Et Cetera …

Big burden on business

The problem with the “women’s employment rights bill” making its way through the Minnesota Legislature is that it would hurt flexibility as businesses try to accomplish their primary goal:?making money.

If some businesses want to do more things for new moms (and dads), or pay more regardless of the time off people take, so be it. They can use those incentives when they hire. But other businesses may not be able to afford the accommodations and red tape. They should not be forced to do so just because people who produce nothing (lawmakers) think it would be nice.

Taking state prisoners

Faribault County is doing the right thing by taking in state prisoners for short-term stays in the county jail as those prisoners transition back into the world of work. The arrangement will benefit the state, which faces prison overcrowding, and the county, which has jail space and will earn money for housing inmates.

The sheriff’s office will review prisoners’ paperwork to make sure they are good fits for the county. They will look for prisoners from rural areas who can re-integrate here.

This deal is not without risk, of prisoner flight or the possibility of more crimes, but those are not overwhelming concerns.

A great national model

We add our congratulations to Faribault-Martin-Jackson County drug court for being one of the best programs in the country. The drug court was recognized this week as a national model, which means other entities trying to set up drug courts will travel here to learn the best methods.

Drug court is a diversionary program that takes criminals and works with them to get them clean and sober. The idea is that they have a problem that is leading them toward bad choices. When they get sober, their criminal activity stops. And the program works, saving money and restoring lives.

Do we want a festival?

Fairmont’s summer festival – Interlaken Heritage Days – seems to be unraveling in an organized sense. While many separate events are scheduled to continue in conjunction with the festival, the event itself is having trouble with finances and volunteers. We think both of these problems could be resolved.

The fest got commitments from several sponsors, but the money never came through. And new volunteers could add fresh energy and ideas. It’s just a question of whether Fairmont residents care. Do you?