Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: Susie Merthan 651-296-2955

Posted: Feb 14 2013 5:36PM
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2013 Session Update 2-14

Dear neighbor,

This week the House passed its first two bills:  tax conformity and medical assistance expansion.  I wanted to provide you with a brief update on each bill and what they mean for our community. 

Tax Conformity

The first bill passed this legislative session will reduce taxes for middle class Minnesotans by conforming Minnesota’s tax system to federal tax changes made in 2012.  After the partisan gridlock of the last two years I am encouraged that we were able to work together to pass this bill with unanimous bipartisan support.

This bill was a big priority as it will allow an estimated 200,000 Minnesotans to receive proper tax deductions.   According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, over 250,000 Minnesotans would be benefit from federal tax conformity, including:

·         55,000 teachers who claim the $250 educator expense deduction

·         90,000 homeowners who claim an itemized deduction for mortgage insurance premiums

·         60,000 students or parents of students who take up to $4,000 for the higher education tuition and fee deduction

·         Unknown number of seniors who would need to recalculate the amount of social security benefits that would be taxable in Minnesota, which would exceed the amount taxed federally because they would not qualify for the IRA distributions to public charities if age 70 ½ or older.

Medical Assistance Expansion

On Monday, the House passed Medical Assistance Expansion, HF 9, on a 71-56 vote.  The bill expands health care coverage to an estimated 40,000 low-income, uninsured Minnesotans.  The federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs of the program until 2016, phasing down to 90 percent after 2020.

Expanding this Medicaid coverage will help out more Minnesotans who need care and cannot afford insurance.  The federal program will pay for the expansion so it is a great opportunity to help more Minnesotans receive health coverage at a low cost to the state.

Conversation with Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to Woodbury Library on February 9th for a conversation on environmental issues hosted by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership.  Watch for announcements of future gatherings for us to share interests and perspectives on the issues facing our district.

Oakdale Shooting

As most of you probably know, a young boy was killed and two were injured in a random shooting in an Oakdale neighborhood early this week.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones affected by this tragedy.  I am grateful for our law enforcement officials’ quick response to the incident and I hope that we can work together as a community to prevent such senseless violence from occurring in the future.

Please contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns on any issue.  I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-7807 or by email at rep.joann.ward@house.mn.



JoAnn Ward

State Representative

Maplewood, Woodbury, Oakdale and Landfall

Due to the 2012 redistricting process, our new district, House District 53, is a combination of two former legislative districts.  If you wish to discontinue receiving my e-mails, there are instructions at the bottom of this message to un-subscribe. If you do not know who your new state legislators are, you can find out by clicking the link below and typing in your home address (http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/).






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