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Short Takes

Release the federal election funds

THUMBS DOWN:

State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, is using federal election security funding as leverage to get approval on her proposal for a provisional balloting system. We understand her crusade in getting her proposal approved, but it’s the wrong approach. She used the same ploy during the 2019 session and the result was the same — putting federal funds to protect the 2020 election in jeopardy. The Trump administration had allocated $7.4 million in federal election security money to Minnesota in 2019. That was on top of $6.6 million for cybersecurity upgrades in an earlier round. The problem: Election 2020 is here and that money is needed now to fight off any computer hacking from foreigners now.

Big step for new Marshall elementary

THUMBS UP:

Marshall Public Schools board on Monday approved a $19.892 million construction bid for the new elementary school on Southview Drive. There has been some criticism levied against the district for not looking at local contractors. The district, however, provided for ample time for any company to submit bids. It also accepted the lowest bid, which taxpayers can appreciate.

Approve disaster funding

THUMBS UP:

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday announced a state funding proposal of $30 million to replenish the Disaster Contingency Account, which provides emergency assistance to communities in Minnesota following natural disasters. According to the governor’s announcement, the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account was signed into law in 2014 to speed up the recovery process for communities burdened with damages to public property and infrastructure. Last year the Legislature added $10 million to the fund in a bipartisan move. Walz said his goal is to get the new funds signed into law by April 1. The Legislature, once again, should make this goal happen.

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