January 11, 2017
MFDA Legislative Update
By Joe Sellwood, Cook Girard Associates
The 2017 legislative session began on January 3rd and legislators hit the ground running. Nearly all of the focus in the first few weeks has been on health insurance premium prices. Both Governor Dayton and the GOP have similar one-year fixes for rising premium costs, though their processes differ. Once a short term premium fix is in place, legislators can begin to look at long-term health care reforms, which they are expected to do.
The 2017 legislature’s main task will be putting together the state’s biennial budget. They will spend much of the first two months hearing from state agencies on their activities and budget requests and with forty-three new legislators the learning curve will be steep. Early indications from the GOP-controlled House and Senate show a willingness to search for compromise with the Governor on the budget. However the 2011 session with Republican control resulted in a budgetary stalemate with Gov Dayton and eventually a state government shutdown.
Throughout the interim, we attended quarterly meetings with the Department of Health’s Mortuary Science Ad Hoc group. The group includes members of the funeral industry, consumers and other business experts. The Department has discussed potential proposals relating to cremation which will be available when the Governor’s budget is released later this winter.
As the session gets moving we’ll learn more about proposals from legislators and Governor Dayton, and how they might impact the funeral industry and MFDA members around the state. We will continue to keep you updated during the session.
Please click here to view the entire 2015 Legislative Updates for the Minnesota Mortuary Science Industry document.