Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative Kathy Lohmer

501 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522

Posted: 2018-03-09
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Op/Ed Column


Most of you have heard the news that 3M has settled its lawsuit brought forward against it by the State of Minnesota. The company agreed to an $850 million settlement regarding water contaminated with perflurocarbons (PFC) in the East Metro.


As we begin investigating some of the specifics, a number of questions have been raised, for example where the settlement money is going to land. The agreement designates a fund that currently doesn’t exist. It would seem the Legislature is going to need to act on this issue alone.


If you are interested in receiving regular settlement email updates from the MPCA and Department of Natural Resources, you can sign up at content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNPCA/bulletins/1de950b.


This week lawmakers were troubled to learn that the Minnesota Department of Health’s office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) has failed to protect vulnerable adults in our state. The Legislative Auditor’s Office confirmed a recent report that thousands of allegations regarding the ignoring or outright abuse of elderly residents in nursing homes had not been investigated.


As a member of the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Committee and the Aging and Long Term Care Committee, I can’t tell you how disheartening it has been reading through the report and hearing about the missteps. The process of the OHFC was so unbelievably mismanaged. High staff turnover, no expectations, and a tremendous amount of waste.


I’m thankful a light has been shone on the troubles being seen, and now we need to do something to remedy it. It’s time to enact some common-sense reforms in this area. We take these problems seriously, and it is not acceptable to see vulnerable, elderly citizens being treated this poorly.


In other news, legislation I’m carrying, House File 2967, was heard and passed in the Minnesota House Public Safety Committee recently. It requires the Department of Public Safety to investigate the link between pornography and sex trafficking. The bill also adds a financial assessment of up to $1,000 to someone convicted of a child pornography crime, with 40 percent of that fine used to combat the sexual exploitation of youth.


In committee, we heard from two young women who were forced into prostitution who stated pornography was prevalent in their situations. We also heard from a Minneapolis police sergeant who reported that in the past five years there have been virtually no cases of sex trafficking where pornography was not involved. There’s little doubt that a connection exists between sexual predators and porn, and I feel it would be beneficial for all of us to determine how significant this problem is.


As always, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Kathy.Lohmer@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4244. You can also send mail to my office address: 501 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

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