ST. PAUL - A bill that would create a statewide health plan purchasing pool study group was recommended for passage Monday by the Minnesota Senate Committee on Health, Housing and Family. The bill is authored by Sen. Mary Olson, D-Bemidji.
The committee approved the bill on a voice vote and referred it to the Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight.
The study group would be charged with estimating the cost effectiveness of allowing Minnesota residents to enter into a statewide health care purchasing pool which would have the ability to contract directly with health care providers.
Ward bill would give property tax relief
ST. PAUL - Rep. John Ward, D-Brainerd, said the state's Fiscal Analysis Department reported Tuesday that statewide property taxes are projected to take the biggest jump ever.
The state's property taxes will increase by a record 8.9 percent next year, an increase of $603 million. In the Brainerd area, Ward reported, taxes will go up by 11.1 percent for a total of more than $16 million.
Ward said he is concerned about the regressive nature of the property taxes and their effect on senior citizens. He has introduced legislation to assist low- to middle-income property owners by increasing the property tax refund they will receive. The bill is scheduled to be heard in committee this week.
Transition workshop planned for April 26
The Crow Wing County Transition Interagency Committee is sponsoring a transition workshop from 5-7:30 p.m. April 26 at Brainerd South Campus with a focus on helping youth prepare for adulthood and a future in the world of work.
Nick Wilkie will speak on practical ideas for transition planning and the employment process.
Participants will be able to meet with representatives from local agencies and organizations that provide services to youth with disabilities. Participate in panel discussions with area employers and groups who can assist with learning employment skills.
Four area Knowledge Bowl teams make state
STAPLES - Four Brainerd area Knowledge Bowl teams competed Monday at the Region Five Knowledge Bowl meet at Central Lakes College in Staples and will advance to the state competition.
Two Brainerd High School teams will advance. The Brainerd team of Max Kuehn, Kara Richard, James Voelker, Sam Walker and Logan Mohs placed first. The Brainerd team of Michelle Toven, Ian McNamara, Kevin Mortensen, Chris Dens and Tirth Patel placed third.
Other area teams that competed and qualified for the state meet include the Little Falls High School team, which placed second, and the Crosby-Ironton High School team, which placed fourth.
The State Knowledge Bowl meet will be April 17-18 at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd.
Morrison cook-off for kids scheduled
LITTLE FALLS - Kinship of Morrison County is hosting its eighth annual soup and chili "Cook-off for Kids" from 5-7 p.m. March 20 at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls.
This is Kinship's largest annual fundraiser and promotional gathering.
In a nutshell, various restaurants and groups prepare secret recipe soups and chilis and then compete for cash prizes and also traveling People's Choice awards.
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