State Sen. Mark Koran held an open house at the County Market in North Branch on Friday, March 10.
At the open house Koran, a Republican who lives in North Branch and represents District 28, said many of the questions he fielded in the session revolve around things locals have heard in the news.
“I was asked about Social Security, taxes, schools,” Koran said. “Ironically, one topic I heard a lot about school issues are the meals for everybody, and what that means.
“People are concerned about that – and so are superintendents. Superintendents are asking me about all of those dollars, which could go into classrooms rather than to feed families who already have the means to pay for them.”
But Koran said the question-and-answer period, which lasted more than two hours, also yielded some very specific issues.
“I was asked about the state government getting in nursery services, competing against private-sector businesses,” he said.
Koran also spent time updating those in attendance on bills regarding abortion and reproductive rights – “I have a concern with that because of the lack of parental control and consent,” he said – as well as the impact that recently passed legislation will have on state spending.
“I have some concerns about how that will impact businesses and working families,” Koran said. “Small- and low-income people will be hit by that, and small businesses – with the mandates on work force – will be very impactful.
“We’re trying to make sure we’re helping businesses grow instead of forcing them to move to a low-impact state.”
State Senate District 28 includes all of Chisago County, except Rush City, Nessel and Rusheba townships, along with all of Isanti County, except Athens, Dalbo, Spencer Brook and Stanford townships.
Koran said he enjoys talking to area residents in this small-group setting.
I feel I’m one of the most accessible [state lawmakers],” Koran said. “My cell phone number is on every website and document. … You can do a newsletter, but I like doing these. I like to show and tell people what I’m thinking and what’s going on.”
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