Another busy week in St. Paul saw progress on a number of key issues. The House passed our version of health care premium relief, hearings were held on the buffer rules, and REAL ID made progress through committees. This weekend also is the 44th Anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision and there are many pro-life events across the state to commemorate the lives lost since.
Health Care Premium Relief Passes House
After a delay to begin the session, on Thursday we passed the 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access Act on a bipartisan vote. The bill will provide $285 million in direct premium relief to Minnesotans who need it most as well as ensuring continuation of care for those undergoing lifesaving treatment with $15 million more. The House plan does three key things:
Premium Relief. The House Republican plan provides emergency premium relief to Minnesotans who need it most.
Continuity of Care. The House Republican plan preserves access to life saving treatment and end-of-life care for Minnesotans.
Affordable Options. The House Republican plan provides immediate new opportunities for coverage for Minnesotans and starts the process of increasing competition and choices next year. These reforms stand alone and are independent of future federal changes.
It is now off to conference committee where the Senate and House will negotiate with Governor Dayton.
Last week I briefly referenced a bill that I have signed on to as a co-author House File 167, which is a bill to repeal the buffer rule. The House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance and the House Agriculture Policy committee held hearings on implementation of these buffer rules on Thursday. Stay tuned as I believe we will only gain more support in the House after word of this overreach by MnDot spreads.
You’ve probably heard about REAL ID in the news or maybe have seen signs at the airport, military bases, or other federal facilities. I wanted to take a moment to explain what exactly REAL ID is and what we are doing in St. Paul to address the situation.
In the wake of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security created a set of standards that state driver’s licenses would need to meet to be able to board planes or grant access to federal facilities, including military bases. The goal of REAL ID is to make air travel and federal facilities more secure. Minnesota is one of a few states that has not made our driver’s licenses REAL ID compliant and we face of deadline of January of 2018 to make progress or Minnesota driver’s licenses will no longer be sufficient for boarding an airplane. Minnesotans would need a passport or enhanced ID in order to fly domestically.
In order to address this, House Republicans have introduced House File 3 a two-track, opt-in REAL ID bill that will create a REAL ID compliant driver’s license for those who chose to have one. Minnesotans who do not wish to have a REAL ID compliant license can choose not to do so. This is a compromise that gives every Minnesotan the choice to either participate in REAL ID or to not do so.
If you have any more questions about REAL ID, please do not hesitate to call my office 651.296.4265
This weekend there will be a number of pro-life events across Minnesota to commemorate the lives lost to abortion and to urge the protection for the unborn and their mothers. I will be attending two events on Saturday followed by the annual MCCL March for Life on the Capitol grounds in St. Paul on Sunday.
I will be attending the Pro Life March in Bagley beginning at 9:45 at the courthouse parking lot and the March for Life in Bemidji beginning at noon at the Beltrami County Courthouse. I hope to see many of you there honoring the lives lost and fighting for the unborn moving forward.
Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts and ideas on the bills heard in committee and in session. You can schedule a time to meet with me in my office any time by calling my Legislative Assistant at (651) 296-5366
, or share your thoughts via email by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great weekend,