Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

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

Back to profile

Legislative Update (5-1-15)

Friday, May 1, 2015
Dear Neighbors,

A number of large omnibus finance and policy bills were heard and approved by the House this week. Here is a recap of some of these bills.
$1.7 billion in tax cuts for middle class Minnesotans and small businesses rounded out a great week here at the Capitol. Included in the bill was my legislation, HF299, that allows veterans to exclude their pensions from state income tax. Minnesota is 1 of only 6 states that doesn't currently allow a pension exclusion and I couldn't be more excited as there is a strong possibility this will become law.
Student Based Education Bill

Last Saturday, the house approved the Education Finance and Policy omnibus bill. The bill includes a number of reforms to empower teachers and schools, give flexibility to school districts, and provide fairer funding.

I am grateful to have a provision included that allows school districts that have 30 percent or more seasonal recreation properties to be eligible to receive more aid from the state.
Another component of the bill is a $178 statewide increase in biennial per pupil funding. That breaks down to a $166 increase for the metro area, $193 for Greater Minnesota and $168 for Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Furthermore, an amendment was added to the bill during debate that protects and provides privacy and safety for all students enrolled in public schools. Additionally, it provides order and dignity in restrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, showers, and other facilities where students are changing clothes in the presence of others.

Ultimately, our bill builds on past successes by implementing research and student based reforms that will help ensure our schools remain among the best in the state and nation and that every child in Minnesota has the opportunity to receive a world-class education.

Investing in Our Rural Nursing Homes

On Wednesday morning, the House approved the Health and Human Services omnibus bill. I am encouraged by the reforms in this bill that will save taxpayers’ money while still offering outstanding care to Minnesotans as well as our commitment to provide a 5% cost of living adjustment for home and community based care workers.

This legislation also provides real reform to facilities that care for our elderly by implementing a statewide rate of reimbursement – which will strongly assist nursing homes in Greater Minnesota, improve the wages of care providers and provide a permanent solution to statewide nursing home needs.

The following totals represent the annual change in Medicaid and estimated private revenue for the 2016 rate year if the House legislation is signed into law by Governor Dayton:

• Brainerd – Good Samaritan Society-Bethany: $1,171,409

• Brainerd – Good Samaritan Society-Woodland: $443,678

Making College More Affordable

The House passed the Higher Education omnibus bill on Tuesday afternoon. Included in the bill are provisions to lower student debt, get students career-ready, and improve student safety on campus.

More specifically, the bill contains a provision that freezes and/or lowers tuition for the 410,000 students in the MNSCU system and makes reforms to ensure students’ time in college is affordable.

Additionally, I was author of a provision that was included in the bill. My provision allows students who complete associate degrees to transfer into bachelor’s degree programs without losing credit or taking additional prerequisites.

Fighting Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Late last week, the House approved the Environment Committee’s omnibus bill. Included in this bill was a full repeal of the AIS sticker law.

The bill instead keeps funding for counties to fight against aquatic invasive species and allocates more resources to educate boaters on the dangers surrounding AIS and its spread.

Staying in Touch

“Liking” my Facebook page and “following” my Twitter account 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.