The Minnesota Senate and House omnibus health and human services (HHS) bills, SF 800 and HF 945, were released on Monday, March 27, 2017.   We made progress on several of our legislative priorities, but on some of our major initiatives, we were shut out.  Here is the good news:

  • SF 1065/HF 1445 — Consumer Directed Community Supports:  Both the language and funding were included in the House bill, and some of the language was included in the Senate bill.  We are in a good position to move forward.
  • SF 1055/HF 1239 — New Employment Services:  This legislation was included in both bills.
  • SF 807/HF 1182 — Lowering Parental Fees:  The Senate language lowers fees by 13%, and the House language lowers fees by 25%.  We will strongly advocate for the House language.
  • SF 853/HF 865 -– MSA Housing Assistance:  Language for this measure is in the Senate bill but not the House version.  In conference committee we will push for the Senate position.

The disappointments:

  • SF 250/HF 225, the Medical Assistance (MA) spend down, was not included in either bill.
  • SF 669/HF 873, the Best Life Alliance wage increase, was not included in either bill.

The HHS omnibus bills still need to be passed in the Senate and House and then will go to a House/Senate conference committee.  The Senate and House goals are to pass bills in their respective chambers before the Legislature recesses for its spring break starting April 8th, then work out differences between the bills in conference committee after the recess.  This gives us time to advocate for and support the positive provisions in these bills, as well as strategize with our partners on next steps for the Best Life Alliance and MA spend down measures.

We will keep you informed through our Public Policy Update, action alerts, and blog posts.  If you are not already on our Public Policy Action Network, sign up online to start getting this inforamtion.