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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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Let's set the record straight

Thursday, April 28, 2011
To the editor, I must be doing something right if the House minority leader from Minneapolis deems it necessary to criticize me in a letter to our local newspapers. The real shocker would be if he did agree with my call for fiscal responsibility. After all, the former majority’s insatiable appetite for spending is the reason state spending is set to increase by an unsustainable 29 percent over the next two years. What did surprise me is the minority leader’s letter used a series of talking points and vague references to make the absurd assertion that I favor spending state funds on prison gardens over creating jobs or funding our schools. First of all, the prison gardening bill I’ve authored (H.F. 467) received bipartisan approval from a House committee. Inmates would consume the products they grow, saving our state thousands – or even millions – of dollars on food costs for our correctional facilities. Furthermore, the omnibus K-12 finance bill (H.F. 934), which I voted for, actually increases per-pupil funding for schools in our area. Our bill provides more money than the governor proposes, increasing statewide per-pupil funding by $126 through 2014. Finally, one of the first things I did this session was to vote in favor of streamlining the business-permitting process (H.F. 1). I also voted for the omnibus tax bill (H.F. 42), which includes numerous tax cuts designed to improve the state’s business climate. The minority leader is entitled to his opinions and we welcome them in our papers. I am just grateful local citizens realize the hit pieces we receive from Minneapolis are simply political gamesmanship. I will not be distracted by “gotcha” tactics from the minority and instead will continue focusing on what really matters: getting state spending in order, improving our business climate and helping people return to work. Sincerely, Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen —30— Rep. Gruenhagen can be reached at the Capitol by calling 651-296-4229. He is also available by email at His office is located at 575 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
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