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Rep. Green: Facts are not 'wedge issues'

A letter appeared in the DL newspaper concerning "pre-emption" that was very one sided and deceptive. For more than 100 years, labor standards such as minimum wage have been set at the state level to ensure an even playing field and common-sense standards across the state regardless of which city or cities businesses operate in. Cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul have chosen to abandon that precedent and have begun setting their own labor standards.

With policies like these in place, a trucking business based out of Detroit Lakes whose drivers make deliveries to Minneapolis could be forced to pay a different wage or provide different benefits to their employees. Think about that — a simple ordinance in Minneapolis could disrupt businesses in all corners of Minnesota. HR paperwork and tracking how long each employee spent in the city limits of a city with their own labor standards would be a nightmare.

Anyone who's ever run a business or had to handle payroll knows that's totally unworkable, and it's why our Uniform Labor Standards bill keeps the playing field level and keeps things simple for businesses and employees alike.

In reference to big business, you can look at my campaign finance records anytime online. I cannot take campaign money from any business, and I have never taken any funding from Political Action Committees (PAC's) or any paid lobbyist. The person writing the letter should have checked his facts, though I do appreciate the opportunity to point it out.

Regarding light rail, it was suggested letting the people living in the cities pay for the light rail by allowing the Met Council to raise local taxes. The taxpayers in the metro were not in favor of this, and the lines do not pay for themselves. The rails are subsidized by all Minnesota taxpayers. North Star rail currently cost you $22 per rider.

The money from the federal government is only available as a match with state and local funding. It does not include the operating subsidies we will all pay for. Light rail drains transportation funds. I feel strongly, and I know our neighbors up in northwest Minnesota feel the same way, that we need meaningful investments in road and bridge infrastructure — not wasting $2 billion on a train in Minneapolis.—Rep. Steve Green, Fosston

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