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State Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein

303 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4331

For more information contact: DFL Staff

Posted: 2017-10-18
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update - October 18. 2017


Dear Neighbors,

The start of the school year zipped by and it is hard to believe kids went back to school less than two months ago. Halloween is a few short weeks away and soon be in the middle of the busy holiday season. Here are a few notes from the Capitol that I wanted to share with you.

DNR Fall Color Finder
In Minnesota we have many state parks that are open to all. 

The Minnesota DNR provides daily updates on how the fall colors are progressing through the state. This is a great tool for planning day or weekend trips. There is still time to get outside and experience the fall colors. Click 
here to find out more.

Department of Commence Releases Health Insurance Premium Rates
Recently, the Department of Commerce released their Health Insurance Premium Rates. Most of us agree that all Minnesotans deserve access to quality, affordable health insurance, and the care they need. Unfortunately, too many of us still struggle to get our health care needs met. 

Heartbreakingly, premiums are continuing to rise after the Republican House Majority’s reinsurance ‘fix’ did not provide more access or completely address costs. Out-of-pocket costs are skyrocketing for Minnesotans who received a one-time, 25% discount last year, but will be paying full-price this year.  

Minnesotans, especially in Greater Minnesota, need a long-term solution, not a one-time fix. Unfortunately, the Republican House Majority left a better option on the table last year - a MinnesotaCare buy-in. Creating a MinnesotaCare buy-in will provide a health insurance option with more affordable rates and excellent provider networks for all Minnesotans, especially in Greater Minnesota. This is a Minnesota solution that we should pursue to the fullest extent. 

House High School Page Program
Modeled after the United States Congress Page Program, the Minnesota House of Representatives High School Page Program was established in 1975. Today, the program remains dedicated to providing students with meaningful opportunities and has evolved into one of the top page programs in the nation.

Throughout the course of their week in Saint Paul, High School Page Program participants are exposed to a wide variety of experiences, designed to provide them with a deep understanding of our state government.

The Minnesota House of Representatives High School Page Program is open to all Minnesota high school students in their junior year.  Applications are due by December 1st! For more information and the applications, please visit the
High School Page Program website.

What do you value?
What would make life better for you, your family and our community? Recently, we’ve been having conversations all across Minnesota—from Apple Valley to Grand Rapids and beyond—asking just that question. For a change of pace, we as legislators have simply listened and facilitated a dialogue about our shared values and future. The conversations have been robust, challenging, moving, and thoughtful. People from all walks of life have attended and shared so much about themselves and their communities.

Now, it’s your turn to join so many other Minnesotans and share what you value and what you’d like to see Minnesota do. 
Please take this opportunity to fill out a brief, four question survey.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any issues, questions or concerns you may have. It’s an honor to be your voice as we work to ensure those things we value most are a priority in our community and in Saint Paul.
 

REAL ID

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified Governor Dayton that Minnesota was granted a formal extension for REAL ID compliance through October 10, 2018--one year from now. This means all Minnesotans can continue to board airplanes and access federal facilities with their existing drivers licenses or birth certificates while Minnesota works to upgrade to the federal requirements.

 

MNLARS Update
Over the summer the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) upgraded a nearly 30 year old system for issuing titles, license plates, and vehicle registrations (tabs). The new system has completed over 155,000 transactions during its first 5 days. As with any new system, there are wrinkles that need to be ironed out. Both DPS and DVS noticed some issues and are continuously making improvements to their system.

If you have concerns about titles or vehicle tabs please give me a call. I’m here to help!

Sincerely,

Mary Kunesh-Podein
State Representative

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn