Thank you to Loyal and Maureen Demmer and children from Fergus Falls for recently coming to St. Paul and visiting me in my legislative office to discuss issues related to Minnesota Christians Concerned for Life.
Congratulations to the people in Perham who made last weekend’s trade show a great success. The event was well-attended and received good support from area businesses. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank local service clubs for their work – and fine food they provided – during the trade show.
A number of local citizens and groups continue visiting St. Paul this session. The Forward Fergus Falls leadership group was among the latest to come to the Capitol, led by newly elected Mayor Ben Schierer. They met with committee chairs and talked about issues pertaining to Fergus Falls, such as the library project and repurposing the regional treatment center in town. I was pleased to meet with the group of nearly 20, even if it was only for the brief time the busy House schedule allowed.
As for the library, legislation is advancing to allow the implementation of the sales tax referendum Fergus Falls citizens approved for that project. The bill I authored to facilitate action required at the state level in order for this to proceed was well received in a committee hearing this week and remains in the mix for passage this session.
The big news from the floor this week is the House passed a bill which aims to provide double-digit reductions on health insurance premiums by mitigating the impact of high-risk consumers in the individual market.
Dubbed the Minnesota Premium Security Plan, the proposal would establish a state-based reinsurance program administered by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, which for more than 40 years ran a high-risk pool that brought stability to the individual market and ensured the sickest Minnesotans had access to coverage. Projections indicate the move could reduce premiums by approximately 18 percent.
The upshot is this is another step toward restoring some common sense in our health care areas. This reinsurance program is a step in the right direction and folks in Minnesota will benefit from it. It will be a small step, but it’s a major one.
Budget news is set to hit full stride soon as work gets serious on putting a new two-year plan in place. The governor is scheduled to provide his revised budget plan this afternoon and the House will follow suit in the near future. Look for more on that subject in an upcoming email.