Legislature faces decisions on health care, school choice, family poverty

(January 3, 2017 – The Visitor – Joe Towalski)

MCC is supporting efforts to expand school choice, oppose assisted suicide, regulate commercial surrogacy and increase aid to poor families

After a contentious U.S. presidential campaign that highlighted the nation’s deep political divisions, the Minnesota Catholic Conference is hoping that state Republicans and Democrats can rise above partisan differences to pass legislation consistent with the conference’s 2017 public policy priorities.

“One thing that’s going to be a challenge with this legislative session — which we also saw in 2016 — is the challenge of divided government,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of MCC, the church’s official public policy voice in the state.

Republicans, who control both the House and Senate, will need to work with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton during this year’s session, which began Jan. 3 and ends in May. Among the challenges they face is what to do with a projected $1.4 billion state budget surplus.

“Not everyone is going to get what they want,” Adkins said in a Dec. 28 interview. “The question is: How willing are they to work together, and how willing are they to embrace compromise?”

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