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Letter: Nice job, Rep. Sterner

To the editor,

I want to thank State Representative Phil Sterner for his courageous decision to support a plan that protects Minnesota schools, hospitals and nursing homes. Recognizing that solving Minnesota's historic budget deficit requires more than an easy tag line or partisan bickering, Sterner voted for a budget-balancing bill that protects the things that make Minnesota such a special place to live and raise a family.

After voting no on a tax increase that reached too deeply into Minnesotans' pockets, Sterner listened to his constituents and supported a plan that will protect jobs, keep hospitals from closing and class sizes from shooting through the roof. He also fought hard to include a provision that will automatically sunset the modest income tax increase on earners making more than $250,000 by the year 2014. This revenue increase at the same level that Governor Pawlenty proposed except his plan is irresponsible for the long term. 

This is not an easy year to be making budget decisions. As difficult as it must have been to take this vote, Representative Sterner knows people didn't send him to the Legislature to take the easy way out -- they sent him to do the right thing. And that's just what he did.  He made a reasonable, common-sense decision to balance the budget and keep our schools, hospitals and nursing homes intact so they'll be there when the economy recovers. 

Janet Rohlf Larson