Monthly Archive for January, 2017

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Rep. Keith Franke Capitol Update: Making progress (1/20/2017)

Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 1/20/2017

Dear Friends,

We’re up and rolling through the early weeks of the legislative session. I’m happy to report we’re making lots of progress for Minnesotans, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in the coming days.

Health Care Relief

Last night, a bill I co-authored, the 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill, passed the House on a bipartisan vote. When I talk to folks in my district, one of the top things I hear is a need for health care reform. The House was able to quickly deliver on its promise to pass this bill which includes needed reforms and premium relief for hardworking Minnesotans.

This legislation puts money back in the pockets of those who have seen up to 60% increases in their health insurance premiums. Just as important, the bill would preserve access for those receiving live-saving treatment. There’s still plenty of things to fix to truly improve our health care system, but passing this bill in the House is a great place to start.

First Bill

I mentioned last week that I was introducing my first bill as chief author. The legislation, HF270, is a tax credit for local businesses who hire military veterans. Much of my family served in the military, and I enjoy interacting and listening to veterans at the local Legion and VFW posts which has helped me see a need to provide this business tax credit. I’m excited to see this sentiment crossing party lines. My bill is co-sponsored by five other Republicans and four Democrats. With this type of bipartisan support, I’m hopeful to get this bill moving in the committee process so we can help Minnesota’s veterans.

Please Contact Me

One of my favorite parts of serving in the House is interacting with you. I enjoy listening to your opinions, and am always here if you or your family need assistance. You can reach me at 651-296-4342 or rep.keith.franke@house.mn.

Have a great weekend,

Keith

State Representative Keith Franke
567 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4342
rep.keith.franke@house.mn

Rep. Keith Franke’s statement on passage of premium relief, continued care

On a bipartisan vote of 73-54, the Minnesota House approved the 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill (Senate File 1) which provides direct premium relief and preserves access to life-saving and end-of-life care. While lawmakers work toward long-term state and federal health insurance reforms, this legislation institutes immediate consumer-driven improvements that stand alone and will not be impacted by those future changes.

“When I talk to folks in my district, one of the top things I hear is a need for healthcare reform,” said Rep. Keith Franke, R-St. Paul Park, who co-authored the legislation. “The House was able to quickly deliver on its promise to pass this bill which includes needed reforms and premium relief for hardworking Minnesotans.”

House Republicans’ plan offers a 25 percent premium reduction for those Minnesotans who need it most — individuals who earn between $35,640 & $95,040 and families of four who earn between $72,900 & $194,400 who live in Minnesota qualify. In addition, it allows for patients with serious illnesses or those receiving end-of-life care to continue seeing their doctor. Lastly, the plan increases affordable options through timely reforms that stand independent of impending federal action.

“House Republicans have moved swiftly to provide relief and preserve care for Minnesotans,” said Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, the chief author of the bill. “I look forward to working with our Senate colleagues and the governor to see this bill signed into law as soon as possible.”

The bill is expected to enter conference committee where differences between the Senate and House versions will be reconciled.

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Source:
http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/pressrelease.asp?pressid=26889&party=2&memid=15460

Rep Tony Jurgens Capitol Update: Good news regarding tax relief (1/16/2017)

Representative Tony Jurgens

Representative Tony Jurgens

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 1/16/2017

Hello from the State Capitol,

There’s good news to report regarding tax relief. Governor Dayton has signed into law a House proposal I co-authored providing $21.7 million in immediate tax relief by conforming state tax provisions to that of the federal government. The bill is critical in that it will keep hardworking Minnesotans from facing higher tax bills and prevent them from complications as they file their taxes.

We’re also one step closer to beginning to address the health insurance problems that are harming countless Minnesotans across our state, as plans are moving through House committees and will soon receive debate on the House floor. The legislation provides premium relief to eligible recipients and makes improvements to current law in order to improve the health insurance market in Minnesota.

This week I also agreed to co-author legislation that seeks put more disabled and unemployed veterans back to work. The bill would provide up to $3,000 in tax relief for companies who prioritize hiring those who selflessly served our country but are now struggling to return to the workforce. To me, fighting for those who fought for our freedoms is always the right thing to do and I’m hopeful this proposal will be viewed positively by Republicans and Democrats alike.

One of the best part of this job is meeting with local residents and interested community officials. Over the past week I was able to attend a Cottage Grove City Council meeting, talk with representatives from Washington County and Cottage Grove, as well as sit down with South Washington County School District officials to discuss their legislative priorities for the upcoming session. If there is a meeting you would like me to attend, or if you would like to travel to St. Paul for an office visit, I urge you to contact me as soon as you can. Feel free to call my office at 651-296-3135 or email me at rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn and we’ll be happy to work you into the schedule.

Also, you may be interested in a pair of TV interviews I participated in recently. Click here to see my discussion on “Everybody Loves Politics” on Hastings Community Television, and here to watch a segment on Almanac, which begins at roughly the 9:10 mark of the video.

Talk to you soon,
Tony

State Representative Tony Jurgens
523 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-3135
rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn

Rep Keith Franke Capitol Update: A busy week (1/13/2017)

Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 1/13/2017

Dear Friends,

I wanted to keep you updated after another busy week at the Capitol. I’m happy to have heard from many of you in the last few days, and hope you’ll continue to reach out if you have any ideas for our state, or need some type of assistance.

Authoring Bills

So far, I’ve co-authored five bills in the House, including the tax relief bill that passed last week. The $21 million relief proposal passed the Senate yesterday, and Governor Dayton signed it into law early this morning. As it did in the House, this bill passed unanimously in the Senate. Obviously both parties don’t agree on everything, but this early show of bipartisanship to pass tax relief for hardworking Minnesotans is an encouraging way to start the 2017 session.

I just dropped my first bill of my term and it will be introduced early next week. It’s a great piece of legislation that offers businesses a tax rebate if they hire military veterans. The transition back to civilian life can be difficult, and we have to do what we can to make it easier for our men and women in uniform to find employment once they leave the service.

Tax relief is a big goal of mine this session, which is why I’m co-authoring a bill to phase out the tax on Social Security benefits. This could be a big savings for our seniors in Minnesota. Many of our aging population are on fixed incomes, and shouldn’t have their Social Security taxed.

St. Paul Park Winterfest

Tomorrow marks the third annual St. Paul Park Winterfest Skating Event. The event takes place from 1 until 3 pm at the Whitbred Warming House (1301 Selby Ave, St. Paul Park). With s’mores, games, and a medallion hunt, this is a great time to bring the kids out and enjoy one of our great cities. For more information, please click here.

Please Contact Me

Along with being a voice for you at the Capitol, one of my main goals over the next two years is to have an open line of communication with you, the people of 54A. Even if I’m in session, or it’s the weekend or a holiday, I’d encourage you to call, email, or visit me. I’ll always keep you updated on what’s happening in St. Paul, and I hope you’ll contact me with your questions or concerns. Feel free to email me any time at rep.keith.franke@house.mn or call me 651-296-4342.

Enjoy your weekend,
Keith

State Representative Keith Franke
567 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4342
rep.keith.franke@house.mn

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Representative Keith Franke

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