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Legislative roundup

May 3, 2009
By Ron Larsen — Staff Writer

Morrow pushes

vets' legislation

State Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter, reports his bill to increase support for Minnesota's homeless veterans has been included in the House Agricultural Finance and Veterans Affairs budget bill.

Working with the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), Morrow succeeded in getting an increase in funding for MACV's outreach and housing services.

MACV operates housing and outreach programs in Mankato, Duluth and the Twin Cities, and "estimates suggest that close to 4,000 Minnesota veterans will experience homelessness this year," Morrow reported.

"We must stand beside those who stood up for our country. MACV offers an outstanding, successful range of services and support for our veterans."

Don't blame hogs

for the virus

State Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Watonwan County, is still afraid Minnesota's pork producers will suffer because the media continues to refer to the illness as "Swine flu" instead of using the H1N1 virus label.

"There's no indication there are infected hogs anywhere. There's no indication it's been transferred from hogs to humans or hogs to other animals. It's becoming an extremely frustrating situation for pork producers," Torkelson said.

Torkelson reminds the public that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "have stated you cannot obtain the virus by eating pork products. Our economy is already in bad enough shape without having a poorly named virus cause consumer fear in the pork industry."

'Shared Work'

program dovetails

A bill which was chief-authored by State Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato has been signed into law by the governor, Sheran reports.

"[It] would allow many small businesses in rural Minnesota to take advantage of the state's Shared Work program while employees participate in a federal worker-training program," she said.

"Under the state's Shared Work program, businesses facing the prospect of laying employees can instead choose to reduce the hours of a larger set of employees in order to retain all of their current positions. Workers impacted by the reduced hours are then eligible for prorated unemployment benefits for the hours they've lost," Sheran reported.

Ron Larsen can be reached at



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