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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Green (R)

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News from the Capitol

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear Neighbor,

As I am sure you have heard, Governor Dayton experienced a bit of a health scare earlier in the week while delivering his State of State address on Monday. He then announced to the media the next day that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Please join me in keeping the Governor and his family in your prayers.

Governor’s Budget Proposal:

Earlier this week, Governor Dayton released his budget proposal for the next two years. I was disappointed to see $1.6 billion in higher taxes and only $125 million in tax relief. I believe that in a time when the state is experiencing a $1.4 billion surplus, we do not need to increase taxes on Minnesotans. I also find it to be fiscally irresponsible to ask Minnesotans to pay more in gasoline taxes when there are existing dollars that can be spent to improve/repair our roads and bridges.

Final Passage of Senate File 1 (Premium Relief):

On Thursday afternoon, the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved the conference committee report for Senate File 1, and by Thursday evening it was signed by the Governor. The bill provides a 25% premium reduction to Minnesotans who do not qualify for MNsure tax credits on the individual market, and includes key reforms to preserve care for those receiving life-saving treatments and increase competition and consumer choice moving forward.

Some of the reforms in this bill include:

  • Allowing for-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota (like most states) which will increase options for consumers
  • Modifying stop loss coverage to make it easier for more small businesses to offer affordable insurance to their employees.
  • Providing greater transparency for proposed insurance premium changes by requiring earlier disclosure of proposed rates.
  • Allowing Agricultural Cooperatives to offer group health insurance to their members so farmers and their families can get better access to care and more affordable coverage.
  • Ensuring Minnesota employees can benefit from the recently passed federal 21st Century Cures Act which allows employers to make pre-tax contributions toward employee health insurance costs.
  • Network adequacy reform that will assist in ensuring more options for residents in rural Minnesota.
  • Prohibiting surprise billing to protect consumers from previously undisclosed costs.

Upcoming Legislation:

I am currently working on getting a bill drafted that addresses regulations regarding the sale of tax forfeited land. This bill would give counties the authority to decide if they want to sell the land or not.

 

If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me at either 651-296-9918, or rep.steve.green@house.mn.

Sincerely,

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