Tag Archives: Policy

St Paul Trash: Vote “Yes” for No Choice

St Paul Trash: Vote “Yes” for No Choice

There Is No “Free”?

Pedestrian Deaths in Minnesota, the State with the 5th Highest Tax Burden, A Tragic Reminder that Proper Infrastructure is Necessary and Unaffected by Local Government

1/6/19, St Paul, Minn.–Thursday evening (1/3) two people died at a crosswalk in Roseville, Minnesota after being hit by a vehicle. This tragedy is one that perhaps could have easily been avoided with necessary improved infrastructure and safety measures, lights and signage. The below text is quoted from KSTP News detailing safety concerns prior to the event and its aftermath.

““For my safety, for everybody else’s safety who lives right here, there needs there needs to be a stop sign or lights,” Jordan said.She believes action should have been taken sooner. “I feel it’s the city’s fault,” Jordan said. “It shouldn’t take nobody to get killed for them to do something about it. It just doesn’t make sense.” Larpenteur Ave. is a Ramsey County road that Roseville, Maplewood and St. Paul are all responsible for. Roseville City Manager Patrick Trudgeon told us they started looking at how to make it safer about two years ago. “We certainly don’t want a tragedy such as this to occur,” he said. Trudgeon showed KSTP the Larpenteur-Rice Gateway Area Plan study that each city approved in 2018. It includes plans for mid-block crosswalks, including near the crash site at Marion St. and Larpenteur. “This (tragedy) helps underscore the need to continually be focused on making sure we have safe areas for everybody,” he said. There is still no timeline for when the crosswalks could be installed.”

Source: https://kstp.com/news/roseville-police-identify-driver-pedestrians-killed-crash-thursday/5198936/

The state of Minnesota is highly taxed, and has the 5th highest tax burden in the United States, yet Minnesota cities are unable to fund proper safety measures to improve infrastructure and to fill its epidemic of potholes. People’s lives are now, and have been at stake. This is concerning when other hot button issues motivated by politics and emotion rather than facts and figures appear to be hastily amended without issue: elimination of public library fines and Mayor Carter’s legal defense fund for immigrants.

It is shame that Minnesotans cannot feel safe walking across the street, it is a shame that our tax dollars are not being utilized in ways to prevent such events on public roads and sidewalks right now. Action is needed to improve and make our community infrastructure safer for all. The lack of concern for safety by local government is an egregious oversight, one abdicated by political agenda and image.

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TS_

A Vote for Democrats as a Public-Sector Union Member may be a Misguided Vote

On the ballot in Minnesota are two items that public-sector union members should consider very closely when/if voting straight Democrat in the 2018 Midterms: 1) Single-Payer Healthcare and 2) $15 Minimum Wage. These items are directly contradictory of the hard work that has been done to fight for your benefits and your living wage as a public-sector union member, let me explain my thoughts on these two items and how they could be undoing recent accomplishments of public-sector unions.

  • $15 minimum wage for all does not increase your living wage as a public-sector union member, in fact, it may make your wage less livable, more futile. It may also reduce the number of employees in the local workforce, triggering more unemployment, in order to make up for increased wages paid without increased profits earned. This does not benefit you as a public-sector union member and it does not benefit your community. Many Democrat candidates champion $15 minimum wage as a good thing with little evidence to prove their point, it is already being implemented in St Paul, MN (one example of concern about Minimum Wage locally); recently, perhaps, jobs have gone, businesses have and will close and move elsewhere in lieu of this policy change. These items impact us all. Here is a resource on Minimum Wage.
  • A Single-Payer Healthcare System implementation is an item of considerable speculation, ambiguity, and concern. If you have good healthcare/insurance now, one your union fought hard for to attain, perhaps you can kiss that benefit goodbye under Democrats who want a Single-Payer Health Care System. What’s more, not only could a Single-Payer Healthcare System give you theoretical universal healthcare and take away your unique healthcare plan, one based on your individual needs, one that fits you, but it could increase the taxes for you and your community–keep in mind Minnesota has the fifth highest tax burden in the nation, currently. Could you afford to go on a plan that isn’t built for you precisely and that may cost you more? I don’t think I could, and we are all different with special and unique healthcare needs. And what is the quality of Single-Payer Healthcare and is making it mandatory for all even constitutional? I have just a few questions on this topic, you should as well. I am open-minded. Here is a resource on Medicare for All.

These items, and the policies related to them, concern me as a public-sector union member, as a taxpayer, as a dad, as a husband and as a voter, especially when the rhetoric is at a fever pitch and the focus is on what President Trump does personally on Twitter or how bad he is or was as a person or ubiquitous smear campaigns against both political parties and not on actual government policy that change things for you and I and ours.

These policies are paramount to all. But do we all understand them entirely? Do we understand he Bill of Rights or the Constitution? I am not sure I do. Further, do we vote because we hate something or someone, or because we love something or someone, or their ideas are good? Do we vote for what was benign in the past, what might have worked out OK for that moment, or do we move forward and vote for ideas that work for the future, our future?

The items mentioned above, even though mere rhetoric, could have grave impacts on wages and benefits and communities actually. Think about that when you vote, it does matter.

Moreover, when you vote in the upcoming midterm election, don’t think about the party or something far away or some big ideas or some boilerplate talking point, think about your pocketbook, think about the Constitution, think about the law, the Bill of Rights, small changes for positive, and think about your local situation, good or bad, and how you can improve on it. You have the opportunity to say you want better, your voice is your vote. That thought and decision and voice on who you vote for will impact you most. That and recall, maybe the party that claims to represent your public-sector union vociferously is not the party that represents you personally.

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TSN_

Letter to the Government: Jerry Hertaus-What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

aHUngnK3_400x400This week I had the idea of writing to government officials, since there are primary elections around the corner (August 12th). I sent out emails to 110- some odd number- representatives/candidates of the state of Minnesota with a list of straightforward questions. The results were a plethora of auto replies, and the seldom typed response. This week’s question has to do specifically with Sunday Liquor Sale Laws in Minnesota. The emails are not edited or adulterated in any way whatsoever, and the inquiries are real.

I dedicate this to all of the local magazines that cover trivial issues instead of topics with pertinence, ones that truly affect the citizens and the state of Minnesota. Your hit-bait gets you ads, real writing gets you thought.  Now think about that.

-Enjoy,
T.S._
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Inquiry:
Hello,
My name is Terry Scott Niebeling. I am a resident of Minnesota, a student at the University of Minnesota, and an eager voter. Recently, I have found a new passion in politics. That being said, I am writing to you in hopes that you can help me better understand a few issues that I have come to appreciate in regards to Minnesota law, if you could help me with my inquiry that would be extremely helpful. I am also asking information for an un-bias social experience*; to get clear and succinct viewpoints from candidates, in order to better cast a meaningful vote.

My first inquiries are:
What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

Do you find it a necessary law, and why?

What are your plans in the future for Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota; do you plan on keeping them the same, or do you plan on making any changes?

How does Minnesota’s current Sunday Liquor Sales law affect the state and local economy?

What is your relationship to the MMBA?

I thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Terry Scott Niebeling

*which may, or may not, be published.
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Response:
Hello Terry,

Thank you for your inquiry.

This law should be repealed. The old Blue Law prohibiting Sunday Sales is unnecessary and has a nexus to religious views of Sunday as the Sabbath. In other religions, the Sabbath is on another day of the week.

I chief authored and introduced legislation last session that would have repealed the prohibition of Sunday Sales of liquor in Minnesota. The legislation did not pass the DFL majority.

Minnesotans whom reside along the borders of our state find it easy to purchase liquor on Sundays across state lines. Minnesotans whom reside further away from the state borders find geography and distance a barrier to their exercise of free choice to purchase a legally distributed product on the day of their choice.

It is estimated that approximately 12 million dollars per year of sales tax revenue is paid to border states by Minnesota residents. Repeal of Sunday Sales restrictions does not require any liquor retailer to remain open on Sunday. Although competitive market conditions may cause some retailers to decide to remain open when they may rather not, that decision is a matter of choice.

There is no evidence that Sunday Sales would contribute to greater risk to public safety. It could be argued that many whom consume at bars and restaurants on Sundays may choose to purchase and consume safely at home without the risk of driving.

In a session that was being touted as an “Un-Session”, presumably to get rid of antiquated and unnecessary regulations, a possible repeal opportunity was lost by the DFL majority’s acquiescence to labor unions whom did not want to re-negotiate contracts (presumably they believed that they would have to distribute product on Sundays) killed the legislative possibility of several Sunday Sales repealers having been introduced, including mine, from becoming law.

I have no affiliation nor association with MMBA or the liquor industry.

In Liberty,

Best Regards,

Rep. Jerry Hertaus, 33A
Fin.