Image from Alexandra House homepage, here.
Budig of ABC Newspapers reports, here. This excerpt:
Commissioner Robyn West came before the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee speaking of the valuable services Alexandra House, a shelter in Blaine, provides the area.
Hundreds of women and children have found shelter there when “fleeing for their lives,” said West.
Committee Chairman Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, asked West how much the county provides in funding to the shelter.
West indicated that the county funded Alexandra House from three sources amounting to $70,000.
Cornish styled that a “paltry amount,” and wondered why the county didn’t contribute more.
The Anoka County Board of Commissioners adopted a 2011 county budget of $269 million.
West spoke of tight budgeting and the success Alexandra House has in raising funding.
A number of domestic abuse shelter advocates spoke to the committee, a representative from a Minneapolis group playing a disturbing recording of a 911 message made by a child reporting domestic abuse being committed against his mother.
Cornish eventually told the advocate to turn the recording off.
I am with the Republican committee chair 100% on that shut down of the heartstrings and violins, and child in distress marketing scheme.
The appeal to emotion rather than reason always is offensive, and we all already know the problems for battered spouses and children in battering household living situations.
Taking a wrong presentation approach, however, does not change the fact of a true need existing and a true and productive community service having been established and funded over time to meet the need. With the rug now being pulled out from under that service, by Republicans on a misguided mission.
It is a truly serious ongoing need. If funding is needed locally, I would rather see City of Ramsey pay Landform less in order to pay a greater share for this service that, while in Blaine and not Ramsey, serves the needs of the entire county, as just about anyone from the County Attorney's or Sheriff's office can tell you.
Also, clearly, the aims and services of Alexandra House trump by far the question of putting another Northstar stop in Ramsey.
Priorities that do not acknowledge this are simply illegitimate morally, regardless of whether the politics are that those sitting in decision-making seats hold the power to make spending priority decisions. Power and moral authority are separate, and protecting people from abusive behavior of other people is above the proposed capital expenditures associated with the belief of some that the moribund Ramsey Town Center will turn around and prosper if only the crystal palace train stop is built.
Also, have you driven down Ramsey Blvd lately?
Patching potholes has more to recommend itself, as more a need, than train stop wants that some in the GOP favor.
Finally, if there is a prize for legislative disingenuousness, this hummer is in the running:
Under the [Republican] legislation, state grants to domestic abuse shelters cannot be reduced more than eleven percent from the base funding.
That is saying we are going to chop eleven percent off the battered women and children of Minnesota, it fits our mission, [some would call it "power-trip" instead of "mission"], and we are going to do it with smarmy wording, such as "cannot be reduced more than eleven percent" when it should, in all honesty, say "will be chopped below regular funding by a full eleven percent" instead.
That is one of the most absolutely shameful of things to come from the St. Paul hilltop, so far this session.