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News from Representative Petersburg 05-01-2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Dear Friends,

This week the legislature passed most of our remaining omnibus budget bills. Next week the House will pass our omnibus Agriculture Finance bill which includes funding to continue the fight against the avian flu epidemic, and then conference committee work will begin as we negotiate budget bills that can pass both the House and the Senate.

I'm honored to be joining House Transportation Chair Rep. Tim Kelly as a member of the Transportation conference committee. I'm hopeful that we can work with the Senate to find a compromise that allows us to invest in our roads and bridges without the harmful impact of a gas tax increase.

Other news from St. Paul:

Tax Relief for Families

This week House Republicans passed our tax bill that's aimed at providing tax relief to Minnesota families. Our bill includes significant tax relief for families, veterans, seniors, farmers, and college students. A $1.869 billion surplus should not be an excuse for government to spend every last dollar, but rather a time for legislators to look at ways to ease the tax burden on the families who will benefit most from a little extra money in their paychecks and in their pockets.

HHS Bill a boost for nursing homes
Our Health and Human Services bill includes a total reform of the way we reimburse nursing homes for senior care costs. Nursing homes, especially those in Greater Minnesota, often struggle to keep their doors open, and are unable to provide competitive wages for their workers.

This bill will result in significant increases for nursing homes, helping them stay open and provide better care. Here's how the HHS bill would impact nursing homes here in Owatonna and Waseca:

Owatonna Care Center—Owatonna, MN—$12.92% change, $234,435 increase for the upcoming year
Steele County Communities—Owatonna, MN—35.88% change, $1,244,491 increase for the upcoming year
Lake Shore Inn Nursing Home—Waseca, MN—23.61%, $600,665 increase for the upcoming year

As always, keep in touch as we wind down the last few weeks of session. Email me any time at or call 651-296-5368. You can also follow my updates on Facebook at

Have a great weekend,

John Petersburg
State Representative, District 24A