Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update
Quite a bit was going on at the State Capitol this week, and I’d like to share some of the highlights. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit with constituents discussing disability services, and the steps we can take to recruit and retain good employees to do this important work.
Health Insurance Premiums
Yesterday, the House passed a bill to provide relief to the 125,000 Minnesotans who have been hit hard by massive premium increases. Following the Governor’s signature last night, relief is on the way soon, and this is good news.
I am quite troubled though by a provision in the bill which allows for-profit health insurance companies to operate in Minnesota. In this state, for many decades we have prioritized providing the best outcomes for our citizens’ health care, and when a profit motive is introduced, this focus can be put in jeopardy. I remain committed to ensuring Minnesotans have affordable, accessible health care and that solid consumer protections are put in place.
Foley Blvd. Overpass
I was happy to learn this week that the proposed Foley Blvd. grade separation at the BNSF tracks was recommended for $7 million of federal funding by the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board. Community leaders have been working for a solution to this rail crossing – ranked in the top 15 most dangerous in the state – for several years, and I’m pleased at this step to improve public safety in our community.
A day after giving his State of the State address, Gov. Mark Dayton presented his two-year state budget proposal. Overall, this is an excellent agenda of priorities which will expand opportunities for all Minnesotans to find success.
Significantly, the Governor Dayton’s budget includes support for a public health insurance option allowing all Minnesotans to buy into MinnesotaCare, a successful program for low and middle-income Minnesotans. I’ve long supported this idea, and am thrilled the Governor is on board. You can read more about his budget proposal here.
Please continue to contact me with any input you have about issues that are important to you. Feel free to write or call me any time.
Have a great weekend!