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Legislative Updates & Alerts

During the legislative session, MNAAP members receive bi-weekly legislative updates emailed to them from the chapter’s policy chair and lobbyist.

The 2019 session runs from Jan 8 to May 20.

March 26, 2018

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

  • The 2018 legislative session hit a notable mark on March 22nd when the first policy deadline arrived. Policy deadlines are dates set by legislative leaders used to winnow the universe of bills to take action upon. To be considered viable, bills will have to have cleared the policy committees in one body by March 22. The second deadline arrives on March 29, when a bill’s companion must clear the policy committee hurdles in the other body. The markers have made for very busy days and nights at the Capitol, as legislators race to move their bills through the committee process.
March 12, 2018

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

  • Almost 150 pediatricians and pediatric residents descended upon St. Paul for the annual Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol. Special guests at the advocacy event included Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL – Minneapolis), a leading immunization advocate and the nation’s highest-ranking Somali-American legislator, as well as Sen. Matt Klein (DFL – Mendota Heights), an HCMC physician and health care leader. Attendees pressed legislators to strengthen Minnesota’s vaccine laws, invest in mental health education training for pediatric residents, and ensure parity of insurance coverage for the treatment of mental illness.
  • MNAAP President Andrew Kiragu, MD testified in support of a House proposal to close the “gun show loophole” to ensure background checks are conducted for all firearm sales. The bill, authored by Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL – St. Paul), was considered in the House Public Safety Committee. Regrettably, the bill was tabled for further consideration, likely meaning that the bill is unlikely to advance this session.
February 26, 2018

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

  • The 2018 legislative session kicked off on February 20, the start of what is likely to be a hurried, chaotic session. Most analysts are predicting a relatively modest session in terms of accomplishments, as election-year politics will cast a long shadow on legislators. The dominant issue of the session is likely to be an effort to bring Minnesota’s tax structure into compliance with federal law. While the outlook on health care issues is murky, many legislators have indicated an interest in focusing upon transparency in the health care system, particularly as it relates to the cost for patients.
  • The MNAAP’s central legislative priorities for the session include strengthening the state’s immunization requirements, promoting health equity, improving access to care, and investing in early brain development.
  • Make plans to join pediatricians and pediatricians-in-training for the annual Pediatricians Day at the Capitol. A day of education, advocacy, and fellowship, the event is set for March 7. Registration and additional information can be found here.
May 26, 2017

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

  • Despite January pledges from legislative leaders to complete work on time and in a transparent manner, the 2017 legislative session limped to a close on midnight, May 22, and a special legislative session gaveled in at 12:01 AM. Legislators and the Governor reached an agreement to close the session by 7 AM on Wednesday, May 23, though that self-imposed deadline quickly passed with action on only two of the remaining six bills. In the wee hours of Friday morning, the legislature passed the Health and Human Services budget.  The budget proposal does not contain the cuts in physician reimbursement that earlier versions had included, and there are a number of MNAAP-supported elements in the bill.  Funding for nurse home visiting for at-risk young parents and pregnant women, child victims of sex trafficking, pediatric mental health services, foster care services for children “aging out” of the system, and additional funding for MDH to fight disease outbreaks, and other programming was included.  One of the chief criticisms of the bill is that it transfers over $350 million from the Health Care Access Fund (HCAF) – the source of funding for the MinnesotaCare program and, increasingly, Medical Assistance – to the General Fund.
  • Senior officials from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) briefed a key House health care committee about the measles outbreak on May 10.  The director of the MDH division with oversight of infectious diseases noted that while the outbreak continues to spread, there has also been a sharp uptick in the rate of immunizations being administered, particularly in the Somali community in Minneapolis.  Efforts by some legislators to expedite consideration of measures in response to the outbreak have not been successful, though there is increasing interest in revisiting Minnesota’s law during the 2018 session.
  • Big Tobacco was a legislative winner in 2017, as the tax bill that awaits action from Governor Dayton includes several tax breaks the industry has long sought.  The provision of tax law that automatically raises the tobacco tax with the rise in inflation was repealed, and the cap on cigar taxes was shrunk by 85 percent.  While highly critical of the tobacco pieces, Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill as part of a larger agreement to close the 2017 legislative session.
May 8, 2017

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

  • In response to the growing outbreak of measles in Minnesota, the House of Representatives considered a procedural motion to bring a vaccine awareness bill to a vote on May 1.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL – Minneapolis), would provide $500,000 in funding to promote vaccine awareness in communities with low immunization rates.  The motion to bring the bill up for immediate consideration was defeated.
  • With just two weeks remaining in the legislative session, much of the action has moved to negotiations between the Governor and legislative leaders behind closed doors.  Cuts to physician payments under Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare included in earlier versions of the health and human service spending bills have been removed from the legislature’s proposal.  The funding bill does included several key MNAAP legislative priorities, including funding for nurse home visiting program and school-linked mental health programming.  Regrettably, efforts to reform the medication prior authorization process were not included in the agreement.
  • A move to increase the minimum age at which an individual can purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 took its first steps on May 4 when a bill was introduced in the State Senate by Sen. Carla Nelson (R – Rochester). The bill’s introduction comes on the heels of Edina’s passage of a city ordinance that raises the minimum age.  More than 200 municipalities across the country, as well as California and Hawaii, have increased the minimum purchase age.
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