Never mind the administrations of Jeff Backer's fellow Republicans, Minnesota Governors Arne Carlson or Tim Pawlenty.
Or the House sessions when Kenyon Republican Steve Sviggum led as Speaker of the Minnesota House from 1999 through 2006. Or the DFLers from International Falls and New Prague who lifted the Speaker's gavel in the 1990s.
You have to go back to the days of Dave Jennings to compare to this session's obsession with greater Minnesota, if you listen to freshman state representative Backer.
In Town Hall meetings bring legislators to constituents, the Wahpeton/Breckenridge Daily News reports that the first-term Browns Valley Republican says:
. . . Backer, who is on the agriculture policy committee, said he’s seeing a significant focus in rural Minnesota, which hasn’t been done since 1986.
“There’s a lot of good bills coming out, from EMS to nursing homes and more,” he said. . . .
This is curious stuff, indeed. In the spring of 2014, the Fargo Forum reported in House budget bill leans toward greater Minnesota:
Much of the money in the Minnesota House's plan to tweak the state's two-year budget would go to greater Minnesota.
"We focused on rural Minnesota and greater Minnesota," House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, D-St. Paul, said, because many rural parts of the state have not recovered from the recession as well as the Twin Cities.
Debate continued into the night Thursday, but there was little doubt that the House would approve its $322 million budget increase. The bill slightly changes the $39 billion, two-year state budget enacted last year.
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said the budget plan is one "Democrats are pushing like drugs on the House floor. They can't spend enough."
Provisions aimed at areas outside the Twin Cities include those giving a 5 percent increase to home health care providers, pumping more into rural nursing homes that pay employees $14 an hour or less, adding money to elderly meal programs that mostly serve rural Minnesotans, setting up grants to develop high-speed Internet connections, putting $6 million more into greater Minnesota economic development efforts, increasing spending more for highway repairs and creating a center to fight invasive plants and animals moving into the state. . . .
We can't wait to learn more Minnesota revisionist history from Jeff Backer.
Photo: Jeff Backer.
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