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SF 101

3rd Engrossment - 80th Legislature (1997 - 1998) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

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

Current Version - 3rd Engrossment

  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to human services; adding an exclusion to 
  1.3             elderly housing with services establishment; 
  1.4             downsizing the number of IMD beds; modifying the 
  1.5             appeal process for nursing facilities; changing 
  1.6             procedure for permanent placement of a child and 
  1.7             provisions for reimbursement for family foster care; 
  1.8             removing the time limitation on family general 
  1.9             assistance; amending Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 
  1.10            144D.01, subdivision 4; 245.466, by adding a 
  1.11            subdivision; 256B.059, subdivisions 1, 2, 5, and by 
  1.12            adding a subdivision; 256B.17, subdivision 7; 
  1.13            256B.431, subdivision 18; 256B.50, subdivisions 1, 1b, 
  1.14            1c, and 1e; 256D.01, subdivision 1a; 257.071, 
  1.15            subdivision 2; 260.191, subdivision 3b; 260.192; 
  1.16            260.242, subdivision 2; and 382.18; repealing 
  1.17            Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 256B.17, 
  1.18            subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8; and 256B.50, 
  1.19            subdivisions 1d, 1g, 1h, and 2. 
  1.21     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 144D.01, 
  1.22  subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
  1.24  ESTABLISHMENT.] "Elderly housing with services establishment" or 
  1.25  "establishment" means an establishment providing sleeping 
  1.26  accommodations to one or more adult residents, at least 80 
  1.27  percent of which are 55 years of age or older, and offering or 
  1.28  providing, for a fee, one or more health-related or supportive 
  1.29  service, whether offered or provided directly by the 
  1.30  establishment or by another entity arranged for by the 
  1.31  establishment. 
  1.32     Elderly housing with services establishment does not 
  2.1   include: 
  2.2      (1) a nursing home licensed under chapter 144A; 
  2.3      (2) a hospital, boarding care home, or supervised living 
  2.4   facility licensed under sections 144.50 to 144.56; 
  2.5      (3) a board and lodging establishment licensed under 
  2.6   chapter 157 and Minnesota Rules, parts 9520.0500 to 9520.0670, 
  2.7   9525.0215 to 9525.0355, 9525.0500 to 9525.0660, or 9530.4100 to 
  2.8   9530.4450; 
  2.9      (4) a board and lodging establishment which serves as a 
  2.10  shelter for battered women or other similar purpose; 
  2.11     (5) a family adult foster care home licensed under 
  2.12  Minnesota Rules, parts 9543.0010 to 9543.0150; or 
  2.13     (6) private homes in which the residents are related by 
  2.14  kinship, law, or affinity with the providers of services; or 
  2.15     (7) residential settings for persons with mental 
  2.16  retardation or related conditions in which the services are 
  2.17  licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9525.2100 to 9525.2140, or 
  2.18  applicable successor rules or laws. 
  2.19     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 245.466, is 
  2.20  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  2.21     Subd. 7.  [IMD DOWNSIZING FLEXIBILITY.] (a) If a county 
  2.22  presents a budget-neutral plan for a net reduction in the number 
  2.23  of institution for mental disease (IMD) beds funded under group 
  2.24  residential housing, the commissioner may transfer the net 
  2.25  savings from group residential housing and general assistance 
  2.26  medical care to medical assistance and mental health grants to 
  2.27  provide appropriate services in non-IMD settings.  For the 
  2.28  purposes of this subdivision, "a budget neutral plan" means a 
  2.29  plan that does not increase the state share of costs. 
  2.30     (b) The provisions of paragraph (a) do not apply to a 
  2.31  facility that has its reimbursement rate established under 
  2.32  section 256B.431, subdivision 4, paragraph (c). 
  2.33     Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.059, is 
  2.34  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  2.35     Subdivision 1.  [INSTITUTIONALIZED SPOUSE.] The provisions 
  2.36  of this section apply only when a spouse is institutionalized 
  3.1   for a continuous period beginning on or after October 1, 1989. 
  3.2      Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.059, 
  3.3   subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
  3.4      Subdivision 1. Subd. 1a.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For purposes 
  3.5   of this section, the terms defined in this subdivision have the 
  3.6   meanings given them. 
  3.7      (b) "Community spouse" means the spouse of an 
  3.8   institutionalized spouse. 
  3.9      (c) "Spousal share" means one-half of the total value of 
  3.10  all assets, to the extent that either the institutionalized 
  3.11  spouse or the community spouse had an ownership interest at the 
  3.12  time of institutionalization. 
  3.13     (d) "Assets otherwise available to the community spouse" 
  3.14  means assets individually or jointly owned by the community 
  3.15  spouse, other than assets excluded by subdivision 5, paragraph 
  3.16  (c). 
  3.17     (e) "Community spouse asset allowance" is the value of 
  3.18  assets that can be transferred under subdivision 3. 
  3.19     (f) "Institutionalized spouse" means a person who is: 
  3.20     (1) in a hospital, nursing facility, or intermediate care 
  3.21  facility for persons with mental retardation, or receiving home 
  3.22  and community-based services under section 256B.0915 or 256B.49, 
  3.23  and is expected to remain in the facility or institution or 
  3.24  receive the home and community-based services for at least 30 
  3.25  consecutive days; and 
  3.26     (2) married to a person who is not in a hospital, nursing 
  3.27  facility, or intermediate care facility for persons with mental 
  3.28  retardation, and is not receiving home and community-based 
  3.29  services under section 256B.0915 or 256B.49. 
  3.30     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.059, 
  3.31  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
  3.32     Subd. 2.  [ASSESSMENT OF SPOUSAL SHARE.] At the beginning 
  3.33  of a the first continuous period of institutionalization of a 
  3.34  person beginning on or after October 1, 1989, at the request of 
  3.35  either the institutionalized spouse or the community spouse, or 
  3.36  upon application for medical assistance, the total value of 
  4.1   assets in which either the institutionalized spouse or the 
  4.2   community spouse had an interest at the time of the first period 
  4.3   of institutionalization of 30 days or more shall be assessed and 
  4.4   documented and the spousal share shall be assessed and 
  4.5   documented. 
  4.6      Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.059, 
  4.7   subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
  4.8      Subd. 5.  [ASSET AVAILABILITY.] (a) At the time of initial 
  4.9   determination of eligibility for medical assistance benefits 
  4.10  following the first continuous period of institutionalization on 
  4.11  or after October 1, 1989, assets considered available to the 
  4.12  institutionalized spouse shall be the total value of all assets 
  4.13  in which either spouse has an ownership interest, reduced by the 
  4.14  following: 
  4.15     (1) prior to July 1, 1994, the greater of:  
  4.16     (i) $14,148; 
  4.17     (ii) the lesser of the spousal share or $70,740; or 
  4.18     (iii) the amount required by court order to be paid to the 
  4.19  community spouse; 
  4.20     (2) for persons whose date of initial determination of 
  4.21  eligibility for medical assistance following their first 
  4.22  continuous period of institutionalization occurs on or after 
  4.23  July 1, 1994, the greater of:  
  4.24     (i) $20,000; 
  4.25     (ii) the lesser of the spousal share or $70,740; or 
  4.26     (iii) the amount required by court order to be paid to the 
  4.27  community spouse.  If the community spouse asset allowance has 
  4.28  been increased under subdivision 4, then the assets considered 
  4.29  available to the institutionalized spouse under this subdivision 
  4.30  shall be further reduced by the value of additional amounts 
  4.31  allowed under subdivision 4. 
  4.32     (b) An institutionalized spouse may be found eligible for 
  4.33  medical assistance even though assets in excess of the allowable 
  4.34  amount are found to be available under paragraph (a) if the 
  4.35  assets are owned jointly or individually by the community 
  4.36  spouse, and the institutionalized spouse cannot use those assets 
  5.1   to pay for the cost of care without the consent of the community 
  5.2   spouse, and if:  (i) the institutionalized spouse assigns to the 
  5.3   commissioner the right to support from the community spouse 
  5.4   under section 256B.14, subdivision 3; (ii) the institutionalized 
  5.5   spouse lacks the ability to execute an assignment due to a 
  5.6   physical or mental impairment; or (iii) the denial of 
  5.7   eligibility would cause an imminent threat to the 
  5.8   institutionalized spouse's health and well-being. 
  5.9      (c) After the month in which the institutionalized spouse 
  5.10  is determined eligible for medical assistance, during the 
  5.11  continuous period of institutionalization, no assets of the 
  5.12  community spouse are considered available to the 
  5.13  institutionalized spouse, unless the institutionalized spouse 
  5.14  has been found eligible under paragraph (b). 
  5.15     (d) Assets determined to be available to the 
  5.16  institutionalized spouse under this section must be used for the 
  5.17  health care or personal needs of the institutionalized spouse. 
  5.18     (e) For purposes of this section, assets do not include 
  5.19  assets excluded under the supplemental security income program. 
  5.20     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.17, 
  5.21  subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
  5.22     Subd. 7.  [EXCEPTION FOR ASSET TRANSFERS.] Notwithstanding 
  5.23  the provisions of subdivisions 1 to 6, An institutionalized 
  5.24  spouse, institutionalized before October 1, 1989, for a 
  5.25  continuous period, who applies for medical assistance on or 
  5.26  after July 1, 1983, may transfer liquid assets to a 
  5.27  noninstitutionalized spouse without loss of eligibility if all 
  5.28  of the following conditions apply: 
  5.29     (a) The noninstitutionalized spouse is not applying for or 
  5.30  receiving assistance; 
  5.31     (b) Either (1) the noninstitutionalized spouse has less 
  5.32  than $10,000 in liquid assets, including assets singly owned and 
  5.33  50 percent of assets owned jointly with the institutionalized 
  5.34  spouse; or (2) the noninstitutionalized spouse has less than 50 
  5.35  percent of the total value of nonexempt assets owned by both 
  5.36  parties, jointly or individually; 
  6.1      (c) The amount transferred, together with the 
  6.2   noninstitutionalized spouse's own assets, totals no more than 
  6.3   one-half of the total value of the liquid assets of the parties 
  6.4   or $10,000 in liquid assets, whichever is greater; and 
  6.5      (d) The transfer may be effected only once, at the time of 
  6.6   initial medical assistance application. 
  6.7      Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.431, 
  6.8   subdivision 18, is amended to read: 
  6.10  REPLACEMENTS.] (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 
  6.11  9549.0060, subparts 1 to 3, the appraised value, routine 
  6.12  updating of the appraised value, and special reappraisals are 
  6.13  subject to this subdivision. 
  6.14     (1) For rate years beginning after June 30, 1993, the 
  6.15  commissioner shall permit a nursing facility to appeal its 
  6.16  appraisal according to the procedures provided in section 
  6.17  256B.50, subdivision 2.  Any reappraisals conducted in 
  6.18  connection with that appeal must utilize the comparative-unit 
  6.19  method as described in the Marshall Valuation Service published 
  6.20  by Marshall-Swift in establishing the nursing facility's 
  6.21  depreciated replacement cost. 
  6.22     Nursing facilities electing to appeal their appraised value 
  6.23  shall file written notice of appeal with the commissioner of 
  6.24  human services before December 30, 1992.  The cost of the 
  6.25  reappraisal, if any, shall be considered an allowable cost under 
  6.26  Minnesota Rules, parts 9549.0040, subpart 9, and 9549.0061. 
  6.27     (2) The redetermination of a nursing facility's appraised 
  6.28  value under this paragraph shall have no impact on the rental 
  6.29  payment rate determined under subdivision 13 but shall only be 
  6.30  used for calculating the nursing facility's rental rate under 
  6.31  Minnesota Rules, parts 9549.0010 to 9549.0080, and this section 
  6.32  for rate years beginning after June 30, 1993.  
  6.33     (3) For all rate years after June 30, 1993, the 
  6.34  commissioner shall no longer conduct any appraisals under 
  6.35  Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, for the purpose of determining 
  6.36  property-related payment rates. 
  7.1      (b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, 
  7.2   subpart 2, for rate years beginning after June 30, 1993, the 
  7.3   commissioner shall routinely update the appraised value of each 
  7.4   nursing facility by adding the cost of capital asset 
  7.5   acquisitions to its allowable appraised value.  
  7.6      The commissioner shall also annually index each nursing 
  7.7   facility's allowable appraised value by the inflation index 
  7.8   referenced in subdivision 3f, paragraph (a), for the purpose of 
  7.9   computing the nursing facility's annual rental rate.  In 
  7.10  annually adjusting the nursing facility's appraised value, the 
  7.11  commissioner must not include the historical cost of capital 
  7.12  assets acquired during the reporting year in the nursing 
  7.13  facility's appraised value. 
  7.14     In addition, the nursing facility's appraised value must be 
  7.15  reduced by the historical cost of capital asset disposals or 
  7.16  applicable credits such as public grants and insurance 
  7.17  proceeds.  Capital asset additions and disposals must be 
  7.18  reported on the nursing facility's annual cost report in the 
  7.19  reporting year of acquisition or disposal.  The incremental 
  7.20  increase in the nursing facility's rental rate resulting from 
  7.21  this annual adjustment as determined under Minnesota Rules, 
  7.22  parts 9549.0010 to 9549.0080, and this section shall be added to 
  7.23  the nursing facility's property-related payment rate for the 
  7.24  rate year following the reporting year.  
  7.25     Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.50, 
  7.26  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
  7.27     Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] A provider may appeal from a 
  7.28  determination of a payment rate established pursuant to this 
  7.29  chapter and reimbursement rules of the commissioner if the 
  7.30  appeal, if successful, would result in a change to the 
  7.31  provider's payment rate or to the calculation of maximum charges 
  7.32  to therapy vendors as provided by section 256B.433, subdivision 
  7.33  3.  Appeals must be filed in accordance with procedures in this 
  7.34  section.  This section does not apply to a request from a 
  7.35  resident or nursing long-term care facility for reconsideration 
  7.36  of the classification of a resident under section 144.0722 or 
  8.1   144.0723.  
  8.2      Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.50, 
  8.3   subdivision 1b, is amended to read: 
  8.4      Subd. 1b.  [FILING AN APPEAL.] To appeal, the provider 
  8.5   shall file with the commissioner a written notice of appeal; the 
  8.6   appeal must be postmarked or received by the commissioner within 
  8.7   60 days of the date the determination of the payment rate was 
  8.8   mailed or personally received by a provider, whichever is 
  8.9   earlier.  The notice of appeal must specify each disputed item; 
  8.10  the reason for the dispute; the total dollar amount in dispute 
  8.11  for each separate disallowance, allocation, or adjustment of 
  8.12  each cost item or part of a cost item; the computation that the 
  8.13  provider believes is correct; the authority in statute or rule 
  8.14  upon which the provider relies for each disputed item; the name 
  8.15  and address of the person or firm with whom contacts may be made 
  8.16  regarding the appeal; and other information required by the 
  8.17  commissioner.  The commissioner shall review an appeal by a 
  8.18  nursing facility, if the appeal was sent by certified mail and 
  8.19  postmarked prior to August 1, 1991, and would have been received 
  8.20  by the commissioner within the 60-day deadline if it had not 
  8.21  been delayed due to an error by the postal service. 
  8.22     Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.50, 
  8.23  subdivision 1c, is amended to read: 
  8.25  PROCESS.] Except as provided in subdivision 2, the appeal (a) 
  8.26  Effective for desk audit appeals for rate years beginning on or 
  8.27  after July 1, 1997, and for field audit appeals filed on or 
  8.28  after that date, the commissioner shall review appeals and issue 
  8.29  a written appeal determination on each appealed item within one 
  8.30  year of the due date of the appeal.  Upon mutual agreement, the 
  8.31  commissioner and the provider may extend the time for issuing a 
  8.32  determination for a specified period.  The commissioner shall 
  8.33  notify the provider by first class mail of the appeal 
  8.34  determination.  The appeal determination takes effect 30 days 
  8.35  following the date of issuance specified in the determination. 
  8.36     (b) In reviewing the appeal, the commissioner may request 
  9.1   additional written or oral information from the provider.  The 
  9.2   provider has the right to present information by telephone, in 
  9.3   writing, or in person concerning the appeal to the commissioner 
  9.4   prior to the issuance of the appeal determination within six 
  9.5   months of the date the appeal was received by the commissioner.  
  9.6   Written requests for conferences must be submitted separately 
  9.7   from the appeal letter.  Statements made during the review 
  9.8   process are not admissible in a contested case hearing absent an 
  9.9   express stipulation by the parties to the contested case. 
  9.10     (c) For an appeal item on which the provider disagrees with 
  9.11  the appeal determination, the provider may file with the 
  9.12  commissioner a written demand for a contested case hearing to 
  9.13  determine the proper resolution of specified appeal items.  The 
  9.14  demand must be postmarked or received by the commissioner within 
  9.15  30 days of the date of issuance specified in the determination.  
  9.16  A contested case demand for an appeal item nullifies the written 
  9.17  appeal determination issued by the commissioner for that appeal 
  9.18  item.  The commissioner shall refer any contested case demand to 
  9.19  the office of the attorney general. 
  9.20     (d) A contested case hearing must be heard by an 
  9.21  administrative law judge according to sections 14.48 to 14.56.  
  9.22  In any proceeding under this section, the appealing party must 
  9.23  demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the 
  9.24  commissioner's determination of a payment rate is incorrect.  
  9.25     (e) Regardless of any rate appeal, the rate established 
  9.26  must be the rate paid and must remain in effect until final 
  9.27  resolution of the appeal or subsequent desk or field audit 
  9.28  adjustment, notwithstanding any provision of law or rule to the 
  9.29  contrary.  
  9.30     (f) To challenge the validity of rules established by the 
  9.31  commissioner pursuant to this section and sections 256B.41, 
  9.32  256B.421, 256B.431, 256B.47, 256B.48, 256B.501, and 256B.502, a 
  9.33  provider shall comply with section 14.44. 
  9.34     (g) The commissioner has discretion to issue to the 
  9.35  provider a proposed resolution for specified appeal items upon a 
  9.36  request from the provider filed separately from the notice of 
 10.1   appeal.  The proposed resolution is final upon written 
 10.2   acceptance by the provider within 30 days of the date the 
 10.3   proposed resolution was mailed to or personally received by the 
 10.4   provider, whichever is earlier.  
 10.5      (h) The commissioner may use the procedures described in 
 10.6   this subdivision to resolve appeals filed prior to July 1, 1997. 
 10.7      Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256B.50, 
 10.8   subdivision 1e, is amended to read: 
 10.9      Subd. 1e.  [ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS.] (a) Notwithstanding 
 10.10  section 15.472, paragraph (a), for an issue appealed under 
 10.11  subdivision 1, the prevailing party in a contested case 
 10.12  proceeding or, if appealed, in subsequent judicial review, must 
 10.13  be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in 
 10.14  litigating the appeal, if the prevailing party shows that the 
 10.15  position of the opposing party was not substantially justified.  
 10.16  The procedures for awarding fees and costs set forth in section 
 10.17  15.474 must be followed in determining the prevailing party's 
 10.18  fees and costs except as otherwise provided in this 
 10.19  subdivision.  For purposes of this subdivision, "costs" means 
 10.20  subpoena fees and mileage, transcript costs, court reporter 
 10.21  fees, witness fees, postage and delivery costs, photocopying and 
 10.22  printing costs, amounts charged the commissioner by the office 
 10.23  of administrative hearings, and direct administrative costs of 
 10.24  the department; and "substantially justified" means that a 
 10.25  position had a reasonable basis in law and fact, based on the 
 10.26  totality of the circumstances prior to and during the contested 
 10.27  case proceeding and subsequent review. 
 10.28     (b) When an award is made to the department under this 
 10.29  subdivision, attorney fees must be calculated at the cost to the 
 10.30  department.  When an award is made to a provider under this 
 10.31  subdivision, attorney fees must be calculated at the rate 
 10.32  charged to the provider except that attorney fees awarded must 
 10.33  be the lesser of the attorney's normal hourly fee or $100 per 
 10.34  hour. 
 10.35     (c) In contested case proceedings involving more than one 
 10.36  issue, the administrative law judge shall determine what portion 
 11.1   of each party's attorney fees and costs is related to the issue 
 11.2   or issues on which it prevailed and for which it is entitled to 
 11.3   an award.  In making that determination, the administrative law 
 11.4   judge shall consider the amount of time spent on each issue, the 
 11.5   precedential value of the issue, the complexity of the issue, 
 11.6   and other factors deemed appropriate by the administrative law 
 11.7   judge.  
 11.8      (d) When the department prevails on an issue involving more 
 11.9   than one provider, the administrative law judge shall allocate 
 11.10  the total amount of any award for attorney fees and costs among 
 11.11  the providers.  In determining the allocation, the 
 11.12  administrative law judge shall consider each provider's monetary 
 11.13  interest in the issue and other factors deemed appropriate by 
 11.14  the administrative law judge.  
 11.15     (e) Attorney fees and costs awarded to the department for 
 11.16  proceedings under this subdivision must not be reported or 
 11.17  treated as allowable costs on the provider's cost report.  
 11.18     (f) Fees and costs awarded to a provider for proceedings 
 11.19  under this subdivision must be reimbursed to them by reporting 
 11.20  the amount of fees and costs awarded as allowable costs on the 
 11.21  provider's cost report for the reporting year in which they were 
 11.22  awarded.  Fees and costs reported pursuant to this subdivision 
 11.23  must be included in the general and administrative cost category 
 11.24  but are not subject to either the general and administrative or 
 11.25  other operating cost limits categorical or overall cost 
 11.26  limitations established in rule or statute. 
 11.27     (g) If the provider fails to pay the awarded attorney fees 
 11.28  and costs within 120 days of the final decision on the award of 
 11.29  attorney fees and costs, the department may collect the amount 
 11.30  due through any method available to it for the collection of 
 11.31  medical assistance overpayments to providers.  Interest charges 
 11.32  must be assessed on balances outstanding after 120 days of the 
 11.33  final decision on the award of attorney fees and costs.  The 
 11.34  annual interest rate charged must be the rate charged by the 
 11.35  commissioner of revenue for late payment of taxes that is in 
 11.36  effect on the 121st day after the final decision on the award of 
 12.1   attorney fees and costs.  
 12.2      (h) Amounts collected by the commissioner pursuant to this 
 12.3   subdivision must be deemed to be recoveries pursuant to section 
 12.4   256.01, subdivision 2, clause 15. 
 12.5      (i) This subdivision applies to all contested case 
 12.6   proceedings set on for hearing by the commissioner on or after 
 12.7   April 29, 1988, regardless of the date the appeal was filed. 
 12.8      Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256D.01, 
 12.9   subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
 12.10     Subd. 1a.  [STANDARDS.] (a) A principal objective in 
 12.11  providing general assistance is to provide for persons 
 12.12  ineligible for federal programs who are unable to provide for 
 12.13  themselves.  The minimum standard of assistance determines the 
 12.14  total amount of the general assistance grant without separate 
 12.15  standards for shelter, utilities, or other needs. 
 12.16     (b) The commissioner shall set the standard of assistance 
 12.17  for an assistance unit consisting of an adult recipient who is 
 12.18  childless and unmarried or living apart from children and spouse 
 12.19  and who does not live with a parent or parents or a legal 
 12.20  custodian.  When the other standards specified in this 
 12.21  subdivision increase, this standard must also be increased by 
 12.22  the same percentage. 
 12.23     (c) For an assistance unit consisting of a single adult who 
 12.24  lives with a parent or parents, the general assistance standard 
 12.25  of assistance is the amount that the aid to families with 
 12.26  dependent children standard of assistance would increase if the 
 12.27  recipient were added as an additional minor child to an 
 12.28  assistance unit consisting of the recipient's parent and all of 
 12.29  that parent's family members, except that the standard may not 
 12.30  exceed the standard for a general assistance recipient living 
 12.31  alone.  Benefits received by a responsible relative of the 
 12.32  assistance unit under the supplemental security income program, 
 12.33  a workers' compensation program, the Minnesota supplemental aid 
 12.34  program, or any other program based on the responsible 
 12.35  relative's disability, and any benefits received by a 
 12.36  responsible relative of the assistance unit under the social 
 13.1   security retirement program, may not be counted in the 
 13.2   determination of eligibility or benefit level for the assistance 
 13.3   unit.  Except as provided below, the assistance unit is 
 13.4   ineligible for general assistance if the available resources or 
 13.5   the countable income of the assistance unit and the parent or 
 13.6   parents with whom the assistance unit lives are such that a 
 13.7   family consisting of the assistance unit's parent or parents, 
 13.8   the parent or parents' other family members and the assistance 
 13.9   unit as the only or additional minor child would be financially 
 13.10  ineligible for general assistance.  For the purposes of 
 13.11  calculating the countable income of the assistance unit's parent 
 13.12  or parents, the calculation methods, income deductions, 
 13.13  exclusions, and disregards used when calculating the countable 
 13.14  income for a single adult or childless couple must be used. 
 13.15     (d) For an assistance unit consisting of a childless 
 13.16  couple, the standards of assistance are the same as the first 
 13.17  and second adult standards of the aid to families with dependent 
 13.18  children program.  If one member of the couple is not included 
 13.19  in the general assistance grant, the standard of assistance for 
 13.20  the other is the second adult standard of the aid to families 
 13.21  with dependent children program. 
 13.22     (e) For an assistance unit consisting of all members of a 
 13.23  family, the standards of assistance are the same as the 
 13.24  standards of assistance that apply to a family under the aid to 
 13.25  families with dependent children program if that family had the 
 13.26  same number of parents and children as the assistance unit under 
 13.27  general assistance and if all members of that family were 
 13.28  eligible for the aid to families with dependent children 
 13.29  program.  If one or more members of the family are not included 
 13.30  in the assistance unit for general assistance, the standards of 
 13.31  assistance for the remaining members are the same as the 
 13.32  standards of assistance that apply to an assistance unit 
 13.33  composed of the entire family, less the standards of assistance 
 13.34  for a family of the same number of parents and children as those 
 13.35  members of the family who are not in the assistance unit for 
 13.36  general assistance.  In no case shall the standard for family 
 14.1   members who are in the assistance unit for general assistance, 
 14.2   when combined with the standard for family members who are not 
 14.3   in the general assistance unit, total more than the standard for 
 14.4   the entire family if all members were in an AFDC assistance 
 14.5   unit.  A child may not be excluded from the assistance unit 
 14.6   unless income intended for its benefit is received from a 
 14.7   federally aided categorical assistance program or supplemental 
 14.8   security income.  The income of a child who is excluded from the 
 14.9   assistance unit may not be counted in the determination of 
 14.10  eligibility or benefit level for the assistance unit. 
 14.11     (f) An assistance unit consisting of one or more members of 
 14.12  a family must have its grant determined using the policies and 
 14.13  procedures of the aid to families with dependent children 
 14.14  program, except that, until June 30, 1995, in cases where a 
 14.15  county agency has developed or approved a case plan that 
 14.16  includes reunification with the children, foster care 
 14.17  maintenance payments made under state or local law for a child 
 14.18  who is temporarily absent from the assistance unit must not be 
 14.19  considered income to the child and the payments must not be 
 14.20  counted in the determination of the eligibility or benefit level 
 14.21  of the assistance unit.  Otherwise, the standard of assistance 
 14.22  must be determined according to paragraph (e); the first $50 of 
 14.23  total child support received by an assistance unit in a month 
 14.24  must be excluded and the balance counted as unearned income. 
 14.25     Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 257.071, 
 14.26  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 14.27     Subd. 2.  [SIX-MONTH REVIEW OF PLACEMENTS.] There shall be 
 14.28  an administrative review of the case plan of each child placed 
 14.29  in a residential facility no later than 180 days after the 
 14.30  initial placement of the child in a residential facility and at 
 14.31  least every six months thereafter if the child is not returned 
 14.32  to the home of the parent or parents within that time.  The case 
 14.33  plan must be monitored and updated at each administrative 
 14.34  review.  As an alternative to the administrative review, the 
 14.35  social service agency responsible for the placement may bring a 
 14.36  petition as provided in section 260.131, subdivision 1a, to the 
 15.1   court for review of the foster care to determine if placement is 
 15.2   in the best interests of the child.  This petition must be 
 15.3   brought to the court within the applicable six months and is not 
 15.4   in lieu of the requirements contained in subdivision 3 or 4.  A 
 15.5   court review conducted pursuant to section 260.191, subdivision 
 15.6   3b, shall satisfy the requirement for an administrative review 
 15.7   so long as the other requirements of this section are met. 
 15.8      Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 260.191, 
 15.9   subdivision 3b, is amended to read: 
 15.11  PLACEMENT DETERMINATION.] (a) If the court places a child in a 
 15.12  residential facility, as defined in section 257.071, subdivision 
 15.13  1, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine the permanent 
 15.14  status of the child not later than 12 months after the child was 
 15.15  placed out of the home of the parent.  Not later than ten days 
 15.16  prior to this hearing, the responsible social service agency 
 15.17  shall file pleadings to establish the basis for the permanent 
 15.18  placement determination.  Notice of the hearing and copies of 
 15.19  the pleadings must be provided pursuant to section 260.141.  If 
 15.20  a termination of parental rights petition is filed before the 
 15.21  date required for the permanency planning determination, no 
 15.22  hearing need be conducted under this section.  The court shall 
 15.23  determine whether the child is to be returned home or, if not, 
 15.24  what permanent placement is consistent with the child's best 
 15.25  interests.  The "best interests of the child" means all relevant 
 15.26  factors to be considered and evaluated. 
 15.27     If the child is not returned to the home, the dispositions 
 15.28  available for permanent placement determination are: 
 15.29     (1) permanent legal and physical custody to a relative 
 15.30  pursuant to the standards and procedures applicable under 
 15.31  chapter 257 or 518.  The social service agency may petition on 
 15.32  behalf of the proposed custodian; 
 15.33     (2) termination of parental rights and adoption; the social 
 15.34  service agency shall file a petition for termination of parental 
 15.35  rights under section 260.231 and all the requirements of 
 15.36  sections 260.221 to 260.245 remain applicable; or 
 16.1      (3) long-term foster care; transfer of legal custody and 
 16.2   adoption are preferred permanency options for a child who cannot 
 16.3   return home.  The court may order a child into long-term foster 
 16.4   care only if it finds that neither an award of legal and 
 16.5   physical custody to a relative, nor termination of parental 
 16.6   rights nor adoption is in the child's best interests.  Further, 
 16.7   the court may only order long-term foster care for the child 
 16.8   under this section if it finds the following: 
 16.9      (i) the child has reached age 12 and reasonable efforts by 
 16.10  the responsible social service agency have failed to locate an 
 16.11  adoptive family for the child; or 
 16.12     (ii) the child is a sibling of a child described in clause 
 16.13  (i) and the siblings have a significant positive relationship 
 16.14  and are ordered into the same long-term foster care home. 
 16.15     (b) The court may extend the time period for determination 
 16.16  of permanent placement to 18 months after the child was placed 
 16.17  in a residential facility if: 
 16.18     (1) there is a substantial probability that the child will 
 16.19  be returned home within the next six months; 
 16.20     (2) the agency has not made reasonable, or, in the case of 
 16.21  an Indian child, active efforts, to correct the conditions that 
 16.22  form the basis of the out-of-home placement; or 
 16.23     (3) extraordinary circumstances exist precluding a 
 16.24  permanent placement determination, in which case the court shall 
 16.25  make written findings documenting the extraordinary 
 16.26  circumstances and order one subsequent review after six months 
 16.27  to determine permanent placement.  A court finding that 
 16.28  extraordinary circumstances exist precluding a permanent 
 16.29  placement determination must be supported by detailed factual 
 16.30  findings regarding those circumstances. 
 16.31     (c) In ordering a permanent placement of a child, the court 
 16.32  must be governed by the best interests of the child, including a 
 16.33  review of the relationship between the child and relatives and 
 16.34  the child and other important persons with whom the child has 
 16.35  resided or had significant contact. 
 16.36     (d) Once a permanent placement determination has been made 
 17.1   and permanent placement has been established, further court 
 17.2   reviews and dispositional hearings are only necessary if 
 17.3   otherwise required by federal law, an adoption has not yet been 
 17.4   finalized, or there is a disruption of the permanent or 
 17.5   long-term placement.  If required, reviews must take place no 
 17.6   less frequently than every six months. 
 17.7      (e) An order under this subdivision must include the 
 17.8   following detailed findings: 
 17.9      (1) how the child's best interests are served by the order; 
 17.10     (2) the nature and extent of the responsible social service 
 17.11  agency's reasonable efforts, or, in the case of an Indian child, 
 17.12  active efforts, to reunify the child with the parent or parents; 
 17.13     (3) the parent's or parents' efforts and ability to use 
 17.14  services to correct the conditions which led to the out-of-home 
 17.15  placement; 
 17.16     (4) whether the conditions which led to the out-of-home 
 17.17  placement have been corrected so that the child can return home; 
 17.18  and 
 17.19     (5) if the child cannot be returned home, whether there is 
 17.20  a substantial probability of the child being able to return home 
 17.21  in the next six months.  
 17.22     (f) An order for permanent legal and physical custody of a 
 17.23  child may be modified under sections 518.18 and 518.185.  The 
 17.24  social service agency is a party to the proceeding and must 
 17.25  receive notice.  An order for long-term foster care is 
 17.26  reviewable upon motion and a showing by the parent of a 
 17.27  substantial change in the parent's circumstances such that the 
 17.28  parent could provide appropriate care for the child and that 
 17.29  removal of the child from the child's permanent placement and 
 17.30  the return to the parent's care would be in the best interest of 
 17.31  the child. 
 17.32     Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 260.192, is 
 17.33  amended to read: 
 17.35     Upon a petition for review of the foster care status of a 
 17.36  child, the court may:  
 18.1      (a) In the case of a petition required to be filed under 
 18.2   section 257.071, subdivision 3, find that the child's needs are 
 18.3   being met, that the child's placement in foster care is in the 
 18.4   best interests of the child, and that the child will be returned 
 18.5   home in the next six months, in which case the court shall 
 18.6   approve the voluntary arrangement and continue the matter for 
 18.7   six months to assure the child returns to the parent's home.  
 18.8      (b) In the case of a petition required to be filed under 
 18.9   section 257.071, subdivision 4, find that the child's needs are 
 18.10  being met and that the child's placement in foster care is in 
 18.11  the best interests of the child, in which case the court shall 
 18.12  approve the voluntary arrangement.  The court shall order the 
 18.13  social service agency responsible for the placement to bring a 
 18.14  petition under section 260.131, subdivision 1 or 1a, as 
 18.15  appropriate, within two years 12 months. 
 18.16     (c) Find that the child's needs are not being met, in which 
 18.17  case the court shall order the social service agency or the 
 18.18  parents to take whatever action is necessary and feasible to 
 18.19  meet the child's needs, including, when appropriate, the 
 18.20  provision by the social service agency of services to the 
 18.21  parents which would enable the child to live at home, and order 
 18.22  a disposition under section 260.191. 
 18.23     (d) Find that the child has been abandoned by parents 
 18.24  financially or emotionally, or that the developmentally disabled 
 18.25  child does not require out-of-home care because of the 
 18.26  handicapping condition, in which case the court shall order the 
 18.27  social service agency to file an appropriate petition pursuant 
 18.28  to sections 260.131, subdivision 1, or 260.231. 
 18.29     Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit 
 18.30  bringing a petition pursuant to section 260.131, subdivision 1 
 18.31  or 2, sooner than required by court order pursuant to this 
 18.32  section. 
 18.33     Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 260.242, 
 18.34  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 18.35     Subd. 2.  [GUARDIAN'S RESPONSIBILITIES.] (a) A guardian 
 18.36  appointed under the provisions of this section has legal custody 
 19.1   of a ward unless the court which appoints the guardian gives 
 19.2   legal custody to some other person.  If the court awards custody 
 19.3   to a person other than the guardian, the guardian nonetheless 
 19.4   has the right and responsibility of reasonable visitation, 
 19.5   except as limited by court order.  
 19.6      (b) The guardian may make major decisions affecting the 
 19.7   person of the ward, including but not limited to giving consent 
 19.8   (when consent is legally required) to the marriage, enlistment 
 19.9   in the armed forces, medical, surgical, or psychiatric 
 19.10  treatment, or adoption of the ward.  When, pursuant to this 
 19.11  section, the commissioner of human services is appointed 
 19.12  guardian, the commissioner may delegate to the local social 
 19.13  services agency of the county in which, after the appointment, 
 19.14  the ward resides, the authority to act for the commissioner in 
 19.15  decisions affecting the person of the ward, including but not 
 19.16  limited to giving consent to the marriage, enlistment in the 
 19.17  armed forces, medical, surgical, or psychiatric treatment of the 
 19.18  ward. 
 19.19     (c) A guardianship created under the provisions of this 
 19.20  section shall not of itself include the guardianship of the 
 19.21  estate of the ward.  
 19.22     (d) If the ward is in foster care, the court shall, upon 
 19.23  its own motion or that of the guardian, conduct a dispositional 
 19.24  hearing within 18 months of the child's initial foster care 
 19.25  placement and once every two years 12 months thereafter to 
 19.26  determine the future status of the ward including, but not 
 19.27  limited to, whether the child should be continued in foster care 
 19.28  for a specified period, should be placed for adoption, or 
 19.29  should, because of the child's special needs or circumstances, 
 19.30  be continued in foster care on a permanent or long-term basis.  
 19.31  When the court has determined that the special needs of the ward 
 19.32  are met through a permanent or long-term foster care placement, 
 19.33  no subsequent dispositional hearings are required.  
 19.34     Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 382.18, is 
 19.35  amended to read: 
 20.1      No county official, or deputy or clerk or employee of such 
 20.2   official; and no commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or 
 20.3   commissioner's assistants, shall be directly or indirectly 
 20.4   interested in any contract, work, labor, or business to which 
 20.5   the county is a party or in which it is or may be interested or 
 20.6   in the furnishing of any article to, or the purchase or sale of 
 20.7   any property, real or personal, by, the county, or of which the 
 20.8   consideration, price, or expense is payable from the county 
 20.9   treasury.  Nothing in this section shall prevent a person from 
 20.10  receiving reimbursement from a county for providing licensed or 
 20.11  tribally approved family foster care.  Any violation of the 
 20.12  provisions of this section shall be a gross misdemeanor.  
 20.13     Sec. 19.  [REPEALER.] 
 20.14     Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 256B.17, subdivisions 1, 
 20.15  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8; and 256B.50, subdivisions 1d, 1g, 1h, and 
 20.16  2, are repealed.