Senate Passes Health and Human Services Budget Bill
After several days of negotiations with the House of Representatives, Senator Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) presented his final proposal on the Health and Human services budget. The legislation takes a balanced approach of budget reductions and targeted investments to help balance the state’s $627 million deficit.
After several years of budget cuts to human services, Sen. Lourey made sure that his budget worked to reverse the trend of disinvestment by investing in Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations. One of those priorities was nursing homes, which will receive their first increase in four years and their largest in the last decade.
“This Health and Human Services bill is honestly the best Health and Human Services bill that we’ve seen in a very long time,” said Sen. Lourey. “We’ve taken care of seniors, the disabled and the people who care for them in a way that makes me very proud.”
Another area the senator is particularly excited about is in dental services. His legislation invests $4.5 million in Critical Access Dental services, $986,000 to expand Medical Assistance dental services and includes a Medical Assistance rate increase for dental.
“Members throughout the chamber, Republicans and Democrats, we all face calls from recipients of our public programs that are unable to access the dental care they need and deserve to live a full life,” said Sen. Lourey. “With this critical investment in dental services I think we are really going to be able to move the dial and make sure that our public program enrollees have the access to the care that they desperately need.”
The DFL’s plan also invests in homelessness supports, housing assistance and adult and children’s mental health. This funding, which totals $10 million, will be used to aid Minnesota homeless adults, youth and children.
With its passage in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the legislation will now head to the governor’s desk for his signature.