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Big points

Posted at 5:17 PM on January 30, 2007 by Bob Collins (4 Comments)

Most of the teams doing well so far in Fantasy Legislature have HF 8 to credit. It's the bill that brings Minnesota into conformity with the feds. About 35 names are on the bill and each gets 50 points, because today it was signed by the governor.


Comments (4)


Granted, teams without a HF8 player are lagging behind, so far. But the Carriers' strategy, draft 'em if they like to author bills, is paying off. We still lead the Maroon league in bills filed and are so far the only team in triple digits for bills heard in committee. Go Carriers! File! File! File that bill!

Posted by Doug Gray | January 30, 2007 11:29 PM


Fritz! Poppe! Doty! 150 points! Leapfrogging ahead by 150 points to advance four places. Go Team Milvets!

If only my team could have 8 players, I could have picked up another 100 points with two more rising stars . . .

Tuesday was 'Veterans Day' at the Capitol. Governor Pawlenty shared the stage with committee Chairs Senator Vickerman and Representatives Juhnke, Otremba and Koenen, along with Minnesota VA Commissioner Clark Dyrud. The legislators even spoke to the assembled crowd, which included many members of veterans service organizations. Representatives Haws and Severson were also recognized for sponsoring key legislation to benefit veterans, military, families and survivors.

Thank you to Senators Vickerman and Ropes Erickson for voicing their concern Tuesday during the Senate Committee meeting over the loss of a young Marine that came home and died among We the People after seeking help for mental illness.

I'm hearing comments from Minnesota citizens that we need to do more to help our veterans.

Will we let the management and board shortcomings in running the state's current five Veterans Homes keep us from expanding services to meet the needs of Minnesota's newest veterans?

Read Andrew Borene's excellent commentary in the Star Tribune:

link
Andrew Borene: Be ready with the mental health safety net


"Americans who risk their lives for their nation also deserve access to treatment once home."


Andrew Borene is a USMC veteran of Iraq and resident of SD41. He suspended his campaign for senate in September 2006 after a domestic incident caused him to seek treatment for alcoholism. He is a recent graduate of inpatient rehabilitation. Thank you, Andrew, for speaking out on the importance of receiving treatment precisely when it is needed.

[ http://www.startribune.com/562/story/970222.html ]

Fantasy Legislature is a game. Life is not.

Posted by Nancy G | January 31, 2007 4:46 AM


The Borene article was quite good. Sadly, what happened to the young vet has often been the norm for Minnesota's young people. A few years ago we produced Bad State of Mind, which documented -- among other things -- the lack of mental health 'beds" around here.

Disclaimer: my wife testified before a House committee last Friday on this problem, and called for many of the same things Borene called for, including higher reimbursement rates and loan forgiveness programs so that mental health professionals will move here.

Many health care providers closed up their mental health facilities, becuase there's more money in, say, cardiac care. That's why there's a glut of cardiac care centers in Minnesota, and kids who are suicidal are told to go away.

As with everything else, it's a deeper problem than just not caring by the person who's in charge of the beds that don't exist.

During this legislative sessions, there's quite a bit of legislation regarding mental health care and you should be seeing hearings on specific proposals shortly.

Posted by Bob Collins | January 31, 2007 8:16 AM


Holes in the Net are not an acceptable 'norm.' Here's the response from Senator Vickerman, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Veterans, and member of Team MILVETS:

"I met with the veterans' director for Congressman Tim Walz to ask for more funding for our VA Medical Centers. I
also met today with the Senate Majority Leader and asked for his help in securing funding for additional community based mental health services, through Senator Berglin's budget committee. We have to make sure that there is an integration of services for veterans between the federal and state programs. This is especially important given that 2,600 National Guard members will be returning to Minnesota after a prolonged tour in Iraq, and many will need prompt access to mental health services."


-- Senator Jim Vickerman

There are several bills in the 110th Congress that have potential to provide some improved services. With 116 co-sponsors, HR327 has broad support.

H.R.315 : To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with community health care providers to improve access to health care for veterans in highly rural areas, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2] (introduced 1/5/2007) Cosponsors (9)
Committees: House Veterans' Affairs
Latest Major Action: 1/5/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

(Bob notes: Nancy, you don't have to put html tags in. although the "preview" doesn't recognize the paragraph breaks of non-html-rendered copy, the final product will. This should save you some time. Excellent post!"

H.R.327 : To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop and implement a comprehensive program designed to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans.
Sponsor: Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] (introduced 1/9/2007) Cosponsors (116)
Committees: House Veterans' Affairs
Latest Major Action: 1/9/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

H.R.612 : To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the period of eligibility for health care for combat service in the Persian Gulf War or future hostilities from two years to five years after discharge or release.
Sponsor: Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] (introduced 1/22/2007) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Veterans' Affairs
Latest Major Action: 1/22/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

S.383 : A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the period of eligibility for health care for combat service in the Persian Gulf War or future hostilities from two years to five years after discharge or release.
Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 1/24/2007) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: Senate Veterans' Affairs
Latest Major Action: 1/24/2007 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Nancy

Posted by Nancy G | February 1, 2007 1:43 AM