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Editorial: Fix-It, don't throw it

A GOOD FLOW: Dakota County held a dozen Fix-in Clinics in 2017, bringing renewed life to old items. According to the county:

• Forty-three volunteers gave their time, patience and knowledge.

• More than 300 residents took home mended and restored items.

• These repairs prevented or delayed 2,650 pounds of items from ending entering the trash stream.

• Of the nearly 600 items brought in to Fix-It Clinics, 82 percent were repaired on site or the resident was shown how to fix it later with the right parts.

These clinics saved individuals the expense of having to replace items, taxpayers in general the environmental costs and paid dividends in making everybody feel pretty good about a popular, effective program.

In case you missed out, the next Fix-It clinics will be noon to 3 p.m. March 17 at Heritage Library, 20085 Heritage Drive, Lakeville, and April 21 at the Farmington Library, 508 Third St.

MONEY IS FLOWING, VOICES, TOO: Minnesota state lawmakers must pass their final bills for this year three months to the day from when they convened on Tuesday, Feb. 20. This is the "short session," and we're glad to see that last week they quickly took care of leftover budget business; now they can take care of 2018 business.

You may recall that Gov. Mark Dayton last May signed a $46 billion, two-year budget into law but not before chopping the $130 million that funds the Legislature. On Feb. 22, the House voted 77-50 and the Senate voted 38-28 to replace those funds and the stage is set.

Perhaps unexpectedly, however, one of the bigger issues on the table Week 1 was school security. Eclipsing the opening session niceties was a mass demonstration to "Save our kids!" Hundreds of people filled the Capitol halls urging lawmakers to pass gun control legislation. Expect to see and hear more of the same.