1 May - Legislative Update

1 May 2024 8:05 AM | Anonymous
  • MAA Membership: 

  • The Minnesota Legislature is three weeks away from its mandatory adjournment date of May 20, 2024. To add intrigue to the session, yesterday’s floor sessions (April 30) marked the 108th legislative day of the biennium. By rule the legislature can only meet in regular session (floor sessions) on no more than 120 days. Between now and May 20th, the legislature only has 12 days left to hold floor sessions; this leaves quite a bit of work to get done with limited time to do so!

    Recent developments regarding Senator Nicole Mitchell (DFL – Woodbury), who was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary, have raised questions about how the session will proceed and ultimately end. The Senate has spent a good amount of time during floor sessions over the past week debating how to best handle Senator Mitchell’s involvement with voting during the remainder of the session. The DFL party has a one-vote majority. If Senator Mitchell does not cast a vote, it is possible that remaining bills will fail due to a 33-33 tie vote. We are hopeful that EMS funding is a priority to all legislators and will receive bi-partisan support if brought to the floor.

    The House of Representatives has been very active in moving bills out of committee and off the floor. We assume they will continue to be active in moving bills and await action from the Senate. Unlike the number of days remaining to complete the work of the 93rd Legislature, the amount of activity will not be limited.

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to send a letter, make a phone call, or meet with their elected officials in early April; your efforts are noticed and do make a difference!

    We are asking members to continue reaching out to your legislators to share the importance of passing an Emergency Ambulance Service Aid bill this session. If you would like assistance in this, please reach out to Samantha at
    office@mnems.org. She will assist you in navigating the process.

    Priority Summary 

    Emergency Ambulance Service Aid

    HF3992 (Lislegard) has been the primary ambulance aid bill since it’s introduction on February 19th. The bill has made all deadlines and continues to make its way through the process. It currently sits in the Ways and Means Committee awaiting a hearing to set the funding level. The Ways and Means Committee serves as the committee which controls the money. As you may recall, the Governor proposed $10 million in funding for ambulance services in the northeast and central regions.

    SF3886 (Hauschild) is the companion to Rep. Lislegard’s bill. The bill was heard in Taxes back on March 6th. The committee had a good conversation around the need for the funding. The bill was laid on the table for further discussion, which is where it currently sits.

    Representative Huot introduced the governor’s proposal in HF5275, which was never heard. HF5399 (Backer) was introduced as a companion to SF5433 (Rasmusson) to provide aid to ambulance services based on a formula that takes into account geographic area served and run volume. The MAA and Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) have met with Rep. Backer and Senator Rasmusson several times over the past few weeks. Our efforts have been focused on finding common ground between all the bills, leadership’s budget targets, and ultimately the needs of ambulance services.

    Please contact your legislators to request that they support this one-time aid for ambulance services. There is quite a difference between the $10 million recommended by the Governor and the $120 million originally requested. In your conversations with legislators, please encourage them to support funding at the $120 million level. Receiving the full funding amount is unlikely but that does not mean we shouldn’t keep our message focused on the full need of the EMS system in Minnesota.

    Establishment of the Office of EMS

    The establishment of the Office of EMS language is in the Omnibus Health Finance bills of both bodies. HF4571 (Liebling) and SF4699 (Wiklund) contain identical language including an amendment that the MAA brought forward to ensure that the Deputy Director of Medical Services is a physician.

    The original bills, HF4738 (Huot) | SF4835 (Seeberger), are moving along separate from the Omnibus Health Finance bills. The Huot bill is awaiting a hearing in the Ways and Means committee. It is very likely that this and Rep. Lislegard’s emergency aid bill, HF3992, will be taken up by the committee together to establish funding for both.

    • HF4738 (Huot) | SF4835 (Seeberger) Establishment of the Office of EMS – Both bills have been heard in the Health committee of their body. HF4738 was heard in State and Local Government Finance and Policy and rereferred back to the Health Finance and Policy Committee. SF4838 was heard in State and Local Government and Veterans Committee and laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill.
    • Both bills have also had the Alternative EMS Response Model Pilot Program amended to the bill which would establish a “sprint medic model” to be tested in selected communities.
    • $6 million is budgeted for the transition from the EMSRB to the Office of EMS and for the sprint medic model.
    • The MAA had initially opposed the bills as physician involvement was minimal. After the authors amended their bills to include a physician in a director role, the Association moved their position to neutral.
Please reach out to your legislators to share the importance of keeping EMS a physician-led industry in Minnesota.
  • Licensing and Staffing Bill

    The licensing and staffing language is included in the Omnibus Health Finance bills of both bodies. HF4571 (Liebling) and SF4699 (Wiklund) both include the CFRN and CEN language along with alternative staffing and the removal of the restriction on the large cities regarding staffing variances. The bills update educational requirements and extend the period for which a person with a lapsed license can apply for reinstatement.

    • HF4600 (Huot) | SF4697 (Seeberger) Licensing and Staffing Bill – HF4600 was heard in the House Health Finance and Policy Committee on March 21st. The bill was amended to include certified flight registered nurses (CFRN) and certified emergency nurses (CEN) as ambulance service personnel. The amendment also removes the restriction on the metro counties, and the cities of Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, St. Cloud with regards to the staffing variances. The intent of the amendment is to allow all ambulance services to apply for a variance to use alternative staffing. The bill, as amended, was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus health bill.
    • SF4697 was heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 15th. The bill does not include the same language regarding certified flight nurses, certified emergency nurses, or the removal of the metro and urban cities restriction.
There are several other EMS related bills introduced this session. If you’re interested in the status of them please take a look at the MAA Bill Tracker.

You can contact the Buck McAlpin or Mark Jones, the MAA lobbying team, if you have any questions on these or other bills making their way through the process. We also encourage you contact our Legislative Committee Co-Chairs (Tom Fennell, Dane Meyer) or your Regional Board Representative to share your perspective on these issues. Our next board meeting is Friday, June 14th in Wilmar, MN – we hope to see you there!

Minnesota Ambulance Association
PO Box 583538 PMB 72319 | Minneapolis, MN | 55458-3538

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software