The 2019 legislative session’s primary task of crafting a biennial budget to fund state government operations for two years accelerated in recent days as the House HHS finance committee acted upon an omnibus bill. The legislation includes dozens of proposals that would fund most state health care and human service programs. Included in the bill are major investments in mental health care treatment services, the repeal of the sunset of the provider tax, public health measures like increasing the age at which individuals may purchase tobacco and nicotine-containing products, and many more.
The Reach Out and Read program would receive more than $100,000 in the next two years under the education funding omnibus under consideration in the House of Representatives. The program aims to use patient visits to physicians to promote early literacy and reading by providing children’s books to families. MNAAP members Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, and Gigi Chawla, MD, FAAP, testified in support of the investment during the bill’s committee stops earlier in the legislative session. Governor Walz noted Dr. Chomilo’s leadership in supporting the program during his State of the State speech on April 3.
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