ST. PAUL - Three area Minnesota House members split votes on three education bills that passed the House last week.
Rep. Al Doty, DFL-Royalton, and Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, voted in favor of the early childhood bill, the kindergarten-12 bill and the higher education bill.
Ward said the state needs an education system with a good framework because it's an economic driver as Minnesota tries to get through the current economic crisis.
"I'm proud I worked hard to hold cuts to education to zero percent," Ward said.
Doty said House DFLers prioritized education funding, protecting Minnesota students from damaging budget cuts over the next two years.
"A cut would follow students throughout their school and work years; we can't make that up. Making education our top priority during these difficult times is the best thing we can do for our students, our economy, and our future," Doty said.
Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, voted in favor of the higher education bill but against the higher education and K-12 bills.
He said he thought the higher education legislation was a fair bill but he didn't like the way in which the early childhood bill was put together.
Howes said he supported elements of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's education proposal that would have provided an increase in funding.
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