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Care workers raises in Minn. House health budget

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's nursing home and long-term care workers would get small salary increases in a health spending bill up in the Minnesota House.

The raises are 3 percent for nursing home workers and 2 percent for long-term care workers. The Democratic-sponsored, $5 billion health and human services budget is on the House floor Monday.

Democrats say the bill makes a small dent in the growth rate of safety net programs but doesn't cut services for anyone. It also expands the availability of mental health treatment for children. It raises money with a new surcharge on hospitals and a cap on reserve funds for HMOs that serve patients on state assistance.

Republican lawmakers from rural areas say the bill doesn't have enough money to save struggling, small nursing homes.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.