Minnesota Report

Yesterday, the State Capitol saw a descent of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers and Future Farmers of America (FFA) students. The issues in the EMS community are quite significant and the pressures on the system especially in Greater Minnesota are rather acute. The questions largely emanate from the differential in compensation rates.

The realities are, the transportation and medical treatment services are more costly in Greater Minnesota than in the 7-county metropolitan area. While the population is declining, and the juxtaposition of the FFA being in St Paul on the same day is interesting, because there are always questions about whether you can keep the kids on the farm, or when they go off to college will they ever return? Because of the population reductions, all services in Greater Minnesota become higher cost with fewer people with which to spread the burden.

This is becoming a common sung from hymnal. Last legislative session, when testimony before the Senate Capital Investment Committee occurred and rural leaders called for state support for clean potable water and municipal water treatment facilities the question was repeatedly asked by Chair Sandy Pappas (DFL-65-St Paul) whether the petitioners communities had the ability to meet the 50/50 local match, and each and everyone of the answers were “No”. We will reiterate, the ongoing water problem in greater Minnesota is cause not by non-site based pollution, that is BS it is caused by the use of petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. But he problem is it isn’t isolated in Greater Minnesota, because it effects the creeks, streams and rivers and ends up effecting all of our water.

As services continue to become more costly, are consolidated or eliminated, it begs the question of what the state response should be.

This might be time to consider a Minnesota Miracle approach and set a minimum of services that are available within a set distance from a county seat, city or town of a certain defined size and consolidate the monies collected for taxes and fees and ensure a specific portion remains in those jurisdictions.

The stronger our rural communities are the more robust our state’s economy is. The ability to embody the Jeffersonian Democracy, where the bucolic lifestyle is fully-embraced is an attribute to the diversity of our state. This is one of the reasons, success in Minnesota is defined by whether or not your family owns a cabin “Up North”.