Health Insurance Transparency Act (HITA) on Senate Floor Tomorrow. HF 2180 passed the Senate Finance Committee this morning and will be on the Senate floor tomorrow for final passage. In a bit of a surprise, an amendment exempting self-insured school districts from the requirements of the bill offered by Senator Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) passed on a vote of 10-9. Needless to say, Education Minnesota doesn't appear to be too happy with the vote, which saw two other DFLers join Senator Bonoff along with all but one Republican that was present to pass the amendment. There will undoubtedly be an attempt to strike this amendment from the bill tomorrow on the Senate floor, so if you are a self-insured district, please make certain you contact your legislator and urge them to support keeping the Bonoff amendment on the bill. Self-insured districts are an entirely different animal than districts who have chosen to purchase health insurance through other means. While all districts clearly consult with their bargaining units on health insurance coverage and costs, in setting up a self-insured pools, district boards and administrations have worked hand-in-hand with teachers on every step of the transition to self-insurance. To somehow contend otherwise is really misleading.
I'm still trying to figure out why this legislation is needed at all, but I'll let Education Minnesota do the explaining. Other than that it was a pretty quiet day on the education legislation front. As I noted in an earlier entry, the House conferees for HF 3172 were named and House Education Finance Chair Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth) will be a member of the conference committee working out the differences that exist between the Senate and House versions of the omnibus supplemental appropriations bill.