Policy News

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  • March 15, 2021 5:25 PM | Anonymous

    Please see the attached letter of support for HF2113 for equitable Covid-19 vaccine access. - March 12, 2021


    HF2113 Equitable Covid-19 Vaccine Access.pdf

  • February 18, 2021 3:04 PM | Anonymous

    Read the MN Declaration on Climate Change & Health letter, of which MPHA is a supporter. - February 18, 2021


    MN Declaration on Climate and Health 2-8-21.pdf

  • January 25, 2021 4:18 PM | Anonymous

    House Select Committee on Racial Justice Final Report  

     

    The Final Report of the House Select Committee on Racial Justice has been uploaded:

     

    Direct links: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/docs/AtTtQOzOW0_0kfobUfMQrw.pdf

     

    Committee Webpage: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/Committees/Home/91036


  • January 14, 2021 11:27 AM | Anonymous

    Mirroring a letter from Safe States Alliance, MPHA sent the following letter to President-Elect Biden's Transition Office on January 14, 2021, to rescind:


    Executive Order (EO) 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping


    Read the letter here: Letter to President-Elect 01-14-2021.pdf


    Update January 21, 2021:


    Read the federal Executive Order advancing racial equity and rescinding related Trump EOs, issued by President Biden on his first day in office.


    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through-the-federal-government/

  • December 02, 2020 10:29 AM | Anonymous
  • November 19, 2020 9:32 AM | Anonymous

    MPHA was proud to join endorse Decriminalizing Commercial Tobacco: Addressing Systemic Racism in the Enforcement of Commercial Tobacco Control” statement of principles on Sept. 30, 2020.


    This joint statement was developed by a consortium of over 40 public health organizations to help local and state health departments, decision makers, advocates, and other stakeholders advance equitable enforcement practices related to the purchase, possession, sale, and distribution of all commercial tobacco products.


    Please see the most recent update as of 11/10/20 in the attached .pdf:


    Tobacco Control Enforcement for Racial Equity_FINAL_20201011.pdf


    Additional organizational support continues to be accepted, and the endorsers list will be updated on a bi-monthly basis going forward.  Please contact Ginny Chadwick, Program CoordinatorMissouri Eliminate Tobacco Use InitiativeUniversity of Missouri School of Medicine at chadwickv@missouri.edu.




  • September 30, 2020 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    Please take a few minutes to help us review, and soon vote on, the two resolutions being brought forward to MPHA membership: Racism as a Public Health Crisis (1) and Universal School Meals (2). You will be receiving an email to vote on accepting or rejecting these important resolutions.The drafts are available for review below.

    1. Resolution_MPHA_Racism_Draft-HEC-PA-Final.docx 
    2. MPHA School Meals Resolution-HEC-PA-FINAL.doc


  • March 15, 2020 9:22 PM | Anonymous

    A look into which bills MPHA members will be keeping an eye on this legislative session.


    Topic: Tobacco 21

    Bill number:

    Description: Statewide legislation that increases the legal sale age for tobacco from 18 to 21. AHA and the Minnesotans for a Smokefree Generation coalition are still planning to push a state T21 bill this session to support compliance and enforcement and to remove PUP penalties. More than 60 Minnesota communities have already taken action by passing local Tobacco 21 ordinances, but the recent surge in youth e-cigarette use demands a statewide response.


    Topic: Tobacco prevention funding

    Bill number:

    Description: Tobacco use is the leading risk factor for cancer. Last year, Minnesota collected more than $750 million in tobacco taxes and settlement fees, but less than one percent was spent on tobacco prevention. ClearWay MinnesotaSM, which provides most of the funding for tobacco prevention in Minnesota, will end by 2022. A long-term, sustainable solution must be in place before it sunsets. American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Action Network (CAN) supports sustainable funding for tobacco prevention in Minnesota.


    Topic: Flavored tobacco products

    Bill number:

    Description: 80 percent of youth tobacco users use fruit, candy, or menthol flavored tobacco products. The tobacco industry markets flavored products, including menthol, to youth, African Americans, and other specific populations. Flavored products mask the harshness of tobacco but are just as addictive and dangerous as other products. ACS CAN supports restricting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including mint and menthol cigarettes.


    Topic: Healthy kids’ meals

    Bill number:

    Description: Legislation that makes water and milk the default beverage options in kids’ meals. Making water and milk the default beverage options for kids’ meals at restaurants will promote healthier beverage options and help reduce sugary drink consumption.


    Topic: Safe routes to school

    Bill number:

    Description: $6 million for Safe Routes to School infrastructure grants in a bonding bill. Safe Routes to School helps improve children’s safety by providing safer crosswalks and routes to walk and bike to school, which can increase physical activity and also promote students’ health and academic performance. Demand for infrastructure grants continues to grow in Minnesota, with requests for funding far exceeding available state and federal dollars.


    Topic: Access to care

    Bill number:

    Description: Policies that support health care access and coverage for individuals living with or at risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. AHA’s positions include but are not limited to prohibiting discrimination in coverage for pre-existing conditions, opposing the extension of short-term limited duration health plans, and supporting the continuation of the Palliative Care Advisory Council.


    Topic: Transportation: Reliable, long-term, dedicated funding for lasting change

    Bill number:

    Description:

    • A 3/4-cent increase in the metro sales tax to fund more bus routes, more electric buses, and more frequent service - with 90% of total revenue dedicated to metro-area transit and 10% dedicated to improving bicycling and walking in the metro.
    • $10 million per year in new, ongoing funding for Greater Minnesota transit.
    • $15 million per year in new, ongoing funding for Greater Minnesota bicycling and walking.

    Topic: Transportation: Capital investments for immediate, meaningful progress in 2020

    Bill number:

    Description:

    • $75 million for arterial bus rapid transit in the metro - bonding dollars are urgently needed this year to build the shovel-ready D Line and B Line, and to plan and engineer for additional lines that finally move the region beyond a smattering of routes to a connected aBRT system. 
    • 15 million for transit facilities in Greater Minnesota.
    • $10 million for suburban transit facilities.
    • $10 million for statewide Safe Routes to School.
    • $10 million in statewide electric bus and vehicle charging infrastructure.

    Topic: Breast and cervical cancer treatment for American Indian women

    Bill number:

    Description: The American Indian Cancer Foundation is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCDEP) to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings to under- and uninsured urban American Indian women in Minnesota. Under federal law, any woman diagnosed with cancer through a NBCCDEP-funded program is eligible for Medicaid. However, Minnesota's Medical Assistance for Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act is written with the most restrictive wording and names the Minnesota Department of Health’s Sage Screening Program as the only eligible screening program, leaving out any women screened and diagnosed through other CDC programs. ACS CAN supports legislation to broaden the treatment coverage to all women diagnosed under any NBCCEDP funded program in Minnesota.


    Topic: Palliative care

    Bill number:

    Description: ACS CAN supports legislation to fund the existing Minnesota Palliative Care Advisory Council, which works to identify barriers to coordinated, supportive care during treatment of life-threatening illnesses such as cancer.  


    Topic: Protecting access to pain medication for cancer patients

    Bill number:

    Description: ACS CAN will monitor legislative proposals regarding the prescribing of opioid pain medications and advocate for a balanced approach that promotes safe prescribing and dispensing of pain management medication that does not interfere with access to these medicines for the cancer patients and survivors who need them.


    Topic: Paid family and medical leave (**bill is still alive from last session)

    Bill number: HF5

    Description: This bill would create a state-administered paid leave insurance program that would provide up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement for medical and family leave, so Minnesotans can take care of themselves and their families. Everyone would contribute and everyone would benefit. More information about the issue and the coalition behind it is here.


    Topic: Clean energy (**bill is still alive from last session)

    Bill number: HF700/SF850

    Description: Health impacts related to climate change are significant and will accelerate without legislativeaction to reduce carbon emissions. The bill increases Minnesota’s renewable energy standard for electric utilities, removes garbage burning from definition of renewable energy, sets 100% carbon free energy standard in 2050, and includes language to ensure the benefits of the energy transition are shared equitably. Bipartisan support, but significant hurdles in the Senate.


    Topic: Expand firearm background checks (**bill is still alive from last session)

    Bill number: HF 8
    Description: This bill calls for expanding criminal background checks to include most private sales and transfers to include sales at gun shows or online. The background checks would not apply to a sale or transfer to an immediate family member. 


    Topic: “Red flag” law (**bill is still alive from last session)

    Bill number: HF 9/SF 436

    Description: This bill would adopt a “red flag” law that would allow relatives and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who may be a serious threat to others or themselves.


    Topic: Recreational cannabis

    Bill number:

    Description: A specific bill on the legalization of recreational cannabis has yet to be introduced for this session. This bill would likely propose to allow individuals over the age of 21 to possess and consume (and potentially cultivate) cannabis. It might also include criminal expungement. Representative Winkler has been traveling throughout the state to hold discussions on legalizing recreational cannabis; it is something he has been a proponent of for awhile. 

  • June 21, 2019 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    Here is the final update on the bills we were tracking this session, provided by Policy and Advocacy Committee members.


    Issue/Topic: Provider Tax Sunset/Health Care Access Fund


    Bill Numbers/Title: HF2414/SF2452 Omnibus HHSBills


    Brief description: Since its inception in 1992,Health Care Access Fund has supported Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare which provides health care coverage to working families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford health insurance. The current source of funding for HCAF is the provider tax, which is set to expire 12/31/19. If the provider tax expires, it would result in an almost $700 million annual loss in dedicated funding for health care in Minnesota. The HCAF also funds public health prevention strategies through the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP).Communities around Minnesota are using SHIP to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables, serve healthier foods, make walking and biking easier, encourage multi-unit housing to go smoke-free, and engage with employers to improve wellness options for employees. Working with community partners, SHIP has accelerated reductions in smoking rates and slowed rising obesity rates, resulting in $620 M in averted health care spending since 2011.  

     

    Final Status: The provider tax has been extended indefinitely at 1.8% (previously 2%). The Health Care Access Fund will continue to fund SHIP. SHIP was fully funded at $17.5 million per year.


    Issue/Topic: Clean Energy


    Bill Numbers/Title: HF700/SF850


    Brief description: Health impacts related to climate change are significant and will accelerate without legislative action to reduce carbon emissions. The bill increases Minnesota’s renewable energy standard for electric utilities, removes garbage burning from definition of renewable energy, sets 100% carbon free energy standard in 2050, and includes language to ensure the benefits of the energy transition are shared equitably.Bipartisan support, but significant hurdles in the Senate.


    Final Status: This bill did not pass.


    Issue/Topic: Healthy Food Access


    Bill Numbers/Title: HF436/SF1354 (Good FoodAccess Program)


    Brief description: This bill would invest $2.5 million/year in the Good Food Access Program, which is designed to provide grants, loans and technical assistance to small food retailers who are working to address Minnesota’s food access challenges. Since its establishment in 2016, the Program has supported a range of community-driven solutions, from enhanced grocery stores to mobile markets, farmers’ markets and more. In all, more than 20 communities have benefited, but food access challenges still exist for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans, putting them at higher risk for poor health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Without a reinvestment, funding will run out this year. Visit https://www.mnhealthykids.org/good-food-access-campaign/ to learn more.


    Final Status: The Good Food Access Program secured additional resources in the final state budget, allowing the Dept. of Agriculture to invest up to $300,000 per year for the next four years.


    Issue/Topic: CPR


    Bill Numbers/Title: HF1520/SF1638 (TelephoneCPR)


    Brief description: This bill would strengthen our state’s EMS system by promoting telephone CPR training for 911 operators.The general public expects that, if they call 911 for a cardiac arrest emergency, the operator is going to be to tell them how to start CPR until help arrives, but this doesn’t always happen, because there are no minimum training standards for 911 operators in MN. This bill would ensure all 911 operators are trained to provide CPR instructions over the phone or to quickly transfer callers to a center that can, helping bystanders start CPR quickly while EMS is in route. Immediate bystander CPR can double, even triple, a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.


    Final Status: Telephone CPR passed as part of the judiciary and public safety omnibus bill. This new law will ensure all 911 operators in Minnesota are trained to provide CPR instructions over the phone or quickly identify and transfer cardiac arrest calls to another call center whose staff can.


    Issue/Topic: Paid Family and Medical Leave


    Bill Numbers/Title: HF5, now incorporated into HF2208 (JobsOmnibus); Senate Jobs Omnibus is SF2611


    Brief description: This bill would create a state-administered paid leave insurance program that would provide up to 12weeks of partial wage replacement for medical and family leave, so Minnesotans can take care of themselves and their families. Everyone would contribute and everyone would benefit.


    Final Status: The bill was not heard in the Senate, so it did not pass.


    Issue/Topic: Gun violence prevention legislation 


    Bill Numbers/Title: Expand firearm background checks  (HF 8)


    Brief description: This bill calls for expanding criminal background checks to include most private sales and transfers to include sales at gun shows or online. The background checks would not apply to a sale or transfer to an immediate family member. 


    Final Status: This did not pass.


    Issue/Topic: Gun violence prevention legislation 


    Bill Numbers/Title: “Red flag” law (HF 9/SF 436)


    Brief description: This bill would adopt a “red flag” law that would allow relatives and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who may be a serious threat to others or themselves. 


    Final Status: This did not pass.


    Issue/Topic: Opioid Crisis/Opiate Epidemic Response


    Bill Numbers/Title: HF400/SF751


    Brief description: This bill would establish an Opioid Addiction Advisory Council, opioid stewardship fund, and opiate product registration fee; opioid addiction prevention, education, intervention, treatment, and recovery provisions modified; reports required; and money appropriated.


    Final Status: This bill passed. Fees will be charged to manufacturers. A portion of the funds may go to the county and other social service organizations that are impacted by the opioid crisis.


    Issue/Topic: Prescription Drug Transparency


    Bill Numbers/Title: HF704


    Brief description: Requires drug manufacturers to provide greater transparency over prescription drugs – cost disclosure for qualifying prescription drugs and report required.


    Final Status: Funding was appropriated for this, but policy language will be worked on in 2020.


    Issue/Topic: Prescription Drug Repository Program


    Summary: Allows some healthcare facilities (e.g., long-term care facilities) to donate unused, still packaged medications to a central repository for redistribution. Reduces waste, environmental harm, and saves money.


    Final Status: This passed.


    Issue/Topic:Tobacco 21 


    Summary: Raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will help reduce youth smoking and save lives, since 95% of addicted adult smokers started before age 21. To date, 31 Minnesota cities and counties have adopted Tobacco 21 policies. Tobacco 21 would have a profound effect on health, reducing smoking among 15-to-17-year-olds by an estimated 25 percent.


    Final status:This did not pass.


    Issue/Topic: Smoking Cessation Funding


    Summary: QUITPLAN® Services, the state’s free quit-smoking helpline, is ending in 2020. Lawmakers must fund quit-smoking resources this year so there is no gap in help for Minnesotans who are trying to quit tobacco. If Minnesota does not fund a statewide service, it will become the only state in the nation not providing one.


    Final Status: This passed; funding has moved to MDH.


    Issue/Topic: Keeping Indoor Air Clean


    SummaryMinnesotans expect and deserve clean indoor air. This bill expands the definition of smoking to ensure Minnesota’s smoke-free indoor air law covers the use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited. Several local Minnesota communities have passed these policies, but Minnesota does not have a comprehensive statewide law.


    Final Status: This passed.


    Dedicating Delinquent Tobacco Settlement Fees


    SummarySince 2015, several cigarette brands have not been paying their required share of settlement fees to the state of Minnesota. Big Tobacco companies agreed to pay these fees in perpetuity as part of the 1998 Minnesota Tobacco Settlement. This bill states that if and when the delinquent companies pay these fees, part of those funds will be dedicated to health and addressing the harms caused by tobacco use, now and in the future.


    Final Status: This did not pass.


  • May 10, 2019 11:22 AM | Anonymous

    Conference Committees are meeting now to discuss final resolution on crucial public health policies including gun violence prevention, public health funding, and health care access.


    For more information on the issues and how to reach out:


    Health Care Access Fund Call to Action


    Gun Violence Prevention Call to Action


    Thank you to our friends from Protect MN, Local Public Health Association, and This is Medicaid for status updates and messaging tips!

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