Cut budgets or raise taxes?
COVID-19 rescue plans have wreaked havoc on federal, state and local budgets. While many of the items in the rescue plans are needed such as the paycheck protection program, eviction protection, K-12 school funding and stimulus checks. Some items are not. Why does someone who has not lost income, get the $600 stimulus check? Why should someone on unemployment make more money than when they were working due to receiving the additional $600 and now $300 per week on top of their unemployment check?
Federal, State and Local officials will be making tough decisions on balancing budgets and raising taxes will be an option. We hope they look at reducing budgets first to fix the ever-growing debt.
Students return to school
Tuesday the Fairmont School Board discussed at length bringing back students to school full-time next week. There was no consensus and the topic was going to be discussed at the next school board meeting on February 16th.
On Friday the decision was made to bring eighth and ninth-grade students and seniors back to five days a week, with sophomores and juniors returning to a regular schedule two weeks later.
Currently, elementary students are back to school 5-days per week, all extra-curricular activities and practices are going on, case rates of COVID-19 are at 19 per 10,000 in Martin County and according to Fairmont Area Superintendent Joe Brown staffing is in good shape.
We’re glad some students are going back, but the choice to do it for some and not for others is confusing. Regardless we are glad that students can return to a safe learning environment. We’d just like to see some consistency in the decision-making process.
Local vaccines come slow
According to information provided by Community Health sanitarian Tim Langer of Community Health and Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties, there is a very limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota. It’s disappointing that things are moving slowly, but the fault there lies with the federal and state governments.
We agree with Langer that people should exercise patience, understanding that supplies are limited and some categories of people are at more risk than others.
On a positive note, Langer also shared that he hopes within a few more months everybody who wants a vaccine will be able to get one. We look forward to that day and ask people to act responsibly.