Senate Passes Health and Human Services Budget Bill

By KBJR News 1

Senate Passes Health and Human Services Budget Bill

April 26, 2013 Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 9:03 AM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The proposed Health and Human Services Finance Bill is now headed to conference committee after the Senate passed the legislation at midnight.

Senator Tony Lourey, the author of the bill, says this piece of legislation makes targeted investments in critical services and programs that serve Minnesota's most vulnerable populations while making difficult budget reductions.

"We had a tough target, but we managed to be creative, while reforming within the health and human service area and generating revenue in our budget area," said Sen. Lourey. "We were able to mitigate cuts to those most vulnerable populations -- our elderly and those with disabilities. In fact, in the end we were able to make some very critical investments,"

The bill proposes reducing HHS spending by $153 million and generates revenue from HMOs with a one-time surcharge for the next two years and invests in nursing homes around the state.

"We were able to increase nursing home funding by about $20 million by using an equity principal known as rebasing," said Sen. Lourey. "This is an option we have not had since the early '90s. It will lead to a greater equity between what the nursing homes get paid and what their actual costs are."

The finance bill will now head to conference committee before it heads to Governor Mark Dayton's desk.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns