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Paid political letter: Bennett votes against state aid for East Main flood control

The Minnesota House of Representatives voted down the bonding bill last Tuesday morning, which included the East Main flood control project. This project is vital for this gateway entrance to Albert Lea. The original bonding bill had four local projects: the dredging of Fountain Lake, East Main flood mitigation, Blazing Star Trail and ALEDA. The latest version Rep. Bennett voted against included East Main flood mitigation, Blazing Star Trail and the Regenerative Ag Alliance in Albert Lea. These projects are investments in our area and provide future benefits. They will boost our local economy and are essential in the current crisis. Rep. Bennett has consistently voted against the bonding bill.    

Rep. Bennett’s extreme conservative politics is trumping the needs of the people of 27A. She stated when the original bonding bill was released “she thinks legislators were “playing politics” with putting all of the Albert Lea projects in the bill and it will be bittersweet because she knows she has to vote against this first bill.”  She also said “she agrees with other House Republicans who announced earlier this month that they would block the passage of a bonding bill until Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers tied to the COVID-19 pandemic ended.” Talk about politics before the people of 27A!

This is the ideal time for a large bonding bill. There are essential projects throughout Minnesota, and the cost will only increase if they are delayed. Some projects are for maintenance, which when delayed can accelerate deterioration and end up costing much more. Minnesota’s economy is in shambles and needs jobs that these projects will provide. Interest rates are at historic lows and project costs are reasonable. From a business standpoint, this is the time for a large bonding bill. It makes more sense to employ workers to build these projects than to pay unemployment benefits for workers to sit idle.

Unfortunately for the residents of 27A, Rep. Bennett’s extreme conservative politics are more important than the people and economy of 27A.

Joe Pacovsky