I've been campaigning for only a few months and already I've learned about many things the legislature could be dealing with that would make your life better.
And I don't see your current representative doing anything about them. Things like these:
· breaking the meat locker bottleneck
· curbing consolidation of suppliers/ markets
· helping with fall fertilizer costs
· managing the risk for bird and animal diseases
· dealing with stray voltage on dairy farms
· making child care affordable
· providing affordable housing to ease the worker shortage
· dealing with the local fentanyl crisis
· solving the shortages of social workers, teachers, school staff, law-enforcement officers, meat packers, farm workers
· rebuilding Asian markets – Europe too
· fixing the social services cracks – people end in jail who don't belong there
· filling the backlog of home care services
The list could go on – issues that you voters are dealing with and that need your legislator's attention and effort.
I've looked through the record at the Minnesota House website, searching for any sign that your current representative is doing anything at all with these issues. Here's what I found.
In the recent two-year session, Rep. Torkelson was listed as "chief author" on 34 bills. None of them dealt with any of the issues listed above. 32 of them were assigned to some committee where they died. One had a committee hearing but did not pass. One passed unanimously; it dealt with membership on a road advisory committee.
Meanwhile, following are the bills that your current representative voted AGAINST. Do these votes represent you?
Back at the height of COVID he voted against the Covid Recovery Bill that provided small business emergency loans, extended broadband to support distance learning and telemedicine, and furnished personal care assistants during the pandemic. He voted no.
In the same session he voted against paid leave for family emergencies, pregnancy, bonding and serious medical conditions. He also voted against legislation that would prevent gun deaths.
In the most recent session he voted against a bill that would provide behavioral health care, elder care, and child protection. He voted NO on the Ag bill that provided drought relief, grants for farmers, aid to new farmers, soil health, broadband, and much more.
He voted against an energy conservation bill that would especially have helped low-income households.
And every year the Health and Human Services bill comes up that provides for child protection, foster care, behavioral health, disability services, elder care and mental health services. And every year, your current representative votes against all those things.
It's time Brown and Redwood counties had a representative that truly represents your interests. Not one that just votes NO, that waits and lets things happen, but one that acts and makes things happen to help our farms and communities prosper and make your life better.
I look forward to getting together with you to see what we can get done.