The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 18, 2013

Shelter for homeless right start


Jolie’s candidness is sharing her experience had to be difficult but will help educate women and motivate them to start conversations with their doctors about their cancer risks.

Jobs bill will help outstate businesses

To Rep. Bob Gunther’s changes to the Legislature’s jobs bill, which will put Greater Minnesota in a better position to compete for new business subsidies.

The Fairmont Republican helped craft the final bill, making changes that provide for unique challenges faced by outstate business owners.

Under the final version of the bill, companies in the metro area must have 200 employees to qualify, but only 75 in Greater Minnesota. And jobs must pay about $34,000 in the metro area but only $26,000 outside the metro. And Greater Minnesota companies get more years of property and sales tax relief – seven and a half years compared to five in the metro.

The jobs bill, the successor to the JOBZ program, is aimed at allowing Minnesota businesses to compete with other states

The bill finally adds money for jobs programs after the program was cut in the previous two budget cycles.

Gunther also inserted spending of $200,000 a year to help nonprofits in southern Minnesota train entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. There are several such efforts in the Twin Cities but none in Greater Minnesota.

Gunther’s ability to work with the majority party to make important changes to a jobs bill that will allow outstate businesses to compete on a more equal footing should be applauded.

Medicare fraud prosecutions justified, needed

Buried amidst the IRS and Associated Press grilling by congressional oversight committee this week was news from Attorney General Eric Holder the federal government charged 100 people, including 14 doctors and nurses, for Medicare fraud amounting to about $223 million in eight cities.

Such scams are costing the program between $60 billion and $90 billion annually and stopping them is key to paying for the health care overhaul. While that’s definitely good news, it will be necessary to aggressively seek out these cases to hit the goal Obamacare needs to be funded sufficiently.

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