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.

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.

Misleading information and outright lies (9/22/2018)

Rarely will I ever acknowledge a negative lit piece sent out against me but the attached piece that was paid for by the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor party and mailed to residents in our district deserves a little attention for misleading information and outright lies.

This same piece was sent to districts all over the metro area, just changing the name and picture for each district.

Rarely will I ever acknowledge a negative lit piece sent out against me but the attached piece that was paid for by the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor party and mailed to residents in our district deserves a little attention for misleading information and outright lies.

Rarely will I ever acknowledge a negative lit piece sent out against me but the attached piece that was paid for by the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor party and mailed to residents in our district deserves a little attention for misleading information and outright lies.

First, the claim that we gave insurance companies $542 million instead of helping Minnesotans. If you buy health insurance on the individual market, remember in 2017 the 25% premium subsidy you got? That’s the money they’re talking about.

We wanted DFL Governor Dayton’s administration to send you those checks but they refused because they weren’t capable of handling the task of mailing the checks to you.

So the Governor insisted we send the money to the insurance companies so they could credit your account. Rather than have the bill to help you pay your premiums vetoed, we agreed and sent the money to the insurance companies to distribute to you. Which they did.

The other part of this was the reinsurance plan to create a high risk pool. These funds went to insurance companies to offset the cost of high dollar claims, rather than have those claims result in higher premiums for the rest of you.

Following several years of double digit premium increases, rates stabilized this year and Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Dept. has said some will even see a slight decrease next year. In short, it worked.

As for the claim that we lined our own pockets with a 45% pay raise, that’s where this goes from misleading to the DFL party flat out lying to you.

Legislators don’t have the ability to change our pay because the Minnesota constitution forbids it. That power was taken away from legislators and given to a a citizen Legislative Salary Council in 2017 (the year I took office) following a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2016.

The constitutional amendment was voted on by 76.33% of you, the voters of Minnesota. The Legislative Salary Council, not legislators, recommended the first pay raise to legislators since Gov. Ventura was in office.

Also from 2017, Gov. Dayton line item vetoed the appropriation for the entire legislative branch of state government – not just Representatives and Senators but partisan and non-partisan staff, researchers, clerks, etc. The case went all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court before being resolved late last year.

Since the appropriation was vetoed in 2017, we needed to pass a bill funding the legislature when we convened in 2018.

The appropriation in the 2018 bill that passed and was signed by Gov. Dayton, was the same amount they Governor line item vetoed in 2017. That 2017 bill had 22 DFL Reps vote in favor. Still waiting for the DFL party to send out hit pieces against those 22 DFL reps but I won’t hold my breath.

As election day approaches, you’ll be inundated with campaign literature in your mailbox. Please take note of who is paying for it.

If you have questions on anything, you can email me at tony@tonyjurgens.com or call me at 651-592-0846.

Today I made my re-election campaign official

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(June 4, 2018) I stopped by the MN Sec of State office today to make my re-election campaign official. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime to represent the people of House District 54B and I look forward to  continuing. Thank you for your continued support!

(June 4, 2018) I stopped by the MN Sec of State office today to make my re-election campaign official. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime to represent the people of House District 54B and I look forward to continuing. Thank you for your continued support!

Taking off into the future!

Thank you to Ms. Bump’s preschool students at Tilden Elementary in Hastings for the artwork. I’m looking forward to visiting soon.

Thank you to Ms. Bump's preschool students at Tilden Elementary in Hastings for the artwork. I'm looking forward to visiting soon.

Thank you to Ms. Bump’s preschool students at Tilden Elementary in Hastings for the artwork. I’m looking forward to visiting soon.

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