Election Results 2022 and the Impact on Aging Services
Posted on November 10, 2022 by LeadingAge
With a handful of races still being verified, Minnesota will no longer be under a divided state government when the Legislature convenes in January. Governor Walz will return for a second term, where he will continue to work with House Democrats, who are projected to retain the majority. The Minnesota Senate surprised pundits, flipping from Republican control to a narrow one-vote Democratic majority.
- With Governor Walz returning to office, we can expect his Cabinet and agencies to continue finalizing their biennial budget recommendations.
- In the Minnesota House, while Democrats will retain the ability to name committee membership and chairs, there will be some movement in who sits in those seats. We will likely see appointments in December.
- In the Minnesota Senate, Democrats will elect a new majority leader and will have the opportunity to pick committee members and chairs for the first time in six years.
Outcomes for Our Champions
You may wonder how some of our most engaged lawmakers fared in their races. We are pleased that many of them will remain in the Legislature.
Senators Karin Housley and Jim Abeler have retained their seats, Sen. Abeler by less than 200 votes. However, they have moved from the majority to the minority, likely changing their scope of work since neither will chair key committees for long-term care.
Representatives Heather Edelson, Joe Schomacker, and Deb Kiel will also return to the Legislature.
Natalie Zeleznikar, a long-term care professional, eked out a victory against Rep. Mary Murphy, the longest-serving woman in the Legislature. However, the results were so close – a mere 35 votes separate the two – an automatic recount has been triggered. We will share the results of the recount when they are available.
Impact on LTC issues
Given the election results, it is unlikely that leaders will be willing to return for a lame-duck special session yet this year. That means that unspent surplus funds and pent-up demand for unfinished business would carry forward to next year.
We must differentiate ourselves from other advocacy groups and constituencies who will head to St. Paul in 2023: Minnesota policymakers share responsibility in paying senior caregivers a career-affirming wage.
Our 2023 campaign to secure investments in caregiver wages and restore Minnesota’s long-term care safety net will launch next week following the LeadingAge Minnesota board meeting.
Incoming legislators will caucus to elect leadership and committee appointments. We are actively advocating for Health and Human Services Committee members willing to prioritize Minnesota’s 1 million seniors and their caregivers.
The 2023 Legislative Session will convene on Jan. 3, 2023.
Let’s continue our strong grassroots advocacy efforts and engage our lawmakers. Here are three ways you can get involved:
- Mark your calendars! LeadingAge Minnesota will return to the Capitol for an in-person advocacy day on Monday, March 13. Registration and details will be announced soon, but we hope you save the date.
- Contact Minnesota’s incoming political leadership and urge them to prioritize Minnesota seniors’ access to long-term care.
- Join the Champions Network for in-depth legislative analysis and advanced advocacy goals.
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