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Erickson’s vote bad for rural Minnesota

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As a representative from rural Minnesota, you’d think Rep. Roger Erickson might actually vote with rural Minnesota’s best interests in mind.

Think again.

On the first day of the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Erickson allowed a Minneapolis environmentalist to take control of funding for agriculture and rural Minnesota economic development programs. Rep. Jean Wagenius, an environmentalist representative from Minneapolis, now chairs the committee whose decisions directly impact jobs in our area.

Rep. Erickson had an opportunity to resolve this problem, but he failed. He voted against an amendment which would have put agriculture decisions in the hands of a committee run by a representative from a more fitting place: Austin. Instead,, for only the second time in nearly 150 years, a Twin Cities lawmaker will be calling the shots for agriculture.

People from Greater Minnesota should make decisions pertaining to agriculture. That is the way it almost always has been and the way it should be today. Yet the very first “real” vote Rep. Erickson cast on the House floor left rural Minnesota’s future in the hands of an environmentalist from Minneapolis.

We hope Rep. Erickson will reconsider his vote, and support any further efforts to recombine the two committees. Together we can help ensure that rural Minnesota is properly represented at the Capitol.

State Rep. Kurt Daudt

Crown

State Rep. Rod Hamilton

Mountain Lake

EDITOR’S NOTE: Daudt is Minnesota House Republican Leader. Hamilton is former chair of the House Agriculture Policy and Finance Committee.

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