Congrats to Mark Jensen of Pierz for his upcoming induction into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame! Mark taught and coached wrestling at Pierz High School for 30 years. During that time, his teams amassed 377 wins and, most importantly, he had a positive impact on the lives of countless students and athletes.
Thursday was the first deadline for bills to pass through committees, so it was an especially busy week of bill hearings in committees for me and my colleagues.
The legislature took meaningful steps forward this week in fixing the broken MNLARS system that many of you have experienced problems with firsthand. The House and Senate both passed compromised legislation yesterday to provide $10 million in emergency funding to address the problems that have plagued the system since its rollout last July. In addition to the funding, this bill also includes strict legislative oversight on the project to ensure the money is being spent properly and progress is being made. With nearly $100 million in taxpayer money already spent on MNLARS, Minnesotans deserve a working system. This legislation implements significant reforms to increase accountability and ensure real solutions are the result of the additional funding.
Governor Dayton approved the legislation by signing it into law last night.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Bill
On Wednesday, one of my bills to address fetal alcohol syndrome was approved in the Health and Human Services Reform Committee. In addition to raising awareness of fetal alcohol syndrome, this bill would also require that licensed foster care providers undergo at least one hour of training on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders each year. Fetal alcohol syndrome poses serious dangers to children, and better educating foster families is a significant step in helping them best care for children who have sadly been afflicted with it.
Medical Assistance Work Requirement Bill
Earlier this week, the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee approved legislation to require all able-bodied adults currently on Medical Assistance to be working, seeking employment, or completing a job training program. The bill includes an exception for single parents with children to care for, people with disabilities, certain medical conditions, addictions, or other barriers to employment. Although Minnesota has a strong economy with more jobs than workers to fill them, reliance on public welfare programs continues to increase. I think this bill is a commonsense approach that would help lift more people out of poverty and off public welfare programs, in addition to giving them the skills they need to be successful in our economy.
Fish Fry Friday
If you’re hungry tonight, be sure to stop in at the Little Falls VFW from 4:30pm-7:00pm for a fish fry. If you would like your local fish fry mentioned in future email updates, please send me the details and I’ll make sure I include it.
Please Contact Me
As the pace of session picks up, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any thoughts or questions on any legislative issues. I welcome your feedback and input as it allows me to best represent our communities.
Have a great weekend,