Still work to be done in legislature for Minn.

Published 2:05 pm Saturday, July 31, 2010

By Robin Brown

Guest Column

Minnesota is my home state by choice. In 1993, I moved to Minnesota with my husband and six children. We were drawn here because Minnesota offered us the quality of life we wanted for our family. Minnesota was known for high quality education, state-of-the-art health care, a solid transportation system, a clean environment, low crime rates and an overall appreciation for the goodness of human beings. And when we purchased our acreage on the Mower-Freeborn County Road in eastern Freeborn County we decided to make Minnesota our final home.

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When I first ran for office four years ago, I did so because I had become concerned that Minnesota had slipped in many areas in which we used to lead the nation such as education funding, accessible health care, safe roads and bridges and protecting our environment. This is why I have fought for equal funding for schools in greater Minnesota and authored a bill that provides a balanced, equal, simplified and targeted (BEST) solution to our current K-12 funding formula. I have supported legislation that prioritized funding for hospitals and nursing homes, preventing cuts to long term care.

Robin Brown

I voted for the transportation bill that is currently funding improvements to our crumbling roads and bridges. And I co-authored the Legacy amendment that will sustain our environment and Minnesota’s outdoor and cultural heritage into the future.

As the parent of six adult children and the teacher of thousands of high school students, I know how to work successfully with diverse groups of people to obtain positive results. I have refused to become a part of the political and partisan bickering that has gone on between Democrats and Republicans and between the state legislature and the governor. I appreciate the knowledge, talent and expertise each of my colleagues bring to government service and understand the value of many perspectives when developing and passing good legislation.

I have been a positive leader, successfully working across party lines in support of good-paying jobs and economic development legislation such as the Angel Investor Credit for small companies, Expanded Research and Development Credit, and JOBZ. I will continue to work with both Democrats and Republicans for the good of District 27A and the state of Minnesota.

One of the most important jobs of next year’s session will be to balance the state budget. We must do so by keeping our priorities in mind, such as creating a job-friendly environment so that all who are able to work have the opportunity to do so; supporting a strong education system so that our children and grandchildren are equipped to follow their dreams and give back to our society — reducing the need for correctional and welfare services; maintaining priority infrastructure so our roads and bridges are safe and maintained and providing the support services that we value so that those who have practiced personal responsibility but who experience personal tragedy through no fault of their own may continue to live with dignity.

House District 27A is a community as is the state of Minnesota.

Constituent service is important to me. My home and cell phone numbers, e-mail address, home and office addresses are available so that constituents may reach me with important issues and questions. I have carried constituent-suggested legislation forward that became law. I have provided information and answered questions about state law. I have directed people to the proper organizations and offices so they may get the services they need. In instances when direct action was not needed, I have been a good listener. I care about the residents of our community and am committed to continue to work hard serving them.

Over the past fours years, you have come to know me. You know how much I care about our district and that I strive for balance in the decisions I make and the votes I take. I have already visited about 7,000 homes this year so that I might hear first-hand your questions, concerns and suggestions. I realize that I serve a diverse community consisting of people with very different economic situations, political views, social and cultural backgrounds. As a legislator, I keep this in mind with every vote I take.

District 27A has a history of electing local state legislators for multiple terms to the Minnesota House of Representatives. During my first two terms in office, I’ve personally met with mayors, city council members, county commissioners, school superintendents, school board members, township trustees, farmers, small business owners, students, teachers and retired residents of my district.

It has been an honor to serve you in the Minnesota legislature. I believe there is still good work to be done and, with your support, I will continue to listen and learn and vote for the best interests of District 27A.

Robin Brown is from Moscow Township and is the incumbent for the District 27A House of Representatives seat.