On Monday, Minnesota Senate Republicans unveiled their 2020 legislative agenda, Vision 2020. This agenda is aimed at strengthening family budgets, reducing the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs and creating tax relief for a wide range of Minnesotans. Additionally, Vision 2020 focuses on improving public safety, transportation, and energy.

As we approach the start of the next session, Senate Republicans are prepared to hit the ground running with a 2020 agenda focused on efficient, yet limited government. This model of responsible governing will empower Minnesotans to be successful without infringing on their liberties. This session, we will continue to deliver solutions that crackdown on fraud and waste, lower the cost of health care, improve our education system, and fix our aging infrastructure.

Bonding

The 2020 Session will be what is commonly referred to as the policy and bonding (or capital investment) year. Bonding bills are focused on improving public infrastructure at the state, county and city level.

The two-year bonding budget was completed in 2019. Currently, the state could approve a $755 million bonding bill without increasing debt. If we stay within this $755 million budget, there would be no need for additional tax revenue to service the state debt. However, some of the early talk is that the governor will propose a bonding bill of over $2 billion. Spending less will save the taxpayer’s money, while spending more will increase both the state debt load and taxes.

Healthcare

We care about Minnesota families devastated by the excessive insurance premiums resulting from the failure of Obamacare and MNsure. We understand that Minnesota taxpayers are tired of seeing their hard-earned tax dollars wasted at the Department of Human Services, while others forgo necessary services.

Our 2020 Vision will build on our work in pharmaceutical transparency with a drug reimportation program that enables patients to get lower costing Canadian drug pricing at their local pharmacy. Additionally, we will continue to hold the Department of Human Services accountable for the waste, fraud and abuse happening within the department.

Transportation

Additional funding was added in each of the past two budgets for bridge and road improvements. The faulty Minnesota Licensing and Registration System is being replaced with a much more consumer-friendly system that comes from an outside vendor. Lines and wait times will diminish greatly once the system is in place and running.

Jobs and economy

Past tax relief packages have proven successful, and additional tax reduction proposals will be heard. Education and jobs go side by side; therefore, more emphasis will be placed on trade education, as the demand for skilled workers continues to grow locally and in Greater Minnesota.

Office update

I would like to introduce my new legislative assistant. Her name is Madeline McLean. Her email is madeline.mclean@senate.mn and her phone number is 651-296-4196. Whether you contact my office by email, telephone or walk up to the desk, Madeline will be the first person you meet. Please welcome her to our part of the state, and all the good things that happen in Senate District 2.