Last week, I was very ill and unable to be in St. Paul at the Capitol. However, some of my legislative colleagues were able to step up and testify to the bills I had up in committee:
HF 2356: presented by Rep. Tony Albright (Prior Lake) would continue funding to a pilot program established last session that provides post-secondary education options for young adults with mental disabilities.
HF 2068: presented by my sister, Rep. Marion O’Neil, would establish a program called “Connecting with Kids.” This program would help the Somali youth living in Faribault to connect with the law enforcement community.
HF 875: presented by Rep. Paul Anderson (Starbuck) would continue funding to a successful pilot program called “Get to Work.” This program establishes an automotive loan program for lower income workers. Workers who have participated in this program in other counties have seen promotions in their jobs and greater upward mobility due to now having the means to finance an affordable and reliable car.
HF 764 & HF 763: presented by Rep. John Petersburg (Waseca) would provide funding for capital improvements for the Blind & Deaf Schools.
I appreciate my colleague’s efforts and I am proud of the teamwork that exists within the House Republican Caucus.
Health Insurance Reform:
Last week, the House passed House File 5: The Minnesota Premium Security Plan on a bipartisan vote of 78-53. The goal of working to implement this bill is to stabilize premiums by trying to minimize the impact of high-risk individuals on the individual health insurance market. The program will be administered by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, which ran a high risk pool that brought stability to the individual market and ensured the sickest Minnesotans had access to needed coverage for over 40 years.
Since the implementation of Obamacare, Minnesota’s individual insurance market has become a third as large and twice as sick. If this bill is signed into law, it could help in reducing health insurance premiums bought on the individual market by 17-18%, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
This bill is not the finished product, there is more work left to be done in order to make health insurance affordable and workable for Minnesotans. I am hopeful that the federal government gives us favorable parameters to work within, so we can do all that we can to make Minnesota a leader in health care again.
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me at either 651-296-8237, or firstname.lastname@example.org.