“Minnesota’s budget outlook is significantly better for this biennium and the next due to an improved U.S. economic outlook that is bolstered by large federal actions that have emerged since November and were not incorporated in earlier projections. There is no longer an anticipated shortfall for FY 2022-23 and we now project a positive balance of $1.6 billion because of a higher revenue forecast, lower state spending, and an increased surplus for the current fiscal year. Improvements to the economic outlook have not been spread equally as unemployment continues to disproportionately impact lower-wage workers.”Last November MMB, as part of their November 2020 Budget and Economic Forecast, projected a $1.273 billion budget deficit for the next biennium. Today’s announcement suggests a nearly $2.8 billion improvement to the state’s budget and revenues since November. It is important to note, the November Forecast did not include any recognition of the $900 billion in federal COVID-19 relief passed by Congress and signed into law in December. The Legislature and Governor Walz will use the February Budget and Economic Forecast as the basis of their negotiations to complete the budget for the next biennium.The February Forecast does not contemplate any additional federal support. If the Biden Administration and Congress are able to pass the nearly $1.9 billion COVID-19 package, currently being negotiated, the state’s budget surplus and economic forecast is likely to show further improvement. However, given the timing of those negotiations, any additional federal funding cannot be contemplated in the state’s budget for the next biennium. The budget for the next biennium could address this issue by establishing spending which would only take place if additional federal support is made available to the state.
The city’s largest employer and health care provider, Essentia Health, intends to grow its regional footprint with a massive acquisition of hospitals and clinics owned by CommonSpirit Health in North Dakota and rural Minnesota. The two health systems have signed a letter of intent to bring two dozen CHI-branded facilities under Essentia ownership as early as this summer.
The most recent update from the Minnesota Department of Health has given healthcare providers the flexibility to begin vaccinating anyone over age 65 if vaccine remains from phase 1a allocation.
Tuesday marked the start of the 2021 Minnesota Legislative Session. Floor sessions began with the swearing in of members, followed by the election of Leadership in both bodies. Tuesday’s activities also highlighted the differences in how the House and Senate will manage operations during the global pandemic. (more…)
Governor Walz issued an order calling the Legislature back to St. Paul for the 7th Special Session of 2020. The Governor must call the Legislature back to extend his Emergency Executive Order which grants him the authority to issue all subsequent Executive Orders. The Legislature does not need to approve the Emergency Order, however they do have the authority to void the Governor’s Emergency Powers if both bodies pass a resolution voiding the authority. (more…)
Governor Walz and members of his finance team at the Office of Management and Budget provided further details on the November 2020 Budget & Economic Forecast on December 2. Last May, a preliminary forecast projected the state would be facing a $2.4 billion deficit in the current biennium which ends on June 30, 2021 and a $4.7 billion shortfall in the next biennium as a result of the coronavirus. (more…)
With the challenges of the current pandemic, the CHA-MN Board of Directors has recently decided to cancel our (in-person) Annual Meeting for 2020. It was our intention to have Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, new CEO of e Catholic Health Association (CHA-USA) keynote our meeting. In light of the this cancellation, Sr. Mary has graciously sent the following message to our Minnesota members. We will look for a time hopefully in 2021 when we can safely gather as a membership with Sr. Mary Haddad. In order to conduct annual required business in accordance with the CHA-MN Bylaws, we are hereby notifying you that an Annual Meeting (via proxy) will be held Friday, November 13, 2020.
Fairview Health announced a dramatic downsizing of hospital and clinic operations on Monday to stem financial losses, including the shutdown of the 90-bed Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul that had been converted in March to treat COVID-19 patients. (more…)