as introduced - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to family and early childhood education 1.3 finance; consolidating MFIP and basic sliding fee 1.4 child care assistance programs; modifying income 1.5 eligibility; amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, 1.6 sections 119B.011, subdivisions 5, 11, 12, 15, 18, by 1.7 adding subdivisions; 119B.02, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, by 1.8 adding subdivisions; 119B.061; proposing coding for 1.9 new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 119B; repealing 1.10 Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 119B.011, 1.11 subdivision 20; 119B.03; 119B.04; 119B.05; 119B.06; 1.12 119B.07; 119B.08; 119B.09; 119B.10; 119B.11; 119B.12; 1.13 119B.13; 119B.14; 119B.15; 119B.16. 1.14 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.15 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, 1.16 subdivision 5, is amended to read: 1.17 Subd. 5. [CHILD CARE.] "Child care" means the care of a 1.18 child by someone other than a parent or legal guardian in or 1.19 outside the child's own home for
gain or otherwise, on a regular 1.20 basis, for any part of a 24-hour day. 1.21 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, 1.22 subdivision 11, is amended to read: 1.23 Subd. 11. [EDUCATION PROGRAM.] "Education program" means 1.24 remedial or basic education or English as a second language 1.25 instruction, a program leading to a general equivalency or high 1.26 school diploma, post-secondary programs excluding 1.27 postbaccalaureate programs, and other education and training 1.28 needs as documented in an employment plan, as defined in 1.29 subdivision 12. The employment plan must outline education and2.1 training needs of a recipient, meet state requirements for2.2 employment plans, meet the requirements of this chapter, and2.3 Minnesota Rules, parts 3400.0010 to 3400.0230, and meet the2.4 requirements of programs that provide federal reimbursement for2.5 child care services.2.6 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, 2.7 subdivision 12, is amended to read: 2.8 Subd. 12. [EMPLOYMENT PLAN.] "Employment plan" means 2.9 employment of recipients financially eligible for child care 2.10 assistance, or other work activities defined under section 2.11 256J.49, approved in an employability development, job search 2.12 support plan, or employment plan that is developed by the county 2.13 agency, if it is acting as an employment and training service 2.14 provider, or by an employment and training service provider 2.15 certified by the commissioner of economic security or an 2.16 individual designated by the county to provide employment and 2.17 training services. The plans and designation of a service 2.18 provider must outline the education and training needs of a 2.19 recipient, meet the requirements of this chapter and chapter 2.20 256J or chapter 256K, Minnesota Rules, parts 3400.0010 to 2.21 3400.0230, and other programs that provide federal reimbursement 2.22 for child care services. 2.23 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, 2.24 subdivision 15, is amended to read: 2.25 Subd. 15. [INCOME.] "Income" means earned or unearned 2.26 income received by all family members, including public 2.27 assistance cash benefits and at-home infant care subsidy 2.28 payments, unless specifically excluded and child support and 2.29 maintenance distributed to the family under section 256.741, 2.30 subdivision 15. The following are excluded from income: funds 2.31 used to pay for health insurance premiums for family members, 2.32 Supplemental Security Income, scholarships, work-study income, 2.33 and grants that cover costs or reimbursement for tuition, fees, 2.34 books, and educational supplies; student loans for tuition, 2.35 fees, books, supplies, and living expenses; state and federal 2.36 income and social security taxes attributable to that income 3.1 level according to state and federal standardized tax tables; 3.2 state and federal earned income tax credits; in-kind income such 3.3 as food stamps, energy assistance, foster care assistance, 3.4 medical assistance, child care assistance, and housing 3.5 subsidies; earned income of full-time or part-time students up 3.6 to the age of 19, who have not earned a high school diploma or 3.7 GED high school equivalency diploma including earnings from 3.8 summer employment; grant awards under the family subsidyMFIP 3.9 program; nonrecurring lump sum income only to the extent that it 3.10 is earmarked and used for the purpose for which it is paid; and 3.11 any income assigned to the public authority according to section 3.12 256.741. 3.13 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, 3.14 subdivision 18, is amended to read: 3.15 Subd. 18. [POST-SECONDARY EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS3.16 INSTITUTION.] "Post-secondary educational systemsinstitution" 3.17 means the University of Minnesota board of regents and the board3.18 of trustees of the Minnesota state colleges and universitiesany 3.19 nationally accredited technical college, community college, 3.20 private college or university, or public college or university. 3.21 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, is 3.22 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 3.23 Subd. 21. [ANNUAL GROSS INCOME.] "Annual gross income" of 3.24 the applicant family means the current monthly gross income of 3.25 the family multiplied by 12 or the income for the 12-month 3.26 period immediately preceding the date of application, or income 3.27 calculated by the method which provides the most accurate 3.28 assessment of income available to the family. Self-employment 3.29 income must be calculated based on gross receipts less operating 3.30 expenses. 3.31 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, is 3.32 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 3.33 Subd. 22. [FEDERAL POVERTY GUIDELINES.] "Federal poverty 3.34 guidelines" means the annual poverty guidelines for a family of 3.35 four, adjusted for family size, published annually by the United 3.36 States Department of Health and Human Services in the Federal 4.1 Register. 4.2 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.011, is 4.3 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 4.4 Subd. 23. [RECOUPMENT OF OVERPAYMENTS.] "Recoupment of 4.5 overpayments" means the reduction of child care assistance 4.6 payments to an eligible family in order to correct an 4.7 overpayment to the family even when the overpayment is due to 4.8 agency error or other circumstances outside the responsibility 4.9 or control of the family. 4.10 Sec. 9. [119B.014] [ESTABLISHMENT OF CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE 4.11 PROGRAM.] 4.12 Subdivision 1. [CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.] (a) A 4.13 child care assistance program is established for the purpose of 4.14 subsidizing the child care costs of eligible families. The 4.15 child care assistance program may be funded by county 4.16 contributions, state appropriations, and federal funds. Child 4.17 care assistance payments are authorized for eligible families 4.18 within the limits of available appropriations. 4.19 (b) Child care services must be made available as in-kind 4.20 services. 4.21 (c) Families enrolled in the child care assistance program 4.22 must be continued until they are no longer eligible. 4.23 (d) Child care assistance provided through the child care 4.24 fund is considered assistance to the parent. 4.25 Subd. 2. [SPECIAL REVENUE ACCOUNT FOR CHILD CARE.] A child 4.26 support collection account is established in the special revenue 4.27 fund for the deposit of collections through the assignment of 4.28 child support under section 256.741, subdivision 2. The 4.29 commissioner of human services must deposit all collections made 4.30 under section 256.741, subdivision 2, in the child support 4.31 collection account. Money in this account is appropriated to 4.32 the commissioner for child care assistance under chapter 119B 4.33 and is in addition to other state and federal appropriations. 4.34 Subd. 3. [GENERAL ELIGIBILITY.] (a) To be eligible for the 4.35 child care assistance program, families must be participating in 4.36 an authorized activity under subdivision 4, meet income 5.1 eligibility requirements under subdivision 5, and requirements 5.2 under this subdivision. 5.3 (b) To be eligible for child care assistance, 5.4 post-secondary students must be in good standing and be making 5.5 satisfactory progress toward a degree. 5.6 (c) All applicants for child care assistance and families 5.7 currently receiving child care assistance must cooperate in 5.8 establishment of paternity and enforcement of child support 5.9 obligations under section 256.741 for all children in the family 5.10 as a condition of program eligibility. 5.11 Subd. 4. [AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES.] Families must be 5.12 participating in at least one of the following authorized 5.13 activities: 5.14 (1) employment orientation or job search, or other 5.15 employment or training activities that are included in an 5.16 approved employability development plan under chapter 256K; 5.17 (2) work activities as required in their job search support 5.18 or employment plan, or in appeals, hearings, assessments, or 5.19 orientations under chapter 256J. Child care assistance to 5.20 support work activities as required under section 256J.49 must 5.21 be available according to sections 119A.52; 119B.011, 5.22 subdivision 12; 124D.13; 256E.08; and 611A.32; and titles IVA; 5.23 IVB; IVE; and XX of the Social Security Act of 1935; 5.24 (3) a job search conducted outside of an approved 5.25 employability development plan under chapter 256K, not to exceed 5.26 240 hours of child care assistance per calendar year; 5.27 (4) employment outside of an employment plan under section 5.28 119B.011, subdivision 12, in which the caregiver works at least 5.29 an average of 20 hours and students not participating in MFIP 5.30 who work at least an average of ten hours per week and receive 5.31 at least minimum wage for all hours worked. For purposes of 5.32 this section, work-study programs must be counted as employment; 5.33 (5) post-secondary education up to the maximum length of 5.34 time necessary to complete the credit requirements for an 5.35 associate or baccalaureate degree as determined by the 5.36 educational institution, excluding basic or remedial education 6.1 programs needed to prepare for post-secondary education or 6.2 employment. Basic or remedial education programs include, but 6.3 are not limited to, high school, general equivalency diploma, 6.4 and English as a second language. Programs exempt from this 6.5 time limit must not run concurrently with a post-secondary 6.6 program; or 6.7 (6) the at-home infant child care program under section 6.8 119B.061. 6.9 Subd. 5. [INCOME ELIGIBILITY.] (a) Beginning January 1, 6.10 2002, all families participating in an authorized activity with 6.11 annual gross income at or below 250 percent of the federal 6.12 poverty guidelines, adjusted for family size, are eligible for 6.13 child care assistance regardless of MFIP status. 6.14 (b) Beginning January 1, 2003, all families participating 6.15 in an authorized activity with annual gross income at or below 6.16 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, adjusted for 6.17 family size, are eligible for child care assistance regardless 6.18 of MFIP status. 6.19 Subd. 6. [CONTINUATION OF ASSISTANCE.] All families 6.20 eligible for and receiving child care assistance under chapter 6.21 119B as of December 31, 2001, continue to be eligible for child 6.22 care assistance until June 30, 2003, provided each family 6.23 continues to meet all eligibility requirements as of December 6.24 31, 2001. 6.25 Sec. 10. [119B.017] [ASSISTANCE.] 6.26 Subdivision 1. [CALCULATION OF BENEFITS.] (a) Child care 6.27 assistance must be authorized as provided in items (1) or (2): 6.28 (1) when the caregiver or student works for an hourly wage 6.29 and the hourly wage is equal to or greater than the applicable 6.30 minimum wage, child care assistance must be provided for the 6.31 actual hours of employment, break, and mealtime during the 6.32 employment and travel time up to two hours per day, and 6.33 classroom time in the case of students; or 6.34 (2) when the caregiver does not work for an hourly wage, 6.35 child care assistance must be provided for the lesser of: 6.36 (i) the amount of child care determined by dividing gross 7.1 earned income by the applicable minimum wage, up to one hour 7.2 every eight hours for meals and break time, plus up to two hours 7.3 per day for travel time, and classroom time; or 7.4 (ii) the amount of child care equal to the actual amount of 7.5 child care used during employment, including break and mealtime 7.6 during employment, and travel time up to two hours per day, and 7.7 classroom time. 7.8 (b) The maximum amount of child care assistance a local 7.9 agency may authorize in a two-week period is 120 hours per child. 7.10 Subd. 2. [STUDENTS.] Counties may not limit the duration 7.11 of child care assistance for a student except when the student 7.12 is found to be ineligible under the child care assistance 7.13 eligibility standards. Any limitation must be based on a 7.14 student's employment plan in the case of an MFIP recipient and 7.15 county policies included in the child care fund plan. 7.16 Subd. 3. [CONTINUATION OF ASSISTANCE.] (1) If a caregiver 7.17 who is receiving child care assistance under this chapter moves 7.18 to another county, continues to participate in an authorized 7.19 activity, and continues to be eligible for child care assistance 7.20 under this chapter, the caregiver must receive, without 7.21 interruption, continued child care assistance from the county in 7.22 which the family currently resides. 7.23 (2) Financially eligible students who have received child 7.24 care assistance for one academic year must be provided child 7.25 care assistance in the following academic year. 7.26 Subd. 4. [DATE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSISTANCE.] Within the 7.27 limits of available appropriations: 7.28 (1) The date of eligibility for child care assistance under 7.29 this chapter is the later of the date the application was 7.30 signed; the beginning date of employment, education, or 7.31 training; or the date a determination has been made that the 7.32 applicant is a participant in employment and training services 7.33 under chapter 256J or 256K or Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0080, 7.34 subpart 2. 7.35 (2) Payment of child care assistance for employed persons 7.36 on MFIP is effective the date of employment or the date of MFIP 8.1 eligibility, whichever is later. 8.2 (3) Payment of child care assistance for MFIP or work first 8.3 8.4 participants in employment and training services is effective 8.5 the date of commencement of the services or the date of MFIP or 8.6 work first eligibility, whichever is later. 8.7 Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, 8.8 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 8.9 Subdivision 1. [CHILD CARE SERVICES.] The commissioner 8.10 shallmust: 8.11 (1) develop standards for county and human services boards 8.12 to provide child care services to enable eligible families to 8.13 participate in employment, training, or education programs .8.14 Within the limits of available appropriations, the commissioner8.15 shall; 8.16 (2) distribute money to counties, within the limits of 8.17 available appropriations, to reduce the costs of child care for 8.18 eligible families . The commissioner shallunder section 8.19 119B.014; 8.20 (3) adopt rules under chapter 14 to govern the program in 8.21 accordance with this section, to implement and coordinate 8.22 federal program requirements, and to administer the child care 8.23 development fund. The rules must establish a sliding schedule 8.24 of fees for parents receiving child care services. The 8.25 rules shallmust provide that fundsmoney received as a lump sum 8.26 payment of child support arrearages shallis not becounted as 8.27 income to a family in the month received but shall beis 8.28 prorated over the 12 months following receipt and added to the 8.29 family income during those months . In the rules adopted under8.30 this section, county and human services boards shall be8.31 authorized to establish policies for payment of child care8.32 spaces for absent children, when the payment is required by the8.33 child's regular provider. The rules shall not set a maximum8.34 number of days for which absence payments can be made, but8.35 instead shall direct the county agency to set limits and pay for8.36 absences according to the prevailing market practice in the8.37 county. County policies for payment of absences shall be9.1 subject to the approval of the commissioner. The commissioner9.2 shall; 9.3 (4) maximize the use of federal money under title I and 9.4 title IV of Public Law Number 104-193, the Personal 9.5 Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, 9.6 and other programs that provide federal or state reimbursement 9.7 for child care services for low-income families who are in 9.8 education, training, job search, or other activities allowed 9.9 under those programs . Money appropriated under this section9.10 must be coordinated; and 9.11 (5) coordinate state child care assistance money with the 9.12 programs that provide federal reimbursement for child care 9.13 services to accomplish this purpose. Federal reimbursement9.14 obtainedreimbursements must be allocated to the countycounties 9.15 that spent moneyexpend funds for federally reimbursable child 9.16 care that is federally reimbursable under programs that provide9.17 federal reimbursement for child care services. The counties9.18 shall use the federal money to expand child care services. The9.19 commissioner may adopt rules under chapter 14 to implement and9.20 coordinate federal program requirements. 9.21 Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, 9.22 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 9.23 Subd. 2. [CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS WITH TRIBES.] The 9.24 commissioner may enter into contractual agreements with a 9.25 federally recognized Indian tribe with a reservation in 9.26 Minnesota to carry out the responsibilities of county human 9.27 service agencies to the extent necessary for the tribe to 9.28 operate child care assistance programs under sections 119B.039.29 and 119B.05chapter 119B. An agreement may allow for the tribe 9.30 to be reimbursed for child care assistance services provided 9.31 under section 119B.05chapter 119B. The commissioner shall 9.32 consult with the affected county or counties in the contractual 9.33 agreement negotiations, if the county or counties wish to be 9.34 included, in order to avoid the duplication of county and tribal 9.35 child care services. Funding to support child care services 9.36 under section 119B.03may be transferred to the federally 10.1 recognized Indian tribe with a reservation in Minnesota from 10.2 allocations available to counties in which reservation 10.3 boundaries lie. When funding is transferred under section10.4 119B.03,The amount shallof the transfer must be commensurate 10.5 to estimates of the proportion of reservation residents with 10.6 characteristics identified in section 119B.03, subdivision10.7 6eligible under section 119B.045, to the total population of 10.8 county residents with those same characteristicseligible under 10.9 section 119B.045. 10.10 Sec. 13. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, 10.11 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 10.12 Subd. 3. [SUPERVISION OF COUNTIES.] The commissioner shall10.13 must supervise child care programs administered by the counties 10.14 through standard-setting, technical assistance to the counties, 10.15 approval of county child care fund plans, and distribution of 10.16 public money for services. The commissioner shallmust provide 10.17 training and other support services to assist counties in 10.18 planning for and implementing child care assistance programs. 10.19 The commissioner shall adopt rules under chapter 14 that10.20 establish minimum administrative standards for the provision of10.21 child care services by county boards of commissioners.10.22 Sec. 14. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 10.23 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 10.24 Subd. 6. [FEDERAL MONEY; STATE RECOVERY.] The commissioner 10.25 must recover from counties any state or federal money that was 10.26 spent for persons found to be ineligible, except if the recovery 10.27 is made by a county agency using any method other than 10.28 recoupment, the county may keep 25 percent of the recovery. If 10.29 a federal audit exception is taken based on a percentage of 10.30 federal earnings, all counties must pay a share proportional to 10.31 their respective federal earnings during the period in question. 10.32 Sec. 15. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 10.33 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 10.34 Subd. 7. [REPORTS.] The commissioner must specify 10.35 requirements for reports under the same authority as provided to 10.36 the commissioner of human services in section 256.01, 11.1 subdivision 2, paragraph (17). 11.2 Sec. 16. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 11.3 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 11.4 Subd. 8. [APPROVAL OF CHILD CARE PLAN.] The commissioner 11.5 must notify counties within 60 days of the date the child care 11.6 fund plan under section 119B.025, subdivision 7, is submitted 11.7 whether the plan is approved or the corrections or information 11.8 needed to approve the plan. The commissioner must withhold a 11.9 county's allocation until it has an approved plan. Plans not 11.10 approved by the end of the second quarter after the plan is due 11.11 may result in a 25 percent reduction in allocation. Plans not 11.12 approved by the end of the third quarter after the plan is due 11.13 may result in a 100 percent reduction in the allocation to the 11.14 county. Counties are to maintain services despite any reduction 11.15 in their allocation due to plans not being approved. 11.16 Sec. 17. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 11.17 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 11.18 Subd. 9. [ALLOCATION PERIOD; NOTICE OF ALLOCATION.] (a) 11.19 The commissioner must notify county and human service boards of 11.20 the forms and instructions they must follow in the development 11.21 of their child care fund plans required under section 119B.025, 11.22 subdivision 7. 11.23 (b) The commissioner must notify county and human services 11.24 boards of their estimated child care fund program allocation for 11.25 the two years covered by the plan. 11.26 (c) By October 1 of each year, the commissioner must notify 11.27 all counties of their final child care fund program allocation. 11.28 Sec. 18. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 11.29 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 11.30 Subd. 10. [QUARTERLY PAYMENTS.] The commissioner may make 11.31 payments to each county in quarterly installments. The 11.32 commissioner may certify an advance of up to 25 percent of the 11.33 allocation. Subsequent payments must be made on a reimbursement 11.34 basis for reported expenditures and may be adjusted for 11.35 anticipated spending patterns. Payments may be withheld if 11.36 quarterly reports are incomplete or untimely. 12.1 Sec. 19. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 12.2 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 12.3 Subd. 11. [REVIEW OF USE OF FUNDS; REALLOCATION.] (a) 12.4 After each quarter, the commissioner must review the use of 12.5 child care assistance program allocations by county. The 12.6 commissioner may reallocate unexpended or unencumbered money 12.7 among those counties who have expended their full allocation or 12.8 may allow a county to expend up to ten percent of its allocation 12.9 in the subsequent allocation period. 12.10 (b) Any unexpended state and federal appropriations from 12.11 the first year of the biennium may be carried forward to the 12.12 second year of the biennium. 12.13 Sec. 20. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 12.14 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 12.15 Subd. 12. [TERMINATION OF ALLOCATION.] The commissioner 12.16 may withhold, reduce, or terminate the allocation of any county 12.17 that does not meet the reporting or other requirements of this 12.18 program. The commissioner must reallocate to other counties 12.19 money so reduced or terminated. Counties are to maintain 12.20 services despite any reduction in their allocation due to 12.21 failure to meet the reporting or other requirements of this 12.22 program. 12.23 Sec. 21. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 12.24 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 12.25 Subd. 13. [COMMISSIONER TO ADMINISTER FEDERAL CHILD CARE 12.26 AND DEVELOPMENT FUND.] The commissioner is authorized and 12.27 directed to receive, administer, and expend funds available 12.28 under the child care and development fund under Public Law 12.29 Number 104-193, title VI. 12.30 Sec. 22. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 12.31 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 12.32 Subd. 14. [FEDERAL EARNINGS.] The commissioner must 12.33 allocate any federal earnings to the county to be used to expand 12.34 child care services to serve additional families under this 12.35 chapter. 12.36 Sec. 23. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 13.1 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 13.2 Subd. 15. [ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.] The commissioner must 13.3 use up to 1/21 of the state and federal funds available for the 13.4 child care assistance program for payments to counties for 13.5 administrative expenses. 13.6 Sec. 24. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.02, is 13.7 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 13.8 Subd. 16. [MAXIMUM RATE DETERMINATION.] The commissioner 13.9 must determine the maximum rate for each type of care including 13.10 special needs and handicapped care. Not less than once every 13.11 two years, the commissioner must evaluate market practices for 13.12 payment of absences and must establish policies for payment of 13.13 absent days that reflect current market practice. 13.14 Sec. 25. [119B.025] [DUTIES OF COUNTIES.] 13.15 Subdivision 1. [EXTENSION OF EMPLOYMENT 13.16 OPPORTUNITIES.] The county board must ensure that child care 13.17 services available to eligible residents are well advertised and 13.18 that everyone who receives or applies for MFIP cash assistance 13.19 is informed of training and employment opportunities, programs, 13.20 and requirements including child care assistance and child care 13.21 resource and referral services. 13.22 Subd. 2. [APPLICATION; ENTRY POINTS.] Each county must 13.23 make available to applicants two or more methods of applying for 13.24 the child care assistance program. To meet the requirements of 13.25 this subdivision, a county may provide alternative methods of 13.26 applying for assistance, including, but not limited to, a mail 13.27 application or application sites that are located outside of 13.28 government offices. 13.29 Subd. 3. [CONTRACTS; OTHER USES ALLOWED.] Counties may 13.30 contract for administration of the program or may arrange for or 13.31 contract for child care funds to be used by other appropriate 13.32 programs in accordance with this section and as permitted by 13.33 federal law and regulations. 13.34 Subd. 4. [ASSISTANCE PRIORITY.] (a) Each county must give 13.35 first priority for child care assistance under the child care 13.36 assistance program to eligible MFIP families. 14.1 (b) Each county must give second priority for child care 14.2 assistance to eligible non-MFIP families who do not have a high 14.3 school or general equivalency diploma or who need remedial and 14.4 basic skill courses in order to pursue employment or education 14.5 leading to employment and who need child care assistance to 14.6 participate in the education program. Within this priority, 14.7 each county must use the following subpriorities for child care 14.8 assistance: 14.9 (1) child care needs of minor parents; 14.10 (2) child care needs of parents under 21 years of age; and 14.11 (3) child care needs of other parents within the priority 14.12 group described in this paragraph. 14.13 (c) Each county must give third priority to families who 14.14 continue to be eligible for child care assistance and were 14.15 receiving child care assistance in a county but have moved to 14.16 another county. Families must receive, without interruption, 14.17 continued child care assistance from the county in which they 14.18 currently live. 14.19 (d) If a county projects that its child care allocation is 14.20 insufficient to meet the needs of all eligible families, it may 14.21 prioritize among the families that remain to be served after the 14.22 county has complied with the priority requirements of this 14.23 section. Counties that have established a priority for families 14.24 beyond those established under this section must submit the 14.25 policy in the annual child care fund plan. 14.26 Subd. 5. [WAITING LIST.] (a) Each county that receives 14.27 state or federal child care assistance funds must keep a written 14.28 record and report to the commissioner the number of eligible 14.29 families who have applied for a child care subsidy or have 14.30 requested child care assistance. 14.31 (b) Counties must perform a preliminary determination of 14.32 eligibility when a family requests child care assistance. At a 14.33 minimum, a county must make a preliminary determination of 14.34 eligibility based on family size, income, and authorized 14.35 activity. A family seeking child care assistance must provide 14.36 the required information to the county. 15.1 (c) A family that appears to be eligible must be put on a 15.2 waiting list if funds are not immediately available. The 15.3 waiting list must identify individuals in need of child care by 15.4 priority categories. Counties must review and update their 15.5 waiting list at least every six months. 15.6 Subd. 6. [FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT.] Counties must maximize 15.7 their federal reimbursement under federal reimbursement programs 15.8 for money spent for persons eligible under this chapter. 15.9 Subd. 7. [CHILD CARE FUND PLAN.] The county and designated 15.10 administering agency must submit to the commissioner an annual 15.11 child care fund plan in its biennial community social services 15.12 plan. The commissioner must establish the dates by which the 15.13 county must submit the child care fund plan. The plan must 15.14 include: 15.15 (1) a narrative of the total program for child care 15.16 services, including all policies and procedures that affect 15.17 eligible families and are used to administer the child care 15.18 funds; 15.19 (2) the methods used by the county to inform eligible 15.20 families of the availability of child care assistance and 15.21 related services; 15.22 (3) the provider rates paid for all children with special 15.23 needs by provider type; 15.24 (4) the county prioritization policy for all eligible 15.25 families under the child care assistance program; and 15.26 (5) other information as requested by the department to 15.27 ensure compliance with the child care fund statutes and rules 15.28 promulgated by the commissioner. 15.29 Subd. 8. [COUNTY CONTRIBUTIONS REQUIRED.] In addition to 15.30 payments from child care assistance program participants, each 15.31 county must contribute from county tax or other sources a fixed 15.32 local match equal to its calendar year 2000 required county 15.33 contribution. The commissioner must recover funds from the 15.34 county as necessary to bring county expenditures into compliance 15.35 with this subdivision. 15.36 Subd. 9. [MAINTENANCE OF FUNDING EFFORT.] To receive money 16.1 through this program, each county must certify, in its annual 16.2 plan to the commissioner, that the county has not reduced 16.3 allocations from other federal and state sources, which, in the 16.4 absence of the child care fund, would have been available for 16.5 child care assistance. However, the county must continue 16.6 contributions, as necessary, to maintain on the child care 16.7 assistance program, families who are receiving assistance on 16.8 December 31, 2001, until the family loses eligibility for the 16.9 program or until a family voluntarily withdraws from the 16.10 program. This subdivision does not affect the local match 16.11 required for this program under other sections of the law. 16.12 Subd. 10. [QUALITY CHILD CARE SERVICES INFORMATION.] Each 16.13 county must make resources available to parents in choosing 16.14 quality child care services. A county may require a parent to 16.15 sign a release stating the parent's knowledge and 16.16 responsibilities in choosing a legal provider described under 16.17 section 119B.011. When a county knows that a particular 16.18 provider is unsafe, or that the circumstances of the child care 16.19 arrangement chosen by the parent are unsafe, the county may deny 16.20 a child care subsidy. A county may not restrict access to a 16.21 general category of provider allowed under section 119B.011, 16.22 subdivision 19. 16.23 Subd. 11. [INCOME REDETERMINATION.] A county must 16.24 redetermine income when the family's income changes, but no less 16.25 often than every six months. Income must be verified with 16.26 documentary evidence. If the applicant does not have sufficient 16.27 evidence of income, verification must be obtained from the 16.28 source of the income. 16.29 Subd. 12. [PROVIDER NOTICE.] Each county must inform both 16.30 the family receiving assistance under this chapter and the child 16.31 care provider of the child care assistance payment amount and 16.32 how and when payment will be received. If a county sends a 16.33 family a notice that child care assistance will be terminated, 16.34 the county must inform the provider that unless the family 16.35 requests to continue to receive assistance pending an appeal, 16.36 child care payments will no longer be made. The notice to the 17.1 provider must not contain any private data on the family or 17.2 information on why payment will no longer be made. 17.3 Subd. 13. [PROVIDER PAYMENTS.] Each county must make 17.4 vendor payments to the child care provider or pay the parent 17.5 directly for eligible child care expenses. If payments for 17.6 child care assistance are made to providers, the provider must 17.7 bill the county for services provided within ten days of the end 17.8 of the month of service. If bills are submitted in accordance 17.9 with the requirements of this subdivision, a county must issue 17.10 payment to the provider of child care under the child care fund 17.11 within 30 days of receiving an invoice from the provider. Each 17.12 county may establish policies that make payments on a more 17.13 frequent basis. A county's payment policies must be included in 17.14 the county's child care plan under subdivision 7. 17.15 Subd. 14. [ABSENCE PAYMENTS.] County and human services 17.16 boards are authorized to establish policies for payment of child 17.17 care spaces for absent children when payments are required by 17.18 the child's regular provider. The county agency is authorized 17.19 to set limits and pay for absences according to the prevailing 17.20 market practice in the county. County policies for payment of 17.21 absences must be subject to the approval of the commissioner. 17.22 Sec. 26. [119B.035] [PROGRAM INTEGRITY AND FAIR HEARING.] 17.23 Subdivision 1. [PROGRAM INTEGRITY.] For the child care 17.24 assistance program under this chapter, the commissioner must 17.25 enforce, in cooperation with the commissioner of human services, 17.26 the requirements for program integrity and fraud prevention 17.27 investigations under sections 256.046, 256.98, and 256.983. 17.28 Subd. 2. [RECOVERY OF OVERPAYMENTS.] (a) A county agency 17.29 may recover an amount of child care assistance paid to a 17.30 recipient in excess of the payment due. If the family remains 17.31 eligible for child care assistance, the overpayment must be 17.32 recovered through recoupment. If the family no longer remains 17.33 eligible for child care assistance, the county may choose to 17.34 initiate efforts to recover overpayments from the family for an 17.35 overpayment less than $50. If the overpayment is greater than 17.36 or equal to $50, the county must seek voluntary repayment of the 18.1 overpayment from the family. If the county is unable to recoup 18.2 the overpayment through voluntary repayment, the county must 18.3 initiate civil court proceedings to recover the overpayment 18.4 unless the county's costs to recover the overpayment will exceed 18.5 the amount of the overpayment. 18.6 (b) A family with an outstanding debt under this 18.7 subdivision is not eligible for child care assistance until: 18.8 (1) the debt is paid in full; or (2) satisfactory arrangements 18.9 are made with the county to retire the debt consistent with the 18.10 requirements of this chapter and Minnesota Rules, chapter 3400, 18.11 and the family is in compliance with the arrangements. 18.12 Subd. 3. [FAIR HEARING ALLOWED.] An applicant or recipient 18.13 adversely affected by a county agency action may request a fair 18.14 hearing in accordance with section 256.045. 18.15 Subd. 4. [INFORMAL CONFERENCE.] Each county agency must 18.16 offer an informal conference to applicants and recipients 18.17 adversely affected by an agency action to attempt to resolve the 18.18 dispute. Each county agency must advise adversely affected 18.19 applicants and recipients that a request for a conference with 18.20 the agency is optional and does not delay or replace the right 18.21 to a fair hearing. 18.22 Sec. 27. [119B.045] [CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 18.23 FUNDING.] 18.24 Subdivision 1. [ALLOCATION FORMULA.] The state and federal 18.25 child care assistance funds must be allocated on a calendar year 18.26 basis. Funds must be allocated first in amounts equal to each 18.27 county's guaranteed floor according to subdivision 3 with any 18.28 remaining available funds allocated according to the following 18.29 formula: 18.30 (a) one-third of the funds must be allocated in proportion 18.31 to each county's total expenditures for the child care 18.32 assistance program reported during the most recent fiscal year 18.33 completed at the time of the notice of allocation; 18.34 (b) one-third of the funds must be allocated in proportion 18.35 to each county's most recently reported first, second, and third 18.36 priority waiting list as defined in section 119B.025, 19.1 subdivision 4; and 19.2 (c) one-third of the funds must be allocated in proportion 19.3 to each county's most recently reported waiting list as defined 19.4 in section 119B.025, subdivision 5. 19.5 Subd. 2. [ALLOCATION DUE TO INCREASED FUNDING.] When 19.6 funding increases are implemented within a calendar year, every 19.7 county must receive an allocation at least equal and 19.8 proportionate to its original allocation for the same time 19.9 period. The remainder of the allocation must be recalculated to 19.10 reflect the funding increase according to formulas identified in 19.11 subdivision 1. 19.12 Subd. 3. [GUARANTEED FLOOR.] (a) Beginning January 1, 19.13 2002, each county's guaranteed floor must equal 90 percent of 19.14 the allocation received in the preceding calendar year for child 19.15 care assistance programs under chapter 119B. 19.16 (b) When the amount of funds available for allocation is 19.17 less than the amount available in the previous year, each 19.18 county's previous year allocation must be reduced in proportion 19.19 to the reduction in the statewide funding for the purpose of 19.20 establishing the guaranteed floor. 19.21 Sec. 28. [119B.048] [SLIDING FEE AND PARENT FEES.] 19.22 Subdivision 1. [SLIDING FEE.] Child care services to 19.23 families with incomes at or below 250 percent of the federal 19.24 poverty guidelines for calendar year 2002 and 225 percent of the 19.25 federal poverty guidelines for calendar year 2003 and later, 19.26 adjusted for family size, must be made available on a sliding 19.27 fee basis. 19.28 Subd. 2. [PARENT FEES.] A family's monthly parent fees 19.29 must be a fixed percentage of its annual gross income. Parent 19.30 fees must apply to families eligible for child care assistance 19.31 under section 119B.014. Income must be as defined in section 19.32 119B.011, subdivision 15. The fixed percent is based on the 19.33 relationship of the family's annual gross income to the 19.34 established income eligibility level under section 119B.014. 19.35 Parent fees must begin at 75 percent of the poverty level. The 19.36 minimum parent fees for families between 75 percent and 100 20.1 percent of poverty level must be $5 per month. Parent fees must 20.2 be established in rule and must provide for graduated movement 20.3 to full payment. 20.4 When the provider charge is greater than the maximum 20.5 provider rate allowed, the parent is responsible for payment of 20.6 the difference in the rates in addition to any family copayment 20.7 fee. 20.8 Sec. 29. [119B.055] [CHILD CARE PROVIDERS; CHOICE AND 20.9 RATES.] 20.10 Subdivision 1. [PROVIDER CHOICE.] Parents may choose child 20.11 care providers, as defined under section 119B.011, that best 20.12 meet the needs of their family. 20.13 Subd. 2. [SUBSIDY RESTRICTIONS.] The maximum rate paid for 20.14 child care assistance under the child care fund may not exceed 20.15 the 75th percentile rate for like-care arrangements in the 20.16 county as surveyed by the commissioner. A rate which includes a 20.17 provider bonus paid under subdivision 3 or a special needs rate 20.18 paid under subdivision 4 may be in excess of the maximum rate 20.19 allowed under this subdivision. The department must monitor the 20.20 effect of this section on provider rates. The county must pay 20.21 the provider's full charges for every child in care up to the 20.22 maximum established. 20.23 Subd. 3. [PROVIDER RATE BONUS FOR ACCREDITATION.] A family 20.24 child care provider or child care center with a current early 20.25 childhood development credential approved by the commissioner 20.26 must be paid a ten percent bonus above the maximum rate 20.27 established in subdivision 2, up to the actual provider rate. 20.28 Subd. 4. [PROVIDER RATE FOR CARE OF CHILDREN WITH 20.29 HANDICAPS OR SPECIAL NEEDS.] Counties must reimburse providers 20.30 for the care of children with handicaps or special needs, at a 20.31 special rate to be approved by the county for care of these 20.32 children, subject to the approval of the commissioner. 20.33 Subd. 5. [RATES CHARGED TO PUBLICLY SUBSIDIZED FAMILIES.] 20.34 Child care providers receiving reimbursement under this chapter 20.35 may not charge a rate to clients receiving assistance under this 20.36 chapter that is higher than the private, full-paying client rate. 21.1 Subd. 6. [EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIPS.] Receipt of 21.2 federal, state, or local funds by a child care provider either 21.3 directly or through a parent who is a child care assistance 21.4 recipient does not establish an employer-employee relationship 21.5 between the county or state and the child care provider. 21.6 Sec. 30. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 119B.061, is 21.7 amended to read: 21.8 119B.061 [AT-HOME INFANT CHILD CARE PROGRAM.] 21.9 Subdivision 1. [ESTABLISHMENT.] A family in which a parent 21.10 provides care for the family's infant child may receive a 21.11 subsidy in lieu of assistance if the family is eligible for, or 21.12 is receiving assistance under the basic sliding feechild care 21.13 assistance program. An eligible family must meet the 21.14 eligibility factors under section 119B.09, the income criteria21.15 under section 119B.12119B.014, and the requirements of this 21.16 section. Subject to federal match and maintenance of effort 21.17 requirements for the child care and development fund, the 21.18 commissioner shall establish a pool of up to seven.... percent 21.19 of the annual appropriation for the basic sliding feechild care 21.20 assistance program to provide assistance under the at-home 21.21 infant child care program. At the end of a fiscal year, the 21.22 commissioner may carry forward any unspent funds under this 21.23 section to the next fiscal year within the same biennium for 21.24 assistance under the basic sliding feechild care assistance 21.25 program. 21.26 Subd. 2. [ELIGIBLE FAMILIES.] A family with an infant 21.27 under the age of one year is eligible for assistance if: 21.28 (1) the family is not receiving MFIP, other cash 21.29 assistance, or other child care assistance; 21.30 (2) the family has not previously received all of the 21.31 one-year exemption from the work requirement for infant care 21.32 under the MFIP program; 21.33 (3) the family has not previously received a life-long 21.34 total of 12 months of assistance under this section; and 21.35 (4) the family is participating in the basic sliding fee21.36 child care assistance program or provides verification of 22.1 participation in an authorized activity at the time of 22.2 application and meets the program requirements. 22.3 Subd. 3. [ELIGIBLE PARENT.] A family is eligible for 22.4 assistance under this section if one parent cares for the 22.5 family's infant child. The eligible parent must: 22.6 (1) be over the age of 18; 22.7 (2) care for the infant full-time in the infant's home; and 22.8 (3) care for any other children in the family who are 22.9 eligible for child care assistance under this chapter. 22.10 For the purposes of this section, "parent" means birth 22.11 parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent. 22.12 Subd. 4. [ASSISTANCE.] (a) A family is limited to a 22.13 lifetime total of 12 months of assistance under this section. 22.14 The maximum rate of assistance is equal to 75 percent of the 22.15 rate established under section 119B.13119B.055 for care of 22.16 infants in licensed family child care in the applicant's county 22.17 of residence. Assistance must be calculated to reflect the 22.18 parent fee requirement under section 119B.12119B.048 for the 22.19 family's income level and family size. 22.20 (b) A participating family must report income and other 22.21 family changes as specified in the county's plan under section 22.22 119B.08, subdivision 3119B.025, subdivision 7. The family must 22.23 treat any assistance received under this section as unearned 22.24 income. 22.25 (c) Persons who are admitted to the at-home infant care 22.26 program retain their position in any basic sliding feechild 22.27 care assistance program or on any waiting list attained at the 22.28 time of admittance. If they are on the waiting list, they must 22.29 advance as if they had not been admitted to the program. 22.30 Persons leaving the at-home infant care program re-enter 22.31 the basic sliding feechild care assistance program at the 22.32 position they would have occupied oron the waiting list at the 22.33 position to which they would have advanced. Persons who would 22.34 have attained eligibility for the basic sliding feechild care 22.35 assistance program must be given assistance or advance to the 22.36 top of the waiting list when they leave the at-home infant care 23.1 program. Persons admitted to the at-home infant care program 23.2 who are not on a basic sliding feechild care assistance waiting 23.3 list may apply to the basic sliding feechild care assistance 23.4 program, and if eligible, be placed on the waiting list. 23.5 (d) The time that a family receives assistance under this 23.6 section must be deducted from the one-year exemption from work 23.7 requirements under the MFIP program. 23.8 (e) Assistance under this section does not establish an 23.9 employer-employee relationship between any member of the 23.10 assisted family and the county or state. 23.11 (f) The date of eligibility for the at-home infant child 23.12 care program is the later of the date the infant is born or, in 23.13 a county with a waiting list, the date the family applies for 23.14 at-home infant child care. 23.15 Subd. 5. [IMPLEMENTATION.] (a)The commissioner shall 23.16 implement the at-home infant child care program under this 23.17 section through counties that administer the basic sliding fee23.18 child care assistance program under section 119B.03119B.014. 23.19 The commissioner must develop and distribute consumer 23.20 information on the at-home infant care program to assist parents 23.21 of infants or expectant parents in making informed child care 23.22 decisions. 23.23 (b) The commissioner shall evaluate this program and report23.24 the impact to the legislature by January 1, 2000. The23.25 evaluation must include data on the number of families23.26 participating in the program; the number of families continuing23.27 to pursue employment or education while participating in the23.28 program; the average income of families prior to, during, and23.29 after participation in the program; family size; and single23.30 parent and two-parent status.23.31 Sec. 31. [REPEALER.] 23.32 Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 119B.011, subdivision 20; 23.33 119B.03; 119B.04; 119B.05; 119B.06; 119B.07; 119B.08; 119B.09; 23.34 119B.10; 119B.11; 119B.12; 119B.13; 119B.14; 119B.15; and 23.35 119B.16, are repealed effective on December 31, 2001. 23.36 Sec. 32. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 24.1 Sections 1 to 31 are effective January 1, 2002.