House File 288, my bill that prevents health plan companies from removing coverage of a particular brand of insulin or equipment and supplies during the contract year was heard in the Commerce Committee today. Insulin users need to have the appropriate medication, unplanned changes can cause serious problems. A few other bills regarding insulin were also on the agenda. This worked out well because it was also lobby day for the American Diabetes Association, so there were a number of people who were able to testify on behalf of the legislation.
In the evening, the House Transportation Committee held a hearing at the Savage City Hall, the Council Chamber was filled. While a number of testifiers talked about road improvements, the Dan Patch legislation probably generated the more animated discussion.
The Savage City Council Chamber is an extremely attractive room and the focus is Dan Patch. That and the artwork on the outside of the City Hall are worth a special trip to see.
We had several interesting presentations this afternoon in the Transportation Committee. Two were on funding strategies that have taken place in Georgia. Representative Kevin Tanner, the chairman of the Transportation Committee in the Georgia House of Representatives, went into detail on the funding of a comprehensive transportation system. Of particular importance was HB 170, legislation that went into effect on July 1, 2015. This will generate over $900 million in new annual funding. It includes excise tax on fuels, truck fees, and a $5 hotel/motel fee. Representative Tanner said he receives the most complaints on the hotel fee. His advice was that it is important “To do it together.”
John Robert Smith of Transportation for America gave an overview of transportation funding strategies of other states. He had visited a number of communities in Minnesota this past fall and talked about what he learned from those visits. For more information, go to www.T4America.org
Election Day 2018 concluded with a number of pleasant surprises. I am definitely ecstatic that I will be returning to the Minnesota House of Representatives to represent District 51A. An added bonus is that my caucus will be in the majority, so I am counting on a legislature that will be more responsive to the issues of people.
I am so grateful to my family, friends, members of my Senate District, and everyone that made this great outcome possible. I am in awe of the time and energy that some people put into campaigning.
It has been particularly encouraging to see so many new people involved in the campaign process. We know that the future Minnesota and the nation is really at stake.
My sincere appreciation to all that participated in the election process.
Last Thursday, I attended the 101st Annual Meeting of the Dakota County Farm Bureau. The evening included reports on many of the activities that took place this past year as well as election of officers .
Their guest speaker was Janet Bremer, a woman who grew up on a dairy farm and also married a dairy farmer. She talked about her experiences living on a dairy farm and was very passionate about the many attributes of living on a farm. She encouraged others to share their stories about living on a farm. Ms. Bremer is the MN Dairy Princess Coordinator and writes a blog called “My Barnyard View.” She also is the America’s Farmers Midwest Farm Mom of the Year.
Another highlight was hearing about the David Bailly Family and the Alexis Bailly Vineyard. That family was recognized as the Dakota County 2018 Farm Family of the Year. Nan Bailly received the award and provided an interesting history on how her father and his family created the vineyard.
It was a fun and educational event.
Saturday was a perfect day for a parade!
Thanks to all who participated in this event.
It is a fairly lengthy route, but everyone seemed to be in good spirits. I definitely noticed that the children had bags chock full of treats that were distributed by the parade units.
I was at the India Fest this afternoon. It is a huge celebration that takes place on the State Capitol Grounds. lots of entertainment, food vendors, and activities for children. Many interesting booths, including the Sehgal Foundation,one where they tie turbans, as well as clothing non-profits, and sports organizations.
Early in the afternoon, there was a parade that culminated in a ceremony on the southern portion of the lawn. There was a flag-hoisting, singing of the American and Indian national anthems, and speeches. American is the considered the oldest democracy and India the largest.
The event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
I attended a ribbon-cutting event at Cedarvale Lanes yesterday afternoon. New lanes have been installed in the facility.
More exciting is that a women’s bowling event starts there today, Thursday. There will be women bowlers from across the globe. The qualifiers start today and admission is free. Tickets can be purchased for the last two days.
The final event is Saturday at 4:00 and it will be televised. For more info, click on:
It was a beautiful evening to be out meeting with friends and neighbors. Lots of conversation and lots of food. A townhouse association had a raffle for its members. In one neighborhood, some kids designed a device that shot out streams of toilet paper. Pretty clever and toilet paper doesn’t hurt, that’s from personal experience. At another party, I met a man who designed a portable garden. He wanted a garden and had to observe the rules of the townhouse association. At another party, a police officer showed up and let the kids look at his police car up close. He also had gifts to share, glow necklaces for the children and spatulas for the adults were some of the things he shared. A nice evening to get to know your neighbors a little better and promote safety in our communities
Thanks to all who made these events possible and to all who participated.
Went on a tour of some of Independent School District 196 schools this morning. Most of them are undergoing major construction, both in the buildings and the parking areas. There should be lots of excitement when the schools open.
I had the opportunity to meet Khizr Kahn on Monday. Mr. Kahn is the gentleman who offered his copy of the Constitution to the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. He is extremely passionate about defending the values of our country and electing people that will hold true to keeping the integrity of the United States intact.
He mentioned his experience in Pakistan where policies discouraged people from criticizing the government. Mr.Kahn is critical of the national ban on Muslims. He and his wife lost their son, a member of the United States Army, when he was serving in Iraq. This family paid dearly to protect freedom.