MN Legislature Resumes Business; the House Releases its Budget Targets

The Minnesota Legislature returned from a weeklong break on Tuesday, April 19. There are now just five weeks remaining for legislators to complete their work, including passing bonding and tax bills and finding a compromise on spending our state's $9.2 billion surplus.

While the Senate released its Health and Human Services (HHS) spending priority weeks ago, the House released its budget targets just this week. Among the large-ticket items, the House calls for nearly $1.65 billion in tax aids and credits, almost $1.16 billion in new education spending, $700 million for health and human services, and $1 billion for frontline worker pay carried separately from the HHS target.

Unfortunately, this is far less than the Senate’s unprecedented $1.3 billion target specifically focused on human services workforce investments.

As we turn towards the final weeks of the session, the House and Senate omnibus bills will be passed off the floor and sent to a conference committee to find consensus. The difference is clear for the long-term care sector: the Senate bill invests in our workforce by providing permanent, structural funding for caregiver wages. By contrast, the House makes one-time investments in workforce development through recruitment, retention, and training grants.

When we have 23,000 open caregiver positions in long-term care and one million seniors in Minnesota, one-time bonuses and retention grants will not be sufficient to raise caregiver wages permanently. Contact your state representative today and urge them to support structural investment in our caregivers like the Senate does.

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