This past Saturday, I concluded two weekends of town meetings across Senate District 20. Both Representative Bob Vogel (20A) and Representative David Bly (20B) accompanied me in their respective town meetings in libraries and restaurants in the eight communities we visited. We enjoyed hearing from constituents as they provided input on the policy and budget issues we are discussing here at the midpoint of the 2015 legislative session.
Good dialogue on wide ranging topics were held. Folks shared their thoughts on the budget surplus, health care, education, property taxes, and buffer zones on agricultural land. We talked about pensions, climate change, renewable energy standards, and the scope of government. A young teacher from New Prague passionately expressed his opposition to the “last in first out” legislation which he viewed as another attack on his profession. Nursing home workers from LeSueur implored the legislature to fix the nursing home funding inequities that exist in our state. Others argued for the need for a reasonable funding solution to fixing our roads and bridges and the state’s long term transportation needs.
I always enjoy face to face meetings. In nearly every instance, pointed questions moved easily to productive dialogue and a better understanding of shared concerns. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents left the meeting with handshakes and thank yous, with better insight on our positions and thoughts on the issues of the day or how the legislative process works.
I thank those community members who took the time to stop by to share their thoughts and concerns. I look forward to our next meeting.