as introduced - 93rd Legislature (2023 - 2024) Posted on 03/24/2023 04:02am
|Posted on 02/21/2023
A bill for an act
relating to health and human services; allowing counties to provide in-house
training for certain training and technical assistance programs; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2022, section 256.01, subdivision 2.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 256.01, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
Subject to the provisions of section 241.021, subdivision 2,
the commissioner of human services shall carry out the specific duties in paragraphs (a)
(a) Administer and supervise all forms of public assistance provided for by state law
and other welfare activities or services as are vested in the commissioner. Administration
and supervision of human services activities or services includes, but is not limited to,
assuring timely and accurate distribution of benefits, completeness of service, and quality
program management. In addition to administering and supervising human services activities
vested by law in the department, the commissioner shall have the authority to:
(1) require county agency participation in training and technical assistance programs to
promote compliance with statutes, rules, federal laws, regulations, and policies governing
human servicesnew text begin . For a pilot period beginning on July 1, 2023, and ending on June 30, 2024,
county agency participation in the training and technical assistance programs under this
clause may be completed by a county agency following the commissioner's review and
approval of the county's training materials. Counties must have the resources to provide
in-house training to participate in the pilot periodnew text end ;
(2) monitor, on an ongoing basis, the performance of county agencies in the operation
and administration of human services, enforce compliance with statutes, rules, federal laws,
regulations, and policies governing welfare services and promote excellence of administration
and program operation;
(3) develop a quality control program or other monitoring program to review county
performance and accuracy of benefit determinations;
(4) require county agencies to make an adjustment to the public assistance benefits issued
to any individual consistent with federal law and regulation and state law and rule and to
issue or recover benefits as appropriate;
(5) delay or deny payment of all or part of the state and federal share of benefits and
administrative reimbursement according to the procedures set forth in section 256.017;
(6) make contracts with and grants to public and private agencies and organizations,
both profit and nonprofit, and individuals, using appropriated funds; and
(7) enter into contractual agreements with federally recognized Indian tribes with a
reservation in Minnesota to the extent necessary for the tribe to operate a federally approved
family assistance program or any other program under the supervision of the commissioner.
The commissioner shall consult with the affected county or counties in the contractual
agreement negotiations, if the county or counties wish to be included, in order to avoid the
duplication of county and tribal assistance program services. The commissioner may establish
necessary accounts for the purposes of receiving and disbursing funds as necessary for the
operation of the programs.
(b) Inform county agencies, on a timely basis, of changes in statute, rule, federal law,
regulation, and policy necessary to county agency administration of the programs.
(c) Administer and supervise all child welfare activities; promote the enforcement of
laws protecting children with a disability and children who are dependent, neglected, or
delinquent, and children born to mothers who were not married to the children's fathers at
the times of the conception nor at the births of the children; license and supervise child-caring
and child-placing agencies and institutions; supervise the care of children in boarding and
foster homes or in private institutions; and generally perform all functions relating to the
field of child welfare now vested in the State Board of Control.
(d) Administer and supervise all noninstitutional service to persons with disabilities,
including persons who have vision impairments, and persons who are deaf, deafblind, and
hard-of-hearing or with other disabilities. The commissioner may provide and contract for
the care and treatment of qualified indigent children in facilities other than those located
and available at state hospitals when it is not feasible to provide the service in state hospitals.
(e) Assist and actively cooperate with other departments, agencies and institutions, local,
state, and federal, by performing services in conformity with the purposes of Laws 1939,
(f) Act as the agent of and cooperate with the federal government in matters of mutual
concern relative to and in conformity with the provisions of Laws 1939, chapter 431,
including the administration of any federal funds granted to the state to aid in the performance
of any functions of the commissioner as specified in Laws 1939, chapter 431, and including
the promulgation of rules making uniformly available medical care benefits to all recipients
of public assistance, at such times as the federal government increases its participation in
assistance expenditures for medical care to recipients of public assistance, the cost thereof
to be borne in the same proportion as are grants of aid to said recipients.
(g) Establish and maintain any administrative units reasonably necessary for the
performance of administrative functions common to all divisions of the department.
(h) Act as designated guardian of both the estate and the person of all the wards of the
state of Minnesota, whether by operation of law or by an order of court, without any further
act or proceeding whatever, except as to persons committed as developmentally disabled.
For children under the guardianship of the commissioner or a tribe in Minnesota recognized
by the Secretary of the Interior whose interests would be best served by adoptive placement,
the commissioner may contract with a licensed child-placing agency or a Minnesota tribal
social services agency to provide adoption services. A contract with a licensed child-placing
agency must be designed to supplement existing county efforts and may not replace existing
county programs or tribal social services, unless the replacement is agreed to by the county
board and the appropriate exclusive bargaining representative, tribal governing body, or the
commissioner has evidence that child placements of the county continue to be substantially
below that of other counties. Funds encumbered and obligated under an agreement for a
specific child shall remain available until the terms of the agreement are fulfilled or the
agreement is terminated.
(i) Act as coordinating referral and informational center on requests for service for newly
arrived immigrants coming to Minnesota.
(j) The specific enumeration of powers and duties as hereinabove set forth shall in no
way be construed to be a limitation upon the general transfer of powers herein contained.
(k) Establish county, regional, or statewide schedules of maximum fees and charges
which may be paid by county agencies for medical, dental, surgical, hospital, nursing and
nursing home care and medicine and medical supplies under all programs of medical care
provided by the state and for congregate living care under the income maintenance programs.
(l) Have the authority to conduct and administer experimental projects to test methods
and procedures of administering assistance and services to recipients or potential recipients
of public welfare. To carry out such experimental projects, it is further provided that the
commissioner of human services is authorized to waive the enforcement of existing specific
statutory program requirements, rules, and standards in one or more counties. The order
establishing the waiver shall provide alternative methods and procedures of administration,
shall not be in conflict with the basic purposes, coverage, or benefits provided by law, and
in no event shall the duration of a project exceed four years. It is further provided that no
order establishing an experimental project as authorized by the provisions of this section
shall become effective until the following conditions have been met:
(1) the secretary of health and human services of the United States has agreed, for the
same project, to waive state plan requirements relative to statewide uniformity; and
(2) a comprehensive plan, including estimated project costs, shall be approved by the
Legislative Advisory Commission and filed with the commissioner of administration.
(m) According to federal requirements, establish procedures to be followed by local
welfare boards in creating citizen advisory committees, including procedures for selection
of committee members.
(n) Allocate federal fiscal disallowances or sanctions which are based on quality control
error rates for the aid to families with dependent children program formerly codified in
sections 256.72 to 256.87, medical assistance, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP) in the following manner:
(1) one-half of the total amount of the disallowance shall be borne by the county boards
responsible for administering the programs. For the medical assistance and the AFDC
program formerly codified in sections 256.72 to 256.87, disallowances shall be shared by
each county board in the same proportion as that county's expenditures for the sanctioned
program are to the total of all counties' expenditures for the AFDC program formerly codified
in sections 256.72 to 256.87, and medical assistance programs. For SNAP, sanctions shall
be shared by each county board, with 50 percent of the sanction being distributed to each
county in the same proportion as that county's administrative costs for SNAP benefits are
to the total of all SNAP administrative costs for all counties, and 50 percent of the sanctions
being distributed to each county in the same proportion as that county's value of SNAP
benefits issued are to the total of all benefits issued for all counties. Each county shall pay
its share of the disallowance to the state of Minnesota. When a county fails to pay the amount
due hereunder, the commissioner may deduct the amount from reimbursement otherwise
due the county, or the attorney general, upon the request of the commissioner, may institute
civil action to recover the amount due; and
(2) notwithstanding the provisions of clause (1), if the disallowance results from knowing
noncompliance by one or more counties with a specific program instruction, and that knowing
noncompliance is a matter of official county board record, the commissioner may require
payment or recover from the county or counties, in the manner prescribed in clause (1), an
amount equal to the portion of the total disallowance which resulted from the noncompliance,
and may distribute the balance of the disallowance according to clause (1).
(o) Develop and implement special projects that maximize reimbursements and result
in the recovery of money to the state. For the purpose of recovering state money, the
commissioner may enter into contracts with third parties. Any recoveries that result from
projects or contracts entered into under this paragraph shall be deposited in the state treasury
and credited to a special account until the balance in the account reaches $1,000,000. When
the balance in the account exceeds $1,000,000, the excess shall be transferred and credited
to the general fund. All money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner for the
purposes of this paragraph.
(p) Have the authority to establish and enforce the following county reporting
(1) the commissioner shall establish fiscal and statistical reporting requirements necessary
to account for the expenditure of funds allocated to counties for human services programs.
When establishing financial and statistical reporting requirements, the commissioner shall
evaluate all reports, in consultation with the counties, to determine if the reports can be
simplified or the number of reports can be reduced;
(2) the county board shall submit monthly or quarterly reports to the department as
required by the commissioner. Monthly reports are due no later than 15 working days after
the end of the month. Quarterly reports are due no later than 30 calendar days after the end
of the quarter, unless the commissioner determines that the deadline must be shortened to
20 calendar days to avoid jeopardizing compliance with federal deadlines or risking a loss
of federal funding. Only reports that are complete, legible, and in the required format shall
be accepted by the commissioner;
(3) if the required reports are not received by the deadlines established in clause (2), the
commissioner may delay payments and withhold funds from the county board until the next
reporting period. When the report is needed to account for the use of federal funds and the
late report results in a reduction in federal funding, the commissioner shall withhold from
the county boards with late reports an amount equal to the reduction in federal funding until
full federal funding is received;
(4) a county board that submits reports that are late, illegible, incomplete, or not in the
required format for two out of three consecutive reporting periods is considered
noncompliant. When a county board is found to be noncompliant, the commissioner shall
notify the county board of the reason the county board is considered noncompliant and
request that the county board develop a corrective action plan stating how the county board
plans to correct the problem. The corrective action plan must be submitted to the
commissioner within 45 days after the date the county board received notice of
(5) the final deadline for fiscal reports or amendments to fiscal reports is one year after
the date the report was originally due. If the commissioner does not receive a report by the
final deadline, the county board forfeits the funding associated with the report for that
reporting period and the county board must repay any funds associated with the report
received for that reporting period;
(6) the commissioner may not delay payments, withhold funds, or require repayment
under clause (3) or (5) if the county demonstrates that the commissioner failed to provide
appropriate forms, guidelines, and technical assistance to enable the county to comply with
the requirements. If the county board disagrees with an action taken by the commissioner
under clause (3) or (5), the county board may appeal the action according to sections 14.57
to 14.69; and
(7) counties subject to withholding of funds under clause (3) or forfeiture or repayment
of funds under clause (5) shall not reduce or withhold benefits or services to clients to cover
costs incurred due to actions taken by the commissioner under clause (3) or (5).
(q) Allocate federal fiscal disallowances or sanctions for audit exceptions when federal
fiscal disallowances or sanctions are based on a statewide random sample in direct proportion
to each county's claim for that period.
(r) Be responsible for ensuring the detection, prevention, investigation, and resolution
of fraudulent activities or behavior by applicants, recipients, and other participants in the
human services programs administered by the department.
(s) Require county agencies to identify overpayments, establish claims, and utilize all
available and cost-beneficial methodologies to collect and recover these overpayments in
the human services programs administered by the department.
(t) Have the authority to administer the federal drug rebate program for drugs purchased
under the medical assistance program as allowed by section 1927 of title XIX of the Social
Security Act and according to the terms and conditions of section 1927. Rebates shall be
collected for all drugs that have been dispensed or administered in an outpatient setting and
that are from manufacturers who have signed a rebate agreement with the United States
Department of Health and Human Services.
(u) Have the authority to administer a supplemental drug rebate program for drugs
purchased under the medical assistance program. The commissioner may enter into
supplemental rebate contracts with pharmaceutical manufacturers and may require prior
authorization for drugs that are from manufacturers that have not signed a supplemental
rebate contract. Prior authorization of drugs shall be subject to the provisions of section
256B.0625, subdivision 13.
(v) Operate the department's communication systems account established in Laws 1993,
First Special Session chapter 1, article 1, section 2, subdivision 2, to manage shared
communication costs necessary for the operation of the programs the commissioner
supervises. A communications account may also be established for each regional treatment
center which operates communications systems. Each account must be used to manage
shared communication costs necessary for the operations of the programs the commissioner
supervises. The commissioner may distribute the costs of operating and maintaining
communication systems to participants in a manner that reflects actual usage. Costs may
include acquisition, licensing, insurance, maintenance, repair, staff time and other costs as
determined by the commissioner. Nonprofit organizations and state, county, and local
government agencies involved in the operation of programs the commissioner supervises
may participate in the use of the department's communications technology and share in the
cost of operation. The commissioner may accept on behalf of the state any gift, bequest,
devise or personal property of any kind, or money tendered to the state for any lawful
purpose pertaining to the communication activities of the department. Any money received
for this purpose must be deposited in the department's communication systems accounts.
Money collected by the commissioner for the use of communication systems must be
deposited in the state communication systems account and is appropriated to the
commissioner for purposes of this section.
(w) Receive any federal matching money that is made available through the medical
assistance program for the consumer satisfaction survey. Any federal money received for
the survey is appropriated to the commissioner for this purpose. The commissioner may
expend the federal money received for the consumer satisfaction survey in either year of
(x) Designate community information and referral call centers and incorporate cost
reimbursement claims from the designated community information and referral call centers
into the federal cost reimbursement claiming processes of the department according to
federal law, rule, and regulations. Existing information and referral centers provided by
Greater Twin Cities United Way or existing call centers for which Greater Twin Cities
United Way has legal authority to represent, shall be included in these designations upon
review by the commissioner and assurance that these services are accredited and in
compliance with national standards. Any reimbursement is appropriated to the commissioner
and all designated information and referral centers shall receive payments according to
normal department schedules established by the commissioner upon final approval of
allocation methodologies from the United States Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Cost Allocation or other appropriate authorities.
(y) Develop recommended standards for foster care homes that address the components
of specialized therapeutic services to be provided by foster care homes with those services.
(z) Authorize the method of payment to or from the department as part of the human
services programs administered by the department. This authorization includes the receipt
or disbursement of funds held by the department in a fiduciary capacity as part of the human
services programs administered by the department.
(aa) Designate the agencies that operate the Senior LinkAge Line under section 256.975,
subdivision 7, and the Disability Hub under subdivision 24 as the state of Minnesota Aging
and Disability Resource Center under United States Code, title 42, section 3001, the Older
Americans Act Amendments of 2006, and incorporate cost reimbursement claims from the
designated centers into the federal cost reimbursement claiming processes of the department
according to federal law, rule, and regulations. Any reimbursement must be appropriated
to the commissioner and treated consistent with section 256.011. All Aging and Disability
Resource Center designated agencies shall receive payments of grant funding that supports
the activity and generates the federal financial participation according to Board on Aging
administrative granting mechanisms.
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This section is effective July 1, 2023.
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