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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Brian Johnson (R)

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Legislative Update

Friday, May 1, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We've had another busy week at the Capitol debating omnibus bills. Here is an update from St. Paul.

Public Safety Omnibus Bill

On Monday, the House debated and passed the Public Safety Omnibus Bill. The final passage had strong bipartisan support.

Included in the legislation were two bills I authored. The first creates a new offense for real or personal property arson that results in bodily harm.  Currently in law, unless someone is killed from arson, there are no additional penalties for the crime if it causes injury to another person. This bill adds penalties for bodily harm caused by arson, acting as a deterrent for anyone considering committing this serious crime.

The second bill establishes a grant program within the Department of Public Safety for child advocacy centers. These centers will help coordinate the investigation, treatment and management of abuse cases and assist victims of abuse.

Minnesota's children deserve to feel safe and protected, and this bill provides assistance for these young victims of physical and sexual abuse in a dedicated, child-friendly setting as well as offering medical evaluations, therapeutic interventions and a safe place to stay.

I am pleased that both of these bills have been included in the Public Safety Omnibus Bill.

Funding for Our Nursing Homes

On Tuesday, the House passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill which includes $138 million for our nursing homes, helping to provide a permanent solution to end disparity funding for nursing home reimbursement rates in Greater Minnesota. This is not only great news for the seniors in our district, but also for the hardworking caregivers in these facilities who will see increased wages as a result.

Here are the funding increases for our district:

  • 21.49% increase for Golden Living Center in Rush City
  • 22.55% increase for Ecumen in North Branch
  • 23.77% increase for GracePointe Crossing Gables West in Cambridge
  • 22.39% increase for GracePoint Crossing Gables East in Cambridge

I will continue to advocate for our local nursing homes, working to increase the quality of care and quality of life for aging adults in our community.

As always, if you have any questions or comments on legislative issues, I welcome you to contact my office.

Have a wonderful weekend.