MNA Legislative Update, February 27, 2015

27 Feb

Workplace Violence Prevention bill on the move

Last week, Rep. Joe Atkins introduced the Violence Against Health Care Workers bill, an effort to prevent workplace violence in the health care setting. We are pleased that the House bill has bipartisan support with Republican Representatives Greg Davids and Nick Zerwas joining DFL Representatives Atkins, Erin Murphy, Karen Clark, Joe Mullery, Frank Hornstein, Leon Lilly, and JoAnn Ward as co-authors.

This week, Senator Chuck Wiger introduced the Senate companion to the bill, SF1071. Co-authors are Senators Chris Eaton, RN; Scott Dibble and Barb Goodwin. Please stay tuned to learn about upcoming opportunities to advocate for this bill.

Please say thank you to Senator Wiger for introducing this important bill! His office number is 651-296-6820 or you can send him an email using this form.

Deficiency Funding bill

The deficiency funding bill passed yesterday in both the House and Senate and was presented to the Governor today with the compromise language on commissioner pay raises, which had been the sticking point. The bill includes funding for the Minnesota Security Hospital as well as Ebola-related costs.

Student Nurse Day on the Hill

On Wednesday, about 400 nursing students from all over Minnesota came to St. Paul to learn more about why MNA nurses take patient advocacy from the bedside to the Capitol.  MNA member leaders were there to welcome the students to the most trusted profession, and invite them to join us in advocating for a Safe Patient Standard, workplace violence prevention and health care for all.

Wednesdays at the Capitol

Most Wednesdays, we bring small groups of nurses to the Capitol to meet with legislators about our priority bills. Our next visit is March 4. We’ll meet at the MNA office for a briefing and a quick training on talking to legislators, then we’ll carpool to the Capitol to talk to elected officials about the need for Safe Patient Standard and Workplace Violence Prevention legislation. We’ll return to the office around 1 p.m. and have lunch. Please contact Geri Katz at geri.katz@mnnurses.org or Eileen Gavin  at eileen.gavin.mnnurses.org for more information or to sign up.

Budget Forecast

Released today, the February budget forecast projects the state will have a $1.8 billion surplus in the next biennium. Minnesota’s economy is making a strong comeback after the recession, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Expect the Governor and legislative leaders to debate how to use those funds: tax cuts, additional spending and investment, or a combination of both.

Wisconsin Solidarity Rally

As you probably already know, Governor Scott Walker and Republicans are trying to pass a so-called “Right to Work” law in Wisconsin. This legislation, crafted by corporate special interests, would weaken workers’ rights across the border.

Tomorrow, there is a solidarity rally in Madison. Minnesotans can catch a bus from Hudson, WI (right across the border). The bus will leave from the park and ride lot at Interstate 94 and Carmichael Road at 7 a.m.

The rally starts at noon at the State Capitol in Madison.

Let’s show our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin that Minnesota’s working people stand with them!

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