Senate Passes Health and Human Services

S.T. PAUL, Minn. — Early this morning, the Minnesota Senate passed Senate File 4699, the Senate Health and Human Services Supplemental Appropriations Bill. Authored by Senator Melissa Wiklund (DFL – Bloomington), the bill covers multiple areas of our health care system and human services programs.

Highlights from the bill include:

  • Builds toward a more comprehensive and accessible mental health system by expanding targeted grant programs, building out available services, and reimbursing health care providers at higher rates.  
  • Expands health coverage for prosthetics, wigs for cancer patients, and emerging biologic innovations such as treatment for sickle cell disease.
  • Adds a new tool in the fight to eliminate HIV in Minnesota by authorizing pharmacists to prescribe and administer drugs like PrEP and PEP.
  • Combats rising rates of food insecurity through funding for Minnesota to join a new federal “Summer EBT” program, bringing close to $50 million annually for increased benefits to families during the summer months; $6 million to a statewide food bank program and local food shelves; and helping college students access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)benefits.
  • Expands on the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act and includes the new African American Family Preservation and Child Welfare Disproportionality Act to address disparities within the child protection system and maintain family connections.
  • Invests in a modern child welfare IT system used by State, County, and Tribal workers across Minnesota.
  • Ensures access to abortion care and gender-affirming care in all state-regulated health insurance coverage.
  • Helps Minnesota hospitals draw down millions in federal funding to train the next generation of medical professionals and implements new strategies to promote physician well-being and support the State’s health care workforce and academic health system of the future.

“This bill puts the health and well-being of Minnesotans first,” said Senator Wiklund. “This supplemental budget continues our focus on improving access to comprehensive and affordable health care, creating more equitable programs and services, and addressing the ongoing challenges facing many Minnesota families, like rising food insecurity. Building off the significant investments made last session, I am especially proud of the additional investments we made in mental health care this year, with more than $30 million directed toward provisions like increasing reimbursement rates paid to providers and building out the continuum of available services. I am thankful for the input and hard work of everyone who participated in making this bill possible. I look forward to continuing our work to get this bill across the finish line and improve the lives of Minnesotans across our State.”

 The bill passed the Senate on a 34-31 vote. You can view the entire floor debate here.

Senator Melissa Wiklund
Melissa Wiklund represents District 51, which includes portions of Bloomington and Richfield in the southern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Learn more about Sen. Wiklund.

Read more news from Sen. Wiklund.
Senator Melissa Wiklund on EmailSenator Melissa Wiklund on FacebookSenator Melissa Wiklund on FlickrSenator Melissa Wiklund on Twitter