Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Gov. Mark Dayton, legislators kick off session in newly refurbished Capitol


A newly refurbished State Capitol was the backdrop Tuesday as 201 state legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton embarked on a debate about state spending over the next two years and, more immediately, an attempt to tackle rising costs in the state’s individual health-insurance market.

Dayton offered the new session’s opening salvo by once again asking Republicans, now fully in control of the Legislature, to immediately pass his proposal to buy down steep health insurance premium hikes confronting an estimated 125,000 Minnesotans. They are facing cost spikes in excess of 50 percent from last year to this year, but make too much to qualify for federal subsidies.

Pass it by this Friday, Dayton told legislators at a morning news conference, “so that we can get help to the Minnesotans who need it most.” In response, Republican leaders said they intend to act quickly, though probably not by the end of this week as Dayton demanded.


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