“Opening Day” took place at the State Capitol this week as lawmakers returned to St. Paul for the start of the 2019 legislative session.
On a personal note, it remains such a privilege to continue serving the citizens of District 39A, and I am excited once again to represent and fight for your interests for another two years.
Now that the Capitol is once again open for business, our legislative work will begin in earnest, and we have a number of serious topics to debate. One of the biggest will be conforming our state’s tax policy with changes implemented by the federal government, something that is critically needed before income taxes need to be filed. We’ll also set our budget for the next two years, determining how much to spend on programs within state government.
Health care will likely be hotly debated. Last session, House Republicans approved nationally-recognized reforms that helped lower health care costs on the individual market for the next two years and increased health care options for Minnesotans. Now Democrats are in charge of the House, and they have already begun promoting plans that will increase health care taxes and more government control of health care.
Transportation and taxes will also be under the microscope. Last year, Republicans delivered the largest tax relief bill in nearly two decades, and much of it was directed to the middle class. We also approved more than $3 billion in road and bridge funding, which was the largest transportation funding increase ever without raising gasoline taxes. Governor Walz and other key Democrats appear to have different ideas, already promoting gas tax increase legislation of ten-cents per-gallon.
In short, new leadership is leading to new priorities, and I have little doubt there will be spirited debate on these topics moving forward. My hope is we can find common ground on all of these issues in a non-partisan way.
This session much of my work will be spent in committees. I’m proud to have been named as the Republican Lead on the Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Division, and I’ll also serve on the Education Finance Division and Labor Committee over the next two years.
As session moves forward, I’d like to hear from as many of you as I can about your legislative priorities. You can contact me anytime by phone at 651-296-4124 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for giving me the honor of serving your interests in the Minnesota House! I look forward to hearing from you soon.