ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Legislature has sent Gov. Mark Dayton a $11 billion package of spending on health and assistance programs that includes a 5-percent pay increase for nursing home workers.
The Senate passed the Democratic-crafted bill on Saturday afternoon by a 39-28 vote along party lines. The House passed the bill late Friday. It funds medical and other assistance programs that together make up nearly a third of all projected state spending in the next two years.
The pay increases for nursing home workers is the first in four years. The bill also has a smaller, 1-percent hike for care workers for the disabled. Republicans say those workers deserve more given that Democrats are raising more than $2 billion in new tax revenue in their budget plan.
Lawmakers are busy Saturday passing budget bills as they stretch toward a late Monday deadline to adjourn the regular session.