I am greatly concerned that the majority of the state Legislature either does not realize or does not care about the different needs of the rural citizens versus the metro citizens.
While I was at the state Capitol Feb. 16, I was pleased to hear that local legislators Dean Urdahl, Scott Newman and Larry Hosch were in favor of helping decrease the disparity in funding for the Hilltop Care Center in Watkins. However, I was gravely concerned by hearing that many metro and even some rural legislators might vote against this bill.
Even more disturbing is that there are many other areas of significant disparities in state health and human services needs and funding of outstate versus metro citizens. As I sat in on a Health and Human Services Subcommittee meeting I saw a couple metro legislators (who I know have in the past been supportive of social service needs) totally tear down a potential bill that would have helped rural citizens, seemingly only because it was for the rural communities.
Therefore, I strongly urge our rural Minnesota legislators to unite to educate the metro legislators on the special needs of and inequalities of funding for outstate Minnesota citizens.
Furthermore, I challenge each and every citizen to remind your legislators that all Minnesota residents deserve the same needed services.