District 20 Senator Rich Draheim has been appointed to the recently formed Senate Select Committee on Health Care Consumer Access and Affordability. It’s a bipartisan committee looking at ways to “fix” Minnesota’s healthcare. He said, “we spend a lot of time talking about how to pay for healthcare, in whatever form, whatever side you’re on, doesn’t matter, we still have to pay for it one way or another, but, we really didn’t examine WHY it
costs so much in the first place”. He added that the most of the healthcare costs are from “chronic or pre-existing conditions” and long term care. As our population ages, it changes the dynamics. Draheim said we’re not ready for that, we need to reevaluate the care and how we pay for it. He said they’ll be looking at anything and everything. His focus will be on pharmaceuticals. One question in particular is why do drug companies advertise on television, shouldn’t your doctor advise you? On the Federal level, healthcare is going nowhere. Draheim says that does affect their bipartisan committee, “we have to rely on the Federal guidance and with them not doing anything only prolongs what changes we can make in the State”. He said Healthcare is a huge animal and they need to think outside the box and look at it from a different perspective. His full interview is online under the Morning Show tab.
Nfld Council continues forward on Strategic Plan
The Northfield Council further discussed their Strategic Plan this week. Mayor Pownell said, “we gave the council another opportunity to look at what we’re calling our Strategic Plan One Pager, which is really the high level. It includes the strategic priorities, their targeted outcomes and specific initiatives under each of the priorities. That will come back to Council on August 8th for formal adoption. Through the month of August, City staff, council, board and commission members, as well as the public are invited to give additional input on the actual actions listed under each priority. The first meeting in September is when the Council plans to have the Strategic Plan complete which allows City staff to get to work tackling those initiatives. There is a working draft of each of the 6 priorities Council identified on the City’s website under City Council. This is the LINK to that page where you’ll see each of the working drafts in blue, just click on them.
Legislature okays Rice Co bid to appoint Auditor
The Rice County Commissioners held public hearings to change from electing a new Auditor/Treasurer and Recorder to appointing one. With the retirement of Fran Windschitl, who held the position for decades, the Board felt with the County’s budget tripling to over $60 million and the enormous responsibility of handling the finances, it should not be an elected position. Commissioner Galen Malecha said they, along with 3 other counties, approached the Legislature for approval to appoint. It was granted. The next step will be the Board voting on the change, they’ll then start the hiring process. The idea is to have someone in the position by Fall. Windschitl will be out in September. As for the Recorder, she will run out her term and then be hired.
Distracted driving simulator at Rice Co. Fair
The Distracted Driving Simulator will be at the Rice County Fair tonight from 6 to 8 at the Rice County Sheriff’s Command Center. Learn about the dangers and consequences of texting and driving as well as other distractions first hand with the Distracted Driving Simulator. This activity is for ages 15 and older only. The simulator is brought to you by the Rice County Safe Roads Coalition and the Rice Co. Sheriff’s office.