As we move into April, session is starting to move even more quickly. Here are some highlights, and a couple of things to look out for as we move forward.
MNSure Feedback Website
Last week, GOP members of the State Government Finance Committee in the MN House launched a website to gather feedback from people regarding their experience with the MNSure exchange.
For months there has been a steady stream of people from our community calling my office asking for help with MNSure. Their problems range from constituents being enrolled in programs they don't qualify for, confusion with how to file taxes, and frustration with how much deductibles and premiums have increased. The system is broken, and we need to find a solution. I hope you will take the time to share your stories to help us find a solution that makes health care in Minnesota affordable and efficient.
You can leave your input using this link: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cmte/comment .
The webpage is also listed on the State Government Finance Committee's homepage.
Minnesota State High School League Audit
My request for an audit of the MN State High School League has been approved by the Office of the Legislative Auditor. The audit will be focused on student eligibility, which is a topic that has been brought up pretty frequently in the last several months. I think this audit will help the State High School League reexamine different policies they have in place, and hopefully result in more streamlined procedures for determining student eligibility. I have a very good relationship with the League, and believe this audit will benefit students, and the League itself.
FFA Day at the Capitol
Last week I had a couple of groups visit as a part of the Future Farmers of America Day at the Capitol. These groups stopped by to express their support of the Minnesota Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) education program.
This approach towards education integrates classroom and laboratory training, hands on learning through Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), and leadership development with FFA. Students earn life skills, and often go on to careers in the agricultural industry. It was a pleasure to talk with these young people about the effect FFA has had on their educations, and their goals for the future.
U of M FFA students, including Mariah Daninger from Forest Lake (second from the left), and their instructor, Sarah Dornink
Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony
This last Saturday, April 3rd, was the 9th Annual Vietnam Veterans Day program in Forest Lake. Over 200 people attended this year! I introduced Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito, who gave the keynote address. Pete Hegseth, veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and Fox News Contributor, also spoke about the experience of returning home for Vietnam veterans, and the contrast to today’s culture surrounding military service.
Left to right, Commissioner Shellito, myself, and Pete Hegseth
It was a privilege to participate in this ceremony, and I look forward to honoring our Vietnam vets again next year.
El and Francis Recognized by Veterans Affairs Committee
I mentioned El Ewert and Francis Laqua’s story in my last email update (here is a link if you missed it: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/pressrelease.asp?pressid=20434&party=2&memid=15276).
This Monday, we had El and Francis come to the Veterans Affairs Committee to present Francis with a resolution acknowledging his military career (El had been presented with a similar resolution a couple of years ago).
Brigadier General Jon A. Jensen and Command Sergeant Major Douglas J. Wortham of the Minnesota National Guard, as well as Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Larry Shellito, presented El and Francis with tokens of appreciation to recognizer their valor and service during WWII.
Thank you to El and Francis for making the trip to Saint Paul. It was an honor to have them at the Capitol!
I will keep you updated on issues as they arise during session, and I hope to hear from your regarding your questions and concerns. Thank you for the honor of being your state representative, and have a wonderful week!