Much of our time in these early days of the 2019 session has been spent getting settled into our new committees and getting new members up to speed. It’s a steep learning curve and it is good that we are now getting to the point where we will be focusing on the issues themselves.
Our main job this session will be to draft a new two-year state budget. Along the way, a top priority of mine will be to work on bills to help us overcome some of the significant challenges we face in Greater Minnesota, including everything from high health care costs to a lack of workforce housing, a shortage of childcare providers, a skills gap in the labor market and beyond.
High health care costs are really making life difficult for many Minnesotan. I am among those who want to let the 2-percent tax levied on most patient services in our state expire as scheduled starting Jan. 1, 2020. Unfortunately, some people are looking at extending it.
The so-called sick tax applies to procedures such as baby deliveries, chemotherapy treatments, routine doctor visits, emergency room visits, and more. In total, restoring the tax would result in a more than $600 million increase on health care costs for Minnesotans next year alone.
Stay tuned as these and other subjects develop this session. There are some good nonpartisan websites and social media accounts to help people follow along as we make our way through the session. Here are a few sources I hope you will find helpful:
I hope you find this information helpful and also look for my emails with personal insights on the issues throughout the session. Your input always is welcome on issues that interest you.
Have a good weekend and stay warm,