Down with the privateers. Up with the Minnesota Health Plan (Senate File 219 - Sen. John Marty, DFL, Chief author).
In an email to his subscribers list, Sen. Marty wrote:
Legislative Update & Town Hall Meeting - Saturday, February 18
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2017 legislative session is now well underway and there is much to discuss.
You are invited to a town hall meeting that I am hosting along with Rep. Alice Hausman and Rep. John Lesch. We look forward to discussing legislation we are working on and hearing your opinions on issues of concern to you.
Town Hall Forum with Sen. Marty, Rep. Hausman, & Rep. Lesch
10:00am-11:30am, Saturday, February 18th
Falcon Heights City Hall, 2077 W Larpenteur, Falcon Heights, MN (8/10ths of a mile west of Snelling on Larpenteur)
Numerous legislative proposals are moving through the legislative process and I look forward to discussing them at the Town Hall Meeting.
This year, I am the ranking minority member of the Senate Energy Committee, and I also serve on the Health & Human Services Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, which deals with all aspects of the state budget.
My new legislative assistant is Elspeth Cavert. We are located at Room 2401 of the Minnesota Senate Building. You can reach us at:
2401 Minnesota Senate Building
St Paul, MN 55155
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can contact Elspeth Cavert at email@example.com
Please check out the brief summary of some of my legislative projects below. Again, I look forward to discussing these and other issues with you at the town hall meeting on February 18th.
Health Care Reform
As we have already seen this year, our current health care system is broken, and recent Republican proposals in both Washington and St. Paul would likely reduce access for many Minnesotans. Our health care system is already far too expensive and difficult to access, and I am concerned that those proposals will only make it worse.
I support Governor Dayton’s proposal to allow people to buy into MinnesotaCare, and believe it will reduce the problems in the individual insurance market. However, it is not a solution to the broader problems in the insurance system.
Last week, I joined with the Minnesota Nurses Association, Physicians for a National Health Plan, Land Stewardship Project and Take Action Minnesota for a press conference to announce the Minnesota Health Plan bill and explain how Minnesotans from all walks of life would benefit from this affordable option. Video of the press conference is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpnc0oEQfKw.
Although this legislation is not likely to move forward this year, I plan to make sure that it is at the table when we are discussing health care reform, because it is the only proposal at the Capitol that will cover all Minnesotans, and the only one that will save money. None of the other proposals introduced so far would fix the health care crisis.
As an interim step, I will also be introducing a bill that would reduce costs for the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs by replacing them with a Primary Care Case Management (PCCM) system, in which primary care providers work directly with patients to coordinate their health care. The PCCM system would ensure better health outcomes, more patient focused care, and save state money by eliminating the insurance middleman that adds unnecessary costs to the system.
More than one in ten Minnesotans lives in poverty, and three in ten struggle to meet basic needs. Some workers cannot afford housing and go from their jobs to a homeless shelter at night. No one should face a situation where they are working hard yet still living in poverty and unable to pay for necessities.
I am introducing a bold economic justice proposal that will improve the lives of tens of thousands of Minnesotans and move them out of poverty by providing phased-in increases in the minimum wage and more than doubling the working family tax credit. High childcare costs continue to be a problem for many working families, so the bill would also increase affordable childcare and boost reimbursements so childcare providers get decent wages and parents can receive high quality childcare. In addition, welfare benefits have not had a single increase in over thirty years, so this legislation would finally increase the payments to assist families living in poverty.
It has been over eight years since I served on the Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020. Unfortunately, very few steps have been taken to implement recommendations of the commission, and we need bold action to address the economic challenges facing so many Minnesota families.
Government Ethics & Campaign Finance Reform
Our democracy is being corrupted by the massive amounts of special interest money that heavily influences both federal and state governments. I will reintroduce my government ethics legislation that would close loopholes in our disclosure laws and work to end the conflicts of interest in government.
Among other provisions, it would: stop the revolving door between public officials and lobbyists, expand the open meeting law to cover legislative conference committee and budget negotiations, disclose all campaign contributions from lobbyists and interest groups, and require disclosure of who is funding the independent expenditures that are dominating our campaigns with attack ads and huge media buys.
We will never have a fair democratic process until we can stop the flow of big money in politics and government. Once again, I will be introducing legislation petitioning the US Congress to amend the constitution to overturn the Citizens United ruling and clarify that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
Energy & Climate Change
As the ranking minority member of the Senate Energy Committee, I am troubled by efforts to slow down the transition to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Minnesota laws that were making Minnesota a leader in addressing climate change are at risk of being repealed and reversed. I am fighting efforts by legislators to take the Renewable Development Fund (that Xcel Energy was required to create when they were allowed to story high-level radioactive waste on the banks of the Mississippi River) and turn it over to legislative control, where legislators can choose to fund their pet projects.
I am working hard on these and other issues this year, and hope you can join us at the town hall meeting on February 18th.
[image added, not in original] To place yourself on John Marty's subscribers list, use either of the two emails, for Sen. Marty or for Ms. Elspeth Cavert, the Senator's legislative aide:
In the email footer Sen. Marty noted Facebook and Twitter following info, and for phone or snail mail:
Minnesota Senate Bldg. 2401
St. Paul, MN 55155
Readers are urged to get onto Sen. Marty's email subscription list. It's free. It's informative. He's one of the real good guys.