I wanted to give you an update on a couple things going on in the Government Operations Committee this week. Two bills in particular got approved and eventually will be voted on by the full House of Representatives.
First, we passed a bill that will modernize our drainage records across the state. These standards have not been updated in years and this bill will help things run more efficiently. It will help local units of government look after their drainage needs more easily by removing certain requirements that have been in place for years but no longer serve a purpose. One such example is that county drainage records currently must be printed and bound into a book, but the bill will allow counties to have the information available in whichever form they see fit. It also makes the overall requirements simpler and more pertinent to today’s needs. The changes were made based on recommendations by the Board of Water and Soil Resources.
We’ve also moved a bill forward for the Minnesota Health Care Exchange. This is an online tool that people can use to shop for health insurance much the same way you can shop for airline flights. It will make it easier for people to compare different options when they are purchasing health care for their families. It’s something that the Legislature has had two years to complete but it got delayed under Republican leadership last session. The truth is, if we don’t create this exchange the federal government will create one for us. And I know I’d rather work with Minnesotans than people out in Washington. Our committee approved the bill and I hope we can get this passed as soon as possible. It’s something that will make it easier for Minnesota families to get health care and hopefully to find the best deals as well.
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Rep. Andrew Falk