Margaret Starry, Sartell
Are senators Jim Abler, Carla Nelson and Jerry Relph, along with House members Nels Pierson and Tama Theis trying to buy votes with an $18-million Somali Pilot Grant Program? Minnesota has more than 100 Legacy Funds that have been marked for Somali-only specific projects since 2010. The amount in other state and federal grants has yet to be determined, but when it is, it will be huge. According to Joel Alter of the Legislative Auditors Office, “it’s too hard” to determine refugee costs and he thinks “it’s OK.” (St Cloud Times, March 10, “Refugee resettlement costs are hard to gather”). Well, that’s a new one coming from an auditor!
Now these lawmakers are supporting a bill in the Senate (SF 1722) and in the House of Represenatives (HF 1946) asking for $18 million for a Somali Pilot Grant Program. Isn’t this program antithetical to our country’s founding? At its founding, Americans relied on themselves, not their government, for solutions to their problems and for ways to achieve their dreams. Limited government is what made our country great and free. Americans have never held up a specific ethnic group for special treatment or for extra tax dollars, nor have they engineered enclaves because those ideas were never part of our founding principles. Let’s signal our elected officials to stick to America’s founding principles.