For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update with the latest news from the Capitol.
In this Issue:
2018 Individual Market Rates
Minnesotans who purchase their own insurance received some good news this week, as Republican-led reforms ended a four year trend of double-digit premium increases. Instead, because of the reinsurance plan passed by the Legislature and approved by the federal government, rates were held steady or declining for next year. That is a huge turnaround considering just last year, rates increased by nearly 70 percent!
Without our reforms passed this session, the Minnesota Department of Commerce indicated rates would have risen by 25 percent or more for 2018. Governor Dayton refused to sign the reinsurance measure, instead letting it become law without his signature.
While there is more that needs to be done to right the damage caused by MNsure and the Affordable Care Act, here at the state-level, we are advancing real solutions to address affordability, accessibility and choice in our individual market.
Met Council Audit
This week, the nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released a report showing that the Met Council had a $237 million discrepancy between the funding they reported to the federal government and the Legislature.
In their efforts to gain federal funding for Southwest Light Rail, the Met Council reported a $152 million balance in their total operating budget, while in their report to the House and Senate during the 2017 legislative session, they reported an $85 million deficit. During budget negotiations this spring, Governor Dayton insisted that the final Transportation Finance bill include $70 million in taxpayer funding to cover the Met Council deficit. In the interest of compromise, we agreed to this request.
I am extremely disappointed the Met Council is misleading the public, lawmakers and taxpayers who were forced to cover their alleged deficit. Republicans called for a number of Met Council reforms this year and will continue to advocate for additional oversight and accountability in this governor-appointed agency.
The OLA plans to look further into Met Council finances and will be providing additional reports to lawmakers on their findings.
High School Page Program
Do you know a high school junior interested in politics and government? If so, encourage them to sign up for the House High School Page Program! Over the past forty years, the High School Page Program has offered a great, hands-on learning experience, providing students with the opportunity to learn more about how their state government works first-hand.
To apply, students will need to fill out the application, receive a faculty recommendation and craft an essay. All applications are due by December 1, 2017. You can learn more about the program and how to apply here.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the last Peppin’s MinnTriv Question. The question was: In the late 1990s, this part of Minnesota was involved in a trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada which came to be known as the Walleye War. The answer is the Northwest Angle.
There were no correct responses this week.
Here is this week’s question: St. Paul illustrator Ray Barton created this iconic Minnesota sports logo.
Respond to this question and you could be featured in the next e-mail update!
In order to best represent our communities, I need to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time. My direct line is 651-296-7806. My email address is email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 459 State Office Building, 100 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.
Have a wonderful weekend.
**Encourage your neighbors and friends to sign up for my email updates at www.house.mn/34A