On Friday, the Governor's Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology, which I serve on, had our first quarter meeting. As someone who has spent the last decade plus working in IT, it is valuable to be able to bring that perspective to this bipartisan council. We need to make sure our state government never allows another technological failure like MNLARs or MNSure to happen again, ever. I take serving on this council seriously and will do everything in my power to bring real-world IT knowledge to our state government.
Disaster Relief Bill to Gov Walz
On Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to approve additional funding for the state’s disaster contingency account. This account is critical to making it possible for the state to act quickly when natural disasters strike—providing aid to local communities in the event of a disaster.
The legislation was unanimously approved and puts $10 million into the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account. While $10 million is better than no additional funding, House Republicans attempted to put even more into the account via an amendment offered by Rep. Tony Jurgens. The Jurgens amendment would have transferred $43 million into Minnesota’s disaster contingency account, $33 million more than what was offered in the underlying bill.
As we've already seen flood conditions hit surrounding communities, it's imperative we make sure this account is properly funded to avoid Minnesotans becoming a pawn in end of session budget negotiations. I will keep you up to date as this develops.
Last week, I was joined by Mike Phelps CEO of Ridgeview Hospital at the Capitol. I am the chief author of a bill that would allow Ridgeview to utilize the existing hospital rooms they have already.
Previously there was a moratorium issued by the State restricting Ridgeview’s utilization of their rooms. My bill fixes that to allow Ridgeview to utilize their existing rooms. The bill passed out of committee with unanimous bipartisan support and, hopefully, we will pass it off the floor soon and send it to Gov. Walz.
The bill will result in more patients from the Southwest Metro and the immediate area can be treated at this fantastic hospital. It will also create new nursing jobs, support jobs, and facility jobs at Ridgeview.
Rep. Nash with Ridgeview Hospital CEO, Mike Phelps
Constituent Meeting & Tour of Capitol
This past week, Tim Keating from Cologne took me up on my standing invite for all constituents to come to Saint Paul to meet with me and take a tour of the Capitol. He even brought a bag of donations for the Waconia Food Shelf! If you'd ever like to set up a meeting in St. Paul and get a tour of the Capitol, please schedule a meeting. Tim and I had a great time and it's always to get to spend time with my constituents.
FoodShare Campaign – LAST WEEK!
The MN FoodShare March Campaign brings hundreds of companies, civic groups, schools, and more together to help keep food shelves stocked statewide. This is a great opportunity for us to help those less fortunate in our own communities. You can find a food shelf near you here: www.foodpantries.org/st/minnesota. I will be collecting goods at my office through the end of this week, so if you are coming to the Capitol bring something to donate to the Waconia Food Shelf. Let's all do our part.
Please Contact Me
While we are in session, we’ll be discussing countless ways to improve our state. I hope you’ll call, email, or visit to share your thoughts, ideas, or questions. As you know, I’m here to serve you and want to help in any way I can. My office is located on the third floor of the State Office Building, Office 349, and my phone number is 651-296-4282. If you are coming by the Capitol, please stop by my office!
Have a great week,