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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1986 

                        CHAPTER 337-S.F.No. 2079 
           An act relating to human services; creating a service 
          for the blind and visually handicapped in the 
          department of jobs and training; providing for 
          appeals; providing a penalty; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1985 Supplement, sections 13.46, subdivision 
          2; 248.07, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14, 14a, 
          and 15; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
          Statutes, chapters 13 and 248; repealing Minnesota 
          Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 248.08. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
13.46, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [GENERAL.] (a) Unless the data is summary data or 
a statute specifically provides a different classification, data 
on individuals collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by 
the welfare system is private data on individuals, and shall not 
be disclosed except:  
    (1) pursuant to section 13.05;  
    (2) pursuant to court order;  
    (3) pursuant to a statute specifically authorizing access 
to the private data;  
    (4) to an agent of the welfare system, including a law 
enforcement person, attorney, or investigator acting for it in 
the investigation, prosecution, criminal or civil proceeding 
relating to the administration of a program;  
    (5) to personnel of the welfare system who require the data 
to determine eligibility, amount of assistance, and the need to 
provide services of additional programs to the individual;  
    (6) to administer federal funds or programs;  
    (7) between personnel of the welfare system working in the 
same program; 
    (8) the amounts of cash public assistance and relief paid 
to welfare recipients in this state, including their names and 
social security numbers, upon request by the department of 
revenue to administer the property tax refund law, supplemental 
housing allowance, and the income tax;  
    (9) to the Minnesota department of economic security jobs 
and training for the purpose of monitoring the eligibility of 
the data subject for unemployment compensation or, for any 
employment or training program administered by that agency, or 
for the purpose of administering any rehabilitation program, 
whether alone or in conjunction with the welfare system;  
    (10) to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency 
if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the 
health or safety of the individual or other individuals or 
persons; or 
    (11) data maintained by residential facilities as defined 
in section 245.782, subdivision 6, may be disclosed to the 
protection and advocacy system established in this state 
pursuant to Part C of Public Law Number 98-527 to protect the 
legal and human rights of persons with mental retardation or 
other related conditions who live in residential facilities for 
these persons if the protection and advocacy system receives a 
complaint by or on behalf of that person and the person does not 
have a legal guardian or the state or a designee of the state is 
the legal guardian of the person. 
    (b) Mental health data shall be treated as provided in 
subdivisions 7, 8, and 9, but is not subject to the access 
provisions of subdivision 10, paragraph (b).  
    Sec. 2.  [13.791] [REHABILITATION DATA.] 
     Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL.] Unless the data is summary data 
or is otherwise classified by statute or federal law, all data 
collected and maintained by the department of jobs and training 
that pertain to individuals applying for or receiving 
rehabilitation services is private data on individuals. 
    Subd. 2.  [HARMFUL DATA.] Medical, psychological, or other 
rehabilitation data that the commissioner of jobs and training 
determines may be harmful to the individual shall not be 
released directly to the individual but must be provided through 
the individual's legal representative, a physician, or a 
licensed psychologist.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [COOPERATION.] It shall be the duty of the 
commissioner of jobs and training, referred to in this section 
and sections 248.08 and 248.085 and 13 as the commissioner, to 
cooperate with state and local boards and agencies, both public 
and private, in preventing loss of sight, in alleviating the 
condition of blind persons and persons of failing sight, in 
extending and improving the education, advisement, training, 
placement, and conservation of the blind, and in promoting their 
personal, economic, social, and civic well being develop and 
administer programs serving the needs of blind and visually 
handicapped persons and to cooperate with state and local boards 
and agencies both public and private.  The commissioner shall 
create a distinct organizational unit to be known as services 
for the blind and visually handicapped, separate from the 
vocational rehabilitation unit and with its own activity budget, 
within the department of jobs and training to provide and 
coordinate services to the blind. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [STATISTICS.] The commissioner shall collect 
statistics of the blind, including their present physical and 
mental condition, causes of blindness, capacity for education 
and industrial training, and any further information looking 
toward the improvement of their condition that may be desired 
concerning blind persons including medical ophthalmological 
data, causes of blindness, opportunities for education, 
rehabilitation, training for employment, and any other 
information necessary to carry out the commissioner's duties and 
responsibilities with respect to blind and visually handicapped 
persons. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [SPECIAL ATTENTION.] The commissioner shall give 
special attention to the cases of handicapped youth who are 
eligible to attend the Minnesota Braille and sight-saving school 
state academy for the blind, the Minnesota school state academy 
for the deaf, or the public school classes for handicapped 
children, but are not in attendance thereat, or are not 
receiving adequate instruction elsewhere.  The commissioner 
shall report all such cases to the school district of the 
individual's residence and to the state board of education. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [VOCATIONAL TRAINING.] The commissioner shall 
endeavor to secure for the adult blind of the state and youths 
of legal working age such vocational training, labor, and 
employment as may be adapted to their respective capacity, and 
shall so far as may be feasible aid such persons in securing any 
provisions which may be made by the school for the blind or 
other state agencies for the betterment of their lot.  When 
vocational training under the division of vocational 
rehabilitation is secured, such aid may take the form of 
payments for the maintenance of persons in training, under rules 
to be adopted by the commissioner either provide or assist blind 
and visually handicapped persons in obtaining vocational 
training and employment and shall aid such persons in obtaining 
services and benefits to which they may be entitled from public 
and private agencies.  Any person who shall be entitled to 
training under this subdivision shall have the right to choose 
from available programs such training as in his opinion would be 
suitable and practical for him in accordance with rules adopted 
by the commissioner under section 248.07, subdivision 14a. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [AIDS.] The commissioner shall further be 
empowered to aid the blind:  (1) By home instruction and 
training; (2) by assisting them in securing tools, appliances, 
and supplies; (3) by aid in marketing the products of their 
labors; by any other practicable means of improving their 
social, economic, or educational condition; and (4) by care and 
relief for blind persons who are not capable of self-support; 
and, (5) in any other practicable means of alleviating their 
condition by providing to eligible persons, or purchasing for 
sale at cost plus handling charges, special materials and 
supplies needed by blind or visually handicapped persons that 
are difficult to obtain elsewhere.  Equipment may be leased or 
sold under written rehabilitation plans at cost plus handling 
charges to persons who wish to lease or purchase them.  Receipts 
under this subdivision are subject to section 268.0121, 
subdivision 5. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [BLIND, VENDING STANDS AND MACHINES ON 
GOVERNMENTAL PROPERTY.] Notwithstanding any other law, for the 
rehabilitation of blind persons the commissioner shall have 
exclusive authority to establish and to operate vending stands 
and vending machines in all buildings and properties owned or 
rented exclusively by any department of the state of Minnesota 
except the department of natural resources properties operated 
directly by the Division of State Parks and not subject to 
private leasing.  The merchandise to be dispensed by such 
vending stands and machines may include soft drinks, (except 3.2 
beer), milk, food, candies, tobacco, souvenirs, notions and 
related items.  Such vending stands and vending machines herein 
authorized shall be operated on the same basis as other vending 
stands for the blind established and supervised by the 
commissioner of human services.  The commissioner may waive this 
authority to displace any present private individual 
concessionaire in any state-owned or rented building or 
property.  With the consent of the governing body of a 
governmental subdivision of the state, the commissioner may 
establish and supervise vending stands and vending machines for 
the blind in any building or property exclusively owned or 
rented by the governmental subdivision. 
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 12.  [REIMBURSEMENT OUT OF STATE DISTRIBUTION OF 
BRAILLE AND TALKING BOOKS SPECIAL MATERIALS.] The commissioner 
shall obtain reimbursement from other states for the estimated 
cost of providing radio signals, programming, and radio 
receivers for the blind and for production and handling of 
Braille books and talking books, audio tapes, and related 
services for the blind distributed by the department of jobs and 
training to users in such other states and may contract with the 
appropriate authorities of such states to effect such 
reimbursement.  All money received hereunder shall be paid to 
the state treasurer and placed in the general fund.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 14.  [TRAINING OF WORKERS FOR REHABILITATION OF 
BLIND.] From funds provided by the state or the United States 
for the rehabilitation of blind persons, the commissioner may 
make provision for: 
    (1) Specialized supplementary training of professional 
workers employed by services for the blind, which shall consist 
of selected courses of study designed to improve worker 
techniques in providing assistance with adjustment to blindness, 
guidance, training and vocational placement services to blind 
children and adults; 
    (2) The employment of student trainees enrolled in graduate 
school programs.  Such trainees to be employed on a one-third 
time part-time basis during the regular school term and on a 
full-time basis during the extra school term.  Student trainees 
shall not be counted against the regular staff complement and 
shall not exceed eight in number employed concurrently. 
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 14a, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 14a.  [RULES.] The commissioner shall, no later than 
February 1, 1985, adopt rules to set standards for the provision 
of rehabilitative services to blind and visually handicapped 
persons.  The rules shall, at a minimum, contain program 
definitions and set standards for basic eligibility, including 
financial need eligibility and definitions of legal blindness.  
    The rules shall provide for the development of formal 
rehabilitation plans for eligible clients and shall govern the 
provision of direct rehabilitative services to clients, 
including placement in training programs, and providing tools 
and equipment.  In addition, the rules shall set standards for 
appeals filed under subdivision 15, and include specific 
requirements for timely responses by the agency. 
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 
248.07, subdivision 15, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 15.  [APPEALS FROM AGENCY ACTION.] An applicant for 
or recipient of rehabilitation service who is dissatisfied with 
an agency's action with regard to the furnishing or denial of 
services may: 
    (1) File a request for an administrative review and 
redetermination of that action to be made by the commissioner. 
    (2) If further appeal is deemed necessary by the applicant 
or recipient, his grievance shall be considered and relief if 
any recommended by an appeal committee.  The committee shall be 
composed of one person nominated by the applicant or recipient, 
one person nominated by the agency, and a third person nominated 
jointly by the applicant or recipient and the agency.  If the 
third person cannot be mutually agreed upon within ten days of 
the applicant's or recipient's request for a committee hearing, 
the judge of the district court in the applicant's or 
recipient's county of residence shall make the third appointment 
file a request for administrative review and fair hearing in 
accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, title 34, 
section 361.48, and rules adopted under subdivision 14a. 
    Sec. 13.  [248.11] [RECOUPMENT OF SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS.] If a recipient 
receives monetary assistance as a rehabilitation service from 
services for the blind and visually handicapped in excess of 
that to which the recipient is entitled by law, services for the 
blind and visually handicapped shall, as soon as it discovers 
the amount of the erroneous payment, notify the recipient to 
return the same in accordance with rules adopted by the 
commissioner.  Unless the recipient files an appeal under 
section 248.07, subdivision 15, within 15 days after the notice 
to return is personally delivered to the recipient or mailed to 
the recipient's last known address, the determination of 
overpayment shall be considered final.  If the recipient files a 
timely appeal, the determination shall not be considered final 
until the recipient's administrative appeal remedies are 
exhausted.  Services for the blind and visually handicapped may 
recoup overpayments considered final under this subdivision by 
deducting the amount or a part of the overpayment from future 
monetary assistance payments to the recipient or by civil action 
in the name of the commissioner.  Overpayments made more than 
three years prior to discovery of the error are not recoverable 
under this subdivision. 
     Subd. 2.  [RECOVERY OF EQUIPMENT.] If a recipient retains 
equipment to which services for the blind and visually 
handicapped has title after the recipient's right to possess the 
equipment has expired, services for the blind and visually 
handicapped shall notify the recipient to return the same or 
execute a new lease to the equipment if the equipment is still 
necessary to the recipient's rehabilitation.  Unless the 
recipient returns the equipment, executes and complies with a 
new lease to the equipment or appeals under section 248.07, 
subdivision 15 within 15 days after the notice to return is 
personally delivered to the recipient or mailed to the 
recipient's last known address, services for the blind and 
visually handicapped may institute a civil action to recover the 
equipment or the reasonable value of the equipment. 
    Sec. 14.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1985 Supplement, section 248.08, is 
repealed. 
    Approved March 19, 1986

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