Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope everyone enjoyed a great Labor Day weekend! Here is an update from the Capitol.
Back to School Time!
I hope all of the students, parents and teachers have a wonderful first week back at school! We are blessed in our community to have outstanding schools with world-class educators and staff dedicated to preparing students for bright and successful futures.
This year at the Legislature, we worked hard to make back-to-school time even better, putting more money in every classroom and implementing a number of reforms to improve student learning, fix our broken teacher licensure system, and help schools hire and keep the best teachers in the classroom. It’s a privilege to work for our students and schools!
What’s more, as families prepare for another busy year of homework, sports, music and extracurricular activities, I wanted to remind families about two tax programs that could save you money—the K-12 Education Subtraction and the K-12 Education Credit. School supplies, tuition, textbooks, enrichment programs and tutoring are all among purchases for your child that could qualify, so don’t forget to save your receipts! You can learn more on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website here or contact my office with any questions.
Have a great school year!
GOP Health Care Reforms
Just over a month ago, the Minnesota Department of Commerce unveiled preliminary rates for the 2018 individual insurance market and the news is good. A number of Republican-led reforms passed and signed into law this year could help end the four-year trend of double-digit premium increases. That’s a huge turnaround considering just last year, average rates went up by approximately 60 percent.
One of the most significant reforms passed this year was the Minnesota Premium Security Plan. If we receive the necessary waiver from the federal government for this program, tens of thousands of Minnesotans could actually see a rate decrease! In contrast, the Department of Commerce shared that without this program rates could rise by 25 percent or more again next year.
While we don’t know what changes to health care will happen at the federal level, here in Minnesota we are working to turn around our MNsure mess and lower costs for families, individuals, farmers, small business owners and seniors who purchase their own insurance.
Final rates are due later this fall, and I will share more with you then.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family on a matter of state government. I am here to serve you!