State Rep. John Petersburg was in our AM1390 KRFO studios for Talk of Town on Wednesday, February 24. Petersburg represents the cities of Waseca and Owatonna, and seven townships. He held two town hall meetings this week.

There were about 15-20 people at the Monday, February 22, meeting at the Owatonna Public Library. With Petersburg was Greg Davids, who is on the tax committee and is co-chairman of the MNSure Legislative Oversight Committee. One of the big changes with MNSure that was discussed was Open Enrollment. It is now only with the winter sign-up or if you have a life change, such as a birth or losing a job. There was also the vitality of pricing. MNSure asks for an estimate for yearly pay. If the estimate is high by the end of the year, it is required the MNSure is paid back.

The second meeting was in Faribault and was about child care. Mary Franssen and four of her committee members were there along with Reps.Peggy Bennett and Brian Daniels. Petersburg mentioned that Waseca County lost 40 percent of its child care providers and Steele County lost 27 percent. Waseca has 47 independent and five child care centers. Steele County has 135 independent and 12 child care centers.

Unionization of child care, whether at independents or centers, was discussed, along with CCAP, which is the state subsidy for childcare and if someone qualifies the payment due, like insurance, would be co-pay.

The legislative session will begin on Tuesday, March 8. Petersburg mentions that the Capitol is under heavy renovation through the end of the year. The House Chamber is the only room available with a hallway. The Senate will be in their own buildings.

The top subject to be discussed would be the REAL ID act, so Minnesotans would be able to board airplanes and enter federal buildings. Other issues would include transportation and taxes, maybe to finish Highway 14. The bonding bill is near $1 billion and some of the projects that Petersburg would like to see the money go to include infrastructure and a bridges fund for counties and townships.

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