MNA Legislative Update, February 8, 2013

8 Feb

Nurses at the Capitol

MNA nurses flooded the Capitol on Tuesday, bringing the message that patients are at risk in Minnesota hospitals, and we must have a statewide standard of care to ensure patients get the nursing care they deserve.

Nurses from all over the state came to St. Paul on Tuesday to meet with their legislators and call for patient safety legislation, as well as to support Governor Dayton’s budget and increased access to affordable health care for all Minnesotans. Nurses also took part in education sessions and heard from speakers including Governor Mark Dayton and Commissioner of Management and Budget,  Jim Schowalter.

MNA nurses with Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis, second from right), champion for patient safety.

MNA nurses with Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis, second from right), champion for patient safety.

Patient Safety: We’ve only just begun

We continue to advance the Standards of Care campaign at the Capitol. Until nurses can trust we have a standard that provides enough staff when necessary for patient safety, we will continue to insist on enforceable statutory language to protect all patients.

MNA members will visit the Capitol at least once a week for the rest of the legislative session. Drop in any Wednesday to advance the Standards of Care Act. We will meet at 11:00a.m. at the MNA office for a legislative briefing and then carpool to the Capitol to speak to legislators. If you would prefer, you can meet us outside the House Chambers on the second floor of the Capitol at 12:00 pm. Contact Geri Katz by email or at 651-414-2855 to RSVP or for more information.

Stay tuned for other opportunities to make your voice heard.

Governor Dayton’s State of the State Address

In Governor Dayton’s State of the State speech on Wednesday, he outlined his priorities for the coming year, including his budget proposal. MNA supports the Governor’s budget because it is honest, fair and helps to strengthen working families.

For more information and analysis, visit the Minnesota Budget Project.

Agreement on RN Scope of Practice

After nearly two decades of discussion, MNA came to an agreement with unions representing LPNs on changes to the Nurse Practice Act. On Thursday the Minnesota Board of Nursing voted to move forward with bringing the agreed-upon language to the legislature. The language preserves the RN scope of practice, while clarifying delegation and assessment for both the RN and the LPN. MNA will now work with the BON and LPNs to move the changes through the legislature. We will disseminate the final language when it is available from the Board of Nursing.

Nurse Licensure Compact

A bill requiring Minnesota to join the Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact was introduced this week. Last session, MNA nurses were vocal in our opposition to this bill, flooding the Capitol with messages and stories about the dangers of this bill. We continue to oppose it, and will alert you if there are opportunities to speak out about it. (See last year’s position paper about the Compact here.)  On Monday night, nurses were pleased to hear Governor Mark Dayton reaffirm his pledge to veto any bill that would allow Minnesota into the Compact.

Health Insurance Exchange

The bill creating a Minnesota health insurance exchange has continued to progress through the committee process. The legislation will help make health care coverage more affordable and accessible for Minnesotans and will allow the state to negotiate for the best coverage for Minnesotans and small businesses. The next stop for the bill is the Health and Human Services Finance Committee in both the House and Senate.

Please take a moment to thank the bill authors, Senator Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) and Representative Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) for their leadership and hard work on this important legislation.

Town Hall Meetings

Many legislators hold town hall meetings in their districts to hear from their constituents. These meetings are a great opportunity for you to meet your legislators and tell them your story about patients at risk due to unsafe nurse staffing. Tell your story and ask your legislators to support MNA’s Standards of Care Campaign to create statewide standards of care, taking into account patient acuity and nursing intensity.

Below are the meetings we’re aware of. If you know of one that’s not listed here, please contact Geri Katz by email or at 651-414-2855.

Date District Legislators Place Time
2/7/2013 54 Sen. Katie Sieben and Reps Dan Schoen and Rick Hansen South St. Paul City Hall, 125 3rd Ave N 7:00 PM
2/9/2013 41 Reps. Bernardy and Laine; Sen. Goodwin New Brighton Community Center (400 10th Street NW) 10:00 AM
2/9/2013 41 Reps. Bernardy and Laine; Sen. Goodwin Anoka County Library (410 Mississippi Street NE, Fridley) 3:00 PM
2/9/2013 41 Sen. Barb Goodwin, Rep. Connie Bernardy and Rep. Carolyn Laine The Landings at Silver Lake Village (2551 38th Ave NE, St. Anthony) 1:00 PM
2/9/2013 42A Sen. Bev Scalze and Rep. Barb Yarusso Shoreview City Hall Building, 4600 Victoria St 9:00 AM
2/9/2013 42B Sen Bev Scalze and Rep. Jason Isaacson Shoreview City Hall Building, 4600 Victoria St 11:00 AM
2/12/2013 49B Sen. Melisa Franzen, Rep. Paul Rosenthal Bloomington Civic Plaza, Council Chambers (1800 W Old Shakopee Rd) 6pm
2/12/2013 49B Sen. Franzen, Rep. Rosenthal Bloomington Civic Plaza Council Chambers (1800 West Old Shakopee Road) 6:00 PM
2/16/2013 48A Rep. Yvonne Selcer Minnetonka  Glen Lake Activity Center ( 14350 Excelsior Blvd.) 11:00 AM
2/19/2013 44 Sen. Terri Bonoff Plymouth City Hall Council Chambers (3400 Plymouth Boulevard) 6:30 PM
2/21/2013 51B Rep. Laurie Halverson and Commissioner Jim Schowalter Eagan Municipal Center, City Council Chamber, 3830 Pilot Knob Rd 6:00 PM
2/23/2013 38A Rep. Runbeck and Sen. Chamberlain Hugo City Hall Council Chambers (14669 Fitzgerald Avenue North) 10:00 AM
2/23/2013 49 Sen. Franzen, Reps. Rosenthal and Erhardt Edina Community Center, room 350 (5701 Normandale Road) 10:00 AM
2/23/2013 49 Sen. Melisa Franzen Edina Community Center, room 350 (5701 Normandale Road) 10:00 AM
2/23/2013 51B Rep. Laurie Halverson Dewey’s Café in the Wescott Library (1340 Wescott Rd, Eagan) 10:00 AM
2/23/2013 57 Sen. Greg Clausen Robert Trail Library (14395 S Robert Tr, Rosemount) 10:00 AM
2/23/2013 65 Sen. Sandra Pappas St. Paul College (235 Marshall Ave) 10:00 AM
2/25/2013 37 Sen. Alice Johnson Blaine City Hall Council Chambers (10801 Town Square Drive NE) 6:30 PM
2/27/2013 44 Sen. Bonoff Minnetonka City Hall Council Chambers (14600 Minnetonka Boulevard) 6:30 PM


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