I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of late-January warm-up. It’s that great winter weather where we can still ice fish and play hockey outside, but don’t need every piece of warm clothing to survive. Before you and your family enjoy the weekend, I wanted to pass along a few items.
Just yesterday, news broke that Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, MNsure, may have used up to $271 million over a five-month span on enrollees who were not eligible. We knew that MNsure had glitches, but had no idea it could possibly be wasting over $200 million in less than half a year. Determining enrollment eligibility is something the exchange should already be doing without wasting hundreds of millions in taxpayer money. We’ve already spent $300 million creating MNsure, and now we find out that even more is going to waste. As legislators, it’s our duty to be stewards of your tax dollars. We’ll continue to look for ways to help our government programs, especially MNsure, become more efficient.
Child Protection Task Force
Early next week, I’m taking part in a press conference with the bipartisan Child Protection Task Force to give our suggestions for the upcoming legislative session. For the last three years, I have advocated for disadvantaged children by co-chairing the Task Force, offered and passed legislation for early education scholarships targeted at children who deserve equal education, and offered legislation to attract more social workers to Greater Minnesota. But, there is still much work to be done.
In the upcoming legislative session, I will be offering improvements to the foster care system to help children in out-of-home placement as well as attracting and fairly compensating foster care parents—who, by the way, are the most giving and compassionate people I meet. I am also working to improve our rural Minnesota job climate so that families can find jobs, and I want to help more families off government assistance with a future of prosperity and purpose, not despair and hardship.
This isn’t an issue divided by partisanship; I’ve worked with legislators from both political parties on the Task Force. Our children – all children – deserve a chance to experience a bright future in our state.
Good Luck, Winter Sports
It seems like the winter sports season just started, but our local high school teams are finishing up the regular season and preparing for sections in a couple weeks. Good luck to all of our winter teams as they look to keep their season going!
Have a great weekend, and, as always, don't hesitate to email me with your questions or suggestions.