Disturbing Discovery in the Governor's Office

(St. Paul, Minnesota) - During a meeting yesterday with the Governor's staff, the Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC) made a disturbing discovery.

It happened with a simple question to Heidi Holste, the Governor's senior policy advisor on health care.

"Just to verify, I asked Heidi if the Governor had seen the stack of citizen petitions we brought in 2 weeks ago. With a look of uncertainty, she said she didn't know. So I asked her, 'Where are the petitions?' Amazingly, she didn't know that either. But she said they didn't come to her and suggested they may have been sent to Constituent Services," said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

At the Governor's request, Ms. Brase had met with Ms. Holste to discuss the public's concerns with the "best practices" health care proposal which is part of House File 2277, a bill the Governor has not yet signed.

"This is bad news for patients or citizens. The Governor's Office has had the 12-inch high stack of citizen petitions for 15 days yet the Governor may not have even seen them."

"Furthermore, the senior policy advisor on health care, who is about to advise Governor Pawlenty on whether the bill should be signed, says she hasn't seen the petitions, and doesn't even know where they are," Ms. Brase added.

PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW

Ms. Brase says three questions should be asked by the public:

  • Is it possible that the Governor has not seen the 12-inch high stack of citizen petitions?
  • If not, who made the decision not to show them to the Governor, and why?
  • Finally, if the Governor and the appropriate policy advisor are not made aware of the public's concerns in health care, what does this say about how the public's concerns are handled on any issue?

On May 13, CCHC staff and supporters hand-delivered citizen petitions, stacked more than 12 inches high in binders, to Governor Tim Pawlenty's office. A photo documenting the event was taken.

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)
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