P.O. Box 429
Mt. Lake, MN 56159
Rep. Rod Hamilton of Mt. Lake has a saying, “Special sessions aren’t special.” It’s his way of saying that he hates special sessions. Last week, as he reflected on the 2015 session, he used the words “gamesmanship” and “disappointing.”
“I don’t claim a per diem on special sessions,” Hamilton said. “I don’t feel right doing it. I get frustrated with it, unless it’s for an emergency, or disaster, or something like that. If it (the need for a special session) is just to bicker, come on. Please. Let’s grow up, get our work done and go home.”
The 2015 session Hamilton mentioned three areas he feels will have the biggest impact on local residents: nursing
home funding, school funding and progress on Highway 60.
Actually, the third item — Highway 60 progress — is not about something the legislature did. Rather, Hamilton is pleased the project is moving forward without further delay. It’s been delayed so many times since it started in
the early 1960s, many area residents have a difficult time believing the four-lane expansion will actually be completed by 2018.
As for school funding, Hamilton noted that the legislature approved an education proposal that includes $1.4 billion in new money, compared to the last budget cycle.
“It also includes a number of reforms which should help ensure that every child, regardless of where they live, will
receive a world-class education,” Hamilton said.
The decision that will have the biggest impact on the Cottonwood County area, according to Hamilton, is the nursing home legislation.
“My counterpart in District 22, Rep. Joe Schomacker (of Luverne), chairs a committee that addressed nursing home funding,” Hamilton said. “That was long overdue and it will
bring in an additional $138 million which goes toward statewide reimbursement rates. It is badly needed, especially for folks who provide care in nursing homes.
“This is one thing that I am very proud of. We want to make sure it goes mainly to improve wages for care providers.”
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