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

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Legislative Update (2-6-15)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that the first week of February has already come and gone. Most of the legislature’s work has been taking place in committees as bills begin their journey through the legislative process. I want to bring you up to date on some of the events and issues that are taking place at the Capitol.

Property Tax Listening Session

I am excited to announce that I will be hosting a property tax listening session in Brainerd on Saturday, February 14th at the Central Lakes College cafeteria, 501 West College Drive, in Brainerd from 9:00 to 10:00 am. Joining me at this event will be Chairman of the House Property Tax and Local Government Aid Committee, Rep. Steve Drazkowski. I encourage you to attend to let Chair Drazkowski and myself know how property taxes are affecting you, your family, and your business.

Bill Introductions

As you may recall, I introduced my first bill last month. House file 299 would exempt retired military personnel from paying taxes on their retirement. Minnesota is one of only a handful of states that tax retired military personnel’s retirement checks. Our veteran’s deserve better and I am hopeful that my bill will continue it's journey through the legislative process and become law.

Along with chief authoring HF 299, I have also signed on as a co-author to a variety of other bills.

House File 515 would modify the exceptions for replacement nursing home beds. This ensures that nursing home beds continue to be kept up to date for increased safety and comfort for our senior citizens. Our rural nursing homes face a variety of funding issues, this bill is a step in the right direction to ensure that our elderly are able to receive the best care possible.

I am also signing onto a bill that will help narrow the disparity in education funding between schools. The disparity between metro and rural per-pupil funding has been growing for several decades now as the result of a long and complicated funding formula. I am hopeful that achieving greater equity in education funding will be a priority for the legislature this year.

Local Issues

I have been receiving a number of phone calls and emails from folks in the district concerned about the possibility of permanent deer stands being prohibited. As an avid deer hunter myself, I understand the importance in being able to construct and use permanent deer stands. I am working with other legislators and the DNR to ensure that permanent deer stands and their construction will not be made illegal. Stay tuned for any updates we may have on this issue moving forward.

Staying Connected

Liking” my Facebook page and “following” me on Twitter are both great ways to stay connected with what is going on here in St. Paul.

If you are planning on being in St. Paul this session, please feel free to contact my office by phone at 651-296-4929 or via email at to set up an appointment. It would be an honor to speak with you and discuss ways we can make Minnesota better.