Rep Tony Jurgens will hold listening sessions Jan 5 (12/15/2018)

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.

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

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.

An early Christmas present (12/7/2018)

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By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 12/7/2018

Happy Holidays! As this is my first update 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 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

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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Our campaign focused on the issues, not the personal attacks (11/22/2018)

By Tony Jurgens on Nov 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 Jurgens
State Representative, District 54B

I was re-elected to a 2nd term! (11/7/2018)

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 11/7/2018

Thank you to the voters in District 54B for having the confidence in me to send me back to the Minnesota House of Representatives for another term. It has been my pleasure to represent you for two years and look forward to continuing for the next two years.

State Representative Tony Jurgens Endorsed by Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association

Picture2From the mppoa.com website:

The MPPOA promotes and endorses political candidates who have demonstrated or are committed to platforms and issues that benefit the law enforcement community.

The MPPOA was founded in 1922 and its members include rank and file municipal police officers, county deputy sheriffs, and peace officers employed by the state of Minnesota. Today, the MPPOA is the largest association representing police officers in Minnesota.

Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Endorses Tony Jurgens

State Representative Tony Jurgens Endorsed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life

Picture1From the website mccl.org:

The MCCL State PACs support candidates for office who will protect the right to life of all human beings.

A pro-life majority in the Minnesota House is necessary to pass any pro-life legislation. That majority is on the line in November.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) is Minnesota’s oldest and largest pro-life organization. MCCL defends the equal dignity and right to life of every member of the human family—including unborn children, pregnant women, and persons who are elderly, sick, and disabled—and opposes the killing of innocent human beings through abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and embryo-destructive research.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Endorses Tony Jurgens

State Representative Tony Jurgens Endorsed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

mn-chamber-logo-aspect-ratio_0From the website MNchamber.com:

Creating an environment where businesses can flourish must rank higher on our state’s priority list. It’s essential in giving us a competitive edge in growing our state’s economy and competing across the globe.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is a broad-based organization representing 2,300 businesses throughout the state – That’s over half a million employees! Our member companies range in size, location and industry.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund Endorses State Representative Tony Jurgens

Link:
https://www.mnchamber.com/advocate/pac

State Representative Tony Jurgens Endorsed by the Minnesota Farm Bureau

fbmn-logo_345x143From the website fbmn.org:

Endorsement decisions are based upon candidate interviews and support for Farm Bureau policy. The PAC Committee is comprised of county Farm Bureau members from across the state.

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation is an advocate for agriculture, driven by the beliefs and policies of our members. Who are members of Farm Bureau in Minnesota? Farmers and those interested in agriculture who have an interest in the future of farmers, their families and the food they grow and raise in Minnesota. Individuals and their families become members of their county Farm Bureau organization, which together form Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. Farm Bureau’s dynamic strength stems from our members at the grassroots level. People sharing ideas, seeing common wisdom, developing solid solutions…all in pursuit of improving the quality of life in a spirit of voluntary cooperation.

Today, with 78 county Farm Bureaus and nearly 30,000 member families, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation continues to follow the ideals of its creators by promoting the beliefs and policies of its members.

Minnesota Farm Bureau Endorses State Representative Tony Jurgens

Link:
Minn Farm Bureau PAC and Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation PAC Announce Candidate Endorsements

State Representative Tony Jurgens Endorsed by National Federation of Independent Business

nfib-mn-pac-endorsedFrom the NFIB.com website:

In both state and federal elections, NFIB supports candidates who stand up for small business.

Candidate endorsements are made by our political action committee. Endorsements are based exclusively on a candidate’s positions and record on small business issues, regardless of party affiliation.

NFIB is the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today.

National Federation of Independent Business endorses State Representative Tony Jurgens