A January thaw was in full effect last Sunday as the temperature neared 40 degrees the same day thousands of pro-life activists from around the state converged at the State Capitol for the MCCL March for Life Rally! It was great beginning the week by standing up for innocent life still in the womb.
Rep. Lucero joined thousands from all across Minnesota at the Capitol for the MCCL March for Life Rally.
HEALTH CARE PREMIUM RELIEF
Weather was not the only thing to thaw this week. By a vote of 108-19 in the House and 47-19 in the Senate, the premium relief and reform package passed both legislative bodies Thursday and was signed into law by Gov. Dayton. Premium relief for Minnesota had been frozen ever since Democrats blocked Republican attempts to declare an urgency and bring emergency relief to Minnesotans weeks ago. Gov. Dayton’s quick signature means relief will soon be brought to Minnesotans who purchase health insurance in the individual market in 2017 and solidify several insurance market reforms to begin lowering insurance costs in 2018.
Among the reforms also signed into law is a provision to permit for-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota. State law has prevented for-profit HMOs for the last approximate 40-years by requiring all Minnesota HMOs be non-profit. This change to allow for-profit HMOs is a huge victory for Minnesota consumers and for free-market competition because free-market competition results in lower prices and higher quality.
GOV. DAYTON PROPOSES TAX HIKES
Gov. Dayton unveiled his budget proposal for the next fiscal biennium including a roughly 10-percent spending increase over the previous biennium. Minnesota currently has a $1.4 billion surplus yet Gov. Dayton is proposing a $1.4 billion tax increase on Minnesotans who visit the doctor by extending the provider tax, $1.5 billion in new taxes and fees by increasing the gas tax, tab fees, the Metro area sales tax, new license/title surcharges, and more. Unfortunately Gov. Dayton is ignoring the mandate from the last election that Minnesotans are seeking tax cuts and more efficient spending.
Rep Lucero, Sen. Kiffmeyer, and Ed, a constituent from Otsego, were in the audience during the governor's State of the State address Monday.
Please pray the Lord sends His hand of healing to Gov. Dayton.
KALEIDOSCOPE CHARTER SCHOOL
I was honored to be invited to Kaleidoscope Charter School this week to meet and discuss civics with several dozen fourth graders. As a former educator myself I always enjoy helping the next generation learn and become motivated about their future. I gave a brief overview of my background, the process of running for elected office, the issues and priorities important to our community, and the day-to-day responsibilities of a state representative. The students were very engaged and asked many questions on multiple topics including the three branches of government, governor veto and veto overrides, and the work involved as a state representative. This same group of fourth graders visited me last week during a field trip to the newly restored State Capitol.
Rep. Lucero visits fourth graders at Kaleidoscope Charter School located in Otsego.
In the Civil Law Committee this week I voted in favor of HF 322, a bill related to curtailing disruptive protests all of us witnessed last year which included blocking freeways. I support the bill because blocking freeways is the antithesis of the Constitutional right to "peacefully assemble." Minnesotans who missed flights at the airport or missed doctors appointments at Mayo Clinic because protesters blocked the freeway have rights as well. This bill will come before me again when the bill makes its way to the Public Safety Committee.
As always please contact me to share any issues, concerns, or feedback you may have that will assist me best represent you. The best way to reach me is by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-1534.
Have a great weekend!
Albertville, Hanover, Otsego, Saint Michael, and the Wright County portion of Dayton