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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Swedzinski bill on mental health for farmers remains in the mix

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


ST. PAUL – All three bills in a bipartisan series of proposals related to mental health for farm families remain in the mix for passage this legislative session after receiving hearings in the House Agriculture Finance Committee Tuesday at the Capitol.

Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, is the author of one of those bills (H.F. 3255), which would provide $140,000 next year to support increased mental health counseling for farmers.

“Life happens and people who are facing immediate mental health needs should not be forced to wait weeks or months to visit a doctor because of an unexpected turn of events,” Swedzinski said. “Mental health and the reasons for it don’t go away because of a snow storm, so what we want to do is to give people the green light to look elsewhere to make up that appointment if timeliness in rescheduling with the initial provider proves to be a problem.”

State Reps. Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley, and Jean Poppe, D-Austin, also successfully presented bills (H.F. 2888 and H.F. 2896) related to farmers’ mental health on Tuesday. Committee Chairman Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, held over all three measures for possible inclusion in a larger package of agriculture bills later this session.