Minn. Lawmakers React to DFL Health Program Cuts Proposal
Posted at: 03/25/2013 8:45 PM
| Updated at: 03/25/2013 10:18 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
Minnesota lawmakers are reacting to a proposal to cut millions of dollars from health program spending as they begin their spring break.
Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, tells Eyewitness News he almost stepped down as the chair of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee when fellow Democrats proposed cutting $150 million from health programs last week.
He said there is not much difference between that plan and what Republicans have done in past years. "That is what we did when we had a Republican governor and now the House and Senate are proposing we continue that trend," Huntley said.
During the spring break, House and Senate leaders are touring the state to talk about the budget.
David Hann, the Senate Minority Leader, stopped in Duluth Monday afternoon. Commenting on the DFLs proposal, he called it a surprise. "I've talked to a lot of people in the long term care industry that are very concerned about it. So, it is a little surprising to us that they have chosen that particular area to do some reductions."
Governor Mark Dayton is also touring the state to push his budget proposal. He spoke in Duluth last week, addressed a crowd in Moorhead Monday, and is planning his next stop in St. Cloud Tuesday.
His office said his budget plan would add more than $170 million in health program spending. However, it could not say whether he would veto the DFL plans.