The Minnesota House’s lead Democrat on health care said Wednesday that he will not run for re-election, but plans to continue pursuing reform in the field.
Duluth Rep. Tom Huntley, who chairs the Health and Human Services Finance Committee, said Tuesday that 11 terms in office is enough. The retired University of Minnesota-Duluth professor said he intends to focus on primary care and rural access issues.
“We have made a great deal of progress in passing legislation to improve our health care system, but there are significant challenges that remain, especially when it comes to implementing the some of the reforms and laws we’ve passed,” he said. “I feel the time is right for me to step aside at the state legislature and step into a new avenue of service where I can use my experience and knowledge to better implement health policy in Minnesota.”
Huntley, 75, was first elected in 1992 and served as the committee chair from 2007-2010 before his current tenure. He was chief sponsor of the 2007 Freedom to Breathe Act, which banned indoor smoking in public places. He also served as a co-chair of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s health care reform task force and led efforts to pass health care reform in 2008. He was an early supporter of the Affordable Care Act and was active in organizing state lawmakers who supported its passage. This year he was the chief sponsor of legislation to expand Medical Assistance in Minnesota.
He's the latest lawmaker who intends not to seek re-election after the coming session.
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.