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Proposal notes need for music therapy licensure
By Lee Ann Schutz
Lee McGrath, legislative counsel for the Institute for Justice, center, testifies in opposition to a bill sponsored by Rep. Jerry Newton, right, that would create music therapist licensure. University of Minnesota professor Edward Todd Schwartzberg, left, spoke in support of the bill. Photo by Andrew VonBank

Music can touch people in many ways, but when it is used as a form of therapy should there be more oversight and regulation of practitioners?

It is used in the treatment of autism, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and patients with mental health issues, and Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL-Coon Rapids sponsors HF2366 that would lay out educational requirements, establish fees and create an advisory council to help establish standards for music therapy licensure and enforcement measures.

Newton told the House Subcommitee on Licensing that he’d like to see Minnesota become the eighth state to adopt licensing regulations.

No action was taken, but supporters hope the bill could become part of a larger omnibus bill in 2016.

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Committee discusses report related to alleged improper MNsure payments
By Mike Cook

A recent report showed that not everyone who enrolled in public health insurance through MNsure was qualified to receive state assistance. A House committee reviewed the report Wednesday.

Atkins won’t seek re-election in 2016
By Jonathan Avise

Rep. Joe Atkins, in his seventh term, has been a prominent voice on consumer issues during his time in the Legislature, and was a lead sponsor of the legislation that created MNsure in 2013.

New select committee will look at child care costs
By Jonathan Avise

The committee, chaired by Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), will begin touring parts of Greater Minnesota in February to hear from parents and child care providers.

DFL unveils legislative priorities focused on Greater MN
By Jonathan Avise

Expanded broadband, agriculture property tax credits and more local government assistance on to-do list laid out by House’s minority party.

Idea to expand education tax credit put forward
By Lee Ann Schutz

Knoblach says that if there’s a special session to address expanding economic opportunities for populations of color, increasing the education tax credit should be considered.

Task force looks at Corrections Department treatment options, successes
By Mike Cook

It is estimated that nearly 70 percent of state inmates participate in programming, work and education, with 49 percent taking part in recidivism-reduction programming.

Dayton pitches $220 million plan to fix state’s aging water systems
By Jonathan Avise

Calling it a “significant portion” of his total capital investment proposal set to be laid out Friday, Dayton unveiled an initiative Thursday focused on improving water systems and quality across the state that he said have been neglected for too long.

Melin will not seek re-election to District 6A seat
By Mike Cook

Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) announced Thursday that she will not seek re-election to a fourth term representing District 6A.

Experts, lawmakers discuss medical cannabis intractable pain decision
By Jonathan Avise

Lawmakers and medical experts on the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research met Tuesday to discuss that Minnesota Department of Health Decision, a move that is expected to grow the program by thousands of participants.

Group thinks economic disparities too big an issue for special session
By Lee Ann Schutz

Legislative working group hopes to craft proposals for 2016 session that will better position economically the state’s communities of color.

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Priority Dailies

Ahead of session, House members pre-file more than 200 bills
By Jonathan Avise

House members pre-filed more than 200 bills before a noon Thursday deadline. The 234 bills — filed under House rule 1.14 allowing for bill introductions between the fi...

Dayton makes case for $1.4 billion bonding package
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Committee leaders can now begin crafting omnibus finance bills, with the House Ways and Means Committee’s approval late Tuesday of a budget resolution with spending targets...

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