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March 3, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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March 3, 2004
 

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Area Focus Wednesday, March 3, 2004 I Cat in a Hat Kelly Quade and Monica Offo's first and second grade students watched and listened as Deb Kuehl read the story Green Eggs and Ham. The reading was a part of a celebration honoring Dr. Suess' birthday. Kelly Quade's first grade class posed with their Dr. Suess Cat in the Hat - Hats. Sen. Vickerman Introduces Bill to Repeal Additional Nursing Home Surcharge State Senator Jim Vickerman (DFL-Tracy) has introduced a bill to repeal a surcharge placed last year on nursing home residents to help close the state's budget deficit. "State residents are now paying more than $300 mil: lion a year in increased fees and surcharges so the Republicans can claim that they didn't raise taxes." Sen. Vickerman said. "One of these increases requires pri- vate-pay residents to pay $2,815 a year for a nursing home license surcharge. To add insult to injury, this money does not go back to the nursing home for the residents" care or even into the state's health and human services budget - it goes to the state's General Fund." Sen. Vickerman is author- ing a bill to repeal this increase because he has received more calls, letters, visits, and e-mails on this issue than any other legisla- tive issues this session. "'Most of the state's spend- ing on its health and human services budget is for seniors and others who require high-levels of care," Sen. Vickerman said. "Now the state is requiring some nursing home residents to pay even more. Under this plan. their money will run out more quickly and they will have to ask the state for help. This doesn'tmake sense." Sen. Vickerman said he hopes to receive bipartisan support on his bill. Anyone with comments or questions about Sen. Vickerman's efforts to repeal this surcharge can contact him at 226 State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155-1606, sen.jim.vicker- man_senate.mn or 651-296- 5650 Workshops on make meetings work You've attended meet- dealing with ings. both good and bad. And Workshops you've probably seen and this area are: experienced how challenging **Styles of it can be to lead a group, March 25. 9-12 Pm, committee or organization. **Dynamices With that in mind, Interpersonal workshops on the fundamen- March 25. tals of leading and making **M'ana meetings work better are being organized by the Redwood Falls University of Minnesota **Making Extension Service at 44 loca- Decisions. April 1, tions across the state. Redwood Falls The three-hour work- **Dealing shops will provide practical Conflict, April information about leader- Redwood Falls ship and facilitation. Two **Trends workshops will provide per- April 23, 1-4 pro, sonal, confidential instru- If you're ments that help participants workshops at discover their leadership or other parts style or their style of han- click on wwW. dling conflict, umn.e Another workshop will or contact provide tools for using reli- Rasmussen able data in decision-mak- Extension ing. And sessions on making 888-241-3207, or meetings work will cover @umn.edu managing group interaction, There is a fee making group decisions and workshop. Senator Vickerman supports funding to local governments State Senator Jim Vicker .mn (DFL-Tracy) is supporting legislation intro- duced February 23 to restore 860 million of the $150 mil- lion in local government aid (LGA) cuts made during the 2003 Legislative Session. "'LGA is a program that ben- efits cities with high needs and low property tax wealth to help them provide services and keep property taxes down." Sen. Vickerman said. "Communities in rural MN, as well as Minneapolis and St. Paul, were hit hard by the permanent cuts to LGA, while wealthy suburbs had some of its state fun'ding reduced, but only terfiporari- 1): Last year, there was a lot of talk about everyone shar- ing in the pain of solving the state's $4.5 billion budget deficit, but in the end it seems like rurar MN and its residents are paying more than :heir share." The fund- ing from the bill will come from three sources: continu- ing the $20 million Market Value Credit (MVC) cut passed in 2003; capturing $20 million of property tax using $20 money. The are what cities Dist. 22 were cut LGA and MVC they would under this bill rent law: * JacksO $249,897, restore $254,165, restore. * Mt. La $109,677. restore * Slayton: restore $81,580 * Windol $185,029. reswre $694,356, reswre Anyone with or questions what it means to property tax tact Sen. State Capitol. Martin Luther Blvd., St. 55155-1606, man@senate.ran 5650. 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