Senator Roger Reinert send out his Capitol E-Update. There are some major Budget Bills that will have an impact on Duluth. He opposed most sectionsÂ of the budget bills that passed last weekÂ as they willÂ be very harmful to Duluth. Most every bill was passed with all GOP members voting yes and every DFLer voting no. These are the bills related to agriculture, jobs, public saety, judiciary, environment, natural resources, higher education, state government, veterans, health and human services, transporation, and taxes.
The most harmful to Duluth are:
Health and Human Services:
Increased uncompensated care, by eliminating public health insurance for 100,00 Minnesotans. Cuts to Medical Education Research Costs (MERC) which hits our medical students at UMD and residents in rural Family Practice, the most underserved areas in medicine. (I am wondering who is going to pay for these patients? Are they going to be uninsured and kicked to the curb? If that is the case it is pretty sad what is happening in Minnesota. I hope the Governor can do something about this.)
-Eliminates Desegregation Aid, reduces Compensatory Aid, and reduces Special Education. This is $4.1M reduction to ISD 709 in over the next two years. (I can see the lawsuits from Special Education parents, people of color, and other minority populations.)
-Cuts 19% from the University of Minnesota and 13% from MN CSCU. These cuts will result in layoffs, elimination of programs, and tutition and fee increases at our local campuses. (One wonders if education will even be affordable to students in the future.)
These are difficult times at the state budgeting and balancing the financial coffers.
The other scary part is beginning in 2012, managed care contracts and what it all means down the road.