Senate Republicans prioritize Minnesota families as 2019 session begins

Minnesota Senate Republicans put families at the top of their 2019 session priorities list as they unveiled the topics of the first five bills to be introduced later this week. Helping families with the cost and availability of child care and health care, with an emphasis on mental health care, will be the focus of Senate files one through three. Finding and eliminating waste and fraud in state government and aligning the tax code with the federal government round out the first five bills introduced in the Senate.

“Republicans’ first five bills this year are focused on making life easier for families across the state,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa). “We’ve heard from Minnesotans that they are struggling to afford child care and health care, want better mental health resources, and are concerned about government transparency and accountability, so these issues will be our top priorities as we put together the next state budget.”

  • Supporting mental health: Senate Republicans promise a stronger legislative response to the growing problem families are facing regarding mental health, especially in our schools and on the farm. (See Senate File 1)
  • Making child care more accessible and affordable: During statewide listening sessions over the summer, Senate Republicans heard from parents struggling to find and afford child care. New legislation will address the regulatory overreach that causes these problems and encourage new child care providers to start up. (See Senate File 2)
  • Lowering health care costs: Senate Republicans will build upon their recent success in lowering health insurance premiums by offering new proposals that allow patients more freedom to choose their doctor, shop around for the best value for their health care dollar, and make health care billing more transparent. (See Senate File 3)
  • Making government more effective and accountable, and eliminating fraud: Senate Republicans will introduce several proposals to hold government more accountable and stop wasting money in the areas of child care fraud, MNLARS and other statewide IT failures. (See Senate File 4)
  • Making our tax code simpler and fairer: In addition to making tax filing easier by conforming to the new federal tax law, the Senate Republicans’ proposal will simplify the tax code and reduce taxes for Minnesota families. (See Senate File 5)

Gazelka added that Senate Republicans will roll out additional details and more legislative priorities in the coming weeks.