Rep Tony Jurgens Capitol Update (12/7/2018)

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Representative Tony Jurgens

Representative Tony Jurgens

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 12/7/2018

Hello from St. Paul,

Happy Holidays! As this is my first column since Election Day, I wanted to thank you for allowing me to continue serving as your voice in the Minnesota House. I am humbled by your support and once again look forward to fighting for the needs of Hastings, Cottage Grove, Afton Denmark Township and Nininger Township in St. Paul.

An early Christmas present has already arrived at the State Capitol, as we recently learned that Minnesota’s latest fiscal forecast shows a budget surplus of $1.544 billion for the next two year budget cycle. This likely continues the four year trend where lawmakers have not had to eliminate a budget deficit.

Of this amount, $491 million will be sent to our budget reserve account, which now contains more than $2 billion. That means just over $1 billion will remain for the Legislature to allocate before next session ends.

Keep in mind, this surplus exists because the State’s revenue collections – or taxes you paid to state government – exceeds the amount of anticipated expenses. Also remember that in early March we will receive an updated forecast that will be the official benchmark used by the Legislature as it moves forward and sets the budget for the next two years.

So if the positive economic trends continue or even improve, what should be done with this money? Last session we approved historic tax relief proposals, and I think more of them should be given consideration this session, particularly when it comes to eliminating taxation on Social Security benefits. Using some of the surplus on road and bridge repair needs might also make sense.

One thing is for sure: with this projected budget surplus we should not be thinking about any tax increases this session.

This positive news shows that a lot of the policies we enacted over the past two years are paying off. Legislative Republicans and the Governor’s Office will likely battle over who should accept credit for this surplus, but rather than focusing on that, I believe we should just agree that this surplus is a good thing and recognize that Minnesotans will benefit from last session’s work.

With the 2019 session less than a month away, I already have a handful of bills that I’m ready to submit for consideration. These proposals will center on veterans, senior citizens, and students, as well as local issues. I’ll share more information on those in the coming weeks following their official introductions.

But I also want to hear from you, so mark your calendars! On Saturday, January 5 I will be holding a series of listening sessions throughout the district. I wanted to hold these before session begins and give residents the opportunity to discuss the topics that are important to them. The sessions will take place from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the Hastings City Hall, 101 4th St. East; 10:00 – 11:00 at the Cottage Grove City Hall, 12800 Ravine Parkway South; and 11:30 – 12:30 at the Afton City Hall, 3033 St. Croix Trail South.

Senator Bigham has a previous engagement and will be unable to attend, so we are hoping to hold joint town meetings sometime after session begins.

At a recent council meeting, it was my honor to present outgoing Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks with a Minnesota House resolution recognizing his leadership and service to the community. Paul not only served 28 years as mayor and city council member, but he also serves in a nonpartisan capacity in the Minnesota House with the Chief Clerk’s Office and does great work there as well. Congratulations Mayor Hicks on a job well done.

Congratulations are also in order for Mayor Richard Bend and Councilman Joe Richter of Afton, who are also stepping away from city leadership. Please join me in thanking them both for their commitment to the residents of Afton.

As always, I am always available to respond to your thoughts and concerns. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-3135 to share your input. I look forward to hearing from you!

Talk to you soon,
Tony

State Representative Tony Jurgens
351 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-296-3135
rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn

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Tony Jurgens: I wanted our campaign to focus on the issues, not personal attacks

Representative Tony Jurgens

Representative Tony Jurgens

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 11/21/2018

With Election Day now behind us, I would like to thank the residents of District 54B for their continued support. You had to put up with a lot of negative advertisements, partisan potshots, and outright lies throughout this campaign, and I commend the voters who were able to ignore the innuendo.

I made the decision during the campaign to ignore the negativity as much as possible because I wanted our campaign to focus on the issues, not the personal attacks. With a couple weeks to reflect since the election, however, I believe I need to set the record straight so you have the truth about some of the claims made against me – there were attacks that questioned my integrity and character, and I can’t let those go unanswered.

The most egregious and offensive attack against me – put out in a mailer from my opponent – suggested that I personally benefited from the reinsurance bill that helped stabilize the individual health insurance market.

The reality is this: I have not even attempted to sell a health insurance policy in this decade and I have only sold a handful of health insurance policies in my life. Furthermore, state reinsurance funds are used to pay medical bills for the most expensive medical cases – even if I did sell health insurance, I would not have seen a dime of that money.

To me it raises serious questions about the “win-at-all-costs” mentality my opponent employed during the campaign. To me, the willingness to so blatantly lie as a way to cast doubt on my integrity says more about my opponent’s character than anything else.

Another postcard was sent by the Minnesota House DFL caucus that intentionally misrepresented an issue that had been previously approved by the voters. TV news outlets rightfully called this mailer out as “demonstrably false” and “deliberately deceptive.” It’s disappointing that my opponent and her supporters would stoop to these levels in their desperate efforts to win your vote even after the media debunked the claims.

I’m proud of the fact that my campaign was the only one to stay positive – I sent out ten mailers from my campaign, and not once did I attack, criticize or even name my opponent. I ran on the issues, and I am so grateful that you were all able to see through the negativity and entrust me with another term representing you. I ran a positive campaign, because I repeatedly heard at the doors this election cycle that people are tired of the negativity and they want us to work together.

That is my pledge to you going forward: I will represent all of you, whether you supported my campaign or not. I will continue to fight for you in the Minnesota House, whether you call yourself a Democrat, Independent, Republican, or something else. And I will never take a campaign race into the gutter all the while claiming I’m a victim of negative advertising.

Character counts. Integrity matters. And while I know I will have some disagreements with our new DFL majority in the Minnesota House, I can guarantee you that won’t stop me from trying to work with this new majority on the issues you told me were important: health care, transportation, and education.

Please contact me anytime with your legislative questions or concerns. I can be reached at rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn, or by phone at 651-296-3135.

Once again, thank you for allowing me to serve as your voice in the Minnesota House. I look forward to hearing from 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

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Oct 6: A day to support our Republican candidates

Come join CD-2 in helping support our Republican candidates Jeff Johnson, Jason Lewis, Karin Housley, and our local candidates Keith Franke and Tony Jurgens etc.

We will be at Lighthouse Baptist in Cottage Grove starting at 10:00 a.m. on October 6th, we will be organizing door knockers, lit drops, and phone banks to help our candidates within Senate District 54. We plan to go until around 7:00 p.m.

*Door Knocking Shifts/Lit Drops:
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Lunch Break)
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

*Phone Banks:
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Or 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Upon Request)

*Shift Times Subject to Change

If Interested and able, please contact Blake Kuncl at 651-900-1035

We hope to see you there!

July 10 Fundraiser for Keith Franke and Tony Jurgens

July Fundraiser for Keith Franke and Tony Jurgens

Click to view

Join Senate District 54 for a fundraiser to support our local Representatives Tony Jurgens and Keith Franke!

Enjoy food and drinks while speaking with Tony and/or Keith about their time at the Capitol, as well as, their campaigns for re-election.

Appetizers will be provided by the BPOU. The dinner menu will be available to order from as well.

Where:
Green Mill Restaurant & Bar
909 Vermillion St. Hastings, MN, 55033

When:
Tuesday, July 10th at 6pm-8:30pm

Suggested donation of $50 which is eligible for a full refund through the PCR Program, or whatever you can contribute.

We would love to have you join us for this event! All are welcome! We hope to see you on July 10th!

Rep Keith Franke Capitol Update (6/1/2018)

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Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 6/1/2018

Dear Neighbors,

3M Bill Signed Into Law

Earlier this week, Governor Dayton signed our bill, HF3660, into law. The legislation, which I co-authored, ensures public transparency and guardrails for the $850 million 3M settlement. We want to make sure these funds are used in our area so we can have the drinking water quality that our residents deserve.

I’m happy to see this bill signed and to know that the areas that need it most will receive funds from the settlement. I want to thank our local officials and my fellow legislators for working tirelessly on behalf of east metro residents. This is great news for our district.

Bonding Bill Becomes Law

On Wednesday, our bonding proposal was signed into law. This will be a big help statewide, and also includes projects in our area. Now signed by the governor, we’ll see funding from a bill I authored for the Seidl’s Lake stormwater lift station. Another important part of our bonding bill is nearly $9.5 million to fund the HERO Center in Cottage Grove. My friend and colleague, Rep. Tony Jurgens, authored this bill, and I was one of the co-authors. The HERO Center would be a big addition to our area to help train first responders.

Another critical part of the bill is $25 million to make safety improvements to Minnesota schools. I’ve been advocating all session for increased school safety measures, so it’s good to see these funds become law.

Highlights of the bonding portion of the bill as presented to the governor include:

$178 million asset preservation
$123 million for water-related projects
$20 million for flood work
$208 million for higher education construction
$541 million for transportation
$32 million for veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo
$28 million for mental health crisis centers

Please Contact Me

I’ve enjoyed hearing your thoughts and ideas this session, and thank you for all of your calls and emails. Now that we’re done with session, I’ll be back in the district and encourage you to contact my office so we can set up a time to meet.

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

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