Readers’ Views

Bill creates barrier

To the Editor:

As a parent and advocate for people with disabilities, I’ve worked for much of my adult life to reduce barriers that prevent people with disabilities from being included in the community. So I was greatly disappointed to see a bill at the State Capitol that would create a new barrier for them.

The bill, H.F. 3722, would require Medical Assistance recipients to prove they are working in order to continue to receive MA’s health care and supports. Some individuals with disabilities are exempt from these requirements. But 20,000 Minnesotans with disabilities who have accessed Medical Assistance through the expansion of MA coverage are not.

I know firsthand how much work it is to get the services that my sons and others with developmental disabilities need so they can live independently, work and participate in the communities of Martin County. However, this bill will force other individuals with disabilities and their family members to spend time on unnecessary paperwork instead of the supports needed to get and keep a job. Here in rural Minnesota, we don’t have a lot of resources as it is. We should focus those resources and energies on serving people, not filling out and submitting forms.

The House Ways & Means Committee is the next stop for this bill. I urge state Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont, a member of that committee, to vote no on H.F. 3722.

In addition, we would like to thank Rep. Gunther for his past support for people with disabilities, for the time he takes to meet with us at the Capitol every year, and for his visits in the community.

Lee Ann Erickson,

regional director,

The Arc Minnesota

Southwest Region


Thinking about flowers

To the Editor:

Although Old Man Winter doesn’t seem to want to give up this year, the members of the Focus on Fairmont/Project 1590 flower and banner committee have been thinking about flowers for a few months now.

The hanging flower baskets you will see along Blue Earth Avenue and Lake Avenue this summer have already been planted and are growing nicely at Janzen’s Greenhouse. We are also working on a few new designs adding to the street banners we purchased last year. Soon the banners will be placed along Highway 15/State Street, as well as Blue Earth Avenue and Lake Avenue. Our goal is to have banners on each light pole that has an existing bracket and eventually expand even farther.

We continue to raise funds for this project and, new this year, our committee has offered to oversee the downtown flower plants as well. Jon Janzen has graciously volunteered to assist us with the choice of flowers and planting. Thank you, Jon, we’re confident they will be gorgeous.

Of course, none of this would happen without the generous support we receive from local businesses, city employees and our community members. Thank you. We feel this project enhances the beauty and pride within our community and presents a very nice welcome to our visitors during the spring and summer months.

If you or someone you know would be interested in working with us on this project, we are always looking for people to join in our efforts to beautify Fairmont.

All contributions are welcome and greatly appreciated. Checks can be made payable to: Focus On Fairmont, P.O. Box 705, Fairmont, MN 56031 or contact one of our committee members.

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page.

Angela Gregory

along with Tammie Hested,

Heather Hawkins, Nancy Johnson, Judy Leiding and DeAnn Eversman