Editor's Note: The following is an e-newsletter from Minneapolis House Rep. Paul Thissen.
We've had a hot and wet start to our summer when many originally predicted drought. Our friends in the Northland are working hard to rebuild roads and bridges, homes and businesses. The state has received major federal disaster declarations for thirteen counties and three tribal nations following severe storms and flooding last month. Dayton recently requested $108 million in federal disaster aid in a letter to the Obama administration. The Governor has said that there is "no question" a special session will be needed to approve state matching funds for repair costs. He anticipates a special session could be held in about a month, but this is an estimation and no firm date has been set.
July 1 marks the date that a number of new laws take effect. Among them, new tools to help fight the spread of aquatic invasive species, reimbursement for community paramedic services that help keep people healthy and out of the emergency room, and funding for veterans' honor guard services. View a press release on the new laws here: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/0712nlrelease.pdf
July 1 also marks the anniversary of last year's state government shutdown. The shutdown was a disappointment for all of Minnesota, closing state parks, delaying construction projects, stalling license renewals, and laying 19,000 Minnesotans off the job. Facing a budget deficit next year, the last thing our state needs is another shutdown. We should work hard in the future to compromise, end the gridlock, and move forward on the priorities that matter to Minnesota and middle class families.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping coverage if you get sick, discriminating against children, and as of 2014 adults, with a pre-existing condition, or imposing annual or lifetime coverage limits. The ruling allows Minnesota the opportunity to continue to lead and implement the health care law in a way that builds on our nation-leading health care system. Settling this issue once and for all in court means real progress and security for Minnesota families, children, and seniors. The time to move forward is now. To learn more about health reform in Minnesota, visit this website: http://mn.gov/health-reform/
This will be the final e-update you will receive from me for the remainder of the year. House rules prohibit further mass constituent communication from the Capitol. Please continue to be in touch with my office with your questions, comments, and concerns and I will respond on an individual basis. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-5375, by e-mail at email@example.com, or you can visit or send mail to my office, 267 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.
It has been exciting to communicate with all of you via these monthly e-updates. I hope you have enjoyed the updates and staying informed about your state government. Please keep in touch.