Accomplishments

 

 

Peggy Has Been Working Hard For You…

Accomplishments from the Last Session

Smartly Funding Education

As a former teacher, I know how important it is that we have strong schools. As Vice Chair of the Education Finance Committee, I helped craft legislation that delivered more than half a billion in NEW funding for public schools. I also personally authored a bill to encourage education in the trades, giving high schools the flexibility to teach skills like welding outside of the school day. These are dollars in the classroom that will improve student learning and give schools the resources they need to ensure a great education for our kids.

Investing In Roads and Bridges

Last session, Republicans delivered the largest-ever investment in roads and bridges without a tax increase. In total, I supported more than $5 billion in new funding over the next ten years — including funding for key corridors like the long-awaited expansion of Highway 14. Ninety-nine percent of Minnesotans rely on our roads and bridges each day, which is why we need to focus transportation dollars on the basics instead of fancy, expensive trains like the Southwest Light Rail.

Tackling Rising Healthcare Costs and Access

Minnesotans have been frustrated by broken health care promises and rising costs. I am proud to have helped pass health care reforms that have been recognized nationally. For the first time in years, Minnesotans on the individual market are projected to see a DECREASE in their health insurance costs for 2019!

While these are positive steps, there’s still more to do. The loss of services at the Albert Lea Mayo Campus is a critical issue for our area. I have been working closely with the Save Our Healthcare group and Mayo to explore every option available — through the legislature and all other avenues — to try to keep or return services to our area. You can count on me to continue fighting for access and affordability in health care.

I authored three bills in the 2018 session to specifically address the loss of healthcare services in our local communities, including a bill which would create tax incentives for health care facilities that locate in medically underserved areas in rural Minnesota. I was successful in getting the tax incentive legislation in our 2018 tax bill that was, sadly, vetoed. I will try again next year!

Tax Relief for Everyone

With a more robust economy and continued projected surpluses for our state, it’s important that people don’t get left behind financially. In 2017 the legislature delivered the largest tax cut in nearly two decades. This bipartisan tax bill lowered taxes for seniors on social security, farmers, college graduates, Main Street businesses, and more. In 2018, I supported legislation (unfortunately vetoed by Governor Dayton) to achieve tax conformity and lower income taxes for the lowest two income brackets. Tax conformity and further tax relief will be one of my top priorities next session.

Working to Bring Back Access and Affordability to Childcare

For years, childcare providers have been increasingly burdened with more and more regulations, as well as unwanted pushes to become unionized. The endless paperwork and bureaucratic nightmares have caused thousands of providers to leave the business, creating huge shortage issues in rural areas. This session, Republicans passed and successfully enacted into law several common-sense changes that will make life a little easier for our childcare providers by getting rid of unnecessary paperwork and other layers of red tape. More work needs to be done to make childcare more accessible and affordable for Minnesota families throughout the state. It’s a top priority for our area.

Making Government Responsive to You

When I meet with individuals, families, seniors, business owners, and more in the various communities around our district, I hear over and over how overregulation is hurting individuals, communities, and businesses… industries like childcare, farming, education, and more.  People are overwhelmed.  People are feeling helpless because they are struggling, and government doesn’t feel responsive to their day-to-day issues.  I am working on bills that will bring these agencies back to doing what they are supposed to do: SERVE THE PEOPLE!

Using Your Tax Money Wisely

Responsive government should use your tax money wisely.  Last session, I introduced a bill that would set goals for the programs it funds and build in evidenced based measurements to assess the program’s success so that we don’t continually pour money into initiatives that are not working. I would like to continue working on this bill and other bills next session to find ways to make government more responsible in the way it spends your tax money.

Supporting Our Farmers

In addition to property tax relief for farmers, I supported efforts to prevent excessive overreach on issues like ditch mowing, buffers, nitrates, and more. Too often, our current administration has treated farmers like an adversary instead of the important partners they are. Farmers played a crucial role in our state’s economy, and I will continue working to support them.

Near and Dear to My Heart

I worked on legislation this year with a group of foster youth. My bill, the Foster Care Sibling Bill of Rights, creates guidelines to help keep foster youth connected with their siblings who are in the care of different foster parents. It does so by promoting close connections for foster siblings (when it is in the best interest of each sibling), including visits, phone calls, and taking part in important celebrations like birthdays. Passage of the bill was one of the most heartwarming things I’ve experienced as a legislator.

Peggy Supported These Important Legislative Actions in the Previous Sessions

Making College More Affordable

We froze tuition at Minnesota state colleges and universities like Riverland Community College in Albert Lea as well as created tax credits for families saving for college and those still paying off their student loans

Smartly Funding Education

As a former Teacher of the Year, I understand the importance of education.  That is why I supported and voted for $600 million in NEW funding for education which also includes historic investments in early learning.  Our education budget prioritizes funding toward parent choice and existing programs with a proven track record in helping close the achievement gap.

Support Our Veterans

We eliminated state income tax on veterans’ pensions, along with other importatnt veteran provisions.  Our military deserves our support and I was proud to be a part of this legislation.

Respecting Your Budget

I respected your pocketbooks by voting for a common sense state budget with smart priorities and NO TAX INCREASES on middle-class families.  I also voted for much needed tax reductions for middle-class families, seniors, veterans and farmers.

Advocating for Our Farmers

I voted for tax relief on ag land, worked hard to prevent DNR overreach, and more.  We need to continue to work on common sense reduction of regulation and agency overreach that respects our beautiful lakes, rivers AND our farmers.  Regulation and policy should be research and science based.

Promoting Jobs

I worked to help our small businesses be competitive and grow jobs by supporting main street property tax relief and unemployment insurance reform.

Protecting Aging Adults

$138 million in new funding!  Important reforms to how the state reimburses senior care facilities.  Meaningful fund increases will help ensure quality care and keep nursing home doors open.

Parkview Care Center, Wells +14.5%
Thorne Crest, Albert Lea +14.5%
St Johns, Albert Lea +30%
Good Samaritan, Albert Lea +32%
Prairie Manor, Blooming Prairie +16%
Field Crest Center, Hayfield +29%

Funding Roads and Bridges

With a substantial budget surplus, I helped pass a ten-year $6 billion plan to fund roads and bridges using existing resources – not by raising your taxes. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton and the DFL majority blocked progress on this long-term proposal by insisting on a massive gas tax increase and a very expensive, inefficient light rail train. We worked hard to stop attempts to increase a gas tax that could have put us second-highest in the country.

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