Here is an update from the Capitol.
Monticello School Bill
The legislation I introduced to make the Monticello School District whole again moved through committee in the House last week. As I shared in previous updates, through no fault of their own, the district is facing a shortfall of $1.6 million because of forced changes to their special education co-op structure by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). While MDE told the district they would be held harmless after making this change, they’re now facing a funding shortage that could lead to cutting as many as 23 teachers and staff.
My bill will help address this issue and is a critical bill for the Monticello School District this session. It is also moving forward in the Senate, and I am hopeful we can get it to Governor Dayton’s desk soon for signature.
State of the State
So great to have my daughter, Olivia for the third time join me for the State of the State Address last Wednesday
Last week, Governor Dayton made his final State of the State Address to the House and Senate.
The big takeaway right now is that the state of our state is strong. Thanks to Republican-led tax relief at the state and federal level, we have a substantial surplus, our economy is strong, and hardworking taxpayers have more money in their pocket.
I will continue to advocate for policies that limit government growth and best serve Minnesota families, businesses and Wright County taxpayers.
Medical Assistance Reform Bill
Last Monday, legislative Republicans introduced legislation to help lift more Minnesotans out of poverty and strengthen our state’s workforce. The bill would implement work, job training, or community service requirements for able-bodied adults currently on Medical Assistance (MA). These requirements would not apply to a child’s sole caregiver, individuals taking care of a dependent, seniors, or anyone with a disability, certain medical diagnoses, addictions or other barriers to employment.
Our economy is doing extremely well right now and there are more job openings than workers to fill those positions; we cannot afford to lose any able-bodied person in the workforce. MA has grown extensively under the Dayton Administration, and Republicans want to make commonsense and reasonable reforms that ensure no one is getting left behind in our growing economy.
Reducing the MNsure Tax
Another important bill moving through the House would reduce the MNsure tax from 3.5 percent down to 2 percent, saving Minnesotans $30 million and helping to lower premium costs.
Last session, Republicans championed a number of comprehensive reforms to tackle our state’s MNsure mess. Thanks to those efforts, we brought stability to the individual market, with many even seeing lower rates than the year before.
For Minnesotans hurt by skyrocketing health insurance costs because of MNsure and Obamacare, lowering the MNsure tax is another important step to help those who purchase their own insurance.
As always, if you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government or have concerns or ideas about legislation, 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.