MN Senate approves health spending bill - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

MN Senate approves health spending bill

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota's Senate has approved a budget for state health and assistance programs that includes a surcharge on HMOs and pay increases for care workers that critics say aren't big enough.

The Senate's Democratic-sponsored health and human services budget bill contains $11.3 billion in spending to provide health care and other services to low-income people.

The Senate approved it on a 36-28 vote just after midnight Friday, after a long day of debating budget bills.

The proposal raises about $80 million from the HMO surcharge over the next two years. That varies from a separate health and human services bill from House Democrats, which has other key differences.

Next, lawmakers from both chambers will meet to reconcile differences and agree on a bill to send to Gov. Mark Dayton.

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