Governor Pawlenty’s 2006-07 Budget Recommendations for MDH
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Governor Pawlenty is recommending nearly the same level of funding for MDH from this biennium to the next. He is, however, recommending that some of the department’s funds be spent differently. This fact sheet summarizes the budget changes recommended by the governor.
New buildings and rent
The cost of moving the public health laboratory and certain offices to the department’s new office and lab buildings will be covered by the sale of 717 Delaware (where part of the department is currently located). This funding is part of the governor’s deficiency bill already making its way through the Legislature.
The department’s rent is expected to increase in FY07. The department will make some administrative and operational reductions and use some of its indirect funds to offset a portion of these costs ($1.688 million in FY 2006 and $2.309 million in FY 2007); the department’s General Fund budget will be increased to cover the remainder ($722,000 in FY 2006 and $2.583 million in FY 2007).
Here is how we will achieve our reductions:
- Eliminate vacant positions in Human Resources, Communications, Finance and Facilities Management, and Division Management
- Reduce Library Services
- Further streamline Materials Management services
- Reduce General Fund support for the Office of the State Registrar
- Discontinue our Dental Health program
In addition to the reductions identified above, the department will:
- Discontinue the Office of Complementary and Alternative Practice ($65,000 per year)
- Reduce General Fund support for Suicide Prevention, and seek federal funding for this activity ($983,000 per year)
- Reduce General Fund support for the Dental Loan Repayment program, and add dentists to the Health Professional Loan Repayment program funded through the Health Care Access Fund ($560,000 per year)
The governor is proposing that the following new activities be funded at MDH:
- Meth Lab Remediation ($100,000 per year). Meth is a problem for almost every community. It affects local and state budgets for law enforcement, criminal justice, public health and children’s services. The governor is proposing a major meth initiative, involving several state agencies, which will provide resources for public safety, restrict access to the drugs used to “cook” meth, and create a revolving loan fund to give local governments the resources they need to clean up meth labs. MDH will provide technical assistance to local communities on how to effectively clean up meth labs to protect the public’s health.
- Positive Alternatives Grant program ($2.5 million per year, beginning in FY 2007). Abortion reporting data show that many women choose to have an abortion for economic reasons or because they “do not want to have a child at this time.” These concerns can be addressed by assuring that necessary services are accessible to pregnant women. This grant program will provide funds to community-based organizations that offer women the support they need to choose an alternative to abortion.
- Statewide Trauma System ($382,000 in FY 2006 and $352,000 each year thereafter). Trauma is the leading cause of death for Minnesotans ages 1 to 44, and is the third leading cause of death for all Minnesotans. Pockets of excellence in trauma care and prevention exist in Minnesota, but there are many areas where our citizens are isolated from trauma care resources. A statewide trauma system will assure that injured people are promptly transported and treated at facilities appropriate to the severity of the injury. The system will increase the survival rate of all seriously injured people and will reduce motor vehicle crash deaths.
The governor is recommending that the following programs adjust their fees to maintain or improve current service levels (see detailed budget pages for amounts):
- Food, Beverage and Lodging
- Food Managers Certification
- Drinking Water Protection
- Well management
- Plumbing Program
- Vital Records
- Lab Certification Program
- Occupational Therapists (fee holiday)
- Adverse Health Events reporting
When will these changes take effect?
The governor’s proposed budget will be discussed during the legislative session. A final budget needs to be agreed upon by both houses of the Legislature and the governor by the end of the legislative session. Final changes in the budget will take effect on July 1, 2005.
For more information
For more information about the budget for the Minnesota Department of Health, visit the Department of Finance Web page.
You may also contact the MDH Commissioner’s Office at 651-215-5800.