Rep. Slocum Update: January 31, 2017

Dear Neighbor,

We have been hard at work for nearly a month at the state legislature. Here are a few quick things you might want to know:

HEALTH PREMIUMS

At long last, we finally have short-term relief for health insurance premiums, thanks to a deal between Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders in the House and Senate.

I’m not thrilled with many provisions in the compromise bill, especially one that would allow for-profit HMOs to enter the health insurance market. For nearly 50 years, HMOs have been defined as non-profit organizations, consistently leading to Minnesota ranking number one in health care.

Nevertheless, short-term relief is needed now, and I’m glad we can provide that help to people struggling to pay their bills.

But now it’s time for long-term reform.

I’m in favor of allowing any Minnesotan to purchase MinnesotaCare, effectively introducing a public option to the individual health insurance market. That’s the kind of bold long-term reform we need to consider to deliver affordable health care to Minnesotans.

35W/494 UPGRADE

Almost everyone who drives in Bloomington and Richfield knows about the bottleneck that plagues the I-35W/I-494 interchange. But as we move toward construction, we need a legislative appropriation.

That’s why I’ve co-authored legislation in the Minnesota House to add a northbound and westbound ramp. I’m hopeful the appropriation will pass soon, but if you want to help, be sure to contact Rep. Paul Torkelson, the chair of the Transportation Finance Committee in the House.

INVESTING IN OUR STUDENTS

Governor Dayton has unveiled his budget plan, the “Dayton Opportunity Agenda,” to create a better Minnesota, and I was particularly pleased to hear it will include significant investments in K-12 education.

For example, to expand opportunities for teachers, students, and communities across our state, the Dayton Opportunity Agenda includes a $5 million investment to help train and attract more than 800 potential teachers by 2021.

You can read more about the Governor’s budget here.

CONTACT ME

I want to hear from you!

Email me at rep.linda.slocum@house.mn or call at 651-296-7158 to tell me what you think we should be working on this year. Please contact me anytime I can be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Linda Slocum