DFL legislative leaders are “strongly encouraging” Gov. Tim Pawlenty to accept millions in federal Medicaid money.
Congress approved federal health care funds that could send $263 million in one-time funding to Minnesota. The catch: Washington lawmakers tacked on a provision that requires governors to formally acknowledge the flow of federal money to their state.
That creates a bit of a dilemma for a Pawlenty, an outspoken critic of the new federal spending with presidential ambitions. If Pawlenty signs on, there’s millions of new money for low-income and elderly Medicaid patients and health care providers. If not, zilch.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, House Majority Leader Tony Sertich and Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller sent Pawlenty a letter urging him to sign on.
“You cannot let political ambition get in the way of doing what is right for Minnesota,” the letter said. “We strongly encourage you to seek these federal funds. Failure to do so would be an irresponsible act … hurting Minnesota taxpayers while doing nothing to help the tough economic situation faced by patients and our health care system.”
DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton made a similar request of Pawlenty last week.
More from Star Tribune
More From Hot Dish Politics
A DFL state Senator has asked that a sign hung in the window of a Republican colleague be taken down because it might violate a zoning ordinance.
If U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison vacates his congressional seat for top DNC job, state Sen. Scott Dibble will run, reversing a previous decision to stay out of the race to replace him.
Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, called it a "crushing" tax on local purveyors of fine cigars and their customers.
Sen. Franken to vote against Education Secretary nominee
Still a sliver of possibility, however.