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Votes show support for our region

Well, here we go again. You probably remember in 2016 when my opponent admittedly distributed false campaign literature about my voting record.

I now have a different opponent, but the same negative tactics are being used. This time they are attempting a letter-to-the-editor smear campaign to spread false information about my record.

Emilio DeGrazia wrote that I don’t support local schools and I refuse to vote for bonding bills. The facts show this is absolutely false.

Minnesota Management and Budget’s website, the state’s nonpartisan fiscal agent, shows the most recent bipartisan budget increased education funding by over $1.2 billion or 6.8%. I voted “yes.”

When it comes to local infrastructure projects, Mr. DeGrazia’s comments are also false. Some of the local infrastructure projects that I’ve helped get done include Education Village at Winona State University, Lanesboro Dam, Southeast Minnesota Veterans Cemetery, state funding for a new veterans home, Chatfield Center for the Arts, and local road and bridge projects.

The letter said I vote “no” on bonding bills, which again, is false.

Using the Senate bill tracker, you’ll see I voted “yes” this session on a fiscally responsible, geographically balanced, bipartisan bonding bill that focused on roads and bridges, water and sewer projects, and asset preservation. This bill included several projects for Southeast Minnesota.

In committee, I voted “no” on a fiscally irresponsible, hyper-partisan amendment offered by Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) that heavily favored Minneapolis and St. Paul over the rest of the state.

Based on comments from my opponent and her allies, it appears they support the irresponsible, hyper-partisan, Minneapolis/St. Paul proposal, which should be very concerning to the voters in Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties.

While my opponent and her allies try to mislead voters with false information, I’ll continue to stay above the fray and focus on getting things done.

There will undoubtedly be more false information coming, so if you have questions about the facts, please call me at 507-452-2067. I look forward to continuing to work together with you to help make Southeastern Minnesota an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

Jeremy Miller, Winona

Jeremy Miller is running for re-election in Minnesota Senate District 28.

Voter suppression? Lots of examples

In a Sept. 6 letter (Winona Daily News), Jerry Papenfuss asked me for examples of Republican voter-suppression laws.

Here’s an incomplete list, in direct quotes from The Center for American Progress and The Brennan Center for Justice:

“In 2018 in North Carolina, . . . when Republican lawmakers knew that, despite their gerrymandering, they had lost their veto-proof majorities in the next session, the Legislature quickly passed a bill implementing the new requirements — which made exceptions but ‘declined to allow voters to use the types of photo IDs that Black voters were more likely to possess.’”

“Republican lawmakers in the Michigan Legislature blocked several bills between 2011 and 2016 that would have made it easier to register and vote. . . .Thus, it was unusually difficult for some Michigan residents to register and vote — particularly young people.”

“In 2012, Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature followed a familiar tactic in the voter suppression playbook — it passed a strict voter ID law requiring all Pennsylvania voters to present a specific form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, when showing up to vote. . . .Voter ID laws have repeatedly been shown to discriminate against people of color, low-income Americans, young people, the elderly and people with disabilities.”

“In Wisconsin, gerrymandering shifted control of the state Assembly outright in 2018, from Democrats who won a majority of the statewide votes to Republicans who fell short of a majority. In the Senate, Democrats fell 1 percent short of a majority of the vote, likely because of aggressive voter suppression targeting communities that disproportionately support Democrats.”

“The most noteworthy restrictions that passed in 2019 are in Florida . . . and Tennessee . . . Arizona, Indiana and Texas also signed new restrictions into law.”

So, yes, Mr. Papenfuss, Republican-controlled legislatures do indeed pass voter-suppression laws.

Steve Schild, Winona

Prevent fetal-alcohol syndrome

September 9 is the international day of prevention for fetal alcohol syndrome.

We wish that each child will be born with nine months in utero of alcohol-free nurture from mom.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is caused when a biological mother consumes alcohol during her pregnancy and the alcohol is toxic to the fetus.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is entirely preventable. It is preventable when birth mothers consume no alcohol at all from conception through nursing. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to be consumed during pregnancy.

And dads have babies too. If a couple are planning their pregnancies, they should plan to remove alcohol from the home throughout that time when they are planning to conceive and all the way through nursing.

I am a former foster and adoptive parent with Hennepin County and cared for more than 50 children — all of whom were prenatally exposed to alcohol and Other drugs.

The damage is quite evident. The children are globally delayed. They require much medical intervention and I was happy to provide them with it. But there is no making up for what becomes organic brain damage and sometimes bodily conditions as well.

Since the ninth day of the ninth month of 1999, we have celebrated International Prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Day.

Let’s all prevent fetal alcohol syndrome by refraining from alcohol consumption in the child-bearing years and also share our knowledge with others even as young as junior high and high school so they will see it as part of their own health and life planning.

When a loved one is pregnant and has an alcoholic drinking habit or even an alcohol drinking problem, we should kindly offer assistance and support for them to seek whatever therapy or treatment they may need.

Fetal alcohol syndrome does exist and it is a very heart-wrenching condition to be born with because it lasts a lifetime. That is why it is better to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome than to provide all the good identification and intervention we can.

Of course, we will take care of kids already here who have FAS; but in the long run it’s going to be millions of dollars cheaper to prevent its occurrence.

Linda Soderstrom,

St. Charles

Kruger will defend human rights

I believe that leadership in our representative democracy today demands that our politicians speak up for everyone’s human rights.

Sarah Kruger has the backbone to do just that. Sen. Jeremy Miller does not. Sure, he talks about leadership, but it is only a one-sided partisan leadership with a tin ear toward human rights.

He consistently sides with a party that, at the national level, gutted clean water protections and allowed children to be torn from their parents and stored in cages.

This is the same party that resists adequate protection and economic support for millions of low-wage employees that today put themselves at risk daily to serve as frontline workers against the COVID-19 pandemic.

A true leader would not tolerate such inhumane actions. Sarah Kruger has the spine to speak up and call them out. Please join me in voting for Sarah Kruger for our state Senate, a change for the common good, a change for the better.

Elizabeth Dunn, Lanesboro

Jeremy Miller is running for re-election in Minnesota Senate District 28.

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