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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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First Week of Session Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Monday, January 9, 2017

Dear Neighbor,

As we round out the first week of session, here is a quick overview of events.


On Tuesday, January 3rd, the House held our opening ceremony where the oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. Representative Kurt Daudt was voted Speaker of the House once again by members of our body, and I am looking forward to another two years of his leadership in our caucus.


On Thursday during our second House floor session, two bills were brought forward for consideration. The first, House File 2 (HF2), brings Minnesota’s tax code in line with federal standards for the 2017 filing season.  This bill passed without difficulty, as this doesn’t tend to be a very controversial issue.  Federal tax conformity essentially means that you won’t have to make a lot of changes on your forms when filing state and federal taxes.  For this year in particular, passing tax conformity means $21.7 million in immediate tax relief for people filing their state taxes. 


The second bill brought up for a vote on Thursday was House File 1 (HF1), which was made up of MNsure reforms and relief. HF 1 had money dedicated toward ensuring continuity of care, and would have provided people enrolled in insurance plan on the individual market with a 25% reduction in their premiums for three months, and a 20-30% reduction moving forward based on income.  The reform piece of HF1 included allowing for-profit insurance companies to sell plans in Minnesota to increase competition, and requiring rate increases to be made public within 10 days after they are filed.  Unfortunately, we ran into some political maneuvers during the floor debate, and the motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill failed.


Moving forward, we still have the MNsure issue as our top priority.  We plan on dealing with the Real ID situation in the next few weeks as well.  I will keep you updated as things come up here at the Capitol. Please contact me with any questions or input you have; I appreciate hearing from you.