Each year the JRLC (Joint Religious Legislative Coalition) has what is called, "A Day on the Hill." The coalition is a broad grouping of religious faiths in Minnesota, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. There were about 30 co-sponsors this year. This gathering had attendees from throughout Minnesota.

We were four from Fillmore County. Our main purpose was to meet with our legislators, in our case, Sen. Jeremy Miller and Rep. Greg Davids.

This year, five topics were chosen which we felt needed to be urgently addressed. We realize that there are many more, but it seemed best to concentrate on only five.

The five chosen this year were:

1. Payday lending reform: "If you lend money to the needy, charge no interest." Exodus 22:25

2. Impartial judiciary: "Choose able people, such as fear God, lovers of truth, who hate a bribe." Jethrow's advice to Moses.

3. Affordable quality childcare.

4. Homes for all. "My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings." Isaiah 32:18

5. Minimum wage: A year-round, full-time worker should, at the very minimum, be able to earn an income above the poverty line for a family of three.

As I think about friends, relatives and many of the invisible poor in our society, all these topics are vital to me. If you agree, contact your legislators to support these issues.

With peace and hope,

Harvey Benson,