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State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7807

For more information contact: Gina Vega 651-296-5526

Posted: 2017-04-27
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update- April 27, 2017


Dear Neighbors,

Session Countdown

Conference committees continue to meet to comb through policy differences within each House and Senate budget omnibus bills.  When joint budget targets are established between the GOP leaders in both bodies, the parameters become clearer from which conferees must work.  I hope these will be released soon; with less than four weeks left until adjournment, the House and Senate majorities must be diligent with time management to finish work on time.

Bonding in particular is a hot topic as we near the end.  As you may recall last session’s bonding bill was released to the full House of Representatives 30 minutes before final adjournment.  My colleagues and I held a press conference on Tuesday asking the House Majority to release their plan so Republicans and Democrats alike can work together on a solid bonding bill that benefits desperately needed projects like repair of crumbling bridges, upgrade of wastewater treatment facilities, etc. in every corner of that state.  It has been several years since a large bonding bill was passed, and as interest rates rise, the costs of these projects does too.

Mini Survey

As conference committees continue their work in these final weeks, I would love to gain input on what’s important to you and your family.  Please take a moment to share your thoughts by filling out my 2017 legislative mini survey.

Visiting the Capitol

Quite often, many Minnesotans are unable to visit the Capitol during the week days due to work schedules, however, you may be interested to know that Capitol tours are available on the weekend also!  Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of joining a group of constituents for a Capitol tour.  For tour details, please click here

House Image

State’s Insurance Premium Subsidy Program now a reality

Most Minnesotans who buy health insurance on the individual market are now paying 25 percent less in monthly premiums, due to the Premium Subsidy Program law passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed into law by Governor Dayton.  Minnesotans on the individual market don’t have to do anything to receive the discount; the health insurer will atomically include it for those who are eligible.  To learn more about the program, you can click here.

Interested in Public Service?

The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office is accepting applications for various state boards, councils and committees from Minnesotans who are interested in applying and serving. The vacancies are listed here and applications must be submitted online.  Applications are due 21 days after the publish date of the commission, board or council vacancy.  This is a great opportunity to share your skills with the public.  Additionally, it’s an ongoing opportunity and I encourage you to check in occasionally.

National Library Week

Speaking of public service, this week marks National Library Week.  Libraries provide excellent service and educational tools to our community; be sure to thank your local librarian this week!

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Minnesotans can dispose of unwanted prescription medicine anonymously and for free this Saturday at dozens of sites around the state. To find a site near you click here.

Finally, thank you a great listening session at Landfall on Tuesday evening.  There was a lively and informative conversation; I am grateful for these opportunities to hear from community members.

Please feel free to contact me anytime on any matter; I welcome your calls and emails.

Sincerely,

JoAnn Ward 

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn