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Letter: Bullying, wages are critical issues

To the Editor:

Thank you for giving Rep. Steve Drazkowski a chance to speak about the new legislative session (R-E, March 1). I can agree with the representative that St. Paul should leave our schools in Greater Minnesota alone. What may work in Minneapolis, may not in Wabasha or Zumbrota and the same can be said in reverse.

With that said, bullying is problem in every school district in Minnesota and should not be tolerated one iota.

One school district in particular has not only ignored pleas from their constituency to stop the bullying of students, they have, in my opinion, encouraged the discrimination of students who identify themselves as gay or transgender. This is what has led to the Legislature to hold hearings and hopefully pass a bill that the governor will sign.

I know Rep. Drazkowski and I do not believe that he would deliberately participate or condone discriminatory behavior. I hope he has the common sense to get on board with the vast majority of other legislators and support this needed change.

I disagree strongly with the representative in regard to the other two pot-shots he took at the DFL and even lawmakers of his own party that support an increase in the minimum wage. There is no way humanly possible for a worker being paid minimum wage and working two full-time jobs can provide for their families.

I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why the minimum wage should not be increased, and that is just what they are…excuses. A modest increase (and independent data proves this) will not result in businesses being closed and jobs being lost.

But, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, an increase of the minimum wage to $10 or $11 an hour will definitely create an atmosphere that will increase unemployment. That leaves a lot of room to increase the minimum wage without doing damage to jobs or the economy. As a matter of fact, many economists say that a modest increase will actually help improve the economy, much more than the minuscule tax cut that is being battered around at the state House.

Steve Murphy

Red Wing