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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jerry Hertaus (R)

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News from Representative Hertaus 02-14-2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dear friends,

Here are some updates from Saint Paul:

State of the State

I had the pleasure of welcoming Orono resident Gail Bollis as my guest on the House Floor during the Governor's State of the State address. She and her husband Chris are owners of the General Store in Minnetonka on Highway 7. Prior to the address, job creators around the state joined legislators for a roundtable discussion to talk about the impact that Governor Dayton's proposed budget and tax increases would have on families and businesses around the state.

The roundtable discussion with job creators echoed many of the concerns we’ve been hearing over the past several weeks about the damaging impact of Governor Dayton’s proposals on jobs and job growth in our state. Increased costs of doing business often tend to threaten jobs and benefits. For many consulting and professional businesses, the business to business sales tax on services could put them out of business. Many of these company’s customers could simply avoid these increased costs by contracting the same services across state lines. We need to be making Minnesota more competitive to help foster job growth to get Minnesotans back to work. I am concerned these proposals will be a step backwards on the improvements our economy has made over the past two years.

Gun Hearings

It was troubling to see the House DFL spend three days last week on hearings on bills that would limit our Second Amendment rights instead of focusing on fixing our state's budget.

The fact is, bills sponsored by Democrats in Minnesota are even more restricting than many of the bills being discussed at the federal level, and would do nothing to keep certain firearms out of the hands of wrong-doers. Criminals do not and will not comply with any law that would restrict the rights of responsible citizens. These new laws would be an impunity of constitutionally guaranteed rights and a direct move to gradually disarm good law-abiding citizens. I cannot support and will oppose any efforts to limit our Second Amendment rights.

Health Exchange

I continue to have many concerns about the proposed Health Insurance Exchange bill. This week, Democrats voted to give the Dayton Administration’s Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) unlimited power. Democrats want seven politically appointed bureaucrats in St. Paul to make decisions that will impact the health insurance market without any sort of oversight by state entities or taxpayers.In addition and even more outrageous; any appeal on any decision made by them concerning care, coverage, provider reimbursements or other decisions would be reviewed by them and only them.

Moreover, the HIX is costing Minnesotans hundreds of millions of dollars to build and operate, yet nowhere in the bill does the HIX assure lower health care costs for individuals, lower costs throughout the health care system, an expansion of coverage for Minnesotans, or improved quality of health care. Incredibly, the bill will authorize taxing all insurance premiums sold in Minnesota for health care at a rate of 3.5% of premiums paid to fund operating the exchange including paying themselves compensation without any statutory limits. The bill’s next stop is the Government Operations committee.

Have a great rest of your week,

Jerry Hertaus
State Representative, District 33A

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