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Et Cetera …

State has the final say

A crystal clear message emerging from this week’s Fairmont School Board meeting is that the board does not have the final say over what “learning model” the district will use during the coronavirus pandemic. Who does? The state Department of Education.

What that means right now is that students are “distance learning” from home. And because they are not in school, they cannot participate in athletics or other activities.

We, of course, hope the situation improves and students get back into classrooms. In the meantime, we hope the public gives school officials a break.

Get the funds out there

Fairmont’s Economic Development Authority this week approved two loans to local businesses seeking relief from the pandemic. Both got $25,000 at a zero percent interest rate for five years. The funds are meant to help offset loss of revenue and pay expenses as a result of COVID-19.

The EDA has $610,000 in its CARES Act revolving loan fund. It also has access to another $1 million in grant funding, in conjunction with Martin County. More than 86 grant applications have been received. We hope all the money can get out into the community and county, as was intended by the federal relief act.

Bonding bill passes

The Minnesota Legislature this week overcame politics and frustrations by passing a $1.9 billion bonding bill. It had been delayed by Republican attempts to strip Gov. Tim Walz of his emergency powers during the coronavirus crisis.

While we have to agree that Walz has been more restrictive than necessary, it was time for Republicans to end the fight, because the bonding bill benefits everyone. It means public works projects will move ahead, something especially important as Minnesota tries to recover from pandemic-related economic woes.

‘Court-packing’ abhorrent

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden says he will let voters know prior to the election if he will consider “packing” the Supreme Court should he be elected. That Biden has not answered the question already is not a good sign.

The court has nine justices. Increasing that number would be a purely political exercise meant to affect court rulings. Regardless of which political party tried to do so.

Biden and all future presidential contenders should make pledges to maintaining the integrity of the court, which means not tinkering with its traditions, function or number of seats.

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