This legislative session was particularly productive for Sen. Tim Mathern and Reps. Gretchen Dobervich and Ron Guggisberg. With a Republican-controlled Legislature, it can be hard to get everything on our wish list, but I believe our legislators have a lot to be proud of.
One example is the expansion of medical assistance through Medicaid funding for pregnant women to 162% of the federal poverty level. This legislation was introduced on the Senate side by Mathern. Increasing prenatal coverage will likely reduce abortions and may also help reduce complications that result in costly neonatal care.
Dobervich co-sponsored the “ban the box” bill. This new law requires all public employers to remove questions that require disclosure of criminal convictions. Individuals with a criminal history will now have a second chance, and therefore are less likely to re-offend.
Guggisberg co-sponsored a bill that will require the state fire marshal to educate day care center worker on the requirements for, and benefits of, carbon monoxide detectors. This will hopefully prevent another Fargo daycare incident that required medical evaluation of all children where no detector was present.