Agriculture Funding Bills Prioritize New Minnesota Crops

By Maureen McMullen, Forum News Service Adding new commodities to Minnesota’s farming industry accounts for a portion of state agriculture funding proposed by the House, Senate and Gov. Mark Dayton. Industrial hemp is among the new crops eyed for growth. All three proposals include funding that could be used to grow and process industrial hemp,…
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Friendly Committee Gets Prescription Drug Bill

Minnesota representatives have moved legislation that would require insurance companies to usually fund medicine a doctor prescribes. A bill by Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, would limit the power of benefit managers, who control costs for insurance companies, to deny prescriptions during an insurance policy’s term. On an overwhelming voice vote, the House moved the…
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Lawmaker Tells Chairman Not To ‘Cower Behind Gavel’ Over Prescription Medicine Issue

It is personal for Rod Hamilton. The Minnesota state representative, a multiple sclerosis patient for 20 years, cannot get a committee chairman to consider a bill he says will help people like him who depend on prescription medicine. “Let’s have these debates,” Hamilton said Tuesday, March 14. “Don’t hide from it; don’t cower behind a…
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Bills Aim To Ease Greater Minnesota’s Housing, Homelessness Struggles

By Maureen McMullen Signs of homelessness in small Minnesota communities are not always as obvious as in bigger cities. While people without a roof over their head may be able to stay at a shelter or apply for housing projects in urban cities, homeless populations in rural communities may be hundreds of miles away from…
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Chatter: Dayton’s ‘Not Affordable’ Insurance Quote Spurs Lots Of Talk

“The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people.” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton had not even finished the sentence when political reporters knew they had a story. After all, Dayton has been a strong proponent of the federal health care law, better known as Obamacare, and pushed to…
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