Sen. Port’s Bipartisan Child Homelessness Prevention Bill and Sen. Wiklund’s Bill To Prevent Minnesotans from Losing Access to Health Care Coverage Passed
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) said today the Senate has passed two more strongly-bipartisan bills: Senator Lindsey Port’s (DFL-Burnsville) bill to prevent families with children from becoming homeless, and Senator Melissa Wiklund’s (DFL-Bloomington) bill to ensure continued health care coverage for 1.5 million Minnesotans who use Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.
“The Senate DFL majority has prioritized making both housing and health care more affordable and accessible for Minnesota families, and today the Senate passed two strongly bipartisan measures to do just that,” said Majority Leader Dziedzic. “With virtually every community seeing a shortage of affordable housing, Senator Port’s bill will help prevent Minnesota families from becoming homeless and allows them to stay in their homes. And with health care continuing to put a heavy strain on family budgets, Senator Wiklund’s bill will help keep 1.5 million people across the state from losing the coverage that allows them to see a doctor when they need to.”
Strong Bipartisan Support for Both Bills
Majority Leader Dziedzic said both measures had strong bipartisan support, with Sen. Port’s bill passing 42 to 21; and Sen. Wiklund’s bill passing 46 to 18.
Senator Wiklund’s bill will prevent gaps in health coverage for 1.5 million vulnerable Minnesotans, who would be impacted by the end of federal funding that was designed to help states maintain health coverage during the pandemic. The measure gives Minnesota health officials the resources and flexibility they need to deal with the expanded workload of enrolling people in state health programs for the first time in three years. The bill must by enacted before April 1 to ensure that the state doesn’t lose $117 million in federal health care funds.
Senator Port’s bill would provide $50 million in emergency funding to prevent a shortfall in rental assistance that could result in a large increase in evictions across the state. The funds – designed to keep families in their current homes – will be distributed to help families in all 87 Minnesota counties and all 11 Minnesota Tribal Nations.