To the editor:
I was disappointed to read in the Wednesday, Jan. 9, issue of the Marshall Independent that Rep. (Chris) Swedzinski gave support for a partisan attack on Rep. Jean Wagenius as chair of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee in the House by attempting to shift the control of the state agriculture budget from her division. This does not enhance our area of the state for receiving support for agriculture by attempting to remove the recently appointed chair of the House Agriculture finance Committee which is combined with Environment and natural Resources. with fewer farmers on land and a continuing loss of population in our area, we need to build connections with others including Rep. Wagenius. Agriculture has a stewardship connection to both the environment and natural resources. Good farming enhances our natural resources and our environment.
It is also kind of sad that on family day at the capitol in which most of all the legislators’ families are present with legislators and the first day of the session that partisanship had to happen. If this state is going to move forward, we need area legislators reaching across party line and working together like we saw this last week when we saw Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, and Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, introduce a health care exchange bill to improve health care for all Minnesotans and did this along with Rep. Jim Abler, R-Anoka, and Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston.
On Monday, Jan. 15, the house rules committee rejected the move by Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, and former chair of the house Ag Policy and Finance to remove jurisdiction of Ag Finance from Rep. Wagenius. In answer to the Jan. 10 headline of the Independent, are rural lawmakers going to get stifled? The answer is yes if they don’t develop a relationship with the committee and chair, Rep. Wagenius. I’d say they are off to a bad start. I hope this session improves with our area legislators reaching out across the urban/rural divide (build connections) and leave partisanship to the election cycle.