For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
It’s been a busy couple weeks at the Capitol since my latest update. Last week, Governor Dayton gave his State of the State address before a joint session of the legislature. I was proud to bring my wife, Julie, as my guest to this event.
The governor seems to believe that imposing income taxes on our businesses and expanding the sales tax to every day goods and services is the path toward prosperity for our state. I fundamentally disagree with Governor Dayton’s approach of adding to the already heavy tax burden for Minnesotans. We don’t need Minnesota becoming the land of 10,000 taxes.
One of the most concerning parts of Governor Dayton’s budget for me is the sales tax expansion. That’s why I have introduced a bill, House File 295, which would exempt cities and counties from having to pay sales taxes on purchases they make. Such a tax would directly raise the budgets of local governments and would force them to raise taxes on citizens. As a former member of the Elk River City Council, I am acutely aware of how state tax policy affects local government budgets. I’m proud to have the support of the League of Minnesota Cities, Elk River Mayor Dietz, and Big Lake Mayor Danielowski on this bill. I appreciate the input that they’ve given me on this legislation. I presented the bill before the House Taxes Committee and am hopeful it will be passed later this session.
You probably saw last week that the House Public Safety Committee spent three days on gun control hearings. I was impressed that people from across the state came to the Capitol to show their support for the Second Amendment. Thank you to everyone who contacted me to voice their thoughts on the issue. Please know I’m a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights and I will not be voting to impose additional restrictions on gun ownership.
While much of the attention last week was spent on gun control hearings, a very important piece of legislation was being heard in Health and Human Services Policy Committee – the Health Insurance Exchange bill. I have major concerns about how this far-reaching legislation is being rushed through the committee process with few answers about costs to consumers, cost to the state, quality of care, and access. It’s a shame that there hasn’t been as much coverage on this topic as there was on the gun control hearings.
One of the other bills I’m authoring is the newborn screenings test. This legislation would require doctors to screen newborn babies for congenital heart defects. The newborn screening is performed utilizing a pulse oximetry test that measures the oxygen saturation in the blood. A low oxygen saturation level can indicate a previously undiagnosed heart defect. This is a simple and inexpensive test that can save lives. I spoke to Kare11 about this bill. You can watch it here.
I will continue to keep you updated as the legislative session moves forward. Please feel free to contact me on any state issue. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-4237. Mail can be sent to Rep. Nick Zerwas, 303 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.
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Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
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