Dayton challenges leaders to special session
Gov. Mark Dayton today (Tuesday) challenged legislative leaders to agree on a special session to offset health insurance rate hikes.
In a letter addressed to the leaders of both parties he asked for their approval of those plans in a special session slated for Dec. 20. He’s giving them until Thursday to sign off or give up until next year.
Below is Gov. Dayton’s letter.
Dear Legislative Leaders:
At the December 2nd meeting with Legislative Caucus Leaders, we agreed to hold a Special Session on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 to pass the Emergency Health Care Premium Relief Bill and, if agreements could be reached, to pass Tax and Bonding Bills.
My Commissioners and Senior Staff have spent many, many hours in meetings with different Legislators and their Staffs; in drafting and redrafting the bills, based upon those meetings; and in trying to reconcile the differing views expressed by different Legislators. Now, with only three weeks remaining until the 2017 Legislative Session, it is time e'ither to agree on the contents of those three bills and pass them in a Special Session next week, or else to defer action until next year. I have provided the Office of the Revisor of Statutes with language to resolve the three bills, which represent my best summation of those differing views.
The Premium Relief Bill will provide to qualifying Minnesotans 25% rebates of their entirepremiums,whichwillgreatlyreducetheincreasesintheirratesforoneyear. Itscostof $312 million would be paid out of the Health Care Access Fund, per Speaker Daudt's insistence.
The cost of the Tax Bill passed last Session has increased to over $480 million in the FYl8/19 Biennium and over $700 million in the FY20/ 2 I Biennium. Also, the effective dates of numerous provisions have been changed from the original dates contemplated last May as identified on the attached spreadsheet. The Bingo provision has been corrected and thetaxexemptionfortheMinnesotaStateHighSchoolLeaguehasbeenrestored. Finally, any technical and conforming corrections that need to be made and all of the changes will be disclosed with the bill language to promote transparency.
The Bonding Bill contains all of the projects, which passed both the House and the Senate last Session, except for the highway project earmarks and the $300 million in cash transportation projects.