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House forum to look at business issues

Local concerns on business issues will be heard Thursday evening in Bemidji by the Minnesota House Commerce and Labor Committee.

Area business owners and the public are invited to ask questions and voice concerns on business issues to the panel at 5 p.m. in the Bemidji Public Library community room.

The panel is chaired by Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights.

"I'm pleased that Rep. Atkins is providing business owners and the public in my district an opportunity to address their concerns," said Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji. "We are a long way from St. Paul, which makes it difficult for my constituents travel to the Capitol for meetings."

The committee oversees a vast array of items, but the listening session will focus only on issues affecting business. Topics of interest include insurance, (including whether to allow out-of-state companies to sell health insurance in Minnesota), banking and lending, consumer protection, jobs, unemployment, minimum wage, sick time, general business and business climate, and telecom including Internet, cell phone, cable TV, and broadband access.

The committee will share issues that come before the committee and then listen to input from the local business community.