Updated:
Original:

Abortion, Appleton prison, MNsure all part of House's latest big bill

Author:

Late into the night, and after 12 hours of discussion, the Minnesota House passed a large bill that touches on MNsure, private prisons, state spending and more.

The omnibus bill (meaning it's a collection of a bunch of smaller proposals, and very long) was approved 72-57.

It'll now go to the DFL-controlled Senate, which is unlikely to give the thumbs up to an identical bill, as the House is controlled by Republicans. (Note: The House and Senate have to pass the exact same bill before it can head to the governor for a signature, which then makes it law.)

It was the third large omnibus bill passed by the House this week – an agriculture, environment and jobs bill as approved Wednesday, and an education bill passed Monday.

Session Daily runs through Friday morning's bill in detail, but here's a quick rundown of what's included:

MNsure repealed

MNsure would be fully repealed, and the money shifted to the broader health and human services spending. Minnesota would then use the federal health care exchange.

The use of Appleton prison ... maybe

The bill tells the Department of Corrections to work on securing a lease for, or buying and operating, the prison in Appleton, as a way to ease crowding (as the state is about 560 inmates over capacity, and leasing beds). A few lawmakers, all Democrats, tried at add amendments that would ban or deter the state from working with private prisons. But all were rejected.

However, some new drug sentencing guidelines expected to be announced Friday may solve the overcrowding issue.

Regulations for clinics that perform abortions

New abortion regulations, including licensing requirements for facilities that perform more than 10 abortions each year, the removal of some Title X funds for health clinics that perform abortions (the money, about $10 million, would go to clinics that help minority and low-income women), and the requirement that state sponsored health programs don't be used for abortion services.

No police body cam regulations

An amendment that would have outlined regulations for how to handle police body camera footage was not added to the omnibus bill.

How much money the state should spend

There are a host of government spending suggestions, including:

  • Salary reductions of 5 percent for commissioners, deputy commissioners, and assistant commissioners, a 10 percent reduction in travel expenses, and a hiring freeze – resulting in $6.25 imllion less in spending.
  • Nixing that "Donate $5 to help state candidates run for office" option on your tax returns – it would bring in $2.67 million.
  • An additional $1.8 million for security improvements at National Guard facilities.
  • $500,000 to look at cyber security across the state.

Then there's a Senate bill

The Senate meanwhile is controlled by the DFL, and Thursday passed its own version of a spending bill.

The supplemental budget bill, totaling $498 million, was approved on a 39-24 vote, the state Senate website says.

Included, according to the Senate DFL:

MNsure gets money

MNsure would be treated the opposite here, actually getting money to "enact needed changes to the system" as part of a $43.3 million health and human services bill.

Business grants, community programs for disparities

$91 million would go to address racial disparities, using business grants, workforce development programs, and "youth and community resilience programs."

Rural broadband

Rural broadband (a frequent topic this session) would get $85 million to try to improve access across the state.

Boost in education spending

The DFL's bill would add $100.5 million to E-12 education spending, on top of what's currently being spent. Then there's another $47.5 million for higher education institutions, including grants for MnSCU schools and an undergraduate tuition decrease at the University of Minnesota.

More spending

In addition:

  • $31.5 million would be spent on transportation and public safety, including rail safety.
  • $45 million would go toward offender treatment and support, as well as mental illness.
  • $30 million would help expand programs for veterans, and provide cyber security funding.
  • $7.5 million for the environment and energy, including cleanup of portions of the St. Louis River, and help for Minnesota River basin goals.
  • And $60 million in agriculture such as farm safety, industrial hemp programs – as well as parks and trails and outdoors programs.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 7.06.08 AM

U.S. soccer hero Megan Rapinoe signs her mural at St. Paul bar

Rapinoe paid a visit to The Black Hart ahead of a match at Allianz Field Tuesday.

hospital, emergency room

1 dead after married couple crash UTV in southern Minnesota

The crash happened just after 11 p.m. Saturday.

hmong college prep academy

St. Paul school superintendent offers to quit after $4.3M lost in hedge fund

The Office of the State Auditor recently released its investigative report on the school.

ambulance

2 women die from injuries suffered in October 19 Hopkins crash

Both victims died at Hennepin Healthcare on Oct. 21.

Dean Evason

Wild fall flat against Predators, lose first game of season

The Wild couldn't stay out of the penalty box in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 10.11.36 AM

Search for Wisconsin woman whose vehicle was found near Hinckley

Ashley L. Miller, 33, was reported missing on Sep. 24 after her vehicle was found without her in it.

Dak Prescott

Report: Dak Prescott will be 'ready to go' for matchup with Vikings

The Dallas quarterback is expected to be available for next Sunday's showdown.

Eddie Rosario

Where Eddie Rosario's championship series heroics rank since 2000

The former Twin put together an all-timer to help the Braves reach the World Series.

plane, Piper PA-32

2 dead after plane crashes near residence in rural Wisconsin

The aircraft also struck the house during the crash.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 9.38.43 PM

1 dead after van crashes and lands on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center

Northbound Highway 100 was shut down following the crash Saturday night.

Jess Peterson

Woman killed in crash ID'd as 'bad ass biker chick' with 'giving spirit'

The 30-year-old died in a motorcycle crash on Oct. 19.

Related

Abortion bills advance at Capitol

The House and Senate passed separate bills that would place new restrictions on abortion providers. One bill would require a doctor to be present when a patient takes the abortion medication, RU-486. The other would require abortion providers to have licenses and be subject to random inspections.

Minnesota House committee approves legislation to license abortion clinics

Supporters of the bill say inspections are also necessary after dangerous conditions were found at a Pennsylvania clinic. Opponents criticize the legislation when other outpatient medical clinics are not regulated. A similar bill is progressing in the Senate.