The House repassed the omnibus health and human services bill in a 76-56 vote Tuesday night.
Sponsored by Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) and Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), HF945/ SF800* would cut $482.44 million from projected state spending during the 2018-19 biennium, totaling about $14 billion.
“We can’t afford to have the health and human services budget grow at such a rate that it eclipses everything,” Dean said. “I reject that idea that we can’t do anything about the growth and spending.”
The bill also would transition Minnesotans from MNsure, the state-run insurance marketplace, to a federally facilitated marketplace.
Conferees agreed to the conference committee report late Monday, drawing criticism from DFL members, who said the process lacked public input and sufficient debate. The Senate voted 34-33 to repass the bill Tuesday night and it will now go to Gov. Mark Dayton for consideration.
“This bill hurts the very people who look to us for support,” said Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester), who criticized the bill’s cost-savings measures as “tricks and gimmicks.”
Other DFLers called the bill “reprehensible,” “infuriating,” and “dangerous," stating that it weakened consumer protections and failed to adequately provide for personal care attendants, employees at the Minnesota Security Hospital, or children and families.
“We shouldn’t be this far apart as a body,” Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan) said. “We’re failing the people of Minnesota … and we are creating even more uncertainty.”
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Funding provisions remain the same as the report adopted May 1.
Introduced in March 2017 by Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton) and Sen. Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights), HF2470/SF2259, aims to stop the cycle of opioid misuse and addiction through education.
The conference committee tasked with hammering out the differences that divide the House and Senate on a laundry list of major issues met for the first time Tuesday afternoon.
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