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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Eric Lucero (R)

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Rep. Eric Lucero (30B) - Legislative Update

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dear Neighbor,

The 2016 legislative session begins in just three weeks and there are several very important decisions that will have significant impacts on all of us. Below is a summary of several of the issues as well as my priorities in the coming session.

Joining House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin and Sen. Warren Limmer to give a legislative preview.

EQUITY IN EDUCATION

Equity in education is among the most important topics in our community. As an educator myself I know firsthand the need for adequate funding resources to ensure our children have access to educational opportunities allowing them the greatest success in life. I’ve been working with Superintendent Behle, Schools for Equity in Education (SEE), Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, and others as we prepare to continue working for equitable funding in the coming session. We’ve drafted a third bill that will address the funding inequity of which I will be the chief author in the House as I continue fighting for our children’s future.

EQUITY IN EDUCATION

Equity in education is among the most important topics in our community. As an educator myself I know firsthand the need for adequate funding resources to ensure our children have access to educational opportunities allowing them the greatest success in life. I’ve been working with Superintendent Behle, Schools for Equity in Education (SEE), Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, and others as we prepare to continue working for equitable funding in the coming session. We’ve drafted a third bill that will address the funding inequity of which I will be the chief author in the House as I continue fighting for our children’s future.

TRANSPORTATION

I was part of a joint House/Senate Transportation Committee meeting yesterday in which both the House and Senate majorities reiterated their transportation priorities for the coming session. Democrats are continuing their demand for a gas tax increase taking more from our wallets, wasteful spending on Southwest Light Rail, and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

As a member of the Transportation Committee, last year I voted in favor of the Republican 10-year, $7 billion plan to fund roads and bridges transportation without raising taxes. Gov. Dayton and the Senate Democrat majority rejected this plan over their demand to raise the gas tax by a minimum of 16 cents per gallon on the backs of hardworking Minnesota families and businesses.

I will continue prioritizing roads and bridges in our transportation spending plan such as my bill to fund the three lane expansion of Interstate 94 through Albertville and I will oppose all attempts to raise the gas tax or issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Speaking a pro-life message at the Star Legacy Foundation gala.

FIGHT FOR PRO-LIFE

I co-signed a guest commentary recently published in the Star Tribune, under the headline: "Fetal tissue research should cease at the U." I encourage you to read it when you have the opportunity.

This past Saturday I was invited to speak at the Star Legacy Foundation gala. Star Legacy Foundation is a community of parents, families, and friends of stillborn babies dedicated to research and education.

Currently, only five states recognize stillborn babies as children and Minnesota is not one of them. A bill will be introduced in the coming legislative session seeking to recognize stillborn children with a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth as well as allow parents who suffered the tragedy of the death of their child a $2,000 tax credit in the year of birth of their child.

As a strong pro-life advocate, I will co-author the bill.

HEALTH CARE AND CONTINUED MNSURE PROBLEMS

The Minnesota version of Obamacare, MNsure, continues to demonstrate underperformance in practically every conceivable metric for the three years the program has been in existence. The non-partisan Legislative Auditor recently released a report showing between $115 and $271 million taxpayer dollars were wasted via MNsure payments made to people who did not qualify. The Legislative Auditor’s report can be found here.

MNsure is a failed program that continues to be wrought with failed leadership, data breaches, unsustainability, low enrollment, sharp increases in premiums, and inexcusably poor customer service. Nevertheless, Gov. Dayton and the Democrats continue to defend MNsure as healthy for Minnesota.

In 2015, House Republicans passed legislation to improve public program eligibility verification, but Democrats blocked these measures. MNsure accountability will continue to be a Republican priority during the coming session.

On a healthcare related note, healthcare insurance premiums continue to rise due in large part to misguided government mandates and other failed policies. To help bring relief to hard working Minnesota families I have chief authored legislation I will be introducing in the coming session to make health insurance premiums tax deductible against Minnesota income taxes.

The MC Gun Club invited me to speak to the pro-Second Amendment group regarding advancements of pro-gun liberties last legislative session and to give a preview of the coming legislative session.

PRECINCT CAUCUSES ON MARCH 1

Precinct caucuses will take place 7 p.m. March 1 and I urge all citizens to participate in these grass-roots meetings. Below are the meeting locations across our community:

  • Albertville and Saint Michael residents

Saint Michael-Albertville East Middle School (4862 Nabor Ave. N.E., St. Michael, MN 55376)

  • Hanover residents

Hanover City Hall (11250 Fifth Street N.E. Hanover, MN 55341)

  • Otsego and Dayton residents

Otsego Elementary School (8125 River Road N.E. Otsego, MN 55330)

 

Congratulations to Chad Anderson, who will join the House of Representatives next month, boosting the number of Republicans in the House majority to 73. The seat was previously held by a long-serving Democrat who is retiring, necessitating a recent special election.

MY LEGISLATIVE SURVEY

Please take the opportunity to participate in my legislative survey to give me additional feedback to help me best represent your priorities. The survey is available online here.

Sincerely,

Eric Lucero

State Representative
District 30B
Albertville, Hanover, Otsego, Saint Michael, and the Wright County portion of Dayton

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