Nominating Kurt Daudt for Speaker of the House during the opening of the legislative session on Tuesday.
The 90th legislative session began on Tuesday, and we are set for a busy and fast-paced session. It’s a privilege to be serving the people and priorities of Wright County, and I welcome you to contact me throughout the session to share your thoughts, ideas and input about legislation being debated at the Capitol.
This week, House Republicans wasted no time in getting to work on a number of priorities important to families, taxpayers and Minnesotans. Here is an update from St. Paul.
Tax Conformity and Tax Relief
On Thursday, the House declared an urgency and unanimously passed House File 2. The bill provides $22 million in immediate tax relief for 220,000 Minnesotans by conforming our state’s tax code to that of the federal government. Provisions in the bill will help provide tax relief to families, homeowners, and teachers to name a few.
The House moved quickly on this bill because the Minnesota Department of Revenue requested that federal conformity be signed into law no later than January 11th to avoid complications for early filers, giving the department adequate time to update programs like TurboTax and H&R Block.
I am pleased we were able to pass tax relief for thousands of Minnesotans, and I expect this to be the start of additional tax relief passed later this session.
Addressing Our Obamacare Mess
Also on Thursday, House Republicans introduced House File 1, The 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill. The legislation appropriates $300 million from our budget reserves to provide immediate premium relief to thousands of eligible Minnesotans, providing a reduction of 25 percent for the first three months of 2017, followed by an additional rebate based on a tiered income scale.
In addition, the bill also includes a number of important reforms to begin unraveling our state’s MNsure mess, extending access to doctors for continuity of care, allowing for-profit insurers to operate in Minnesota to improve competition and ending surprise billing.
With skyrocketing health care costs and a failing individual market harming thousands of Minnesotans, House Republicans moved to declare an urgency on the floor so we could pass House File 1 as soon as possible. House Democrats, who had agreed days earlier to suspend the rules and expedite premium relief, backtracked on that promise and blocked the measure.
While I am disappointed House File 1 was blocked, we will work to get premium relief and reforms passed as soon as possible. I will keep you updated as more news becomes available.
If you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government, my office is available to you. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 549 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.