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Editorial: Digesting the 'breakfast'

The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce should be commended for arranging Saturday's legislative breakfast, which brought all three of our region's St. Paul representatives together to meet interested constitutents.

We also praise District 22 Sen. Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy, District 22A Rep. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, and District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, for joining together at the same time to hear the voices of concerned citizens. Of course, it's in their best interest -- after all, they face a gargantuan struggle in balancing a state budget that's awash in red ink.

Two things from Saturday's forum stand out to us. One addresses a central role for us as taxpayers; the other addresses the burden we all should (or shouldn't) carry.

The complexities and challenges of this year's budget woes were summed up well Saturday by both Hamilton and Vickerman. "We need your help to priortize and get through this mess," Hamilton said. "We realize that everybody is going to have to be part of the solution and feel part of the pain." And this from Vickerman: "We're all going to have to get together on this."

While legislators, of course, are elected to shape policy, they also act in the interests of those who vote them into office -- and it's up to us to hold them accountable while letting them know what we want from them.

The second thing we took from the breakast: Vickerman, MAgnus and Hamilton are well aware that all people are going to feel the pain of budget cuts in one way or another. We just hope there's not a gross imbalance in the way that pain is distributed.