This week at the Capitol, a number of issues took center state. None were more controversial then the passage by the full Senate of S.F.1 (Lourey) the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, also known as the Health Care Exchange. The bill was passed by the Senate late Thursday night after 11 hours of debate and discussion of over 40 amendments. This action follows passage of a similar bill by the House earlier this week.
This legislation is being pursued in response to the Affordable Care Act which was passed by Congress a few years ago. The exchange will act as clearinghouse for approved health care plans and Minnesotans will be able to purchase coverage through this entity. Much of the discussion surrounding the bill centered on date privacy for consumers as well as the lack of impact the bill will have on overall health care costs.
State Senator John Pederson (R-St. Cloud), Representative Tama Theis (R-St. Cloud) and Representative Zachary Dorholt (DFL-St. Cloud) will hold a Town Hall Listening Session for residents of St. Cloud, Waite Park,
St. Augusta, and Fair Haven and Minden Townships from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at the
St. Cloud Public Library, 1300 W. St. Germain Street.
For more information, contact Sen. John Pederson’s office at (651) 296-6455, Rep. Tama Theis’ office at (651) 296-6316, or Rep. Zachary Dorholt’s office at (651) 296-6612.
Will serve as St. Cloud’s first female Representative
St. Paul – St. Cloud’s newest face at the Capitol, Representative Tama Theis, began her first term in the Minnesota House Tuesday, Feb. 26, after being sworn in during a ceremony in the House Chamber. Rep. Theis, a business owner and longtime area resident, is the first female state representative to serve the St. Cloud area in history. Tama is the daughter of Rich and Carol Lou Fuchs of Watkins. She was joined by friends, family and colleagues when she took the Oath of Office at 1 p.m. Tuesday, administered by Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Barry Anderson. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt was also present for the swearing in. Theis replaces former Rep. Steve Gottwalt after his retirement triggered a special election for the seat.
This week at the Capitol the focus was on the release of the state’s newest budget forecast. Minnesota Management and Budget releases budget updates on a monthly basis, but each November and February, the agency releases a much more detailed picture of the financial outlook for the state.
Yesterday’s release shows the state’s budget picture continues to improve. According to this budget estimate, for our current biennium of Fiscal Years 2012-2013, the state now has a surplus of $295 million. In addition, the projected deficit for Fiscal Years 2014-2015 dropped from $1.1 billion to $627 million.
Eden Lake Township
Polls are open from 4-8 p.m. at Eden Valley Fire Hall (450 Smith St. S.); absentee voting avail.
10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 9.
Up for election are: Johnathan Schumann (supervisor, 3-year term), and Nicholas Thielen (treasurer, 2-year term), both unopposed.
Annual meeting is at 8:15 p.m. after polls close.