For three years, Children's Defense Fund Minnesota has fought for funding to provide health care for all the state's children. Each year, the organization watched its proposal die in the Republican-controlled house.
Until last week, that is.
In an 86-45 vote, the (now Democratic) house passed a $10 billion health care bill that included funding for Minnesota's 70,000 uninsured kids. The senate passed a less generous health care package of its own, and the differences will have to be ironed out in a conference committee.
The real test, though, will likely come when the bill arrives at desk of the governor, who is not a fan of taxpayer-funded largesse.
"It's good news," said Marc Kimball, spokesman for Children's Defense Fund Minnesota, of the house bill's passage. "Hopefully as they move along in negotiations, we can hold most of it there."