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Reader's view: Let’s trim the Legislature instead of adding building

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The commentaries on the May 11 Sunday Opinion section front, under the banner headline, “Building or bilking,” were as transparent as smoked glass. Is the state spending $272 million on renovating the Capitol and proposing another $77 million, $89 million or $90 million (all three figures were given by three different state senators) building for displaced senators caused by remodeling? Is this spending going to be done without voter approval like the Red Plan in Duluth? Or will we have the privilege of being heard? Or is it too late?

I’ve yet to hear of alternatives like Rep. Bob Lindstrom’s suggestion that we look at reducing the legislative body, the Senate from 67 members to 32 and the House from 134 members to 65. Minnesota now has more senators than any other state and is the fifth-largest legislative body in the nation.

We surely would not need the additional office building if the total legislative body was reduced. Even if Minnesota went with a unicameral legislature, we still wouldn’t need the extra building, and all the remodeling necessities would still happen.

Don’t let our Legislature ignore our opinions. We need a discussion on how big our legislative body needs to be to adequately represent voters. It’s ridiculous to allow our legislators glibly talk about billions and millions of tax dollars as if they were just a few dollars, readily given by our taxpayers.

Tony Stauber

Duluth

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