A recent letter to the Public Forum gave credit to local legislator Bruce Vogel for his legislative updates. Living in the far northwest region of Kandiyohi County (13A), I've been cast in with folks from Pope and parts of Stearns County and am not in Vogel's district.
However, I do receive updates from Sen. Joe Gimse and I was surprised this year to also receive an update from Senate Majority Leader David Senjem. I was even more surprised to see they were identical word for word with the exception of a blurb from Gimse on transportation issues and some nice colored photos of the new majority leader and friends. Maybe that's one way the Republican majority can keep all their troops in line and thinking the same way?
My point is that we should probably be careful how much credit we give to our legislators for their email updates. They may not, in fact, even be written by the legislator! From what I read in the paper, the Republican majority in the Senate laid off only Democratic staff members in order to cut expenses. Maybe those poor Democrats have to write their own updates while Republicans have staff to do it for them?
I suppose they need the extra staff so they have time to fix mistakes from their last session such as the homestead real estate tax exclusion. In addition, it takes time to write all those frivolous amendments like Gimse's voter ID scam. Then, of course, there are those sessions devoted to refusing to approve the governor's appointment of a qualified candidate for the Public Utilities Commission because she supports clean energy.
According to both Sens. Senjem and Gimse, they are also working on "Reform 2.0." I guess last year must have been "Reform 1.0." Hang on, real estate taxpayers, school districts and local governments -- we're going to be "reformed" some more!