After a contentious Senate Finance Committee hearing, the racino proposal is bound for the Senate floor. The proposal to allow slot machines at two horse racing tracks was added to a relatively minor education bill on a bipartisan 10-4 vote.
GOP Sen. Dave Thompson, the chief sponsor of the amendment in the Senate, urged leadership at a Tuesday Capitol news conference to move to the bill from its current position in the Senate Rules Committee and bring it up for a vote on the floor.
Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman David Hann promised to hold a hearing on a bill requiring independent annual audits of the health plans that administer the state’s Medicaid program. On Monday he followed through on that promise.
The two bills enter a fray that has included tussling over executive authority between Republicans and the Dayton administration and a DFL-backed bill that gained the backing of three key House GOP chairmen.
Republicans have introduced more than a dozen bills seeking to overhaul the state's cash assistance programs for poor people. The proposals include requiring drug testing, implementing a 60-day residency requirement and limiting lifetime benefits to 36 months.
Gov. Mark Dayton blasted the plan in a statement, saying coupling the stadium with sizable tax cuts for businesses would only raise taxes for the rest of Minnesotans.
House Taxes Chairman Greg Davids, Health and Human Services Finance Chairman Jim Abeler and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Hoppe have signed onto a health insurance exchange bill
More than $787,000 is being paid to nine state employees, the Senate Health and Human Services chair said, with no clear purpose.
In the past, Dayton has said his administration has the authority to move forward on an exchange, a process that he has delegated to a broad task force charged with making recommendations and studying its implementation.
It was supposed to be such a nice session. Or at least that’s what Capitol watchers and many lawmakers were expecting after last year’s bitter shutdown fight. Nor was that the only wound still in need of closing.
During the 2011 legislative session, GOP legislative leaders repeatedly called for the state to seek a waiver on Medicaid rules from the federal government. Both the Senate and House initially booked significant cost savings contingent on receiving such a waiver.
Advocates of overhauling the state's judicial elections have lost a key co-sponsor heading into the 2012 legislative session. Sen. David Hann, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, says he will pull his name from legislation proposing a constitutional amendment to adopt retention elections.
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