For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
First and foremost, I would like to thank all of our veterans, active military and their families as we get set to celebrate Veterans Day this weekend.
As retired military with children currently serving our country, I know the sacrifice brave men and women make in service to our nation, protecting our freedoms and liberties at home and across the globe. As Chair of the House Veterans Committee, I also have the privilege of advancing policies that help serve our veteran community here in Minnesota.
So if you are a veteran, thank you for your service. We are the land of the free because of your bravery.
Happy Veterans Day!
Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Hearing
In other recent news at the Capitol, the State Government Finance Committee, of which I am a member, held a second hearing last week regarding the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) and Monterrey Security. As you may recall in news stories earlier this fall, the MSFA hired this security firm for U.S. Bank Stadium in spite of a history of problems. It turns out, Monterrey Security failed to give background checks to its employees as required under state law, and also had troubled billing practices.
The security of the thousands of Minnesotans who attend sporting events, concerts, etc. at our public stadiums is of paramount importance and something that should not be taken lightly. What’s more, with big events coming next year including the Super Bowl, we want to ensure that people are well-protected and safe when attending these events.
Holding these hearings is helping us get to the bottom of the serious breach of public trust by the MSFA and Monterrey Security. It also highlights why Republican efforts this session to bring more accountability, oversight and transparency to the MSFA were critical to protect citizens and taxpayers.
Open Enrollment and Republican Reforms
Last week marked the beginning of open enrollment, and while it seems there is rarely positive news tied to MNsure and the Affordable Care Act, Republican reforms are making a real difference this year.
Thanks to a number of solutions put forward last session, we were able to reverse a four year trend of double-digit premium increases, as GOP lawmakers advanced policies to address affordability, accessibility, stability and choice on the individual market. For 2018, rates are stable or declining, a huge turnaround from a nearly 60 percent jump just one year ago. What’s more, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, without these reforms, rates would have risen by 20 percent or more.
While it’s unclear what steps will be taken at the federal level regarding health care reform, here in Minnesota we are making strides to lower costs for the Minnesota families, small business owners and individuals who purchase their own insurance.
Real ID Update
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Minnesota was granted another extension for Real ID through October of 2018. This is great news that will ensure a Minnesota issued license or ID card can continue to be used to fly, enter a federal building, or visit loved ones on a military base.
And while the Real ID extension is a positive step forward as our state works to fully implement the federal requirements, it also highlights the ongoing problems with the new Minnesota Licensing and Registration System that the state transitioned to earlier this summer. Also called MNLARS, it has caused frustration and headaches for many Minnesotans who have been caught up in an error-riddled system. Ensuring that the MNLARS system works properly is critical to move forward with Real ID implementation.
On that note, if you have run into any issues with MNLARS and need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office. I am here to serve you!
As always, thank you for the honor of being your state representative. Please contact me with any questions or input you may have; I look forward to hearing from you.
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