Letters to the editor for July 12, 2013

Status quo not option

To the Editor:

Last year, you sent a loud message directed at legislators: The status quo is not an option.
You sent lawmakers to St. Paul with a clear to-do list: A real solution to on-going structural deficits, action on record high property taxes, investments in education and a plan to create jobs. And gridlock would be no excuse.

That just what the DFL did just that this session.

We crafted a budget that stays true to DFL principles. We honored promises we made by investing in priorities that Minnesotans broadly share and support: education, job creation and middle class property tax relief.

And we will pay for these investments by asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share, closing corporate tax loopholes and reforming our tax system to make it fairer for middle-income Minnesotans.

Our budget erases our $647 million deficit, pays back the money we borrowed from our kids’ schools to bridge past deficits and invests new dollars in building a stronger middle class.

We made historic investments in E-12 and froze tuition at our colleges.

We also began the implementation of the Affordable Care Act by creating the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace – an online marketplace where Minnesotans can compare and purchase health insurance coverage – and expanded access to Medicaid thousands of Minnesotans.

We have invested in programs that are proven job creators.

Much work remains to ensure a better and brighter future of Minnesotans of this generation and of generations to come.

I pledge that I will continue to work on providing that future for the residents of District 37A.

Rep. Jerry Newton
Coon Rapids

Promises not kept

To the Editor:

May 20 marked the end of the legislative session until February. For the first time in 40 years Democrats took control of both houses and the governor’s office.

This being the budget year, Minnesota families were promised that we would pay off the school shift and only the top 2 percent of income earners would see their taxes go up.

Democrats failed to meet either of those promises.

I serve on both education committees and I asked Democrats to work together to reform our educational system and pay off any debt we owe to the schools.

Instead of doing that the education committees focused their energy into eliminating any graduation standards for our kids and trying to delay any sort of teacher evaluation.

We were all enthused by the goal of having every student graduate. Little did we know that meant eliminating accountability and to just dumb down our high school diplomas.

As for the taxes, one thing every taxpayer needs to know is that they will pay more to the government.

They will pay more in expanded sales tax, tobacco tax and higher energy costs.

The Democrats have now made state of Minnesota have the fourth highest marginal rate in the country just behind California, Hawaii and Oregon.

In 2007, Department of Revenue released data that showed that 92 percent of Minnesota businesses will be potentially affected by our marginal income rate.

The costs will be trickled down to the consumer. We know that this approach will not work.

Hardworking taxpayers deserve for us to go line by line and cut wasteful spending before we ask for another dollar. Legislators need to do their jobs, Minnesota deserves better.

Sen. Branden Petersen

Thanks for donations

To the Editor:

We would like to thank all of our family, friends and area businesses for all of your donations and hard work at the River City Saloon Road to Recovery Cancer Run held in Anoka June 8.

We are grateful to all of you. The benefit was a huge success and we are deeply touched by all your love and support.

Jim Rak and Donna Kallenbach
Coon Rapids

Uninvolved parents

To the Editor:

ECM’s recent editorial on a formula for education success offers a misguided and fatal solution. To get kids to at least grade-level reading by third grade, ECM actually advocates that others do the job that parents refuse to do. This never works.

Having the gall to relegate parents as mere “partners in their child’s educational experience,” ECM proposes continued subrogation of children to public schools, volunteer groups, and non-profits.

But this is precisely what the cause of the vicious circle of illiteracy has been: uninvolved parents and inefficient allocation of resources used by disinterested third parties.

This model therefore cannot be the solution. It is not about collecting more funds but rather advocating the reversal of the self-centered decisions that parents make to not read with their children daily.

How can it be that parents don’t read with their own children? Are they both “too busy” with sports, shopping, Facebook and TV?

Nowadays it should be easy for parents and their kids to sit and enjoy an online story together, cuddle up with a Kindle, or even read something called a “library book.”

Overburdened parents can acquire affordable reading software and games that kids can do on their own.

While public schools can help children in severe cases, the responsibility before third grade must lie squarely on the parent.

But what a joy to have it! Sitting down with one’s own child, enjoying a snack, and talking and reading together is a blessing and responsibility that will alleviate illiteracy.

Thank you much,

Kelly Wing

Support goes too far

To the Editor:

You had a letter June 14 supporting the Second Amendment to the constitution.

The amendment was passed by the Congress and by the state legislatures and is a part of our constitution and I support it.

Your writer, in support of the amendment, however went too far. She said that it was a God given right.

I don’t know every passage of the Bible, but I know of none that says the right to bear arms is a God given right.

Mel Aanerud
Ham Lake

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