<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=319290&amp;fmt=gif">

Legislature Takes a Break                                      

The Legislature will be in recess this week for the Passover/Easter holidays, returning on Monday, April 18th. The Legislature has been in session for 10 weeks, but has little to show for the hundreds of hours of committee hearings and floor sessions that have taken place. Only one major bill, reinsurance, has been signed into law.   At the top of the list of issues to resolve is what to do with the projected $9.2 billion budget surplus.   Senate Republicans want permanent tax cuts passed while DFLers want the surplus invested in education, health care, housing, and other areas that DFLers say have been underfunded for years. The failure of the two sides to agree last year on how to give away $250 million to front-line workers does not offer hope to Capitol observers that resolving the budget differences will be any easier this year. The two parties have moved away from the middle toward the fringes, where making a deal with the opposition by compromising is viewed as a bad thing. This could set up five weeks of partisanship and no deals before the Legislature adjourns on May 23.                          

House Commerce Approves Commerce Omnibus Bill

The House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee this week approved HF4651 (Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids), the omnibus commerce bill. The Commerce has a broad scope of authority over agencies licensed and regulated by the Commerce Department, which includes banks, insurers, gasoline and alcohol. Items of interest in the bill include:

  • $108,000 in FY 23 to study disparities in geographic rating areas in the individual and small group markets for health insurance
  • Updating the requirements for on-line continuing education classes
  • Authorization for long-term care insurance to be sold as part of or in conjunction with life insurance under certain conditions
  • Modifications to contracting requirements for dentists, health care providers and health plans
  • A prohibition on life, long-term care or disability insurers from declining or limiting coverage to organ donor or bone marrow donors