St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House passed Senate File 2934, the Human Services budget proposal. The bill, authored by State Representative Mohamud Noor (DFL - Minneapolis), the House Chair of the Human Services Finance Committee, provides support of our most vulnerable Minnesotans, significantly invests in caring professions, and doubles down on our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. The bill passed on a vote of 70-60.
“Our budget makes great strides to not only care for our most vulnerable Minnesotans, but also the workers who care for them in turn,” said Rep. Noor. “Effectively caring for those who need it is a moral test that every budget should pass, and ours does so for our nursing homes, caregivers, and those in the grips of the opioid epidemic.”
House DFLers have built their Human Services budget around the increase in funding Minnesota’s nursing homes will receive. With an automatically adjusted reimbursement rate, these crucial facilities are forecasted to receive an additional $847 million over the next four years, totaling an investment of more than $6 billion - the largest amount of nursing home funding in state history.
“The House DFL Human Services Budget makes historic investments in nursing homes, long-term care, and in Minnesota’s care workforce. Our budget invests more than $6 billion in nursing homes overall — $847 million more than the last two-year budget,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “The people doing some of the most important work in our state to care for seniors and people with disabilities are paid the least. A system that doesn’t support the workers who care for our most vulnerable is not sustainable. Our budget takes much-needed steps to invest in this workforce.”
Wage increases make up a significant portion of the Human Services budget proposal, with more than $2.3 billion over the next four years dedicated to raising the rates in Community First Services and Supports, Elderly Waiver, the Disability Waiver Rate System, Home- and Community-Based Services, Intermediate Care Facilities, and workforce incentive and training opportunities.
“We can do more to invest in the people and facilities who care for our most vulnerable citizens, and that’s exactly what this Human Services budget does,” said House Majority Leader Jamie Long. “We are providing nursing homes with the largest amount of funding ever in state history. We are providing significant wage increases for Minnesotans who work in the caregiving profession – the individuals that care for senior citizens and people with disabilities. This is a budget that makes our state better for children, families, and seniors.”
The budget looks after the most vulnerable Minnesotans throughout the state by investing $33.3 million in recruiting and retaining direct support and frontline workers, and over $25 million is dedicated to increasing the provider capacity of these services in rural and underserved communities.
"Minnesotans know that our state is at its best when we come together to help care for one another," said Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL - Maple Grove), Vice Chair of the Human Services Committee. "This budget supports our most vulnerable residents and invests in those who help care for them to ensure that everyone can thrive in their community and receive the care and dignity they deserve."
The budget continues the critical work of combating opiate addiction in Minnesota by reducing disparities in how the state tackles this epidemic, investing over $57 million in safe recovery sites, and removing the sunset on opioid fees. The budget also proposes $2 million a year in ongoing funding for traditional healing.
A spreadsheet of the Human Services budget’s complete investments can be found here, and video of today’s floor debate can be found on the House Public Information YouTube page.