We are just weeks away from deer season and Thanksgiving. The cool, brisk harvest and hunting weather is a great preamble to the evening heat from a fireplace or wood stove. I hope you are able to enjoy the Fall activities before the snow slows down our pace.
I continue to travel around the district to hear constituent concerns. On Sunday, I spent the afternoon at a Little Falls neighborhood get together. Most of the conversation revolved around the continuing growth or our State Government yet the lack of real help in rural MN.
One area in particular is the increasing “care gap” created by inadequate funding equity. It is no secret that our long-term care and assisted living facilities receive less funding than the metro counterparts. This continues to strain our facilities and push them to the edge of closure. I was thankful to hear the concerns and to further continue to fight for our elderly care facilities.
Tuesday evening I shifted focus to the Long Prairie Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. Our area continues to feel the pressure of diminishing main street businesses and real economic growth. It is evident we need to continue to focus on education, innovation, and entrepreneurs. State funding needs to be equalized to our rural schools; and we should stop trying to dissuade innovation and entrepreneurs with technology taxes and high business start up costs. All of these are things the legislator can solve, in my opinion.
It seems to me as I travel and hear people’s concerns that a focus on rural economic growth is key to our schools and way of life. I have not heard a lot of people ask for a “glitchy” website or to be kicked off their insurance plan. With an estimated 140,000 Minnesotans losing their plans to be replaced with more expensive plans, I wonder where our priorities lie. Our health care crisis is real, but it won’t be solved by providing expensive solutions that make access to our rural healthcare more scarce for the elderly folks who need it most. One broker I talked to this week, who was trying to set up insurance for her client through the MNSURE site noted the difficulty and sluggishness. She further commented that the whole process was frustrating to the client who previously used MNCare and had been happy.
Lastly, I was blessed to be able to present to Mr. Brian Hurd’s class at the Mary of Lourdes Middle School. I had a chance to share the experiences in St. Paul and my enthusiasm for solving some of the difficult challenges we face. My main message was be informed and active.