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

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Legislative Update

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Earlier today, I attended a meeting in Marshall with Lyon County emergency management, FEMA and other state officials. We discussed the preliminary flood damage assessment for cities and townships throughout Lyon County. FEMA is traveling across the state to inspect flood damaged areas and will continue to meet in other southwestern Minnesota counties later this week.   

State and county officials want to ensure that flood clean up and repair goes smoothly. Southwestern Minnesota was hit hard by flooding last month, and we want to get our homes, buildings and roads back to normal as soon as possible.

If you have already experienced flood damage, I would encourage you to contact the Department of Commerce’s Disaster Center. They can answer questions about insurance claims, consumer protection and can work with your insurer to settle a claim.

More information can be found on their website or you can give them a call at (800) 657.3602.

I hope you and your family has stayed safe and dry during this difficult time, but please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have additional questions or need assistance.

Property Taxes on the Rise

A recent analysis from the nonpartisan Minnesota House Research Department has shown that statewide property tax levies are projected to rise by $238 million this year, and rural landowners were hit the hardest.

Democrats promised that when they increased taxes in Minnesota by $2.1 billion, property taxes across the state would decrease as a result. Instead, property taxes are projected to increase by 3.3 percent in Greater Minnesota and agricultural property taxes are projected to jump by 4.7 percent.

It’s unfortunate that hardworking farmers and Minnesota taxpayers are paying the price for unnecessary government growth and increased spending. This is the second year in a row property taxes have gone up.

As your state representative, I will continue to fight for you interests in Saint Paul and vote against reckless tax increases.

PCA Union Vote

Last week, the Supreme Court released their ruling for the Illinois case of Harris v. Quinn, stating that people who are not state employees cannot be compelled to pay union dues. The court case was brought forth by a PCA named Pam Harris who cared for her disabled son and was forced by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to pay union dues.

Following that ruling that PCAs are not state employees, the Minnesota branch of the SEIU has decided to ignore the court’s precedent and trigger an election to unionize PCAs. These people have dedicated themselves to caring for their loved ones and our most vulnerable, and unions want to take money out of their pockets.

People have the right to free association, but PCAs are not government employees and should not be forced to pay union dues.

The Supreme Court decision also affects the Minnesota case Parrish v. Dayton, where local daycare providers challenged the childcare unionization law that categorized childcare providers as state employees for the purpose of unionization.

Parrish v. Dayton was put on hold until the high court ruled on Harris v. Quinn, and it’s now very likely that the childcare unionization law forced through the legislature by Democrats and Governor Dayton in 2013 will be ruled unconstitutional.

This is great news for the parents and hardworking childcare providers of Minnesota.

Contacting My Office

Under state law, this is the last legislative email update I am able to send until after November 4th. However, if you have questions or concerns about state government or need my assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here to serve you. 

Should you need assistance, you can reach me by email at  or by phone at 651.296.5374.

It’s an honor and privilege to serve you in the Minnesota House of Representatives.