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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Grossell (R)

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RELEASE: Statement from Rep. Grossell on House Republicans Taking Action on Taxes, Health Care; Democrats Block Premium Relief

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Democrats who created Obamacare disaster block $300 million in relief to provide aid for skyrocketing premiums

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.

“Passing tax conformity is common sense and I am glad we could get this done so quickly for hardworking Minnesota families,” said Rep. Drew Christensen (R-Savage), a member of the Taxes Committee. “House Republicans campaigned on providing Minnesotans with tax relief and making government work smarter, passing this bill so quickly shows we are already delivering.”

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 refuse to recognize the urgency thousands of Minnesotans are facing with their health care premiums skyrocketing,” said Christensen. “In their zeal to obstruct at all costs, the DFL refused to consider this bill which allocated $15 million to preserve access for those receiving lifesaving treatment.”

"Republicans were ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work on top priorities for Minnesota families," said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. "While I'm pleased we were able to pass $22 million in tax relief that will mean more money in the pockets of 220,000 Minnesotans, it's incredibly disappointing that Democrats would block badly-needed premium relief. The same Democrats responsible for Obamacare are now blocking relief from the mess they created. They have had this language for days, agreed to suspend the rules, and today went back on their word and the result is Minnesotans will have to wait even longer for premium relief, continued access to their doctors, and first-steps toward reform for the individual market."

Without quick approval of Davids’ federal tax conformity bill (HF2), Minnesotans who file their taxes early could face higher tax bills, a situation all lawmakers wanted to avoid. Davids was told by the Department of Revenue 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.