Getting an exact clip from the C-SPAN site was difficult, so we have a bit before and after Rep. Paulsen spoke. But, we have captured his words:
Prefer to read them? Here’s a transcript: (more…)
AHCA was a bill presented in the House of Representatives to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed the AHCA and determined that under the AHCA:
A revised version of the bill was offered, which attempted to woo votes from the Freedom Caucus Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. The revised version stripped away essential health benefits in insurance policies, so that insurance companies could sell “insurance” that did not cover hospitalization, maternity care, prescription drug benefits, etc. The revised bill was pulled without a vote after House Speaker Paul Ryan determined that it did not have enough votes to pass.
Paulsen’s position: Paulsen supported the bill to the end. He spoke on the House floor in support of the bill minutes before the bill was pulled with no vote.
Paulsen is now on record for ardently supporting the failed AHCA which would have taken health insurance away from millions of Americans.
Week 12 of the legislative session saw the press, Senators and the public pouring over the numbers released by Governor Dayton’s budget and both legislative bodies committee targets that they released late last week. I am disappointed by the targets set by the legislative bodies that speak to the priorities of the majorities in the House and Senate.
Despite hearing very costly bills in most committees throughout session, the Senate’s budget priorities lie with tax cuts for wealthy corporations, slim investments in education and transportation, and major cuts to other areas, particularly health and human services which will affect the most elderly and vulnerable in our state. They also cut the equity investments passed just last year, which was $38 million to address the employment gaps and support opporunities for our most under represented communities that are at risk. (more…)
Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate have introduced plans to fund safe roads and bridges by “redirecting” current spending. That will send Minnesota in the wrong direction.
Without raising the gas tax or finding other sources of long-term, stable funding, as proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators, Republicans will be redirecting money from schools, seniors and other state programs aimed at creating opportunities for all. (more…)
Senate Republicans released their budget targets a week ago – which means everyone from the press to DFL senators and the public took time to pour over the numbers throughout the week.
The most startling observation comes from the transport budget, where a provision was included that barred any locality from funding a light rail project without legislative approval. The budget also completely removes any state investment in ongoing LRT costs. These provisons would effectively kill all light rail routes for as long as the GOP controls a single chamber in the legislature. Even if we could begin construction on Southwest LRT before enactment, localities could spend their own money on staffing and maintenance even if they could afford it. (more…)
With policy deadlines past, we have now entered the part of the session that focuses primarily on building a budget that reflects the needs and values of Minnesota families. From this point forward, we will need to negotiate with Republicans in order to invest in education, health care, and working families.
As you may have noticed, I’ve also decided to change up the format of my legislative updates. Who says emails from legislators have to be boring? (more…)
Rep. Debra Hilstrom (40B) – Legislative Update
The Star Tribune published a commentary I authored with Sen. Chris Eaton, Sen. Julie Rosen and Rep. Dave Baker on the bipartisan efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Our bills, referred to as the Opioid Reform Act, will specifically address the over prescription of pain medication in Minnesota.
Attorney General Lori Swanson and Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo have done tremendous work to provide resources to schools, health care professionals, and others in our local communities to combat this problem. They have started a program called “Dose of Reality,” and I encourage you to visit their website. (more…)
This past week, a Star Tribune article titled “Student loan defaults soar as millions miss payments” highlighted that over 14% of young people have fallen behind on student loan payments this past year. Two bills, SF 156 and SF 165, being considered in the Senate right now, would go a long way in mitigating a future student debt crisis.
One bill I authored, the Minnesota College Affordability Act (SF 156), would enable all of Minnesota high school graduates to attend 2- and 4-year public colleges, universities, and technical schools by providing tuition-free education for families earning under $125,000. This bold plan ignites a much needed discussion about our society’s commitment to higher education. Our state will fall behind if we do not seek to better educate and equip our learners for 21st century careers. The College Affordability Act grants apply after all existing state and federal grants and requires students to maintain a 2.5 GPA in college. (more…)
The following article from Paul Buchheit was posted on the Alternet website March 20, 2017:
The analysis starts with state and local taxes, which are often ignored by apologists for big-income tax cuts. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the state and local tax rate for the poorest 20 percent of individuals is double that of the top 1 percent (10.9 percent vs. 5.4 percent). New data from Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman allows us to go further: When unrealized capital gains are included in the wealth-building of the richest 1%, the overall tax rates plunge for the super-rich, causing the poorest Americans to pay the highest rates. (more…)
The Real ID issue is becoming increasingly more frustrating. A clean Real ID bill has not been brought forward for a vote. Instead, we have been given the choice to vote for a Real ID card that is linked to (or against) a drivers’ license for undocumented residents. Additionally, the House version of the bill has dealt with other issues involving guns. These are important matters, but all I want to see is a Real ID bill that is not unnecessarily complicated with other matters; they can be dealt with in separate legislation. We have been promised that Senate leadership will be bringing forward a new or revised Real ID bill in the near future, but I have no indication of when that will be or how the legislation will be worded – or potentially further complicated. (more…)