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Testimony expected Monday on HHS finance bill
By Sue Hegarty
Members of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee do a walkthrough of the Omnibus HHS Finance bill April 17. Photo by Andrew VonBank

Major reforms proposed in the omnibus health and human services finance bill begin to address low medical reimbursement rates and workforce shortages in the health care industry.

HF1638, sponsored by Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood), includes measures proffered by Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) for implementing a statewide rate of reimbursement to nursing homes. It also includes the Five Percent campaign, led by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), which would require that 90 percent of a 5 percent rate increase be passed along to home and community-based care workers.

Proponents have said nursing homes compete for workers, who find easier work for higher pay in retail and the fast food industries. Another provision would expand a student loan debt forgiveness program in an attempt to draw more people into health careers.

"This legislation provides a major investment in nursing homes, establishes a sustainable reimbursement system, and encourages our workforce to consider a career in long-term care,” said Schomacker, who chairs the House Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee.

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Broadband funds added as jobs and energy bill makes way to House Floor
By Chris Steller

State support for expanding broadband service got a boost Friday from the House Ways and Means Committee. As approved by the House Taxes Committee Wednesday, HF843, the omni...

Property tax bill ready for full taxes committee debate
By Lee Ann Schutz

More than 15 hours of discussion, dominated by the DFL minority, and several amendments were not enough to change Republican members’ minds concerning the proposal to cut local ...

House Education Finance Committee approves omnibus bill
By Hank Long

The House Education Finance Committee voted along party lines Thursday to approve an omnibus education bill.

Transportation bill focused on roads, bridges motors toward full House
By Jonathan Avise

$6.6 billion two-year transportation bill that places heavy emphasis on Minnesota motorways clears final committee hurdle

New limits on weapons seizure during emergencies passes House
By Jonathan Avise

Public safety officials would find their ability to seize weapons during declared state of emergencies limited under new restrictions passed 88-42 Thursday by the House.

Avian flu may plague MN turkey growers for years, committee hears
By Jonathan Mohr

House votes funds to provide an emergency response to the crisis that threatens Minnesota’s turkey production. Those searching for answers don’t believe the problem is going away anytime soon.

Majority of Minnesota House votes for use of firearm suppressors in state
By Mike Cook

Protecting a shooter’s hearing is the goal of a bill that was passed Thursday by the House.

Committee takes no action on bill to establish nurse staffing levels
By Sue Hegarty

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association are advocating for a bill that would establish a working group to study nurse staffing levels as they relate to a patients’ quality of care.

New spending target anticipated for omnibus health care bill
By Sue Hegarty

New fiscal parameters should be ready for tomorrow's health and human services committee meeting.

House passes no firearm notification requirement for Capitol Complex visitors
By Mike Cook

People who have a permit to carry a pistol must now notify the Department of Public Safety if they will be armed when visiting the Capitol Complex. If not, they could be charged with a felony. That step may no longer be needed.

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Priority Dailies

House Ways and Means Committee sets spending targets
By Chris Steller

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...

No gas tax hike in $7 billion Republican roads and bridges plan
By Jonathan Avise

Focus is on roads in Republican transportation plan that would shift existing state revenues to fund $300 million increase in annual transportation spend

Dayton’s budget focused squarely on education
By Jonathan Avise

Governor’s plan proposes to spend much of the state’s projected billion-dollar surplus on early childhood education, child health and higher education

Committee deadlines set for 2015 session
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It will be a busy March for legislators, but then they’ll have a week away from the Capitol Complex. According to a memo from House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate M...

100 years ago: Wet or dry? Liquor fracas shaped 1915 Legislature
By Steve Perry

The mounting grassroots pressure for Sunday liquor sales that made itself felt at the Capitol last year has already spawned a raft of related legislation in 2015. So far, member...

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