There are just a few days left in the legislative session. While Governor Walz and leaders from the House and Senate are working on an overall agreement, my colleagues and I continue to work on each section of the budget in conference committees and pass important legislation. In the House, we recently approved bills that would strengthen protections for Minnesota elders and lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Protecting Minnesota Elders
Strong protections for Minnesota’s elders and vulnerable adults are long overdue. You might be shocked to learn that Minnesota is the only state in America that doesn’t license assisted living facilities. It’s equally disturbing that there are few protections for seniors and vulnerable adults in these facilities. This is an issue that I’ve worked on for many years.
Last week, the House passed comprehensive legislation that would ensure that Minnesotans who live in assisted living facilities receive proper care and respectful treatment. The elder protection bill requires licensure for assisted living facilities, clarifies the rights of residents, prohibits deceptive and misleading marketing practices, and protects residents from retaliation for reporting mistreatment. I’m confident that this plan will provide greater safety, dignity, and peace of mind for Minnesota’s seniors and their loved ones.
Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs
The House also approved legislation that will reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Our bill cracks down on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which act as pharmaceutical middle men. Drug manufacturers give PBMs rebates to encourage them to offer their products to pharmacies. Since there’s little oversight, PBMs have an incentive to offer more expensive medications and raise list prices to increase their own profits.
PBMs shouldn’t be able to conspire with pharmaceutical companies to increase the cost of medications that Minnesotans need to stay healthy. This legislation is now on its way to the Governor for his signature.
The constitutional deadline for this legislative session is Monday, May 20. I’m hopeful that Senate Republicans will agree to a budget deal soon so the legislature can finish our work in an orderly and timely manner.
Please feel free to share your input and questions.