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Key: (1) 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.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota Revisor of Statutes