On Friday, May 12, Governor Dayton vetoed the Health and Human Services omnibus finance bill. On May 22, the session ends. There is one week left for politicians to negotiate a new bill. So, let’s tell them to do the right thing: Double the grants. Give Aid to All in Need (GAAIN). People are homeless and suffering – this must end now!
Budget negations stalled last week, so the Republicans (who hold the majority in both the House and Senate) came to a quick, dark-of-the-night agreement on Monday night (May 8) on the budget bills. The HHS bill (which has the welfare provisions), passed the full House and Senate on Tuesday, May 9. Governor Dayton vetoed the bill on Friday.
The provision to Give Aid to All in Need (GAAIN) was not included. GAAIN passed a Senate HHS finance committee for possible inclusion into the omnibus bill Feb. 27, but it wasn’t included the March Senate HHS proposal. But, clearly, the bills that passed the floor last month don’t really matter, as was shown by the inclusion, then the exclusion, then the inclusion again, of the paltry $13 per month MFIP increase and the “marriage incentive” (see previous post).
So, now that everything is up for grabs in new negotiations, tell MN politicians to double the grants and pass the GAAIN bill (SF791/HF379)!
Sample text for your call: “While the HHS budget is being re-negotiated, I am asking that you include the bill to Give Aid to All in Need – the GAAIN bill – in the final budget proposals. Also, please double the MFIP [em-fip] and General Assistance grants. They have not had an across-the-board increase since 1986 – since then, the cost of living as more than doubled. Please double the grants and pass the common-sense proposal to Give Aid to All in Need. People are homeless and suffering – this has to end now!”
Some phone numbers:
Governor Mark Dayton: 651-201-3400
Senate Majority Leader (Republican) Paul Gazelka: 651-296-4875
Senate Minority Leader (Democrat) Tom Bakk: 651-296-8881
House Majority Leader (Republican) Joyce Peppin: 651-296-7806
House Minority Leader (Democrat) Melissa Hortman: 651-296-4280
To see more numbers that you could call, click to see the HHS conference committee members. Scroll down to April 18th and April 20. We are not sure if the conferees will be the same in the upcoming week’s re-negotiation.