Two Weeks Left for Legislative Session
With about two weeks left in the legislative session, the House and Senate continue to hold lengthy floor sessions to debate, amend and pass their large omnibus bills. These bills are a chance for legislators to pass the legislative priorities set at the beginning of the session. This process will continue in the next few weeks as the legislature and the governor work to reach a final agreement on the budget. This week started off with Gov. Walz signing the Unemployment Insurance trust fund/frontline worker pay bill. The Senate hit the ground running on Monday with floor debate on their Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill. The House did not convene on Monday in observance of Eid al-Fitr, which marked the end of Ramadan. More information about other bills heard this week can be found below.
Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill
On Tuesday, the House debated the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill (HF 4706). This bill combined three bills into one: the omnibus human services bill (HF 4579); the omnibus health bill (HF 4706) and articles 1-4 from the omnibus early childhood bill (HF 4735). In total, the bill would appropriate $768 million for FY22-23. This includes $270.7 million for health programs and $478.7 million for human services and early childhood programs. The bill passed with a vote of 69-64. A conference committee will be appointed to work out the differences between SF 4410 as passed by the Senate last Tuesday. The Senate passed its Health and Human Services Omnibus bill with a vote of 61-5. The Senate bill appropriates $1 billion for long-term care, personal care, and disability waiver service rate increases; $322 million rescue package to address staffing crisis in care facilities; $90 million rate increases for skilled nurse visits, home health aide visits, home care nursing, and home care therapy services.