation.
•Voted to add a broad range of ag-related pesticides/chemicals as “high concern,” meaning more requirements, reporting and studies with no way to pay for them.
•Voted against the Green Acres bill, which in essence was a vote to continue massive property tax increases for many farmers and rural landowners through no fault of their own.
And we’re expected to believe that it will just be business as usual for farmers and rural Minnesotans over the next two years?
On Opening Day, Republicans tried to give ag funding authority to the chair of a House agriculture policy committee, but the Democrats took the proposal down on a party line vote.
To have an agriculture policy committee but not an agriculture finance committee is very short-sighted. To allow environmental extremists from Minneapolis to determine whether to spend money on programs like ag education or something relating to lands, air, or waterways, sends an extremely poor message to rural Minnesota as session begins.