Many of us look back on our childhood as a time when we didn't have a worry in the world. Unfortunately, a large number of Minnesota's children are not having it so easy. These children are victims of maltreatment and neglect.
In 2000 (the last year of published statistics), 17,408 instances of child abuse and neglect were reported in Minnesota involving 22,435 children. Child protection services confirmed 7,728 of those reports. These numbers show an increase of six percent over the previous year. This is a tragedy.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is time to reflect on what we are doing as a community to support children and families. Children don't come with instructions and too many parents face the challenge of raising their children without the knowledge and support they need and deserve. We all have opportunities to reach out to parents in our own families, neighborhoods, places of worship, and places of employment.
This April, let's make sure all parents know that their hard work is valued. Think of what it will mean for the future of children and the future of our community.
Crow Wing County
Child Protection Team
Who was Carrie Ruud representing when she voted for Gov. Pawlenty's Health and Human Services budget on Thursday (March 27)? It was not the voters of north central Minnesota. Pawlenty's plan will have dramatic impact on area nursing homes and health care facilities, such as closing Ah-Gwah-Ching in a couple of years. His budget will cut many programs for the elderly such as Meals on Wheels and Foster Grandparents, to name a few. The Pawlenty budget will financially threaten nursing homes, health care programs, and eliminate health insurance for the hardworking people in the state. Ruud's actions Thursday are hypocritical to her campaign promises this fall and her promises on recent visits to the area.
The debate over the Minnesota Personal Protection Act (shall issue concealed carry) has been a topic in the news. It's currently being obstructed by (you guessed it) the DFL-controlled Senate.
Colorado passed their version in March.
At Sen. Becky Lourey's DFL Town Hall meeting, I noted hers was the vote that kept it from getting a hearing last session. Without commenting on my statement, she told me "it" would be heard in committee, this session, and sent to the floor "very soon." I asked her the definition of "it," was "it" the MPPA authored by Sen. Pat Pariseau, or one of the horrible DFL versions (which would make the current 'may issue' law even worse). She conceded "it" was the latter.
In a recent metro paper there was an article headlined 'Guilty Plea Entered in Megamall Car Jacking Case.' Particularly noteworthy was the statement by the defendant that he had recently moved to the Twin Cities from Michigan to make a "fresh start", and intended to rob people until he had raised enough to pay off $15,000 in debts.
I believe the motivation for the "fresh start" he refers to comes from the fact that just last year Michigan also became one of those "shall issue" states. That begs a troublesome question.
With 34 out of 50 states (68 percent) already allowing lawful self defense with a firearm, and more states passing "shall issue" laws, where do the opponents of this bill think the criminals are going to go? The answer seems obvious, and I don't like it. Call or write Becky and tell her you too want MPPA passed. That you want SF 222, not one of the bogus DFL bills. Tell her it's time to stop obstructing and Minnesota should pass the MPPA now!
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