Turkey Day has come and gone, and most of us are focusing now on having a merry Christmas.
But not so much across the Iron Range where the upcoming holidays are being anticipated with a little less cheer this year after more than 1,400 iron mining employees were laid off in recent weeks and where, worse, unemployment benefits for some 600 of them are about to expire. That’s 600 families for whom the future is bleak and for whom the holidays — well, who can think of the holidays?
Making matters more gut-wrenchingly maddening is the knowledge that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature have the ability to help but haven’t. Our state’s elected leaders can call for and hold a special session in St. Paul where a vote can be taken to extend unemployment benefits before they run out, which will be before the next regular session of the Legislature.
The action would ease anxiety for so many and prevent families from fleeing the Iron Range where a robust workforce again will be needed — hopefully soon.
Instead of jumping at the chance to help, however, far too many of our politicians are jumping in to see what they can get and how much they can gain politically from a special session. They’re insisting other issues also be included, even though a special session would only be a day or two long.
Some issues are legit, like beginning to address Minnesota’s racial disparities and like fixing the state’s years-long failure to adopt Real ID, a shortcoming that could prevent Minnesotans from boarding flights.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/opinion/our-view/3894249-our-view-push-away-petty-politics-help-iron-range-miners