Health Care Emergency Aid and Access proposal approved in the Minnesota House!

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 1/20/2017

In visiting with many residents throughout the district last summer, the most consistent complaint I heard centered on rising health care costs. These people were outraged at having to spend thousands, and in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars each year on what they viewed as unsatisfactory health insurance, and wanted the legislature to act.

On January 19, the Minnesota House began to address this issue by approving the 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill.

Under this proposal, we are establishing an assistance program to offset the cost of premiums for qualifying enrollees who purchase health care coverage in the individual market. Those eligible would qualify for premium assistance equaling 25 percent of their premium this year.

The plan also would bring some access, competition, and transparency to the system in numerous ways, such as ending surprise billing and allowing for-profit HMO’s to enter the marketplace.

But the most important provision may be the extension of the 120-day continuity of care for critical cases. Enrollees who lost their previous insurance and are receiving treatment with an out-of-network provider on a new health plan would be entitled to continuation. Conditions for the extension would include a life-threatening mental or physical illness; a pregnancy beyond the first trimester; a physical or mental disability defined as an inability to engage in one or more major life activities for more than a year; and a disabling or chronic condition that is in an acute phase.

I was pleased to co-author this plan, and I believe it’s important to remind people that this is not the overall health insurance solution, but a first step of many steps towards turning things around. The legislature must be focused on unraveling this healthcare mess this session and providing needed premium relief, preserving care for patients with serious conditions, and increasing options for those shopping for health insurance is a good place to start.

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Source:
http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/pressrelease.asp?pressid=27020&party=2&memid=15464

Tony’s legislative update (1/16/2017)

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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

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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First day of legislative session is memorable

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 1/6/2017

The 2017 Legislative Session is underway, and it is truly an honor to be your state representative. As this is my first year as your voice at the Capitol, I was pleased to have family and friends with me on “Opening Day” at our swearing in ceremony.

Like me, many of you probably wonder what actually happens on the first day of session. To my surprise, it was actually a bit more than pomp and circumstance; we actually did accomplish some legislative business.

After all 133 members of the Minnesota House took their oath of office, we elected our House Speaker for the next two years, appointed some non-partisan House staffers to their official capacities, and established some temporary House rules.

Two days later, we hit the ground running and approved an important bill for Minnesota’s taxpayers.

The plan will provide $21.7 million in tax relief to Minnesotans. By conforming state tax rates to that of the federal government, we are not only able to lower taxes for hardworking Minnesotans but prevent them from facing tax filing complications.

Some of the measures in the bill include tax deductions for higher education expenses and teacher reimbursement expenses; loan forgiveness on home foreclosures from being taxed at the state level; excluding compensation from taxable income for those who were wrongfully incarcerated; and eliminating the need for two sets of depreciation schedules for those who purchase work equipment.

Going forward, you can also expect a robust House tax relief proposal for middle class Minnesotans to be unveiled. But for now, we have taken the first step towards allowing Minnesotans to keep more of what they earn.

Throughout this session I encourage you to contact me at any time with your questions, concerns, or comments. You can call me at 651-296-3135, drop me an email at rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn, or send a letter to 523 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

I’d also like to invite you subscribe to my email update in order to receive more thoughts and information on happenings at the State Capitol. To sign up, visit www.house.mn/54B and click on the “Email Updates” section.

Once again, I am eager to serve as your voice at the State Capitol, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions in the weeks ahead.

Post election 2016 interview with Rep. Elect Tony Jurgens MN 54B

Here is a post election interview I did last Friday with Tom Wright and Hastings Community TV. We talked about how election night went down and a couple keys to the success of the campaign.

The transition is going good. I’ve had orientation meetings and other meetings that will continue up until we are sworn in in January.

Thank you everyone and I can’t wait to get to work representing all of district 54B. I’m really looking forward to it. If you want to reach out to me, you can always email me at Tony@TonyJurgens.com.

Link to interview –> https://youtu.be/4g_0OWl7PWg

I did a post election interview last Friday with Tom Wright and Hastings Community TV. We talked about how election night went down and a couple keys to the success of the campaign.

I did a post election interview last Friday with Tom Wright and Hastings Community TV. We talked about how election night went down and a couple keys to the success of the campaign. (Click image to view video)