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State Representative Laurie Halverson

233 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4128

For more information contact: Mike Molzahn 651-296-1774

Posted: 2017-03-31
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update - March 31, 2017


Dear Neighbors,

The theme the past few weeks is deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Today marks the third committee deadline as set by House leadership, which means that our work will now be transitioning out of the committee process and onto the House floor. You can see a video about committee deadlines here.

Eagan Happenings

Spring is in the air, which means that it is time for the annual State of the City address by Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire. On March 16, I gathered with city leaders, business leaders, community volunteers and others at Eagan’s new Bald Man Brewery to hear about our city’s future. Our community is experiencing an amazing boom in redevelopment that is bringing good jobs, exciting new retail, and great new amenities like the new headquarters of the Minnesota Vikings. Most importantly, Eagan citizens are an important voice as we grow and change as a community. Learn more or watch a video of the State of the City here http://www.cityofeagan.com/sotc.

Capitol Essay Contest

Minnesota is preparing to celebrate the grand reopening of our beautifully restored Minnesota State Capitol. Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the State Capitol Grand Opening Planning Committee have announced a statewide essay contest celebrating this historic landmark. Essay contest winners will be invited to share their essays as part of the State Capitol Grand Opening festivities in August. Minnesota students in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit essays explaining how the State Capitol has shaped our collective past and will impact future generations. If you would like more information for students to enter an essay in the contest, you can follow the link here for contest info.

House Budget

House Republicans announced their budget targets and we are beginning work on the omnibus budget bills. This is the final step needed before we start working with the Senate and Governor to craft a budget for the next two years.

I believe that the state budget is a reflection of our state’s values. I repeatedly hear that Minnesotans want us to support our public schools, find sustainable funding for state transportation, prevent student debt and support our citizens with disabilities. I am very concerned that the proposed House budget ignores those priorities. Instead, they propose to cut nearly $600 million from health and human services, fund transportation through shifts and one-time money, do nothing to address skyrocketing college tuition, and dramatically underfund E-12 education.

We’re still waiting for the budget details to get worked out as we are beginning to debate the omnibus budget bills this week into the next, but I’ll keep advocating for a responsible budget that invests in the areas that have made Minnesota’s economy strong, like education, job training, college affordability, and infrastructure projects that will create good paying jobs.

Reinsurance Conference Committee

I had the honor of being assigned to the conference committee to work out the details for a state health care reinsurance program. I was hopeful that we could find a bipartisan solution that we could count on to lower the high cost of premiums within the individual insurance market and protect the care for people in other segments of the market. I was glad that we could find agreement earlier in the session to bring 25% rate relief for people purchasing insurance on the individual market.

I am working to create a stable and long-term solution that address the high cost of care in our health care system. Unfortunately, I could not support the final version of the reinsurance bill, as it spends $542 million of taxpayer money with no evidence that this investment will lower premiums or expand access to insurance. Addressing the high cost of health care is one of my top priorities, and I will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to bring solutions forward for the people of Minnesota. You can watch the debate and hear my statement about the bill here:

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Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,

Laurie Halverson

 

P.S.: Please feel free to share this email to your friends and neighbors so they can sign up for my e-updates.

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