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The First Day Back
This Wednesday was our first day back at the Capitol for the beginning of the 2011 Legislative Session, and we are off and running with a bit of good news. Newly elected Governor Mark Dayton took time on Wednesday to sign the into law the expansion of the Medicaid program for Minnesota. This act will not only bring into Minnesota some much needed money for health care, it also ensures that 90,000 low income Minnesotans will be covered for necessary medical expenses.
The extended program is expected to bring in $1.2 billion to Minnesota for this coverage, and will save or create 20,000 health care jobs through the reimbursements (read more here). This legislation will also help fill some of the holes in the GAMC "fix" from last session. We are starting off the session with some welcome good news, but we know that it will be a tough year.
The state is facing over a $6 billion budget deficit, and although Governor Dayton has been issuing a message of "tax the rich", raising revenue will be a difficult endeavor. JRLC sees it as necessary that we include additional revenue in the budget solution, otherwise we are facing deep cuts to safety net programs that many Minnesota depend on, especially in this troubled economy.
We have outlined an ambitious agenda, and look forward to having the opportunity to work toward a better Minnesota for all Minnesotans. We will see you at the Capitol this session!