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LETTER: Kent advocates for progress in St. Paul

A recent letter to the Bulletin painted a gloomy picture for Minnesota, but the author's description of our current state may have been better suited for 2012 than 2016.

Prior to 2012, Minnesota was trapped in a cycle of budget shifts and gimmicks that diminished our economic status. Dedicated education funds were raided, and the state's bond ratings were downgraded. These shifts blew a hole in the state's budget, forcing dangerous and unprecedented cuts. The desire for more effective government is one reason why Sen. Susan Kent decided to run for office.

When she was elected in 2012, Kent brought an efficient, results-oriented approach to the legislature, which she developed in her career as a small-business owner. Thanks to the last four years of her leadership, we have reversed years of budget deficits, made smart investments from pre-K to college, and have strengthened the state's budget reserves. This is just the type of progress we need in St. Paul.

Today, Minnesota's unemployment rate is at a historically low 3.7 percent and the rate of uninsured Minnesotans is just 4.3 percent. Our youngest learners now have access to all-day kindergarten, which will give them the skills they need to succeed in school and in the workforce. Thanks to Kent's work on the Support our Schools Act, more support staff and counselors will be available to help students succeed. Furthermore, our budget reserve of approximately $1 billion allows for greater fiscal stability, and our state's bond ratings have returned to AAA status.

Kent is the best advocate for the issues that face our communities here in the east metro. Please join me in supporting Kent to keep Minnesota moving forward.

Susan Vento

Maplewood

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