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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jeff Backer (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Jeff Backer

Monday, June 21, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

The first week of the most recent special session is over with negotiations on several bills still ongoing as the House approved three bills (out of 14) over the weekend. Reminder, the legislature must approve all 14 budget bills by July 1st to avoid a government shutdown. With 11 bills to go, there is still much work to be done.

The debate has been long and drawn out as House Republicans have been fighting hard to represent the interests of everyday, hardworking Minnesotans.

This was best exemplified during a debate on Democrats’ decision to omit an important policy item that will directly lead to higher health insurance costs for thousands of Minnesotans. The program they’re getting rid of is something called “reinsurance”.

From 2014-2016, the individual health insurance market was brought to the brink of collapse due to Obamacare with health plan costs skyrocketing up to 60%, enrollment caps, and many counties left with just a single health plan option.

Thanks to the innovative reinsurance plan championed by House Republicans, we were able to save the individual healthcare market and drive down the costs of health care for many.

Now, after raising health care taxes by more than a billion dollars last year, Democrats are pushing to eliminate this successful and bipartisan program. This is unacceptable and we must do what we can to make sure that health care costs for Minnesotans do not skyrocket this year.

We had another lengthy debate over the weekend, this time on the Higher Education bill and about inadequate public safety funding for the University of Minnesota Police Department. DFLers continued to argue against meaningful funding for the campus police department.

It is crystal clear that there is a major crime problem in the metro area, including areas on and near the U of M campuses. Despite an effort to ensure that appropriate funding was specifically directed at public safety on the campuses, these amendments were voted down by the DFL.

I continue to be shocked at the anti-police, anti-public safety approach taken by Democrats. They clearly are unable to take public safety seriously.

Staying in Touch

That’s all for today’s update. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have. I can be reached by phone at either 651-296-4929 or 701-361-1909. I can also be reached via email at

Have a good day,