We’re Invited: Town Hall Meeting in St. Cloud on MinnesotaCare Buy-In

Looks like a good opportunity…


Town hall meeting will be free and open to the public; all St. Cloud area residents are encouraged to attend and participate in the conversation

Plan would give an estimated 100,000 more Minnesotans the choice to purchase more affordable, high-quality health insurance for themselves and their families

ST. PAUL, MN – At 9:00am on Monday, November 6, 2017, at St. Cloud Technical & Community College, Lt. Governor Tina Smith and Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper will hold a town hall meeting on the “MinnesotaCare Buy-In” proposal. The plan would allow Minnesotans who purchase their health coverage on the individual market to buy-into MinnesotaCare – a program that offers high-quality insurance at more affordable prices. Lt. Governor Smith and Commissioner Piper will review the proposal with St. Cloud area residents, hear their health care stories, and discuss what we can do together to improve access to affordable health insurance.

“Minnesotans are concerned about the rising cost of health insurance for ourselves and our families. This proposal can help,” said Lt. Governor Smith. “For 25 years, MinnesotaCare has offered a more affordable choice for 100,000 Minnesotans. Governor Dayton and I strongly believe that all Minnesotans should be able to purchase this high-quality health insurance. I look forward to hearing from St. Cloud area residents about this proposal, and bringing their stories and input back to the Capitol ahead of the 2018 Legislative Session.”

Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith proposed the MinnesotaCare Buy-In last year. To lower prices and improve access for an estimated 100,000 more Minnesotans, the Governor and Lt. Governor want to give all Minnesotans who purchase their health insurance on the individual market the choice to buy into MinnesotaCare. Those who choose “MinnesotaCare Buy-In” would pay their own way – meaning the cost of their premiums would pay for their coverage.

While the Legislature did not approve MinnesotaCare Buy-In during the 2017 Legislative Session, they will have the opportunity to consider the proposal in 2018. If the plan is approved, MinnesotaCare Buy-In coverage would cost less than commercial health insurance plans. On top of those savings, Minnesotans who purchase MinnesotaCare Buy-In would still be eligible for federal tax credits through MNsure. This year, more than 70 percent of MNsure enrollees are receiving tax credits, averaging about $638 per month, or $7,656 per year.

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Lt. Governor Tina Smith
Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper
House Chief Author, State Representative Clark Johnson
St. Cloud residents
Area legislators

Town hall meeting to discuss MinnesotaCare Buy-In

Monday, November 6, 2017

St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Health Sciences Building, Room 140
1245 Fifteenth Street North
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303

To view the event page for the St. Cloud Town Hall on Facebook, click here.

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2017 a Year in Review from LqP EDA

I cannot believe we are already coming to the close of 2017.  Harvest is well underway and soon we will be wishing each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I look back on the year with a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that the new year will have much more to be done.  Our work is never done, but sometimes it is good to take an account of how far we have come.

I know that we all feel a call to purpose and hope that our efforts make a difference, and yet we live in a world that is ever calling us to the work yet to be done.  I hope at this time of reaping and harvest,  our efforts both in the field and in our collective jobs,  that we take the time to understand that we are all in this together and to voice the appreciation we have for our colleagues, friends and family.

I am very blessed in all areas, and I want to thank all of you for the efforts you put forward in the community, through events, volunteer efforts, your churches, and your random acts of kindness to each other along the way. I have been so blessed by so many of you in the community in your friendship, kindnesses and prayers.

I have appreciated the opportunity to serve in this county since 2013 and I will continue to do my absolute best to work alongside all of you to bring hope and prosperity to our county and to truly appreciate the wonderful place where we all live, work and play.

My door is always open to you, and I hope together we can continue to make a difference in our county and region. Hope never dies when we live in gratitude and kindness with one another.  Thanks for making my 2017 a great year!”\

2017 a Year in Review from LqP EDA County Board
2017 Status Report from the LqP EDA

Industrial Hemp a main focus on LqP EDA

Earlier this month The Western Guard wrote about our focus on hemp. As they said…

One of our biggest goals is to bring alternative crops and energy sources to Lac qui Parle County – and hemp is a big player in that goal.

You can read the full article online. Please don’t’ forget to support the local papers – The Western Guard and the Dawson Sentinel.

Can art bring rural and urban together? This woman is going to make it work.

Here’s a great story of making a difference in your own way. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…

Ashley Hanson responded to last year’s election by buying a little yellow school bus.

In January, she drove it across the country, visiting artists in cities with fewer than 10,000 people. She stopped in 24 towns in 20 states. Talked with 127 people. Trekked more than 6,200 miles. Her goal: to better understand the disconnect, made clear by polls and voting maps, between folks in urban and rural areas.

“As someone who straddles the line between urban and rural very often, I felt that my role had shifted to cultural translator,” said Hanson, 34, a St. Paul-based theater artist and musician.

If you’re near Winona, you can see the work…

This month at the Outpost Winona, Hanson will share the stories people in those small towns told, trinkets they offered and letters they wrote. The exhibition, which also features videos and works by several “resident” artists who traveled with her, opens Oct. 20, with events all weekend. The bus, which Hanson named Gus, will be there, too — despite proving unreliable.

Learn about the Hemp Revolution

For all of you that stopped at the County EDA Booth at the County Fair to find out about the Industrial Hemp Study for farmers.  In an effort to get out some quick sources of information, I found this great documentary that is a quick primer on Hemp.  This will assist you to understand the history of the growing of this crop in our history, its ban in the 1930’s and why it is having a resurgence of interest now in the 21st Century.

So what was old is new again.  This is a great piece that will give a lot of good information about the Hope of Industrial Hemp and what we can accomplish with a sustainable plant that is versatile and had many market platforms.  Don’t forget it is a plant source that provides all of the amino acids a human needs.  This same plant makes a more robust paper product than traditional wood pulp paper as well as makes breathable wall panels for building purposes and Hempcrete blocks that are better than concrete because it breathes and will not cause mold to form.

We are getting excited about Industrial Hemp and Clean Energy.  Both of these topics will be covered at our upcoming conference in January of 2018.  Two full days of great information about Industrial Hemp and Solar and wind energy opportunities for Farms and Commercial Businesses.

Stay tuned for more information.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the Hemp Documentary!  Exciting stuff folks and hopeful possibilities!

VIEWING NOTE: For those of you that would rather not view the lengthy section on the film about Marijuana, please know that you can end the counter of the film at 39.54 and move forward by sliding the horizontal slide all the way to 56.34 and watch the rest.  There are other mentions of Marijuana to the end of the film but this is a compendium of all Hemp.

I hope this will not deter you from watching in order to know the difference between the two plants and the historic information that has caused Industrial Hemp to be suppressed from growing since the 1930s.  The film in its entirety is still more tame than most of the movies that are being cranked out by Hollywood, however I wanted to make the slider counter information available so you can choose to move forward rather than viewing what you would rather not.