On Wednesday, Governor Dayton gave his State of the State address before a joint session of the legislature. Unfortunately, the governor continues to believe that our job creators and middle class families need to pay more so he can make government bigger. His tax increases will hit squarely in the pocketbooks of middle class and low income families. With unemployment in our district around 5.5%, our families and businesses can’t afford to pay more to the government. I want every constituent in my district to be able to achieve the American dream of being self-sufficient. Governor Dayton’s tax plan moves us in the wrong direction.
As my guest for the State of the State address, I had the honor of bringing Brent Smith, CEO of the Aagard Group. The Aagard Group, based out of Alexandria, designs and manufactures automated packaging machinery and employs 110 people. Brent stressed the importance of consumers understanding the cost of healthcare. The cost isn’t merely the amount of your co-pay or your monthly insurance premium. He believes consumers should know the entire cost of their healthcare services. It would encourage everyone to live a healthier lifestyle and save more money.
HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE
The Health and Human Services Policy Committee met this week to receive testimony on the health insurance exchange. This is the largest overhaul in healthcare in over 50 years and will cost Minnesotans hundreds of millions of dollars to build and operate. Yet, nowhere in the bill does the health insurance exchange assure lower health care costs for individuals, lower costs throughout the health care system, or improve quality of health care. I was troubled by the fact that the chair of the committee wouldn’t let us fully vet the bill before holding the vote to pass it on to the Government Operations Committee. We shouldn’t be rushing this through the legislature.
As you may have read, the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee held three days of hearings on gun control legislation. It was inspiring for me to see citizens from all across the state come to St. Paul to voice their support for the Second Amendment. House DFLers need to explain why limiting our Second Amendment rights is a higher priority for them than enacting a state budget or creating jobs. Some of these proposals are more restrictive than what President Obama wants to pass. Meanwhile, these bills would do absolutely nothing to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and would only disarm good, law-abiding citizens. I want to reassure you that I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and will not be supporting these gun control measures.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY
This week, I introduced House File 293. This bill, if enacted, prohibits employers from requiring social media passwords from potential employees as a condition of employment. I spoke with KSTP about my legislation. You can see the interview here.
As the legislative session moves forward, I will continue to keep you updated. For legislative updates, you can “like” my official Facebook page. Also, if you are on Twitter, you can follow me at @RepMaryFranson.
I am always interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.