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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sandy Layman (R)

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News From Representative Layman 3-17-2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

I’m sure most of you are like me and reliving last weekend’s thrilling state title victory for the Grand Rapids boy’s hockey team! I’ve had a lot of fun with the championship at the Capitol this week. I won my wager with Rep. Dennis Smith as the Thunderhawks topped Maple Grove in the first playoff game, and gave a speech on the House floor to honor the team’s run to the championship. Again, congrats, guys; we’re so proud of you!

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Health Insurance Relief

As I started my first term in the House of Representatives, one of my top priorities was to help people in our district who were losing access to health care due to skyrocketing premiums and decreasing insurance options. We took another step toward that goal this week as the House passed House File 5, a bill designed to stabilize the individual insurance market and reduce premiums.

Our latest bill, HF5, is a reinsurance program designed to lessen the effect high-risk folks have on health insurance costs. The bill is estimated to reduce health insurance premiums by 17-18 percent. That projection comes from the non-partisan Minnesota Management and Budget, and is our best prediction for the impact this bill can have if signed into law.

I’ve heard from so many families in our district who are struggling to pay their health insurance bills every month. I was proud to advocate for these residents as I voted to pass HF5. If signed into law, this bill can be another building block as we try to lower premiums, stabilize the insurance market, and once again make Minnesota a leader in health care.

Bill Hearing

This week, in the Legacy Funding Committee, we heard my bill, HF694, to fund new exhibits at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids. I know how important this facility is to our area’s school children who visit from across the region, which is why I’m advocating for more state funding.

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Broadband Panel

On Wednesday, I took part in a panel sponsored by the Minnesota Broadband Coalition and moderated by former Senator Steve Kelly. As a member from Greater Minnesota, I’m supportive of increasing broadband access for unserved or underserved areas like Itasca and Cass Counties. We had a great discussion, and I think we could see another push this session to bring reliable, fast internet to those in rural Minnesota who need it.

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Weekly Visitors

I want to thank all the visitors from home who stopped by this week including GR Chamber President Bud Stone and all the Forestry Affairs Committee members from Bemidji and Grand Rapids, Mark Zimmerman from IEDC and the MN Broadband Coalition, Ron Oleheiser from Grace House and other members of the MN Coalition for the Homeless, all the teachers from Grand Rapids who came with Education Minnesota, Megan Christianson from Visit Grand Rapids who advocated for the Explore MN Tourism Council, several advocates from Keisler House promoting services for mental illness, and a group from Grand Rapids for Disability Day.  It’s always great seeing folks from our area. I learn so much from you and this was a record week for local visitors!

If you have a question or want to share your opinion, feel free to call, email, or schedule an appointment to meet with me in St. Paul.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sandy