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HOUSE REPUBLICANS TAKE ACTION ON TAXES, HEALTH CARE; DEMOCRATS BLOCK PREMIUM RELIEF

Thursday, January 5, 2017

ST. PAUL, MN—House Republicans wasted no time getting to work on key session priorities, including health care and tax relief. House File 2, which will result in $21.7 million in tax relief for 220,000 Minnesota tax filers by conforming Minnesota's tax code to the federal tax code, passed Thursday on a vote of 130-0.

“We wanted to deliver tax relief for Minnesotans, and we were able to do so on the first day of hearing bills,” said Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar. “The relief in this bill will go to teachers, students, and homeowners in our area and around the state.”

Without quick approval of the federal tax conformity bill (HF2), Minnesotans who file their taxes early could face higher tax bills, a situation all lawmakers wanted to avoid. The Department of Revenue indicated that in order to avoid tax filing complications, the proposal needs to be signed into law before January 11. The Senate is expected to pass tax conformity in time to meet the January 11th deadline.

Republicans also moved to declare an urgency and pass The 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill, HF1, which would have provided premium relief, extended access to doctors for continuity of care, and begun to reform the individual market. Democrats blocked the measure, despite agreeing days earlier to suspend the rules in order to expedite premium relief for Minnesotans.

“Democrats gave us their word, and they broke their promise to deliver premium relief for struggling families,” said Baker. “We’ll see this bill in the near future, and I look forward to voting for its passage.”

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