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The Capitol Note: Southern Minnesota officials had concerns about MNsure notifications

Mike Mullen//July 7, 2014

The Capitol Note: Southern Minnesota officials had concerns about MNsure notifications

Mike Mullen//July 7, 2014

1) Southern Minnesota officials were concerned about notices going out to MNsure enrollees long before the state acknowledged last week that 16,000 public program notices informing customers their applications were incomplete hadn’t been sent out, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports.

According to those officials, the state knew about the problem long before that acknowledgement. The new letters are expected to go out in July, but the process requires manual workarounds even though it was supposed to be fully automated. Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson sent a letter to county human services staff saying that those enrollees affected could get retroactive coverage.

“Every county has been screaming that we didn’t think notices were going out, and the state kept saying yes, yes, yes, people are just forgetting this. We had a really strong sense that they weren’t and finally it’s been confirmed that they weren’t going to our people,” Olmsted County Community Services Director Paul Fleissner said.

Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, called for a criminal investigation into why consumers don’t have coverage if the state knew about the problems some time ago.

2) The state Supreme Court will consider a Waseca man’s appeal that he was defending his home in a fight with an intoxicated man on his apartment’s stairs, the Mankato Free Press reports.

The appeal of the 2011 fight case will test Minnesota’s “defense of dwelling” statute, which requires those in danger to first retreat. Daniel Devens, who is mounting the case, argues that protections under the law should extend into the common area of his apartment building.

3) Bicycle safety advocates are drawing on the death of a woman in southwest Minnesota to renew their calls for harsher penalties for drivers who injure or kill cyclists, KSTP reports.

Christopher Weber, who allegedly killed Steen resident Andrea Boeve, told police he was on his phone and didn’t see the biking woman. That kicks up the penalties to a felony. But if Weber hadn’t been on his phone, the penalty would have been a simple misdemeanor.

Advocates want to change that. “There’s a gap in between those two penalties,” Dorian Grilley, executive director of Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, told the news station.

COMINGS & GOINGS

  • The Rice County GOP is hosting a fundraiser for Scott Newman, Republican candidate for attorney general, this Wednesday evening. The event begins at 5:00 p.m., and comes with suggested donation of $50; email county chair Jason Kocina at [email protected] for details.
  • Shawn Peterson has joined the Minnesota Catholic Conference as associated director of public policy, and registered to lobby for the religious interest group effective late June. Peterson, a former chief sergeant-at-arms for the Minnesota House, most recently worked as a campaign operative for GOP Secretary of State candidate Dennis Nguyen.
  • Access Justice, a nonprofit that specializes in assisting low-income clients, is hiring for a law clerk. Duties would include research and assistance in drafting legal briefs, among others; scheduled can be tailored to fit around current law school students’ availability. Apply by sending  resume, transcript, writing sample and references to Victor Van Dyke at [email protected].
  • The Minnesota Nurses Association is seeking an administrative assistant. The nursing union, which is based in St. Paul, is looking for an employee to assist in organizing a number of its regular activities, including candidate screenings and arranging appointments between lobbyist and legislators. Bachelor’s degree preferred, as is knowledge of labor unions and legislative process. Email application and resume to [email protected].

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