Minnesota State Representative Ben Lien Shares Hopes for New Session

Sitting down with the League of Woman Voter of the Red River Valley Lien talks about the issues being discussed in the state legislature

FARGO, N.D.

Minnesota’s Assistant Minority Leader, Ben Lien from Moorhead answered questions Friday afternoon in Fargo. Lien spoke to the League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley.

With the Minnesota Legislature under Republican control, Democrats, lead by Governor Dayton, will face some obstacles. Lien said the two hardest bills to pass will be the bonding bill and a new transportation bill. Lien said Republican’s opposition to new taxes may call for compromise on the side of his party when it comes to the transportation bill.

“You know in order to get some things done it’s going to take compromise. We may have to look at existing surplus revenue,” said Lien.

On other issues he’s optimistic, even hopeful that he can work with the new Senate Majority Leader, Paul Gazelka.

“I think he’s going to play a really big role in bridging the gaps there and getting some things done,” said Lien.

He said the biggest issues going into this session are passing the bonding bill and a tax bill. Lien also said both will have positive impacts in the Moorhead area.

“With that tax bill it’s border city funding, it’s local government aid funding, it’s property tax relief for farmers. For the bonding bill it’s that railroad underpass project between Moorhead High School and Minnesota State University. Moorhead,” said Lien.

Right behind those bills is healthcare reform.

“Folks at the federal level want to repeal the affordable care act and the MNsure is a part of that,” said Lien.

Even with that risk, he says solving the issue of rising premiums still needs to be at the forefront of policy discussions. Lien says he hopes to have the tax bill and the bonding bill passed within the first 30 days of the session.

The League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley holds public meetings regularly. A schedule of their upcoming events can be found here.

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