Letter: Senate File 899 is about giving guest workers choices
To the editor:
A recent letter to the editor from March 1 was critical of Senate File 899, which is my bill to give some seasonal and temporary agricultural H2A visa guest workers the opportunity to make more money.
H2A visa guest temporary and seasonal agricultural workers and their priorities is what led me to carry Senate File 899. Many of these workers are frustrated about being limited to working 48 hours per week by farmers who can't afford to pay time-and-a-half overtime. My bill provides an exemption to these workers, provided they meet H2A visa requirements, so they can have the option to work more hours per week and make more money. The choice is solely up to the employee; the bill does not require or expect any worker to work overtime.
I've always been a big proponent of choices — choices for consumers, choices for families and choices for workers. If a temporary or seasonal agricultural worker has the ability and desire to work more hours and make more money, then that person should have that option.
Finally, one of my goals as a senator has been to improve the tenor of politics and create a better working atmosphere. It's one reason I joined the Purple Caucus. Rather than jump to partisan attacks, I find it more productive to seek understanding and common ground. If you have any questions about an issue, or are assuming the worst about a bill I've authored, please give me a call and I'll be happy to talk about it.
Mike Goggin, R-Red Wing, represents Senate District 21. His telephone number is 651-296-5612.