2024 Legislative Session: Spring Update


Over 130 pediatricians, residents, and medical students flooded the hallways of the Capitol on March 13, as part of Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol. Attendees heard from guest legislators at a midday program before embarking out to meet with their own legislators to discuss policy proposals that prioritize the health, safety, and wellness of kids.

The number of active bills MNAAP is fewer than the unprecedented plethora of MNAAP-backed bills passed in 2023. Nonetheless, if they find their way through the finish line, the large handful of policies championed by pediatricians this session will do innumerable good for the next generation of Minnesotans. Chiefly among these policies is legislation to allow childcare centers to require that participants meet the state’s vaccination requirements, to remedy the declining rate of childhood vaccinations witnessed nationwide. Pediatricians also put their stamp of approval on a bill to establish health standards in school curriculum statewide and legislation introducing a childcare tax credit, which would kick in next year. Additionally, legislation to reduce death and injury from unsecured firearms through safe storage requirements is making its way through pivotal Senate committees, despite being shunned from such committees last session. Lastly, MNAAP is supporting legislation to prohibit prior authorization for substance-use disorder treatment, outpatient mental health treatment, pediatric hospice care, and treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome, as well as a proposed insurance mandate to provide coverage for gender-affirming care, additional postpartum care, and in vitro fertilization (IVF), among others.

These efforts are designed to improve access to patient care and are all the table as we near the end of the legislative session. 2024 is a non-budget year, so there is no requirement for lawmakers to pass anything this year (odd-year sessions carry a constitutional requirement to pass a balanced state budget). Nonetheless, legislative leadership struck a supplemental budget agreement with the Governor to add $477.5 million to the 2024-2025 biennial budget and another $62.7 million for the next fiscal biennium. $34 million of that is earmarked for additional state investment for children and families. The targets were agreed to after Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced a $3.7 billion state budget surplus, with the caveat that state spending is projected to exceed revenues by $1.5 billion in the years ahead. MMB cited long- term spending increases as the chief cause of the projected deficit. The 2024-2025 budget deal passed last year saw a $20 billion increase in the total state budget, including a record $1.2 billion in new early childhood investments and over $2 billion in additional K-12 spending.

Only weeks remain for legislators to decide what to include in larger omnibus packages. Given the limited spending targets, many efforts with a fiscal impact will not survive the final days. The legislature is required to adjourn sine die no later than May 20, which will officially mark the end of the 2023- 2024 biennium. Even if nothing were to pass before then – an extremely unlikely prophecy – the 93rd legislature will be remembered as one of the most influential and impactful ones in recent memory.

In the interim, Minnesotans will indicate their approval or disapproval of legislative decision-making after two years of unilateral DFL control. Every seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, or 2/3 of the total legislature, will be up for election on November 5 and the 94th legislature will convene thereafter in January.

Annual Sponsors

Children's Minnesota
Gillette Children's
Hennepin Healthcare
University of Minnesota Health
Essentia Health
Mayo Clinic
Shriners Healthcare for Children-Twin Cities