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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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News from Representative Erickson 10-23-2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear Friends,

Thank you to the members of the House Capital Investment Committee who visited Isle last month to tour the Malone Island Bridge, a local project on a list of potential bonding projects that could be included in next session's bonding bill. I appreciated the presence of many residents to help explain the need for replacement of the bridge.

This is an important project for our community and an important project for Lake Mille Lacs, as it is a bridge that crosses the lake near a spawning area for walleye. The bridge is structurally deficient and holds the water and the sewer lines to the island, so the consequences for the lake's ecosystem in that area could be devastating if the bridge were to collapse even partially. I will keep you updated once session begins on the status of that project.


It's been about a month since Minnesota's Health Insurance Exchange, part of the Affordable Care Act sometimes referred to as ObamaCare, opened to the public for open enrollment.

The exchange is designed to be a website where individuals and small businesses can compare health insurance plans, and sign up for insurance.

It's been a rocky first month for MNsure, which experienced many of the same issues the federal ObamaCare exchange has been experiencing since October 1st. The first week saw error messages, problems with account creation, and other technical glitches and problems.

While many of the initial issues have been rectified, the provider search function is still not fully operational, making it very difficult for people to determine whether or not they can keep their doctor or provider.

Last week, MNsure announced that about 400 people had successfully enrolled, pending payment, through the exchange. The enrollment numbers are crucial to MNsure's financial stability; if fewer people enroll, a tax on insurance plans sold through the exchange could rise more than 100% in order to fund MNsure's operations.

If you have any questions about MNsure, you can contact their customer support line at 1-855-3MNSURE (1-855-366-7873).

Parent Teacher Conferences

As a former teacher, I can't stress enough the importance of parents, grandparents, or guardians attending parent-teacher conferences. With many schools in our area holding conferences recently or soon, I hope you'll make a point to attend if your student has a conference scheduled. 

Parental engagement is a crucial piece for the achievement and learning of any student. The most successful students I taught over the years were the ones whose parents were fully invested in their child's education.

Pioneer Press Article
As you may have heard, last week was the Education Minnesota Professional Conference, formerly known as MEA. You can read my comments about the Conference in the story by clicking here.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about issues that are important to you. My door is always open. If you would like to schedule a time to meet, please contact my office at or 651-296-6746.

Have a great rest of your week,