ST. PAUL, MN (trfnews.i234.me) A wrap-up of legislative action as the Minnesota legislature has adjourned.
The Minnesota legislature has approved $300 million for state nursing homes, which have been struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was agreed upon in exchange for Democrats’ votes to pass a $1.5 billion bonding bill for state public works projects. Republicans had been pushing for tax cuts, but refocused on nursing homes when it became clear Democrats would not agree to their demands. The bonding bill received a good number of Republican votes in both the Senate and the House. Some Republicans criticized the spending, while Democrats emphasized the impact it would have on the state’s infrastructure and residents’ lives. In related news, Governor Tim Walz signed a public safety bill legalizing syringes and residual drugs in Minnesota, which harm reduction experts are calling a monumental step in the war against drugs. The bill also legalizes all forms of drug testing, allows syringe service providers to dispense sterile needles, and removes caps on the number of syringes pharmacists can sell without a prescription.