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More money possible for home health care workers

ST. PAUL - Home health care workers would receive a nearly 7.7 percent raise under a measure the Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee heard Monday.

Committee members approved increasing health and human services spending from $75 million to $91 million this year, modifying what already was in a two-year budget that passed last year.

Caregivers' wages have not risen in years, and the 2011 Legislature cut pay as a way to help balance the state budget.

Monday's home care action comes as the Ways and Means Committee continues to hear budget plans for each part of the state budget. The Senate Finance Committee plans to do the same throughout this week.

The Legislature is combining tax relief measures, increasing the state budget reserve and bumping up spending after February news of a $1.2 billion surplus.

Final House and Senate budget votes are expected late this week.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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