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Town Meeting held at Mapleview Estates

March 27, 2013

State Rep. Joe Schomacker and State Senator Bill Weber held a Town Meeting at Mapleview Estates Dining Room on Monday afternoon. They talked about some of the issues that are currently being discussed in the Minnesota State Legislature.  
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman<br><br>
FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman


State Rep. Joe Schomacker and State Senator Bill Weber held a Town Meeting at Mapleview Estates Dining Room on Monday afternoon. They talked about some of the issues that are currently being discussed in the Minnesota State Legislature.
By Norma Dittman
State Senator Bill Weber (R), Luverne, MN, District 22, and State Representative Joe Schomacker (R), Luverne, MN, District 22A, held a Town Forum at Mapleview Estates on Monday afternoon to discuss key issues that are being debated during the 2013 Legislative session.

Senator Weber welcomed the audience and explained that the Minnesota State Legislature is taking a spring break during Easter Week. He and Rep. Schomacker took the opportunity to schedule Town Meetings in Tracy, Lake Benton, Fulda and Slayton.

Rep. Schomacker, who is a member of the Health Care and Human Services Finance Committee, talked about thebipartisan legislation, from late February, that would boost state funding for nursing homes as well as home and community-based service providers by about 5 percent in each of the next two years. “The quality of life within care facilities is dependent on the staff of the facilty,” Schomacker stated.

According to Schomacker, care providers would be eligible for up to a 5 percent increase in reimbursementsduring each of the next two years beginning in July. A portion of the increase would be tied to meeting certain quality standards.

One of the issues that Senator Weber addressed with the audience was the proposed solar power mandate bill. The bill would mandate that utilities pay solar power developers a “Value of Solar” rate for electricity generated by rooftop and back-yard solar arrays. The rate likely would exceed the current retail price of electricity.

Weber pointed out that there are more controversial things present then dealing with issues like mandates for electric generation via solar power. Senator Weber said, “With solar generated power being the most expensive power, even a modest mandate will add substantial costs to our cooperatives, municipal, and investor-owned utilities. That in turn will result in higher rates to rate payers. And the rate payers are all of us.”

Both Senator Weber and Rep. Schomacker encouraged audience members to contact their offices with concerns over legislative issues.

Minnesota legislators will reconvene on Tuesday, April 2nd.


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