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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dear Friends,

The last couple of weeks have really flown by.  Here are some new developments since my last update.

Governor’s MNsure “Solution”

Firstly, I’d like to address something that has come up recently regarding the MNsure situation.

Governor Dayton had published an editorial a couple of weeks ago saying that we need to move to a single-payer system in Minnesota modeled after Minnesota Care. Last week, the Brainerd Dispatch published my response to Governor Dayton’s proposal, and talked about that I think is the best continued approach to fixing MNsure. 

What Governor Dayton and other advocates for a single-payer system try to sweep under the rug is that it would cost Minnesota’s taxpayers and arm and a leg.

Our second largest spending area in the state budget is already Health and Human Services. In fact, if things remain as they are, the HHS area of the budget is projected to increase by $2.4 billion (20%) in the coming biennium. Again, this is without moving to the Governor’s proposed single-payer system and the many new expenses that would come with that.

The way I see it, we absolutely must continue to build on the reforms that we passed earlier this session. We need more options and transparency in our market place, not less.

We passed some preliminary reforms to increase accountability and choice, but these measures were only a first step in reforming the mess Dayton and his liberal colleagues have made of our insurance market. We are just starting to scratch the surface of reform for MNsure; we don’t need to dive further into the fog with the single-payer option Governor Dayton is proposing.

Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources

I have been named a co-chair of the Legislative-Citizen on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) for the current biennium. The LCCMR is comprised of 17 members, both legislators and citizens, and is appointed to make funding recommendations to the legislatures as to how to use the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

I look forward to working with my follow legislators and citizen members to decide how to use funds wisely in caring for our natural resources.

Macy’s Law

I’m happy to say that Macy’s Law, a bill that would bring sentencing guidelines up from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor for individuals driving with a suspended license, is moving through committees.

This bill passed through the Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee without difficulty, and has been scheduled for a hearing in the Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee.  I will continue to keep you updated as this bill continues to move through the process.

Narrowleaf Cattail

I am in the process of introducing a bill that would designate the Narrowleaf Cattail as an invasive species.  I regularly hear from resort and property owners in our area about the difficulty they are having with this quickly-spreading species. 

The Narrowleaf and its hybrid are widely regarded as a nuisance species, but hasn’t necessarily been identified by the DNR as “invasive.”

Designating this cattail as “invasive” will allow people to remove them from their property while still protecting more rare types of cattails that actually are native to our ecosystem.  Again, I will keep you updates once this bill starts to move forward.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns you have moving forward.  I always enjoy hearing from you.

Take care,