As your state legislator, it is my job to protect you and other hardworking Minnesota taxpayers from wasteful government spending. The new $90 million Senate Office Building passed last session late in the night, and without proper public input, is the perfect example of squandering taxpayer dollars and I am continuing my efforts to put a stop to it.
House File 2800
I am a co-author on House File 2800, a bill that repeals authorization to construct a new lavish legislative office building. This wasteful project is a gift from legislators to themselves and includes window offices and reflecting pools. We are elected to fight for your interests in St. Paul, and instead we see too many legislators putting their priorities above yours. It has to stop, and I will continue to fight against this boondoggle.
Legislators should never put self service above public service.
The deadline to have health insurance is less than one week away, and all Minnesotans must be insured by March 31st or face a penalty. MNsure is still experiencing a number of technical glitches and internal problems preventing many Minnesotans from getting coverage by the deadline.
If you have been experiencing problems and need help, I would encourage you to contact my office. I will do my best to help you get through the MNsure bureaucracy.
I am also concerned about MNsure’s recent reports that they have reached their goals on enrollment. Their math just does not add up and Minnesotans should know that their misrepresentation of information could mean higher premiums going forward and more tax dollars to fund the exchange.
After the end of the year, MNsure expected to be self-sustaining through premium tax revenue charged to people who enroll on private plans through the exchange. They are more than 80 percent below their revised lowest estimates for private insurance enrollments, and I am concerned MNsure will return to the legislature for additional funding and premiums will rise as a result.
Taxpayers should not be picking up the tab for an ineffective, failed insurance exchange thrust on us by Governor Dayton and House Democrats.
Honor and Remember Flag
As an advocate for veterans, I am continuing to work on passage of House File 68, a bill I authored to officially recognize the Honor and Remember Flag in Minnesota.
If passed, the Honor and Remember Flag would be adopted as an official state symbol to commemorate service members who lost their life in the line of duty. 160 families have been presented the flag in Minnesota to commemorate their loved ones, and the flag is supported by Gold Star parents.
The bill has passed the Senate Rules Committee and is awaiting a hearing in the House.
Twenty states currently have adopted similar legislation and many more states have introduced bills. I hope Minnesota will become the twenty-first state to adopt the Honor and Remember Flag to pay tribute to our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.
FFA at the Capitol
It was an honor to meet with Future Farmers of America students who came down to the Capitol this week.
With over 10,000 members in Minnesota, FFA is a wonderful extracurricular activity that helps young people develop leadership skills. FFA students are involved in their community and do better in academics and I am pleased organizations like this are available to students in my district.
As always, it is an honor and privilege to represent you at the Capitol. If I can ever be of assistance to you on a matter of state government, please do not hesitate to contact me.