I hope you’ve had a great week, and are ready for an enjoyable, relaxing weekend. Here’s a quick update from St. Paul.
Health Care Bill
This week, the House passed a bill, HF5, to improve health care in our state. The legislation creates a reinsurance program, and is estimated to lower premiums by 17-18 percent. It’s a step in the right direction of stabilizing the individual insurance market and making premiums more affordable for hardworking Minnesotans. This is a top priority this session, and I am hopeful this bill can become law.
Supporting Rural Broadband
As you know, I’m a big supporter of providing fast, reliable broadband internet to unserved and underserved areas of our state. We passed $35 million last year and I authored a bill this year for $35 million. And as you know, our county received two grants this January from the fund and next summer we will see many trucks out digging new fiber to bring this badly needed service to you. This past week Century Link just energized new fiber on County Road 5 around Willmar and up to the Long Lake area. I have already heard that the new service they have is amazing! We are moving the needle on broadband and more is coming.
One of my favorite parts of being a legislator is working with members of the community to help pass bills that are important our area. Lots of local residents have recently come to St. Paul to assist me as I’m presenting legislation to committees, and I wanted to say a couple thanks you’s.
Darrin Anderson and Linda Bahe came to advocate for summer school at the Prairie Lakes Detention for Willmar Public Schools. Barb Laidlaw helped out with excellent testimony to support our children’s hospital called CABHS. This is an important issue for me, and I truly appreciate the help in advocating for this cause.
Thanks to all who have contacted me about these local bills and many other topics. Your input is vital to this process, and I hope you’ll continue to contact me or visit my office to share your thoughts on any issue.
I wanted to say how sad this week was when we lost a real champion to education, a business owner and father with the sudden passing of my friend Jared Anez. He was the Chair of the Willmar School Board and truly loved his community. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. We will miss you, Jared.
Until next week,