Rep. Dan Fabian: Minnesota House Republicans ensure bipartisan governance
ROSEAU, Minn.--Folks in our districts elected us to bring their priorities to state government, not play politics. A recent Viewpoint by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities asserts that some rural legislators pitted the interests of Greater...
ROSEAU, Minn.-Folks in our districts elected us to bring their priorities to state government, not play politics.
A recent Viewpoint by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities asserts that some rural legislators pitted the interests of Greater Minnesota vs. the metro, but that's just not the case (" Minnesota mayors: Elect candidates who'll compromise ," Page A4, Oct. 13).
After all, Minnesotans from Roseau to Roseville share many of the same priorities, including vital tax relief for families and small businesses, investments in our road and bridge infrastructure and world-class schools for our kids.
Listening to those priorities, we acted, investing more than half a billion dollars in new money for our schools, securing millions in new funding for small city transportation improvements and exempting veteran retirement pay from state income tax.
What's more, we also passed bipartisan tax legislation earlier this year that would have provided more than $800 million in meaningful middle-class tax relief for families, farmers and Main Street businesses, as well as Local Government Aid for cities.
Unfortunately, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed it and has held tax relief and LGA hostage throughout the summer and into the fall.
House Republicans are ready to hit the ground running next session, and first on our list is tackling Minnesota's health care crisis. Skyrocketing individual health care costs and fewer choices than ever on are crippling family budgets-especially in Greater Minnesota.
House Republicans have put forth a number of solutions to address this serious issue to save families money.
We have pushed the governor to work with the federal government to secure a waiver that gives eligible families access to tax credits on and off the MNsure exchange. Additionally, we've proposed cutting the MNsure tax in half and using leftover funds from a now-defunct program to provide direct premium relief to families suffering from higher costs.
Last session, we passed reforms to advance telemedicine-a game changer for rural health care-and legislation that makes it easier to attract doctors to Minnesota.
Reining in state government and stopping burdensome mandates on our farmers, businesses, schools and local governments also is important to us. Local control is preferable to overbearing regulations from St. Paul, and House Republicans will continue to offer a needed check on one-size-fits-all government.
In 2015, we put a stop to Dayton's disastrous 50-foot buffer proposal, ensuring that farm advocates and farmers had a seat at the table in crafting a sensible, compromise bill. We also eliminated an activist environmental board that had unprecedented power to veto agriculture projects even if they met all environmental review standards.
Last but not least, we believe that to improve our economy, grow good-paying jobs and best serve Minnesotans, passing long-term, middle-class tax relief to help hardworking taxpayers like you keep more of your hard-earned money is essential.
Republicans have and will continue to be a much-needed check and balance on the Democrats' agenda in St. Paul. Democrats are fighting for higher taxes on health care, a massive gas tax increase and policies that will destroy Minnesota's individual insurance market. We will fight these harmful proposals and make sure Minnesotans in all regions of the state have a seat at the table, and that bills that make it to the governor are the result of bipartisan compromise rather than one-party partisan efforts.
We agree that it will take all of us working together to keep Minnesota moving in a positive direction, and we pledge to build upon the last biennium's many successes and continue to address important issues in a bipartisan manner.
After all, this is about bringing our shared priorities to state government-- not about playing politics.
Fabian, a Republican, is running for re-election to the Minnesota House. He represents District 1A, which includes Roseau, Kittson and Marshall counties and the city of Thief River Falls.