DMC clears more hurdles, leaders pleased with progress - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

DMC clears more hurdles, leaders pleased with progress

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- As Destination Medical Center approaches the apparent end of the its legislative journey, it has not come without its setbacks. There is still work yet to be done, that was evident Friday morning in a meeting with the Civil Law Committee.

The House bill was originally held in the committee because of issues regarding the governing board and the open meeting laws. As of Friday, those may not be problems anymore.

The few remaining road blocks for Destination Medical Center may be coming down, as the Civil Law Committee passed out the bill.

"It dealt primarily with some issues related to data privacy and then they did touch on the make-up of the authority," explains Randy Staver, Rochester's Interim City Council President.

When it comes to that governing authority, Rochester representation seems to be a key component.

"If we're talking about public infrastructure and public dollars," says Staver. "I firmly believe that we should have public oversight, I think our public will demand that."

The same goes for residents of the city as well

"Our local city council is the final arbiter in this thing, and even the materials out about DMC show that," says Jerry Williams, a 26-year resident of Rochester. "These work through the city council. We elect those people, let's trust them to make the right decisions, and I do trust them to make the right decisions."

The rules behind open meeting laws were discussed as well, but that portion of the discussion did not concern local leaders like Staver.

"Frankly, from my perspective and the city's perspective, the data privacy wasn't as big of an issue," says Staver. "I do understand why they would want to look at that and what it means, but open meeting and full transparency and disclosure to the public is more of importance to me."

For others in the city, like long-time resident Marilyn Stewart, the road blocks may be concerning, but they still say the time for action is now.

"We need to be out in front, because healthcare is the name of the game in today's world," says Stewart. "There are so many changes and they're so rapid that we can't 20 years like we did to get the U of M. We must do it now."

DMC is moving faster than any project of its kind in history, blasting through any road block that steps in the way.

There are specific differences in the Senate and House bill still that need to be worked out in conference committee.

If the Senate passes their tax bill on Monday and they enter committee, the two sides need to work out what governing body plan they go for. The House has more local control for Rochester while the Senate bill still has a 7 member panel based outside of the city.

As the next couple of weeks unfold, we will know more about what DMC will finally look like.

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