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Letter: Garofalo deserves praise

To the editor,

With all the disenchantment with government these days, it's important to recognize when government gets it right, particularly when it's due mainly to the efforts of one person.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo deserves such recognition.

This week the Farmington School Board was able to pay off an $8.8 million loan that the State of Minnesota made to our school district in 1991. Since then, the loan has been accumulating interest and by the time the district would have had to start paying back the loan, it would have cost district taxpayers more than $34 million. 

Rep. Garofalo worked with our school district leaders to craft legislation making it advantageous for the district to pay back the loan principle now and have the accumulated interest forgiven. Other school district with similar loans can also benefit from the new law.

At the same time, the state comes out ahead, too. The loans repaid by our school district and others come at a time when the state is in great need of revenue. Rep. Garofalo's law provides the incentives for school districts to pay back these state loans at exactly the same time the state is most in need of revenue.

Win-win solutions like the one crafted by Rep. Garofalo are important reminders of how important it is have smart, thoughtful representation in St. Paul. We owe Rep. Garofalo a $34 million thank you.

Tim Burke


Tim Burke is a member of the Farmington School Board