The campaign rhetoric suggested Minnesota Republicans wanted to get rid of MNsure, Minnesota’s “Obamacare” health exchange and repeal an income tax on the state’s top earners that was passed by a DFL majority in 2013.
Now that Republicans hold the majority in the Minnesota House, neither of those items were in the priority bills unveiled by House Speaker Kurt Daudt and other Republicans leaders on Thursday.
Instead Republicans are proposing making small changes to the MNsure program such as lowering the MNsure executive director’s salary and preventing the MNsure board from providing bonuses again to top MNsure managers.
Republicans also want to seek a waiver from federal rules, so that Minnesotans could obtain federal tax credits when buying coverage in the off-exchange market. Right now those subsidies are limited to individuals who purchase coverage through MNsure.
Business Tax Cuts Bill
Republicans are proposing a change in business taxes. Among other things it would allow S corporations to take advantage of more tax cuts and change how environmental rules are made. Republicans say it will create jobs — something that Minority Leader Paul Thissen disputes.
Teacher Seniority Bill
An education bill allows schools to consider merit rather than seniority when deciding which teachers to layoff. In past years similar proposals have met stiff opposition from teacher unions.
Roads And Bridges Bill
House Republicans would like to invest about $200 million of the state’s projected budget surplus in roads and bridges. The DFL Senate Majority left that item off their first batch of bills today, but said it was a priority and promised they would have a transportation bill next week. Thissen called the Republican’s proposal “”half a band-aid” for transportation.
Long Term Health Care Bill
Also on the Republican’s list was a bill to create programs for people to save for their long term care needs. It would also give incentives for people to work at nursing facilities.
Video above: House Republicans announce their 2015 legislative priority bills.
Video below: House Minority Leader Paul Thissen responds
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