Senate Commerce Committee Chair Matt Klein’s Budget Includes Provision to Keep Prescription Drug Costs in Check
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) said today the Senate DFL Majority has passed a budget measure that puts in place long-overdue consumer protections to keep prescription drug costs in check, help students across the state navigate student loan debt, prevent predatory criminals from victimizing Minnesotans, and move the state toward eliminating costs for primary health care.
Majority Leader Dziedzic said the Commerce and Consumer Protection Budget bill, authored by Senator Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights), puts in place several consumer protections that will keep money in the pockets of Minnesotans.
“Minnesotans have told us they want us to stop price gouging by big prescription drug companies and to make other health costs easier to afford. They also want us to help students struggling with student loan debt, and to protect Minnesota seniors from financial fraud,” said Majority Leader Dziedzic. “These consumer protections are long overdue and will help Minnesotans afford their lives, and we have made them a priority and now we’ve gotten them over the finish line.”
“The work of this committee is to protect Minnesotans from fraud and abuse by willful bad actors, and that’s exactly what we have done in this budget,” said Senator Klein. “I am especially proud of the opportunity to create the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which will finally stand up against runaway profits in the pharmaceutical industry. No Minnesotan should be denied access to lifesaving primary care or essential medication because of spiraling out-of-pocket costs. The Digital Fair Repair provision will save Minnesotans money when they need maintenance on phones, computers, and other technology. The prohibition on price-gouging in times of emergency will bring stability to the market for essential goods when people need them most. This bill prioritizes our seniors by preventing fraud perpetrated by ruthless telemarketers. We’re standing up for current, former, and future students by creating a Student Loan Advocate to help educate them and enforce their rights as consumers. These and other parts of this bill will make life simpler and fairer for Minnesotans, and put money back in their pockets.”
After the final Commerce and Consumer Protection budget is passed by the House, it will go to the Governor to be signed into law.