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Public Forum: Urdahl sets record straight

As an incumbent state representative, I know my record is open to inspection and interpretation. However, regarding Stuart Busse's letter in the Feb. 21 Tribune, while he's entitled to his own interpretation, he's not entitled to his own facts. It's unfortunate he has chosen to go beyond distortion and simply be untruthful.

He correctly states I promised to work to create jobs, protect schools, promote business and keep down taxes. These are the issues that consume nearly all of my time. My first two bills this session concern keeping jobs in a Watkins nursing home and streamlining our regulatory process to allow for more timely business expansion.

But Busse then launches into distortion and fabrication. He asserts I support a bill on gay marriage. Such a bill does not exist. He suggests I support freezing teacher salaries. I challenge him to find any record of me indicating I would vote for that bill. I have said if teacher salaries are frozen, that job should be done by local school boards. I believe in local control and don't believe we should tell our local school boards what to do in that regard. I trust them to make the best decisions about local salaries.

The provision to "break unions" was removed from HF 4 and was not part of the bill when we voted. It's true I support photo voter ID.

It's convenient to quote me as saying that I didn't benefit from teacher development. It's dishonest to withhold the rest of my statement which was, "but while we are encouraging increases in teacher quality, is it wise to cut the only funding designed to increase teacher quality?"

The Local Government Aaid level I voted for was the same one that the DFL majority had passed last session. We face a huge problem, a $6.2 billion deficit.

I'll take tough votes that not everyone will endorse. That's the nature of my job.

I'll continue to represent the people of District 18B to the best of my ability. Comments and criticisms are welcome. I just ask that they be truthful.