Legislative Update April 3, 2024

Publish Date

The Minnesota Legislature passed the first and second committee deadline just before breaking for the Easter holiday. This means the deadline for committees to act favorably on policy bills from either body has passed. As the legislature enters the next phase of the 2024 session, they will focus primarily on large pieces of legislation such as omnibus bills. The third legislative deadline is slated for Friday, April 19.

In addition to the passing of legislative deadlines, Governor Walz and DFL majority leaders released their joint supplemental budget committee targets. The agreements include an additional $477.5 million in spending in the current biennium. The funds will be allocated to their respective committees as identified in the agreement, where committee chairs and members will identify priority issues to support with the newly available funding. MAPE supports any efforts to further fund state agencies and support our members. One item of concern is the proposed closure of CARE programs in Carlton and St. Peter, which would exacerbate the gap in mental health care and substance use disorder treatment.

MAPE has been working on several issues this session, including additional worker protections for public employees and improving retirement benefits for members working in correctional and direct care positions. House File 3930 would add the Music Therapist job class to the Correctional Employee Retirement Plan, and House File 3675, which would provide early retirement benefits for Corrections Agents. Both had their initial hearings in the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement and have been laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus pension bill.

House File 4200, the HEAL (Healthcare Employee Anti-Retaliation and Labor) Act, has had hearings in both legislative bodies and has passed in all its committees. Nurses and patient care staff have often faced retaliation when voicing concerns around safety and staffing levels. H.F. 4200 would provide protections for patient care staff when they request modified work assignments due to concerns around patient safety.

The legislature is scheduled to adjourn sine die by May 20.