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

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Legislative Update (2-20-15)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Thanks to Karen McQuoid from Lake Mille Lacs and to former students, teachers, school board members, superintendents and friends for the visits to my office in St. Paul this past week. It is important for me learn your thoughts and concerns.

If you have not had a chance to make it to the Capitol yet this year, I encourage you to contact my office to set up a time. I would love to meet with you and discuss your ideas on how we can make Minnesota work better for everyone.

Bill with Implications for Lake Mille Lacs Receives Hearing

A bill that I authored, House File 382, was heard before the House Mining and Outdoor Recreation Committee on Tuesday. This bill would require a yearly report detailing how much the Department of Natural Resources spends managing Lake Mille Lacs. The bill, which was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill, is in response to the numerous constituents who contact me regularly about the costs in managing the lake.

Karen McQuoid, who lives near the Lake Mille Lacs area, was my key testifier. She cited lack of DNR data on their website to point out the need for transparency and accountability, supporting my concern: What is the cost benefit of the way the DNR manages Lake Mille Lacs?

The last time the DNR reported to me - upon repeated request - was over 10 years ago and the costs then were over $1 million.

Ultimately, this bill is about transparency and accountability and preserving the integrity that all state agencies should have.

Legislative Auditor: MNSure’s Failures Outweighed Its Achievements

The Legislative Auditor’s office released the long-awaited MNSure report this week. This report detailed numerous shortcomings and problems that occurred during MNSure’s roll out and first year. While many Minnesota families were already well aware of the many issues arising from MNSure, the report confirmed a number of the problems in an official capacity.

The report revealed that MNSure staff did not adequately test the site before its October 2013 rollout. As a result, 58 percent of those surveyed by the auditor’s office reported to have spent at least four hours on the enrollment process. Furthermore, another 75 percent reported having “significant” technical problems with the website.

The auditor’s report also found that MNSure staff withheld information from key officials and the MNSure board concerning the extent of the problems prior to the launch date. As a result, thousands of Minnesotans had to go through the time consuming process of trying to enroll.

Also in the report was information detailing that during its first year, MNsure failed to provide adequate customer service through its call center. To make matter worse, the roles played by call center employees were not sufficiently clear, so consumers were often referred back and forth among them.

Furthermore, MNSure commercial enrollments missed Democrat projections by 88 percent with 49,000 actual enrollees compared to 413,000 promised in a 2013 fiscal note.

When MNSure was made law, we were promised that Minnesota families would see lower costs and access to a user friendly website and customer service experience that would make comparing insurance policies easy and convenient. Instead, MNSure has caused headaches and higher costs for families.

I am committed to work with my colleagues to find practical solutions to fix the beleaguered MNSure find ways to ensure fair access and affordability in health care and to increase accountability for MNSure and its executives.

Staying in Touch

Please visit and “like” my Facebook page for updates on all the important legislation and events that are taking place at the Capitol.

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 weekend,


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