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

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Legislative Update and Invitation to In-District Office Hours

Friday, January 18, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

Earlier this week, I joined my House Republicans colleagues in urging Governor Walz and House Democrats to drop their plan to reinstate Minnesota’s sick tax. This is a $600 million a year tax levied on a variety of patient services including things like baby deliveries, chemotherapy treatments, routine doctor visits, emergency room visits, and more.

This sort of proposal flies in the face of the message Governor Walz and Democrats were telling voters in the fall when they promised to lower health care costs. Instead, they are proposing to raise health care taxes to the tune of $600 million per year.

Not only does this proposal break their promise to lower health care costs, but it also comes at a time when the state has a $1.5 billion budget surplus. With such a large surplus, we should be exploring ways to give Minnesotans tax relief, not raise taxes on their health care.

Stay tuned for more information on this as the session progresses.

Since session started last week, I’ve heard from a number of constituents about concerns regarding a lack of transparency with the DFL majority’s new committee structure.

Without getting too much in the weeds, the DFL’s rule change means that a lot of power is now consolidated in one committee chair, who can simply move bills around from committee to committee by memo instead of approval from the House body. This will likely make it harder for the public to track bills and know what’s going on. Additionally, this new structure will allow the majority to move bills through the process with little to no warning, giving citizens and the public less than 24 hours notice of when a bill hearing is to take place.

Citizen activists traveled to the capitol this week to protest these committee rules. Among those protesting were about 20 folks from our area. Thanks for being involved in the process and making your voice heard.

Finally, I will be hosting my first in-district office hour event on Saturday (January 19th). I will be heading to the westside McDonald’s in Brainerd at 9 am and plan to stay there for an hour or so. This is a great opportunity for you to stop by and chat about the 2019 legislative session and what you’d like to see done this year. I hope to see you there!

In-District Office Hours

Saturday, January 19th
9:00-10:00 am
521 W Washington St
Brainerd, MN 56401

That’s all for this week’s update. I will have more information for you as the session progresses. In the meantime, I urge you to contact me to share any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

Thanks and have a great weekend,