During the past election season we all heard about better representation of the people of our district from Rep. Dean Urdahl. We heard promises to create jobs, protect our schools, promote business, and keep taxes low.
Where are those promises from the campaign? What we are seeing instead are bills to break unions, photo IDs to vote, gay marriage, and freezing teacher salaries state wide -- all bills that Rep. Urdahl favors and supports.
Are these going to balance the budget? Are these going to create more jobs? Are these even measures for us here in rural Minnesota? The answer to these questions is no.
What we have seen is the passage of House File 130 by Rep. Urdahl and all but four House Republicans. The bill includes cuts to the LGA program which hurts all cities in the district (Litchfield alone will lose $282,651 in LGA) while many cities -- and people -- in the metro area will be untouched by either increased property taxes or reduced city services.
A few weeks back I listened to Rep. Urdahl on KLFD radio saying that cuts to LGA are not new cuts. What? Not new? Yes, this was a carryover from Gov. Pawlenty last year, but the House approved it as a new cut this year.
In that same conversation cutting money to education came up, with the idea of cutting staff development and more teacher observation and preparation. Rep. Urdahl went on to talk about teacher development saying that he personally didn't benefit from teacher development and he really didn't see the cut as a "bad thing."
As a supporter of our schools, I take offense to cutting the staff development. We need staff development to better the skills of our teachers and create better teaching styles to ensure classroom success. Those remarks, coming from a state representative who was a teacher and was endorsed by the educators union, were shameful. Is this the representation we asked for?