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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Barb Haley (R)

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

ST. PAUL, MN -- House Republicans wasted no time getting to work on key session priorities, including health care and tax relief. House File 2, which will result in $21.7 million in tax relief for 220,000 Minnesota tax filers by conforming Minnesota's tax code to the federal tax code, passed Thursday on a vote of 130-0.

“Passing federal tax conformity today was a great first accomplishment in the legislature, said Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing). “Taxpayers will now have a smoother experience when filing their taxes this year, as well as ensuring they receive their full refund.”

Republicans also moved to declare an urgency and pass The 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill, House File 1, which would have provided premium relief, extended access to doctors for continuity of care, and begun to reform the individual market. Democrats blocked the measure, despite agreeing days earlier to suspend the rules in order to expedite premium relief for Minnesotans.

“Reforming Minnesota’s health insurance market is a top priority for me,” said Haley. “Passing House File 1 should be the first step towards relieving people from the recent spikes in their premiums and deductibles, and beginning the process of enacting serious reforms. I am confident that this bill will pass later this session.”

Without quick approval of Rep. Greg Davids’ federal tax conformity bill (HF2), Minnesotans who file their taxes early could face higher tax bills, a situation all lawmakers wanted to avoid. Davids was told by the Department of Revenue that in order to avoid tax filing complications, the proposal needs to be signed into law before January 11. The Senate is expected to pass tax conformity in time to meet the January 11th deadline.