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Letter: A fuller account for voters

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The West Central Tribune should be commended for covering the Sept. 28 League of Women Voters candidates forum, "Legislative Q&A avoids candidates' take on the state's debt," Sept. 29. Such reporting will help us all make educated decisions when we step into the voting booth Nov. 2.

However, I was disappointed that the article focused, primarily, on contentious issues such as abortion and immigration. While those issues are important, they were not the only topics of debate. On the contrary, issues dealing with the state budget and our economy -- including education funding, health care and green jobs -- were also raised and drew thoughtful responses.

Those issues are at the center of my campaign and I believe voters deserve a fuller account of my positions.

Specifically, in response to a question about the shortened school year in some school districts, I argued that a longer -- not shorter -- school year may be necessary in the 21st century and that to better compete with the rest of the world, the state must create a more stable and reliable source of funding for schools.

The candidates also discussed the restoration of cuts in General Assistance Medical Care, a state program that covers health costs for low-income Minnesotans. I stressed that I support the restoration of those funds and believe that GAMC is a crucial part of how the state takes care of its poorest residents. The program also saves money.

Finally, the candidates were asked about green jobs. I said, as I have throughout my campaign, that we must tap the abundance of natural resources in our region. This would do two things: create jobs and help wean our state and nation off of fossil fuels. These are important issues and I will continue to discuss them during the remainder of the campaign.

Larry Rice

Candidate, Senate District 13

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