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Snow could be worse

THUMBS UP: When you get a big snowfall in April, it’s very helpful to look on the bright side. We’ll give it a try:

First, it could have been a lot worse. With some weather forecasters predicting New Ulm was going to be among the hardest hit areas, with up to 12 inches accumulation, the six inches or so that we got is a lot easier to take.

Second, it’s not going to stay long. By the time you read this, a lot of the snow will alreadyhave melted. Temps were in the upper 30s Friday afternoon, and are expected to be in the 40s and 50s this weekend.

Third, we can always use the moisture.

That’s about all the good things we can come up with. Maybe you can think of more.

Down to one?

THUMBS UP: The First District Republican Endorsing Convention is meeting today in Albert Lea’s Southwest Middle School. Delegates will be selecting a candidate to run against incumbent Democratic congressman Rep.?Tim Walz of Mankato.

Three candidates are seeking the nomination and all have said they will abide by the endorsement decision. The three are Aaron Miller of Byron, Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth, and State Rep. Mike Benson of Rochester.

Unless there is a repeat of the 2012 endorsement deadlock between Allen Quist and Mike Parry, one of the three will emerge as the party’s candidate. That would be beneficial to the candidate’s chances.

Last eleciton, Parry and Quist battled through a 14-hour, 23-ballot convention where delegates, under a time constraint from the convention site’s owner, ultimately decided to endorse no one. Parry and Quist went through a bruising primary campaign. Quist won the primary but had a lot to overcome before campaigning against Walz.

If one candidate emerges without a primary challenge, it should make for a more competitive congressional race.

State spending bill

THUMBS UP: The Democrats in the Minnesota House passed a $322 million bill that Republicans say spent too much of the state’s budget surplus. But it is hard to argue with some of the things that the bill would provide.

The bill would spend $91 million to give a five-percent raise to caregivers for the elderly and disabled.?These caregivers, whose pay is set by the state, haven’t had a pay increase in a long time and their raise is long overdue. Another $75 million will go to public schools to help pay for teacher evaluation costs, and to ensure that all students who want a hot lunch get one. The bill also adds another $58 per pupil unit to the state school funding formula.

Minnesota cities and counties will get $15 million to help fix the bumper crop of potholes that developed over this tough winter. It’s not a lot for the need, but it will help.

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