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May 2014 bring new things your way

The New Year’s celebrations are over and a day full of football helped in celebration recoveries. Today many begin their focus upon the challenges of 2014.

The year 2014 will be a new road for many and will bring changes.

New Year’s Day was the day that many Americans were able to use their new health insurance for the very first time. The challenge for those opposed to the Affordable Care Act in 2014 is that nearly 8 million will likely be enrolled by the end of March. It would be hard for Congress to take away a benefit that millions of voters are utilizing.

The economy is rebounding across the nation and west central Minnesota is benefitting. The agriculture economy has remained strong and other businesses are growing jobs. These are all positives signs.

Still there are concerns for many. Congress has allowed long-term unemployment benefits to lapse. So more than 1.3 million Americans are receiving no income and facing uncertainty in 2014.

The year 2014 is a mid-term election year. It should be a political battle at both the state and federal levels. Republicans hope to regain their footing in the Minnesota Legislature and Democrats are seeking to maintain their control. In Congress, there will be a battle for majoirty control as well.

Citizens have dysfunction frustration at all levels - from Congress to the Willmar City Council. Thus it is important for citizens to become more knowledgeable about their government at all levels and become more engaged.

Voters must be ready to call politicians on dysfunction or false claims. Voters must be ready to make sound choices come Election Day.

It is important to learn from the lessons of 2013 as we move into 2014.

The new year brings a clean start and we all start fresh. It is a time for a new beginning, second chances and fresh possibilities for all.

May we all resolve to successfully accomplish our aspirations in this new year and make a difference in 2014.