Senate Passes HHS Omnibus Finance Bill off Floor

Lourey PortraitThe Minnesota Senate passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus Budget Bill off the Floor this evening on a 49-16 vote. While the Senate and House budget bills were approximately $1.5 billion apart in recommendations – the House cut $1.1 billion and the Senate invested more than $341 million – the agreement between the two bodies invests in future generations and families; increases support and resources for health care providers; strengthens the state’s mental health system; increases access to health care for persons with disabilities and seniors; ensures safe and stable housing; and provides support for caregivers of the vulnerable.

The Senate delivered on its commitment to protect MinnesotaCare, invested $10 million to reduce the basic sliding fee waitlist, invested $138 million into nursing homes, and provided an additional investment of over $36 million into the state’s mental health system.

Health and Human Services Budget Division Chair Senator Tony Lourey (DFL – Kerrick) said that while there was a great deal of debate with the House, the bill represents compromises.

“This is a good bill, but like any budget year we wish we could have done more, like increase the cash grant for low-income families with children,” said Sen. Lourey. “The fact that the House Republicans demanded an increase in premiums and cost-shifting for low-income families continues to be a huge disappointment. But the bill has a large number of significant investments in our elderly and disabled, and children in need of protection. This bill really helps support hardworking Minnesota families and our most vulnerable citizens.”

Senator Tony Lourey
Tony Lourey represents District 11, which includes portions of Carlton, Kanabec, Pine and St. Louis counties in the northeastern part of the state.

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