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Area legislators participate in listening session

Area legislators recently attended a listening session conducted by Barb Battiste, director of the Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women, at the Brainerd Library. Sen. Carrie Ruud and Reps. Josh Heintzeman and Dale Lueck were among t...

Area legislators recently attended a listening session conducted by Barb Battiste, director of the Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women, at the Brainerd Library. Sen. Carrie Ruud and Reps. Josh Heintzeman and Dale Lueck were among those on hand.

"It was a very informative session. We heard firsthand issues that women of all ages and situations face here in our part of rural Minnesota," Lueck said. "I was pleased to see some men in attendance other than myself and Rep. Heintzeman."

Lueck said participants dug into the many issues that young women, older women, women in the workplace and those raising children are challenged with here in rural Minnesota. Transportation bubbled to the top as a frequent topic of discussion, along with other points of interest, such as safe and affordable housing, wages and the access and availability of job training.

Battiste has been traveling the state conducting these sessions.

"Director Battiste did a great job of bringing together many different points of view on this important subject," Lueck said. "The range of attendees included representatives from the Operating Engineers Union Local 49, Lutheran Social Services, the Brainerd and Baxter City Council members, AARP, Central Lakes College, Bridges of Hope and many others.

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"It was an afternoon well spent and we look forward to Director Battiste's full report on the issues raised during the listening session conducted here, as well as the sessions in other parts of the state."

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