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State representatives hold session to discuss Republican's proposed healthcare bill

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Governor Mark Dayton focused on taxes Thursday, but Republicans kept their focus on healthcare.

Thursday marked day three that the Minnesota legislature was back in session.

Earlier that morning, Republicans unveiled their 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access Act.

"People have tremendously high premiums. They need some relief," said Representative Greg Davids of Preston.

Representative Davids was one of 134 state representatives at Thursday's House meeting. The hot topic of the day included both the Republican's and Governor Dayton's proposed healthcare bills.

State representatives met to decide if they would suspend the rules for both proposed healthcare bills.

To clarify, suspending the rules means both proposed bills would bypass a committee and go straight to the House floor for a vote. Bills typically go through various committees before being brought to a House session. However, since healthcare is a pressing issue in the state, legislators brought it to the floor immediately to try and get a law passed as soon as possible.

However, that did not happen. Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt announced the vote was 75 to 55, meaning there was not a majority to suspend the rules. Now, the GOP's proposed bill will go to a committee to be revised before returning to the House. 

Representative Tina Liebling of Rochester was outspoken during the session. "Here we go again. This is groundhog day members, because this is what happened at the end of last session. Bills got dropped on members desks without any committee hearings, without opportunities to read what they were voting on, and a lot of mistakes were made." Representative Liebling wants House members to take their time and not rush to pass a bill they just received that morning.

The DFL also had the opportunity to take a vote to suspend the rules for Governor Dayton's healthcare bill. However, Representative Liebling gave up the fight for the bill and withdrew it for the time being. She said the bill needed revision. 

It is unclear when the House will hold their next session to decide on a healthcare bill. Legislators will now try to find a compromise and create a bill that will appeal to both parties.

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