language to be deleted (2) new language
CHAPTER 149-H.F.No. 1414 An act relating to human services; making changes to deaf and hard-of-hearing services division; modifying interpreter services; amending Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 237.51, subdivision 5a; 256C.233, subdivisions 1 and 2; and 256C.25. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 237.51, subdivision 5a, is amended to read: Subd. 5a. [DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES DUTIES.] (a) In addition to any duties specified elsewhere in sections 237.51 to 237.56, the department of human services shall: (1) define economic hardship, special needs, and household criteria so as to determine the priority of eligible applicants for initial distribution of devices and to determine circumstances necessitating provision of more than one communication device per household; (2) establish a method to verify eligibility requirements; (3) establish specifications for communication devices to be purchased under section 237.53, subdivision 3; and (4) inform the public and specifically the community of communication-impaired persons of the program
; and (5) notwithstanding any provision of chapters 16B and 16C, develop guidelines for the purchase of some communication devices from local retailers and dispensers if the department determines that otherwise they will be economically harmed by implementation of sections 237.50 to 237.56. (b) The department may establish an advisory board to advise the department in carrying out the duties specified in this section and to advise the department of public service in carrying out its duties under section 237.54. If so established, the advisory board must include, at a minimum, the following communication-impaired persons: (1) at least one member who is deaf; (2) at least one member who is speech impaired; (3) at least one member who is mobility impaired; and (4) at least one member who is hard-of-hearing. The membership terms, compensation, and removal of members and the filling of membership vacancies are governed by section 15.059. Advisory board meetings shall be held at the discretion of the commissioner. Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256C.233, subdivision 1, is amended to read: Subdivision 1. [DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING DIVISION.] The commissioners of human services, children, families, and learning, and economic security and health shall create a distinct and separate organizational unit to be known as the deaf and hard-of-hearing services division to address the developmental, social, educational, and occupational needs of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons through a statewide network of collaborative services and by coordinating the promulgation of public policies, regulations, legislation, and programs affecting deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons. An interdepartmental management team shall supervise the activities of the deaf and hard-of-hearing services division. The commissioner of human services shall coordinate the work of the interagency management team and receive legislative appropriations for the division. Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256C.233, subdivision 2, is amended to read: Subd. 2. [RESPONSIBILITIES.] The deaf and hard-of-hearing services division shall: (1) establish and maintain a statewide network of regional service centers for deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans; (2) assist the departments of human services, children, families, and learning, and economic security to coordinate the promulgation and implementation of public policies, regulations, legislation, programs, and services affecting deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons; and (3) provide a coordinated system of statewide interpreting or interpreter referral services. Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256C.25, is amended to read: 256C.25 [INTERPRETER SERVICES.] Subdivision 1. [ESTABLISHMENT.] The deaf and hard-of-hearing services division shall maintain and coordinate statewide interpreting or interpreter referral services for use by any public or private agency or individual in the state. Within the seven-county metro area, the division shall contract for these services; outside the metro area,The division shall directly coordinate these services but may contract with an appropriate agency to provide this service. The division may collect a $3 fee per referral for interpreter referral services and the actual costs of interpreter services provided by department staff. Fees and payments collected shall be deposited in the general fund. The $3 referral fee shall not be collected from state agencies or local units of government or deaf or hard-of-hearing consumers or interpreters. Subd. 2. [DUTIES.] Interpreting or interpreter referral services must include: (a) statewide access to interpreter referral and direct interpreting services, coordinated with the regional service centers; (b) maintenance of a statewide directory of qualified interpreters; (c) assessment of the present and projected supply and demand for interpreter services statewide; and (d) coordination with the regional service centers on projects to train interpreters and advocate for and evaluate interpreter services. Presented to the governor May 10, 1999 Signed by the governor May 13, 1999, 1:10 p.m.