Congratulations to the Alexandria boys’ hockey team on their 2nd place finish last weekend at the state tournament! The team had an amazing session and the community is proud of all they accomplished. Also, best of luck to the Alexandria girls’ basketball team in the consolation championship this afternoon at the state tournament!
State of the State Address:
Wednesday evening, Governor Dayton gave his final State of the State Address. Last session we were able to work with the Governor to provide the largest tax relief bill in 20 years as well as the largest investment ever in roads and bridges without a tax increase. I am hopeful that the legislature can continue working with him this session in order to build on last year’s historic accomplishments.
Also, all legislators are allowed to host a guest for the event. I was delighted to welcome Parkers Prairie junior Raven Jorgenson to the House floor! Raven is a great kid with an interest in civic engagement, so I’m glad she was able to experience this event.
MNsure Tax Reduction:
My House Republican colleagues and I are continuing our efforts to lower health care costs in the state and last week a bill that would reduce the MNsure tax from 3.5 percent to 2 percent was introduced. This reduction is expected to save Minnesotans $30 million. The bill also does away with active purchasers to increase options on the MNsure exchange and seeks a waiver allowing people receiving tax credits to purchase insurance outside the MNsure exchange. Reducing this burdensome tax will be an important component of further decreasing healthcare costs for Minnesota’s families this year.
Meanwhile, in a committee hearing this week, Democrats voted in favor of a failed proposal to reinstate a billion dollar a year tax (that is set to expire) in order to pay for MinnesotaCare for all.
Medical Assistance Work Requirement:
Earlier this week, Republicans in the legislature introduced legislation to require all able-bodied adults currently on Medical Assistance to be working, seeking employment, or completing a job training program. The bill also includes an exception for single parents with children to care for, people with disabilities, certain medical conditions, addictions, or other barriers to employment. Although Minnesota has a strong economy with more jobs than workers to fill them, reliance on public welfare programs continues to increase. I think this bill is a commonsense approach, and most Minnesotans agree that able-bodied adults receiving public assistance need to be employed or moving towards employment. The passage of this bill would help lift more people out of poverty and off public welfare programs, in addition to giving them the skills they need to be successful in our economy.
Wednesday was ABATE’s annual Biker Day at the Capitol. I always enjoy meeting with bikers from our communities when they’re in St. Paul. ABATE is a great organization and does an excellent job of advocating for biker rights and motorcycle safety.
One of the issues we discussed is a bill currently going through the legislature that takes aims at distracted driving by banning the use of handheld cellphones and devices while driving. Likewise, the bill would require any devices being used to be operated hands-free. I know there is some opposition to the bill out there, so I would like to encourage everyone to please contact me to share your stance on the issue. Your input on this matter will help us enact the best possible policies on the issue.
Stay In Touch:
If you ever have any additional questions or comments regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to reach out. I would love to hear from you.
I truly represent the best!