Deficiency Bill Keeps State Resources Functioning

The Minnesota Security Hospital and the Minnesota Zoo are two recipients of an appropriation through a deficiency bill moving through the Senate. The bill would provide sufficient funding to state departments and public assets which have incurred unexpected costs that will hamper their performance if the state doesn’t act by the end of the fiscal year.

After a recent tragic death which required an improvement to the hospital setting, the Minnesota Security Hospital (MSH) requires an additional $10.4 million to cover costs associated with improving the hospital’s ability to appropriately treat patients and protect staff. Separating the admitting area from the crisis unit cost $600,000. In an attempt to bolster both safety and care, staff are required to receive best practice training for $1.2 million. Perhaps most importantly, almost 60 security counselors have been added, costing the facility $8.2 million. The MSH is the only secure facility in the state equipped to assess and treat persons with severe mental health disorders who are considered a danger to the community.

The Minnesota Zoo has received a $1.35 million appropriation in the 2015 Deficiency bill to maintain operations after declining attendance and unexpected expenses left a hole in their budget. The zoo has made $500,000 in cuts in an attempt to align operating costs with revenue generated. If the emergency funds were not appropriated, the zoo would experience operation disruptions, have to close exhibits, and lay off staff.

The DNR also received deficiency funding, and $2 million was appropriated for grants to hospitals and the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board for Ebola preparedness expenditures. (S.F. 136)

Senate DFL Media