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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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2017 session has begun

Friday, January 6, 2017

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Dear Neighbors,

Legislators spent the last several months talking about the issues with people in our respective districts and now we are back in St. Paul for the 2017 session.

Click here to see a photo of three Swedzinskis reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during the House’s swearing-in ceremony that appeared on the front page of the St. Paul paper Wednesday.

There are many important challenges to address and, as always, input is welcome as I continue doing my best to represent local citizens. My contact information is included in this email and you also are invited to attend a series of town hall meetings Sen. Gary Dahms and I will be conducting in the district on Friday, Jan. 20.

Here is the schedule:

  • Granite Falls ~ 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, 641 Prentice St.
  • Dawson ~ 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the City Building, 675 Chestnut St.
  • Madison ~ Noon – 1 p.m. at the City Hall Auditorium, 404 6th Ave.
  • Canby ~ 2–3 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, City Administrative Office Building, 110 Oscar Ave. N.
  • Marshall ~ 4–5 p.m. sponsored by the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce at the YMCA, 200 S.A St.

One of the issues we can talk about during the town halls is tax relief. This is a subject of top concern for people in District 16A and we already are making progress. The House on Thursday fast-tracked into passage $21.7 million in immediate tax relief for Minnesotans by updating the state’s tax code, allowing citizens to capitalize on federal provisions. This action was necessary by Jan. 11 in order for tax software programs to be updated in time for Minnesotans to take advantage of them.

It is good we passed this bill, but much more work remains on tax relief.

Another top priority this session is to reduce the skyrocketing cost of health insurance but, unfortunately, Democrats voted down our effort to fast-track the 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill (H.F. 1) on Thursday. This bill would provide premium relief, extend access to doctors for continuity of care, and begin to reform the individual market. Democrats blocked the measure, despite agreeing days earlier to suspend the rules in order to expedite premium relief for Minnesotans. We will continue working on this, so stay tuned.

As for other news, I recently was named chairman of the newly created House Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry, and Tourism. A also am serving on Government Operations and Elections; Rules and Legislative Administration; Commerce and Regulatory Reform; and Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance.

I look forward to taking on the challenges we face in these committees and beyond as I continue representing the citizens of District 16A to the best of my ability. Keep in touch, stay warm and I’ll be back with more news from the Capitol throughout the session.