|Dear Granite City Neighbors,
As the only divided state legislature in the country, Minnesota lawmakers have proven that compromise in politics is possible. Through a rigorous process of good faith negotiations, we have reached a bipartisan budget agreement and will end the 2019 session in an orderly manner. As a true compromise, neither side got everything they want, but we made great strides for students, health care, and economic security.
Conference committees have been hashing out the specifics today, and I plan on being here late into the night to finalize components of our budget. As of this moment, the roadmap to the end of session can be ever-changing, but here are the current specifics that we fought especially hard for:
- We’re delivering a world-class education by increasing our investments in each student by two percent over the next two years.
- Over one million of our most vulnerable Minnesotans will have continued access to affordable health care thanks to our protection of the Health Care Access Fund.
- We’ve approved a .25% income tax cut for Minnesota’s middle class.
You can read more about the agreement on our budget framework here.
Lowering Medication Costs
In addition to the bipartisan success of compromise budget targets, the House and Senate also recently passed legislation to lower the costs of medication by regulating Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM). PBMs develop and maintain lists of covered drugs (formularies) that they offer to pharmacies. Drug manufacturers give rebates to PBMs to encourage the sale of their products, incentivizing PBMs to remove less expensive drugs from their formularies, and causing drug prices to go up for Minnesotans.
PBMs change their formularies whenever they can get a higher rebate, resulting in doctors having to change patients’ prescriptions, sometimes several times a year, and often leading to more expensive medications. We’re regulating PBMs by giving the Department of Commerce authority over their licensing, requiring PBMs to notify health carriers of conflicts of interest.
The bill is on its way to Governor Walz to be signed into law. You can read more about this legislation here.
Stay In Touch
Things are moving pretty fast here and the Capitol, and I remain a steadfast advocate for our community. It hasn't always been easy, but I am proud of what I've accomplished with my GOP colleagues to get the job done for Minnesotans. Please feel free to call me at (651) 296-6612, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments on the legislative process.
Rep. Dan Wolgamott