To the Editor:
I’d like to address some concerns I have with three letters Bob Barrett submitted to your newspaper over the past few weeks.
In Rep. Barrett’s filing statement he is proud of how the Republican led legislature turned a $6.5 billion deficit in to a $1.5 billion surplus. What he doesn’t mention is how the Republicans did it. First they expanded delayed payments to schools to $2.4 billion, the Republicans borrowed around $800 million from future tobacco settlement money, and this means in 2032 we will still be paying for operations of the state of Minnesota from 2012. The Republicans voted to take away your homestead property tax credit (which raised property taxes across Chisago County—our county received the greatest increase in the state) So, by borrowing money and eliminating the homestead credit the Republicans were able to balance the State budget.Is this balancing the budget?
As he congratulated the North Branch School District for a good year he failed to realize that his vote for eliminating the homestead credit and the increase of our property taxes will make it very difficult to pass an operating levy.
Emily Carlson from Parmly thanked him for his support of senior citizens. She must not realize that nursing homes have not seen an increase in funding since a 2 percent increase in 2007. To make matters worst, she must not be aware of the bill Rep. Barrett authored to take 1 percent from all State agencies to help pay back the school shift. His solution was to take money from our seniors in nursing homes to pay back our students. That bill would have taken another 1 percent from Parmly because so many residents are on Medicare or Medicaid. To me, that does not sound like support for our senior citizens.
It is clear to me, Rep. Barrett sees the problems, but he’s sticking to partisan politics and party lines instead of doing what is best for Chisago County.
Pam Kling, Lindstrom