Sunday, July 19, 2009

My 2009 Bills That Did Not Proceed

Here are bills of mine that did not proceed in 2009.

: The Governor signed SF2082 (the State Government Finance Bill) on May 16th. The final bill did not include my HF625 that would require the state to use an Application Program Interface (API) that would allow third parties to analyze exported state budget information. Who says that the state must be the only entity that holds data and information that we paid for? Politics in Minnesota has followed this legislation and reported on the need for this legislation for greater government transparency. They have also aggressively followed up on it in articles on May 6th and May 7th. (The state Department of Finance doesn't like it because it is pretty sweeping legislation.) HF625 got in the House file of the State Government Finance Bill but not the Senate file and it was not accepted in the final conference committee. This bill was my own initiative.

HF663: This bill would require that truth in taxation notices for your property taxes get mailed before the November general election. You can see the video of the hearing. The bill was "laid over" by the Property Tax Division of the Taxes Committee so it might get included into an omnibus bill by that division. There were several lobbyists for the school board association and the Association of Minnesota Counties as well as the Department of Revenue who testified against the bill. The legislation got into part of a bigger tax bill but was ultimately removed because of objections from local governments. This bill was initiated by a constituent.

HF808: This bill would increase the reimbursement rate for an intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled (ICF/MR) in Shoreview. Reimbursement rates are set by the state, and a group house in Shoreview has increasing costs to care for these adults who have no family. The bill was initiated by Lutheran Social Services and did not receive a hearing.

HF1548: This bill would cap property taxes as a percentage of income for seniors. This bill was initiated by the Minnesota Senior Federation and a constituent. It did not receive a hearing.

HF1642: This bill would create a Health Opportunity Account (HOA) pilot project for medicaid patients in Minnesota. Patients would have a high deductible account but the state would pick up the deductible. The idea is that the total cost of this arrangement would be lower than our existing Medical Assistance program while providing the same level of service. Earlier this spring, Congress prohibited new HOA pilot projects, making the bill moot. This bill was initiated by a constituent.

HF1643: This would change the levy referendum component of the K-12 education funding formula. Specifically, it would increase the referendum market value equalizing factor that has not been raised in many years. In English, this means that school districts like Centennial that have a smaller commercial tax base would see an increase in state funds for education. The bill was heard by the K-12 Education Finance Committee and was held over for possible inclusion in their omnibus bill. It was not included because of the cost during this difficult budget year. The bill was initiated by constituents in the Centennial School District.