Health and Human Services Budget
With a background in health care delivery and as a member of the Health Finance and Preventative Health committees, I’ve worked extensively in this area of the budget. Our Health and Human Services budget aims to improve Minnesota’s health care system and expand access to affordable care. It invests in our public health infrastructure, strengthens behavioral and mental health services, addresses inequities in maternal and infant health outcomes, increases pay for personal care assistants (PCAs) who help people live independently, and includes several pieces of legislation I carried including increased telehealth investments, Medical Assistance (MA) coverage for enhanced asthma care services, and expanded MA coverage for post-partum care for new moms from 60 days to 12 months.
The pandemic highlighted many gaps in health care access. Through these bipartisan investments - and some significant policy solutions to reduce disparities – our HHS budget moves us closer to making sure every Minnesotan has access to the care they need to experience a healthy future and a strong quality of life.
Public Safety and Judiciary Budget
The Public Safety and Judiciary Budget was a bipartisan compromise and aims to improve public safety for everyone across the state. I am grateful for the public service of our local law enforcement professionals in 33B who help preserve peace and help keep us safe while respecting our constitutional and human rights. Following the senseless, high-profile tragedies Minnesota has seen over the years, this area of the budget balances some accountability measures with increased funding for law enforcement, so our police officers can stay safe on the job as well.
It contains increased funding for Violent Crime Enforcement Teams, additional money for training, and salary increases for state troopers, DNR conservation officers, and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents.
Among many other things, our Public Safety budget also funded the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program, which will help firefighters diagnosed with cancer or heart disease, and education materials for firefighters on cancer, heart disease, and emotional trauma, including suicide prevention. More information on our Public Safety budget agreement is available here.
As a result of the federal American Rescue Plan, Minnesota received the funding to both provide targeted tax cuts to workers and small businesses and fund our priorities in order to build out of the pandemic quickly. For workers who struggled over the past year, our bipartisan Taxes bill exempts pandemic unemployment insurance from state income taxes, and similarly exempts Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds struggling businesses received. In another measure to help frontline workers who have sacrificed their health to keep us safe during the pandemic, the bill has $250 million worth of financial support for these heroes.