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Polluters, resource plunderers protected by LaFave

EDITOR:

The COVID 19 pandemic has brought great changes and challenges to the U.P. While social distancing has protected us from the worst of the pandemic, the economic and social tolls are evident, while we still deal with the ongoing pandemic.

How our children will attend school in the fall remains to be seen. Will they be riding buses? How many kids in a classroom? Will teachers, students and parents be confident enough for schools to open fully?

Can we rebuild our small businesses and how? Much of the economic aid failed to go to our small businesses, the drivers of the local economy, while big business vacuumed up billions. Citizens still are unable to access unemployment benefits and unemployment offices remain closed. Delta County’s unemployment rate now hovers around 25%, while Dickinson and Menominee counties are at 14% unemployed.

Despite this, our current representative has spent his time in Lansing introducing a bill to protect polluters and natural resource plunderers from fines and jail time. House Bill 5831, introduced by representative LaFave and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Recreation removes jail time and significant fines for a wide range of criminal activities while recommending fines as low as $25.

Has Mr. LaFave forgotten that our strength is our natural resources in this district? Why protect those that use “dynamite, nitroglycerin, other explosives or poisons to catch fish”? Maybe he thought we wouldn’t be paying attention while we try to save our small businesses, spend tens of hours trying to claim unemployment from a failed system while homeschooling our children.

For $70,000 a year I would hope that Mr. LaFave could focus on constituent services during a pandemic, rather than hoodwinking his district.

Renee Richer

Escanaba

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