Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon: Advocate for Seniors
Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon champions many projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for Minnesota seniors and helping Minnesota seniors remain active in their communities as they age.
As the baby-boomer generation ages, Minnesota desires to improve the way it addresses the needs of seniors on a diverse range of issues including health care, long-term care, and community service. The Lt. Governor is dedicated to organizing efforts that address the needs of seniors around the state; programs that keep seniors active in their communities and improve their quality of life.
Helping Minnesota seniors remain active and in their communities not only improves their quality of life, it is cost effective for the state. Making smart investments in these programs reduces the number of costly hospital visits, reduces the time seniors spend in nursing facilities, and helps seniors maintain a longer, fuller, and happier independent lifestyle.
Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon spearheaded efforts to establish the Senior LinkAge Line, a One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors with questions about state services. The One Stop Shop provides one point of contact for any questions about government services impacting Minnesota seniors and also connects seniors with volunteer and employment opportunities in their communities.
Senior LinkAge Line: The Senior LinkAge Line provides Minnesota seniors with health care related information that is easily accessible and convenient. The service highlights all government services and also connects seniors with volunteering and employment opportunities within their community.
SNAP Program Senior Outreach: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federally funded program administered by the state Department of Human Service (DHS) providing nutrition support to low-income Minnesotans and seniors on a fixed income. Only 44 percent of eligible seniors utilize SNAP, often because they are reluctant to seek assistance and are afraid to admit to family and friends that they are missing meals. The Lt. Governor is partnering with HungerFree Minnesota, Hunger Solutions Minnesota, and corporate foundations, such as the General Mills Foundation, to increase awareness among Minnesota seniors. Seniors eating nutritious food are less likely to end up in the hospital, less likely to get sick, and more likely to remain independent in the community.
Own Your Future Campaign & Long-Term Care Planning: The Lt. Governor is partnering with DHS to explore ways that will help younger Minnesotans plan for long-term care. Too often Minnesota seniors do not consider plans to fund their own long-term care until it is too late. As a result, a majority of Minnesota seniors in nursing facilities end up on public programs. Helping Minnesotans plan for long-term care and their future will help them remain independent and reduce reliance on public services.
Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon: Champion of Greater Minnesota
The Lt. Governor is dedicated to making the Capitol more accessible to every Minnesotan, especially those in Greater Minnesota. As a long-serving public servant who continues to maintain her primary residence in Duluth, the Lt. Governor knows from experience that geography, travel time, and unique regional attributes can make it challenging for people from Greater Minnesota to effect change in St. Paul.
Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon is committed to bringing the voices of Greater Minnesota to the Capitol, and, when possible, bringing the Capitol to Greater Minnesota.
Duluth Office Hours: The Lt. Governor keeps regular office hours in Duluth at University of Minnesota Duluth offices in the Technology Village in downtown Duluth. Constituents can contact her office to schedule appointments.
Bringing the Capitol to Greater Minnesota: Between legislative sessions, the Lt. Governor focuses on tours of Greater Minnesota designed to bring the Capitol out from St. Paul. During these tours, the Lt. Governor maintains office hours and meets with constituents. She tours notable facilities and businesses of regional importance. Finally the Lt. Governor organizes public listening sessions with the assistance of agency commissioners and the Governor’s staff. In 2011, the Lt. Governor visited Hastings, Mankato, Rochester, Marshall, Virginia, Eveleth, Mountain Iron, and Hibbing. More Greater Minnesota visits are being planned in 2012.
Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon: International Ambassador for Minnesota
Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon regularly represents Minnesota internationally. In 2011, the Lt. Governor visited China on a trade mission and Germany twice on health care and energy policy exchange trips.
China Trade Mission: In 2011, Lt. Governor Prettner Solon joined lieutenant governors from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska on a cultural and economic development trade mission to China. She attended China’s largest trade show in Guangzhou (Canton), toured industries, and met with dignitaries in Beijing and Shanghai. The Lt. Governor met with the World Trade Organization Deputy Director-General, China’s Commerce Vice Minister, and other trade leaders from more than six Chinese provinces. Discussions focused on building better trade relationships between China, Minnesota, and other Midwest states, as well as cooperating and improving approaches to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
Berlin Policy Exchanges: Each year the Lt. Governor, in cooperation with the Center for German & European Studies at the University of Minnesota, leads two policy exchange trips to Berlin, Germany. These exchanges tackle two of the most challenging issues of our generation: health care and energy policy. Leading a bipartisan group of legislative and policy leaders from around the Midwest, the Lt. Governor challenges participants to think outside the box and beyond American political paradigms. Exchanging ideas with subject matter experts from Germany and around Europe allows leaders to broaden their policy horizons and introduces new approaches to addressing important health care and energy policy issues.