Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nels Pierson (R)

Back to profile

Legislative Update (February 18, 2019)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I recently had the pleasure of welcoming Stewartville High School junior Kaileigh Weber to the Capitol for the high school page program. My nephew, Seth Pierson, also participated in the program, which is a great opportunity for high school juniors to get a closer look at the legislature and learn more about state government. More information about the program can be found by clicking here.

With Kaileigh in the House retiring room.

With Seth and Rep. Bob Gunther, who represents his home district.

As another week at the Capitol gets underway, I wanted to send out a quick email update with some news on a few important issues making headlines at the legislature. 

Care Provider Wage Cut

Last week House Democrats voted to advance legislation that would codify in state law a 7 percent cut for Disability Waiver Rate System rates. These rates are the basis for payments for services provided to Minnesotans with developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and those with other home and community-based care needs. If it becomes law, I fear that the ultimate result of this legislation would be lower wages for the people who care for disabled Minnesotans, which in turn would lead to lower quality of care.

Rural Minnesota is experiencing an urgent crisis for staff to care for disabled individuals, resulting in facilities being closed and a lack of care accessibility. Lowering care providers’ wages would exacerbate this problem and make it more difficult to find these critical workers, endangering access to the care and facilities that disabled Minnesotans need. With the healthy budget surplus our state currently has, I do not agree with voting to solidify a cut for the services relied on by Minnesota's most vulnerable citizens.

Although I am extremely disappointed by my colleagues’ votes, this legislation is far from the finish line. I am hopeful we can work together to prevent it from making any additional progress this legislative session. It is crucial that we ensure care providers are paid competitive wages so that disabled Minnesotans can have access to the care and facilities they need and deserve.

Lowering Healthcare Costs

Last week the House Commerce Committee approved legislation that would extend the reinsurance program the legislature enacted in 2017. This program stabilizes premiums by mitigating the impact of high-risk individuals on the individual health insurance market. This law has proven to be successful as it has helped to lower the cost of health insurance on the individual market each of the last two years. If this program is not extended, the effect on rates on the individual market could be devastating. This bill received bipartisan support in committee and, although some Democrats have spoken against it in the past, I am hopeful they understand the importance of taking action to continue the program this session.

Project Legacy Bill

Last year I authored a bill to provide funding to Project Legacy, a non-profit organization making a meaningful impact in our area.  Project Legacy aims to help young adults of color who are homeless, formerly gang-involved, or recently incarcerated, complete their education in order to become contributing members of their communities. Unfortunately, this bill was vetoed by the governor at the end of last session, but I am once again authoring this legislation this year.

My bill would again provide funding for a grant for Project Legacy to continue their important work of providing mental health care, medical care, chemical dependency intervention, housing, and mentoring and counseling services for first generation college students. I am proud to author this bill to make sure Project Legacy has the tools they need to further their critical work on behalf of our area’s youth.

Please Contact Me

Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts on the issues and legislation that will be coming before me in the weeks and months ahead. You can reach me via phone at (651) 296-4378 or via email at

Have a great weekend.


House Image