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Letter: Magnus shares fellow legislator's opinion

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I voted Wednesday against a bill approved by the Minnesota House that cuts funding for veterans and agriculture programs.

House Democrats just sent a poor message to Minnesotans about priorities. This bill tells Minnesotans that the majority party doesn't view veterans as a legislative priority, and it certainly doesn't view agriculture as a priority.

House Democrats set a low financial target for ag and veterans programs this session, despite the fact that state assistance for veterans in need is rising dramatically.

Instead of shifting more money from another area of government -- such as welfare or state government -- to help fill this need, the majority chose to make the cuts in agriculture, which could jeopardize food safety and disease control programs.

Veterans should always be a top state priority, and farmers also should have received better support.

The Legislature serves as the Board of Directors for our states business, and in tough times, you have to prioritize. In a budget that spends more than $30 billion a year, we should have been able to meet and exceed the needs of our veterans without slashing our states relatively slim agriculture budget. But then again, that shows once again shows how ag and veterans issues stack up on the Democrats priority list.

A House/Senate conference committee will now meet to create a compromise bonding plan that can be approved by both bodies. Once that occurs, it will be sent to Governor Pawlenty for his signature.

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