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HF 35

1st Engrossment - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 02/10/2021 06:39pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to human services; authorizing the Council on Disability to accept and
disburse grants and other aids; appropriating money for grants to cities and counties
to improve website accessibility; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, section
256.482, subdivision 5; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes,
chapter 256.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 256.482, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Duties and powers.

The council shall have the following duties and powers:

(1) to advise and otherwise aid the governor; appropriate state agencies, including but
not limited to the Departments of Education, Human Services, Employment and Economic
Development, and Human Rights and the Divisions of Rehabilitation Services and Services
for the Blind; the state legislature; and the public on matters pertaining to public policy and
the administration of programs, services, and facilities for persons who have a disability in
Minnesota;

(2) to encourage and assist in the development of coordinated, interdepartmental goals
and objectives and the coordination of programs, services and facilities among all state
departments and private providers of service as they relate to persons with a disability;

(3) to serve as a source of information to the public regarding all services, programs and
legislation pertaining to persons with a disability;

(4) to review and make comment to the governor, state agencies, the legislature, and the
public concerning adequacy of state programs, plans and budgets for services to persons
with a disability and for funding under the various federal grant programs;

(5) to research, formulate and advocate plans, programs and policies which will serve
the needs of persons who are disabled;

(6) to advise the Departments of Labor and Industry and Employment and Economic
Development on the administration and improvement of the workers' compensation law as
it relates to programs, facilities and personnel providing assistance to workers who are
injured and disabled;

(7) to advise the Workers' Compensation Division of the Department of Labor and
Industry and the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals as to the necessity and extent
of any alteration or remodeling of an existing residence or the building or purchase of a
new or different residence which is proposed by a licensed architect under section 176.137;

(8) to initiate or seek to intervene as a party in any administrative proceeding and judicial
review thereof to protect and advance the right of all persons who are disabled to an
accessible physical environment as provided in section 326B.139; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(9) to initiate or seek to intervene as a party in any administrative or judicial proceeding
which concerns programs or services provided by public or private agencies or organizations
and which directly affects the legal rights of persons with a disabilitydeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (10) to apply for, accept, and disburse grants and other aids from other public or private
sources.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [256.4831] WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY GRANTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Grant program established. new text end

new text begin A website accessibility grant program is
established. Within available appropriations, grants must be awarded by the Minnesota
Council on Disability under section 256.482 to improve the accessibility of local government
websites and website content for persons with disabilities.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Website Accessibility Grant Advisory Council. new text end

new text begin (a) A Website Accessibility
Grant Advisory Council is established. The purpose of the advisory council is to assist the
Minnesota Council on Disability in awarding grants under subdivision 1. The advisory
council consists of the following members:
new text end

new text begin (1) one representative of the League of Minnesota Cities, appointed by the league;
new text end

new text begin (2) one representative of the Association of Minnesota Counties, appointed by the
association;
new text end

new text begin (3) one representative of the Minnesota Council on Disability, appointed by the council;
new text end

new text begin (4) one member of the public who is a self-advocate, appointed by the governor; and
new text end

new text begin (5) the state chief information officer, or a designee.
new text end

new text begin (b) The terms, compensation, and removal of members is governed by section 15.059.
The advisory council must elect a chair from among its members.
new text end

new text begin (c) The advisory council is subject to chapter 13D. The advisory council must meet at
the request of the Minnesota Council on Disability or the chair, but no fewer than two times
per year to fulfill its duties. The Minnesota Council on Disability must provide meeting
space and other administrative assistance to support the work of the advisory council.
new text end

new text begin (d) The advisory council must review applications from local governments for grant
funding to support website accessibility projects and to make recommendations to the
Minnesota Council on Disability for the award of grants. The Minnesota Council on Disability
may not award a grant unless it has been reviewed by the advisory council. The advisory
council must establish uniform, objective criteria to be used in evaluating grant applications.
The criteria must include standards to ensure grant funding is distributed equitably across
the state, and that grant funds are available without regard to a local government's population
size.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Report to legislature. new text end

new text begin No later than January 15, 2022, and annually thereafter,
the Minnesota Council on Disability must submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority
members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over state government finance and
local government detailing the grants awarded under this section, including the number of
grant applications received, the number of grants awarded, the geographic distribution of
grant applications and awards, and the amount of each grant awarded and how it was used.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; CITIES AND COUNTIES.
new text end

new text begin $1,000,000 in fiscal year 2022 is appropriated from the general fund to the Council on
Disability to be used for grants to cities and counties to improve website accessibility, to
be available until June 30, 2025. Up to 15 percent of this appropriation may be used for
administrative purposes.
new text end