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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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The latest from St. Paul

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Friend- Just want to pass along a few bullet-points from St. Paul. HEALTH CARE We continue digging into serious issues pertaining to both Health and Human Services committees. I sit on both the Health and Human Services finance and reform committees and there are many areas for reform in both areas. For example, we are investigating more efficient, cost-saving ways of non-emergency medical transportation. My ultimate goal is to ensure our most vulnerable citizens continue to receive the care they need as we look for ways of streamlining the way we operate. It’s important for us to bring new transparency to the system so we can provide folks with a hand-up when they need one and not have our money tied up in hand-outs. TOUGHER PENALTIES I am in the process of introducing a bill to reinistate the 36-month sentence for fourth- and fifth-degree repeat sex offenders. This policy used to be on the state’s books but it was removed. It’s time to put this mandatory penalty back in place and I’m pleased to be the chief author. This bill has bipartisan support, so I am hopeful it will be enacted by the time we adjourn this session. TAX INFO They say death and taxes are the only two things of which we are certain. I’m sure glad it’s tax season. Here’s some information from the IRS regarding its Free File program. Good luck. Through IRS Free File, all taxpayers who made less than $58,000 in 2010 can visit and use the tax preparation software for free. Users get the step-by-step help they need to prepare, complete and file federal tax returns online – at no cost. IRS Free File is a vital service for the American taxpayer that is made possible through a landmark public-private partnership. Additional information is available at or Until next time, Joe
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