Short takes for May 10

Same-sex marriage at the Capitol

THUMBS UP: We wouldn’t blame anyone for arguing that with so much left to accomplish during the 2013 legislative session our policymakers shouldn’t spend as much time as they have a social issue like same-sex marriage, but this an issue that needs to come to a conclusion this year. Minnesota is close to becoming the 12th state to legalize gay marriage, and considering how both sides of the issue continue to send their message statewide and at the Capitol, one can’t discount the importance of these votes. This is a potentially historic time in our state, and to simply gloss over this issue would be an injustice.

Farm bill this summer?stay tuned

THUMBS UP: DFL Congressman Collin Peterson showed some optimism this week when he told the Associated Press he’s hopeful Congress will pass a new farm bill sometime this summer. We hope he’s right. It’s high time the U.S. House and Senate ag committees put their bills together and work together to craft a much-needed farm bill to replace the current antiquated one. And it would be nice if they could get it done before the August recess, although considering how Washington works, that might be asking too much.

School board addresses policies

THUMBS UP: We were pleased to see the Marshall School Board waste little time in addressing its policies regarding student trips this week. A little more than a week after a Marshall 4-year-old was left behind at a museum in Brookings, S.D., the school took action and updated its policies and procedures to hopefully ensure nothing like this ever happens again. There are many “rules” in the new policy, but the biggest one requires multiple head counts throughout the trip – one at check-in, one on the bus before departure, one during the trip and one at every stop where students are allowed to get on and off the bus. If anything, the school appears to have learned from its mistake, and a silver lining from what can only be described as a nightmare for the parents of the boy is that changes will be in place for future field trips.