On Wednesday, Rep. John Ward had a hearing in the House government committee on H.F. 157, the proposal for a veteran’s home in Brainerd. Council member Lucy Nesheim and I joined Rep. Ward in testifying before the committee. Dozens of local volunteers have been working on this project for over four years. There is support from local units of government, and veteran’s service clubs from some 40 miles around us. Four years ago when we brought the issue up, the Legislature wanted to wait until a report was made by the Veterans’ Administration on where the greatest need was in the state. Well, the report came out and showed that Little Falls, Brainerd and Crosby-Ironton were in fact the area in the state with the most veterans in need of services, as well as a huge need for jobs here in Brainerd.
While we have the dedicated support of Rep. Ward, the local senator refused to introduce the bill in the Senate. That doesn’t put us on a very good position in the legislative process. None of the other communities working for this project have this problem. Why in the world a senator elected by the city he lives in won’t give them support is just plain wrong. His agenda seems to be making it difficult for people to vote and lower wage levels for the workers. This year, thank heavens we have a chance to make a change.