Friends and neighbors,
My fellow legislators and I are in the final weeks of the Legislative Session here at the Capitol, focused on passing a balanced budget that will set Minnesota up for success after such a troubling year. We will be spending the remaining days on the Senate Floor working in conference committees, debating the budget and other sensible legislation for good governance, important programs, and funding the necessary sectors of our state.
An issue I have been strongly fighting for in the Legislature made its way to the Senate Floor on Monday. Voter ID is an important measure that would increase confidence in our elections by ensuring each voter proves identity before their votes are cast. Requiring identification to vote is common sense, especially since there will be identification cards provided should a voter not have access to one before voting. And the bill includes assistance to get underlying documents needed such as a birth certificate
We need an ID to get on a plane, make certain purchases, and for many other parts of everyday life; it only makes sense to require identification to vote. One person gets one vote, and each Minnesotan deserves the confidence that when their ballot is cast, it is counted as legitimate.
Telehealth has been a positive outcome to the patient needs during the COVID pandemic. Patients have been able to receive good care when and where they need it via telehealth. The Health and Human Services budget includes the Minnesota Telehealth Act, which provides necessary updates to existing law to require insurers to reimburse providers the same for telehealth and in-person visits. Minnesota has required plans to do this since 2016 and will continue in order to ensure there are no gaps in coverage. This patient-centered care removes barriers for Minnesotans across the state to access quality healthcare that best fits their individual needs. I did speak to the great value of in-person patient care. The bill includes the right for either a patient or a provider to choose an in-person visit.
The Health and Human Services budget also prioritizes mothers, families, and children. The budget focuses on working families especially by improving maternal and newborn care with in-home nurse visits, extending MA coverage for enrollees after delivery of a baby, and requiring a regular report on maternal and infant health. Maternal outcomes have been worsening in the United States and this report will help identify what changes could ensure women have healthier deliveries. Investing in the critical care of new families is a top priority in Minnesota and these newly available resources will help many throughout the state.
I remain dedicated to fighting for your needs at the Capitol in any way I can. I encourage you to reach out to my office with your questions, comments, or concerns. My phone number is 651-296-5655 or you can email me at Sen.Mary.Kiffmeyer@Senate.MN.