It was awe-inspiring walking into the refurbished Capitol to start the 2017 on Tuesday. I continue to be amazed by this position, and am honored to serve you in St. Paul. I won’t take it for granted, and hope you will continue to reach out with any way I can help you.
Tuesday was the swearing-in ceremony for the next biennium. We weren’t able to conduct any formal business, but it was great to see old friends and meet the new members from both parties. I was thankful to be joined by my wife, Kim, for the ceremony.
Tax Relief Passed
We couldn’t hear bills on Tuesday or Wednesday, but we really got to work yesterday. We quickly voted to bring forward a bill to provide $22 million in tax relief for 220,000 Minnesotans. The bill conforms our state tax laws to federal laws, and saves money for teachers, families saving for college, and homeowners. We had an urgent need to pass this bill before January 11, and we did so on a 130-0 vote. We’ll continue to look for ways to provide tax relief, but this is a great step on the first day of legislative action.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news. We again tried to bring an emergency bill forward, this time to provide relief for those struggling to pay for health insurance, and start to reform the current broken system. Despite a previous agreement from House Democrats, they decided to throw sand in the gears and refused Republicans’ good-faith attempt to help Minnesotans in need. It’s simply putting politics before people, obstructionism before cooperation. Minnesotans who can’t afford their health insurance don’t want politics, they want reform and results, and Democrats refused to deliver.
Please Contact Me
We’re back in session, and we’ll be discussing countless ways to improve our state. I hope you’ll call, email, or visit to share your thoughts, ideas, or questions. As you know, I’m here to serve you, and want to help in any way I can.
Have a great weekend and stay warm,