Budget negotiations continue as leadership works on reaching an agreement on a global state budget target. The major complication remains the $12 billion in new taxes proposed by the House and Gov. Walz.
The majority leadership in the House, Senate and the governor will all be in the same boat on fishing opener. In between landing those big fish - they need to keep talking and drop the unrealistic expectation that Minnesota’s economy can withstand the horrific shock of a $12 billion tax increase.
There are no plans for the Legislature to meet over the weekend, as we can’t close up the finance conference committee bills until we have firm budget numbers. If you have an opinion either way on taxes, I would suggest contacting Gov. Walz’s office at (651) 201-3400 or at this link and provide your input.
Despite the lull on budget work we did get some good things done this week. We unanimously passed legislation creating a task force to focus on missing and murdered indigenous women. This legislation was long overdue; we passed similar legislation last year, but it got caught up in one of Gov. Dayton’s many vetoes. The bill is now in the Senate awaiting its action.
I was also pleased to see a bill I co-authored pass the House on a bipartisan vote of 87-42. The bill seeks to reform how pharmacy benefit management companies operate in Minnesota. The bill will now go to conference committee with a similar bill from the Senate.
These companies operate in the background between the drug manufacturers and the health insurance companies. They play a major role in deciding what prescription medicines are available through your health insurance plan.
Those folks are not doctors and have no relationship with the patients that are being treated with the medicines they list or do not list. The problem with the more specialized prescription medicines, the substitutions are not all exactly alike. That can turn into a nightmare for the patient and doctor as they try to find a suitable substitute.
May 10 is an important day for wife Linda and me as we are celebrating 50 years of marriage. It’s a busy weekend and remember, in addition to being the Lord’s Day, Sunday also is Mother’s Day. Please be safe if you venture out fishing this weekend.