Last week we saw the passage of our MNsure relief and reform bill in the House. Here is a summary of that, and some other notable things from the last week.
MNsure Relief and Reform
I am pleased to say that last Thursday we passed MNsure relief and reform through the House.
As I mentioned in a previous update, House Republicans brought a bill to the floor that would have addressed the health insurance crisis on the first working day of session. Unfortunately Democrats went back on our previous agreement, and refused to join our members in forming the 2/3 majority that was required to suspend the rules and pass MNsure relief.
Since that first week, our MNsure relief and reform provisions have been making their way through the committee process. The Senate passed their version of the MNsure bill, and sent it over to us in the House, and on Thursday we brought that Senate bill to the floor for a vote. We then amended our House provisions onto that bill so it could be sent to conference committee.
House and Senate conferees will now negotiate the differences between the original Senate bill and our amended copy. After an agreement is reached, the conference committee version will receive its final passage from both the House and Senate, and the bill will be sent to Governor Dayton for his signature.
House leadership is doing everything possible to include Governor Dayton in bill negotiations; we want to be as sure as humanly possible that the bill we send to the Governor will be signed. Minnesotans can’t afford a veto of these critical relief measures, and we want to avoid any surprises.
In my last update I mentioned some of the bills I had introduced this session that would address some veterans issues and projects. Yesterday, January 23, we heard three of these bills in the Veterans Affairs Committee.
The first bill, HF127, provides funding for the Vietnam: Minnesota Remembers project through Twin Cities Public Television. This bill passed Veterans Affairs, and was sent to the State Government Finance Committee.
The second bill I testified in favor of in our committee was HF119, which modifies the eligibility requirements for the disabled veteran’s homestead benefit, allowing this benefit to remain with the surviving spouse until they remarry, or sell/dispose of the property. Previously, it would remain with the surviving spouse for a maximum of 8 years. This bill passed Veterans Affairs and will now be sent to the Property Tax Division of the House Taxes Committee.
The third bill heard today in Veterans Affairs was HF232, which would appropriate grant money to both the Veterans Rest Camp and Camp Legionville for improving their facilities. This bill passed our committee, and has been sent to the Legacy Funding Finance.
Once again, thank you for the honor of being your representative. Please continue to contact my office with your questions and concerns. I value your input as we move forward with session.