Rep. Jeff Backer (12A) – Legislative Update 2/7/15

Presenting my bill, HF 423, before the Health and Human Services Reform Committee

Dear Neighbors,

It was an eventful first week of February in St. Paul. I am looking forward to updating you on some of the important events that have taken place.

First Bill Clears Committee

On Wednesday, House File 423, a bill that I chief-authored, received its first hearing and was passed by the Health and Human Services Reform Committee.

HF 423 seeks to remove hurdles and streamline the process for ambulance services in rural Minnesota to use alternative staffing models.

I am happy to that the Health and Human Services Reform Committee sees the importance in giving our rural ambulance services the flexibility they need in order to meet staffing requirements. This is an important step in ensuring that our communities in rural Minnesota have the capabilities to respond to an emergency situation in a timely manner.

Appointment to Serve on the State EMS Board

On Tuesday, I was appointed by Speaker Daudt to serve as an ex-officio member of the state’s Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board.

The EMSRB is the state agency responsible for licensing ambulance services, certifying medical personnel, approving emergency training programs, designating and funding eight regional EMS organizations that support emergency medical services, and administering the volunteer ambulance training grant, the longevity program for volunteer ambulance personnel and the EMS for children grant program.

I am looking forward to serving on this board and as a certified EMT I can bring a unique rural perspective to the board. Rural Minnesota faces unique challenges in staffing and properly equipping our emergency personnel to respond to situations. I am excited to work towards addressing these problems.

Upcoming Town Hall Events

Sen. Westrom and I will be hosting a series of town halls on February 20th. We encourage all to attend these events and voice their questions, comments, or concerns on issues affecting our area and state.

8:30-9:15 am
Elbow Lake Library
117 Central Avenue
Elbow Lake, MN 56531

10:45-11:30 am
Breckenridge City Hall
Council Chamber
420 Nebraska Avenue,
Breckenridge, MN 56520

12:45-1:30 pm
Wheaton Library
901 1st Avenue North,
Wheaton, MN 56296

2:30-3:15 pm
Ortonville Library
412 2nd Street SW
Ortonville, MN 56278

4:45-5:30 pm
Morris Public Library
102 East 6th Street,
Morris, MN 56267

Constituent Visits

There were a number of folks from the district that were in St. Paul this week. It was great to meet with you all and discuss issues that are important to our district.

Met with several students on Monday from the University of Minnesota Morris on Minnesota clean energy & jobs.

On Thursday, I visited with Steve Nagle and Pam Johnson with the West Central Minnesota Communities Action in Elbow Lake.

On Monday I met with individuals from House District 12A that were with the Minnesota Association of Farm Mutual Insurance Companies.

Staying in Touch

If you are planning on being in St. Paul this session, please feel free to contact my office by phone at 651-296-4929 or via email at to set up an appointment. I would love to meet with you and talk about ways we can make Minnesota better. Again, it is an honor and privilege to represent you and your family for the next two years. I am here to be YOUR voice in St. Paul and it is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

Thanks and talk to you soon,