Monday marked the conclusion of “omnibus bill season” in the Minnesota House of Representatives as we debated and approved the first round of omnibus finance bills. Negotiations are set to begin with the Senate Republican Majority as we now work through the conference committee process. I hope that the bills return much improved following this process and that I will be able to support them on final passage.
The final bill that was approved on Monday was the Health and Human Services (HHS) bill. HHS spending constitutes the largest share of the state’s budget.
This bill was an easy “no” vote for me as it was 970 pages in length and spent more than $650 million above current funding levels over the next four years and dramatically expands the size and reach of state government.
Here are some of the top-line issues with the bill:
- Creates new mandates for insurers and drug companies which will increase the cost of care.
- More mandates and limitations for hospitals which will negatively impact hospitals’ ability to care for and support patients.
- Expands government-run healthcare by putting government bureaucrats in charge of drug, dental, and nonemergency medical transport coverage for all public program enrollees.
- Dramatically changes welfare programs by providing less oversight and reporting requirements for those on public programs.
I was also concerned that the bill did nothing to end the emergency powers or rein in Governor Walz’s continued control over state government. As a reminder, I have voted numerous times to end these emergency powers as while COVID-10 is serious, the emergency itself is over.
Despite my issues with this bill, I am hopeful that it will be much improved when it returns from conference committee with the Senate Republican majority. At that time, I hope I can support it on final passage.
Staying in Touch
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share any thoughts or concerns you may have about state government or the job I'm doing as your representative. It would be great to talk with you. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,