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Local legislators vow to work with other party

Legislators who represent part of Douglas County vowed to work with the other party to accomplish goals that will benefit all Minnesotans.

State Representative Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake for District 12A, began his first term in the Minnesota House, serving the counties of Grant, Wilkin, Big Stone, Stevens, Traverse, and part of Douglas and Pope.

"I'm honored and humbled to be our communities' voice in St. Paul," said McNamar. "Folks have said loud and clear that they want their legislators to focus on the basics: balancing the budget responsibly, improving our schools, and lowering property taxes."

McNamar said his priorities include improving K-12 education, making higher education more affordable, and restoring local government aid (LGA) to local communities.

"The cuts to LGA have driven up property taxes and forced our communities to cut important services, like public safety. We need to reverse these downward trends," he said.

McNamar signaled a desire to work in a bipartisan fashion on solutions.

"We've seen what happens when legislators refuse to work together," said McNamar. "I'm committed to bipartisanship and am willing to work with anyone truly interested in finding solutions to the problems we face, whether they are a Democrat or a Republican."

McNamar will serve on the capital investment, agriculture policy, and judiciary finance and policy committees.

Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, represents House District 8B, which consists of northeastern Douglas County and eastern Otter Tail County.

"Although Republicans are no longer in control of the Legislature, I plan to roll up my sleeves and get to work on the challenges facing us as a community and as a state," Franson said. "Minnesota workers, along with the rest of the country, are already feeling the financial pinch with the payroll tax going back up. I am going to fight to make sure hard-working Minnesotans keep more of their own money in their pocket."

Franson said her priorities this session include job creation, education reform, healthcare, agriculture, tax reform, and transportation.

"I plan to work in a bipartisan way to help my community," said Franson. "However, I am already concerned about efforts by the SEIU and Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute to unionize in-home care workers. Vulnerable people like children, the sick, and the elderly do not deserve to be caught up in a political power grab."

Franson's committee assignments include early childhood and youth development policy, health and human services policy, and higher education finance and policy.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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