Brown County DFL support rural nursing homes and voting rights

Rachel Bohman, Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) candidate for the First Minnesota Congressional District addresses the Brown County DFL Convention, Saturday.

NEW ULM — Reimbursements for Skilled Nursing Homes and defense of voting rights were the top issues for delegates at the Brown County DFL convention.

The convention was held Saturday at the Community Center. The 41 delegates selected who will attend the state DFL convention in Duluth later this year. The top goal of the agenda was to vote on the 20 resolutions the county wanted to send to the State Convention.

There were 32 resolutions proposed during the precinct caucuses, but only 20 could move on to the State convention.

Nursing Home Reimbursement came out as a top resolution from the county, with nearly every delegating voting for it.

The resolution asked the state DFL to support changes to the Minnesota State Skilled Nursing Home Facility reimbursement policy to ensure the viability of rural nursing homes and provide a competitive living wage to all nursing homes.

During discussions, Dr. Ann Vogel expressed support for the nursing home reimbursement resolution but asked to add “especially non-profits” to the language.

Vogel said the reimbursement was primarily to support the non-profit homes. She said for-profit nursing homes are interested in making money, which can result in a loss of quality and sensitivity of skilled nursing homes.

Health and welfare was another popular theme of the convention, with many resolutions focusing on access and affordability of health care. In addition to the support for skilled nursing homes, the delegates passed a resolution for stronger EMS reimbursement rates, incentives and pay for training in rural communities.

Support for Universal Single Payer Health Care received the fourth highest votes among delegates.

Other resolutions called for Women’s Health Rights, clean drinking water for all and the reduction and elimination of unsafe pesticides

Multiple resolutions passed focused on ensuring elections remained free and fair. A redistricting resolution received the second-highest vote. The resolution supports establishing a bi-partisan redistricting commission to take redistricting out of the control of partisan legislative bodies.

A resolution opposing and educating the public on Project 2025 had the third highest vote count. Several delegates expressed concerns about Project 2025, a plan assembled by conservative think tanks to reshape the executive branch of the federal government if a Republican wins the 2024 presidential election. The idea is to replace federal civil service workers with conservatives. Many worried the plan could be used to undermine democracy on the federal level, leading to a conservative autocracy.

Another resolution called for the DFL to support the elimination of the Electoral College and use actual votes to determine the winner of elections.

Other resolutions included Individual Taxpayer ID number acceptance, unsafe pesticides elimination, support Minnesota Equal Rights Amendment, support country inspection of noxious weeds, right to repair, support packaging waste reduction act, rural child care shortage, preserve Minnesota natural spaces, gun control, well-rounded informed student education, rural housing shortage and eliminating lead from driving water.

In addition, to the resolution vote, Minnesota First Congressional DFL candidate Rachel Bohman spoke during the convention. Bohman is running for the congressional seat currently held by Brad Finstad.

Bohman has served as an assistant county attorney in Olmsted County. She was elected to the Rochester Township Board.

“I am running for congress because together I believe we can take Tim Walz’s seat back and elect someone who will listen and be accessible,” she said. “I have a vision for southern Minnesota because I strongly believe we are better when we work together.”

Bohman said she was able to win an election for Rochester Township Board by building a campaign of neighbors talking to neighbors. She believed this could be done on the district level and as a former assistant county attorney, she knows first-hand how to keep a community safe.

“I am running because southern Minnesota is an incredible place to live and raise a family,” she said. “We are setting industry in science and technology.”

She acknowledged the district faced significant challenges such as affordability in groceries, child care and health care.

She said, “Expected moms shouldn’t have to travel for hours to see physicians and self-employed farmers should be able to afford their monthly premiums without breaking the bank.”

At the end of the convention, the local delegates heading to the State DFL convention were Randy Wiltscheck, Angela Pick, Willie Wurtz and Pat Booker. The State DFL convention will be held from May 31 to June 2 in Duluth.


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