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Minnesota would recognize licenses for registered nurses from two dozen other states that are part of a national compact under legislation passed in the House Thursday evening. The bill passed on a 75-56 vote.

House passes nurse compact bill

Rep. Erin Murphy (Staff file photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

Minnesota would recognize licenses for registered nurses from two dozen other states that are part of a national compact under legislation passed in the House Thursday evening. The bill passed on a 75-56 vote.

The proposal previously cleared the Senate. It will require a conference committee to reconcile differences between the two bills. However, Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to veto the measure if it ultimately makes it to his desk.

Rep. Kim Norton, R-Rochester, the lead sponsor of the bill, characterized it as a change that will allow  greater flexibility for health care providers. “This is a very important bill for our state, for health care, and, in my opinion, for nurses,” Norton said.

But the Minnesota Nurses Association vigorously opposed the bill, arguing that it would enable strike-busting by allowing employers to send in workers from other states. Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, spoke against the measure. “I don’t think this legislation is ready yet,” Murphy said. “I don’t think we’re listening enough to the nurses.”

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