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Legislative update

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 

District 12B residents are invited to attend town hall meetings I will co-host with Sen. Torrey Westrom Friday, Aug. 20 in Garfield, Starbuck and Sauk Centre. 

There certainly is a wide variety of subjects for us to address during these town hall meetings and this is a good chance for people to express their thoughts on the state of affairs in Minnesota. I always appreciate direct input from the people we represent, and these town hall meetings are helpful in that regard. 

The schedule for the series of meetings includes: 

  • Garfield: 9 a.m., Garfield City Park (please do not park on the grass), 205 Park St.
  • Starbuck: 11 a.m., Starbuck VFW Post 4582, 212 E. 6th St.
  • Sauk Centre: 1 p.m., Next Door Bar & Grill, 517 Sinclair Lewis Ave.

In other news, drought conditions remain a major topic in our region and state and I would like to pass along some state and federal resources on this subject, starting with a Minnesota Department of Agriculture website titled “Drought Resources” that provides details on the state’s current assistance programs. This includes zero-interest loans that are available to Minnesota farmers whose operations are suffering due to extreme drought conditions under the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Disaster Recovery Loan Program. Click here for more. 

Federally, USDA Disaster Assistance for Drought Recovery is available for producers who experience livestock deaths and feed losses due to natural disasters. In addition, livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought in 2021 may be eligible for assistance through the Livestock Forage Disaster Program. Visit this link for more information on these federal programs. 

On a final note, the second draft of the state’s proposed social studies standards that will guide our children’s education on this subject for the next decade has been released and a public comment period is open until 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16. 

Many concerns remain regarding the proposed social studies standards, especially the way they seem to focused on advancing a political agenda. It is hard to fathom there are no references anywhere in the standards to key historical figures such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, yet one benchmark proposed for our children is to “Examine the benefits and consequences of power and privilege on issues associated with poverty, income, and the accumulation of wealth.”  

If you are interested in exploring this further, a link to the full second draft is available here. An FAQ in this issue is available here. And you can participate in the standards survey by clicking here. Again, the survey deadline is 4 p.m. this Monday. 

Until next time, hope you are having a good summer and let’s keep praying for rain.



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