Letter: Remember who thought of the idea

Published 7:43 am Thursday, April 19, 2018

To The Editor

In the midst of yet another blow to rural healthcare in greater Minnesota represented by the downsizing of the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Albert Lea, District 27 Senator Dan Sparks has been making much lately of his recently proposed legislation which, in his words, “establishes tax incentives to attract alternative providers to rural communities.”

This is a good idea with potential for positive results in other communities as well. However, a quick check reveals Senator Sparks’ bill was introduced on March 26. What has so far not been mentioned by the senator is that what looks to be an identical bill was already introduced in the Senate by Senator Carla Nelson on March 15, and in the House of Representatives by Peggy Bennett on March 1.

Email newsletter signup

Those whose greatest concern is the well-being of our communities and the growth of our state shouldn’t care so much about where a good policy originated as much as getting the good policy enacted. But implying a good idea is yours when it isn’t, and then taking credit for it, is just plain dishonest, and more than a little insulting to the citizens of District 27 whom Senator Sparks apparently believes don’t pay enough attention to the Minnesota legislature to know who writes what bills!

If the senator’s foremost concern was truly the hospital in Albert Lea, he should have begun with simply co-sponsoring the Nelson bill. That would have demonstrated bipartisanship in addition to concern for his constituents, and ironically enough would have made a great talking point for his future reelection, which is undoubtedly what he had in mind when he addressed the community with a good idea that wasn’t even his.

Josiah Blocki

Brownsdale, MN