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2007 Minnesota Session Laws

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CHAPTER 147--H.F.No. 1078

An act

relating to state government; making changes to health and human services programs; changing children and family provisions; amending child welfare provisions; establishing prekindergarten exploratory projects; modifying licensing provisions; amending health care programs and policy; modifying continuing care programs and policy; amending mental and chemical health provisions; changing Department of Health provisions and policy; establishing a children's health program; changing public health provisions and policy; amending MinnesotaCare, medical assistance, and general assistance medical care; instituting health care reform; modifying health insurance provisions; establishing family supportive services; providing rate increases for certain providers and nursing facilities; changing health records information provisions; making technical changes; providing penalties; establishing task forces; changing certain fees; requiring reports; making forecast adjustments; appropriating money for human services and health; appropriating money for various state boards and councils;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 13.381, by adding a subdivision; 13.46, subdivision 2; 16A.724, subdivision 2, by adding subdivisions; 16B.61, by adding a subdivision; 16D.13, subdivision 3; 43A.23, subdivision 1; 62E.02, subdivision 7; 62H.02; 62J.07, subdivisions 1, 3; 62J.17, subdivisions 2, 4a, 6a, 7; 62J.41, subdivision 1; 62J.495; 62J.52, subdivisions 1, 2; 62J.60, subdivisions 2, 3; 62J.692, subdivisions 1, 4, 5, 8; 62J.81, subdivision 1; 62J.82; 62L.02, subdivision 11; 62Q.165, subdivisions 1, 2; 62Q.80, subdivisions 3, 4, 13, 14, by adding a subdivision; 69.021, subdivision 11; 103I.101, subdivision 6; 103I.208, subdivisions 1, 2; 103I.235, subdivision 1; 119B.011, by adding a subdivision; 119B.035, subdivision 1; 119B.05, subdivision 1; 119B.09, subdivision 7, by adding subdivisions; 119B.12; 119B.125, subdivision 2; 119B.13, subdivisions 1, 3a, 7; 119B.21, subdivision 5; 144.123; 144.125; 144.3345; 144.5509; 144.552; 144.553, subdivision 3; 144.565; 144.651, subdivisions 9, 10, 26; 144.698, subdivision 1; 144.699, by adding a subdivision; 144.9507, by adding a subdivision; 144.9512; 144A.073, subdivision 4; 144A.351; 144D.03, subdivision 1; 144E.101, subdivision 6; 144E.127; 144E.35, subdivision 1; 145A.17; 145C.05; 145C.07, by adding a subdivision; 148.235, by adding a subdivision; 148.6445, subdivisions 1, 2; 148B.53, subdivision 3; 148C.11, subdivision 1; 149A.52, subdivision 3; 149A.97, subdivision 7; 151.19, subdivision 2; 151.37, subdivision 2; 152.11, by adding a subdivision; 157.16, subdivision 1; 169A.70, subdivision 4; 198.075; 245.462, subdivision 20; 245.465, by adding a subdivision; 245.4712, subdivision 1; 245.4874; 245.50, subdivision 5; 245.771, by adding a subdivision; 245.98, subdivision 2; 245A.035; 245A.10, subdivision 2; 245A.16, subdivisions 1, 3; 245C.02, by adding a subdivision; 245C.04, subdivision 1; 245C.05, subdivisions 1, 4, 5, 7, by adding a subdivision; 245C.08, subdivisions 1, 2; 245C.10, by adding a subdivision; 245C.11, subdivisions 1, 2; 245C.12; 245C.16, subdivision 1; 245C.17, by adding a subdivision; 245C.21, by adding a subdivision; 245C.23, subdivision 2; 246.54, subdivisions 1, 2; 252.27, subdivision 2a; 252.32, subdivision 3; 253B.185, subdivision 2, by adding a subdivision; 254A.03, subdivision 3; 254A.16, subdivision 2; 254B.02, subdivisions 1, 5; 254B.03, subdivisions 1, 3; 254B.06, subdivision 3; 256.01, subdivisions 2, 2b, 4, by adding subdivisions; 256.015, subdivision 7; 256.017, subdivisions 1, 9; 256.476, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10; 256.969, subdivisions 9, 27; 256.974; 256.9741, subdivisions 1, 3; 256.9742, subdivisions 3, 4, 6; 256.9744, subdivision 1; 256.975, subdivision 7, by adding a subdivision; 256.984, subdivision 1; 256B.04, subdivision 14, by adding a subdivision; 256B.055, subdivision 14; 256B.056, subdivision 10, by adding a subdivision; 256B.057, by adding a subdivision; 256B.0621, subdivision 11; 256B.0622, subdivision 2; 256B.0623, subdivision 5; 256B.0625, subdivisions 3f, 13c, 13d, 18a, 20, 23, 47, by adding subdivisions; 256B.0631, subdivisions 1, 3; 256B.0644; 256B.0651, subdivision 7; 256B.0655, subdivisions 1b, 1f, 3, 8, by adding subdivisions; 256B.0911, subdivisions 3a, 3b, 4b, 4c, 6, 7, by adding subdivisions; 256B.0913, subdivisions 4, 5, 5a, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; 256B.0915; 256B.0919, subdivision 3; 256B.0943, subdivisions 6, 8, 9, 11, 12; 256B.0945, subdivision 4; 256B.095; 256B.0951, subdivision 1; 256B.199; 256B.27, subdivision 2a; 256B.431, subdivisions 1, 2e, 3f, 17a, 17e, 41; 256B.434, subdivision 4, by adding subdivisions; 256B.437, by adding a subdivision; 256B.441, subdivisions 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 20, 24, 30, 31, 34, 38, by adding subdivisions; 256B.49, subdivision 11, by adding a subdivision; 256B.5012, by adding a subdivision; 256B.69, subdivisions 4, 5g, 5h, 23; 256B.76; 256B.763; 256D.03, subdivisions 3, 4; 256E.35, subdivision 2; 256I.04, subdivision 3; 256I.05, by adding subdivisions; 256J.01, by adding a subdivision; 256J.02, subdivisions 1, 4, by adding a subdivision; 256J.021; 256J.08, subdivision 65; 256J.20, subdivision 3; 256J.21, subdivision 2; 256J.32, subdivision 6; 256J.42, subdivision 1; 256J.46, by adding a subdivision; 256J.49, subdivision 13; 256J.521, subdivisions 1, 2; 256J.53, subdivision 2; 256J.55, subdivision 1; 256J.626, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; 256J.751, subdivisions 2, 5; 256J.77; 256J.95, subdivision 3; 256K.45, by adding a subdivision; 256L.01, subdivisions 1, 4; 256L.03, subdivisions 1, 3, 5; 256L.04, subdivisions 1, 7, 12; 256L.05, subdivisions 1, 1b, 2, 3a; 256L.07, subdivisions 1, 6, by adding a subdivision; 256L.09, subdivision 4; 256L.11, subdivision 7; 256L.12, subdivision 9a; 256L.15, subdivisions 1, 2, 4; 256L.17, subdivisions 2, 3, 7; 259.20, subdivision 2; 259.24, subdivision 3; 259.29, subdivision 1; 259.41; 259.53, subdivisions 1, 2; 259.57, subdivisions 1, 2; 259.67, subdivisions 4, 7; 259.75, subdivision 8; 260.012; 260.755, subdivisions 12, 20; 260.761, subdivision 7; 260.765, subdivision 5; 260.771, subdivisions 1, 2; 260B.157, subdivision 1; 260C.152, subdivision 5; 260C.163, subdivision 1; 260C.201, subdivision 11; 260C.209; 260C.212, subdivisions 1, 2, 4, 9; 260C.317, subdivision 3; 260C.331, subdivision 1; 270B.14, subdivision 1; 518A.56, by adding a subdivision; 609.115, subdivisions 8, 9; 626.556, subdivisions 2, 3, 10, 10a, 10c, 10f, by adding subdivisions; Laws 2000, chapter 340, section 19; Laws 2005, chapter 98, article 3, section 25; Laws 2005, First Special Session chapter 4, article 9, section 3, subdivision 2; Laws 2006, chapter 282, article 20, section 37; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 16C; 62J; 62Q; 144; 145; 148; 149A; 151; 152; 156; 245; 245A; 245C; 252; 254A; 256; 256B; 256C; 256D; 256J; 256L; 260; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 62A.301; 62J.052, subdivision 1; 62J.692, subdivision 10; 119B.08, subdivision 4; 144.335; 252.21; 252.22; 252.23; 252.24; 252.25; 252.261; 252.275, subdivision 5; 254A.02, subdivisions 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16; 254A.085; 254A.086; 254A.12; 254A.14; 254A.15; 254A.16, subdivision 5; 254A.175; 254A.18; 256.956; 256.9743; 256B.0625, subdivisions 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e, 5f, 5g, 5h, 5i, 5j, 5k; 256B.0631, subdivision 4; 256B.0913, subdivisions 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e, 5f, 5g, 5h; 256B.441, subdivisions 12, 16, 21, 26, 28, 42, 45; 256J.29; 256J.37, subdivision 3b; 256J.561, subdivision 1; 256J.62, subdivision 9; 256J.626, subdivision 9; 256J.65; 256L.035; 256L.07, subdivision 2a; Laws 1997, chapter 8, section 1; Laws 2004, chapter 288, article 6, section 27; Laws 2006, chapter 249, section 6; Minnesota Rules, parts 4610.2800; 9503.0035, subpart 2; 9560.0102, subpart 2, item C; 9585.0030.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1

CHILD WELFARE POLICY

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.01, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Specific powers.

Subject to the provisions of section 241.021, subdivision 2, the commissioner of human services shall carry out the specific duties in paragraphs (a) through (cc):

(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 services;

(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 disabled, dependent, neglected and delinquent children, 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 disabled persons, including those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or physically impaired or otherwise disabled. 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, chapter 431.

(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 food stamp program 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 the food stamp program, 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 food stamps are to the total of all food stamp 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 food stamp 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 make direct payments to facilities providing shelter to women and their children according to section 256D.05, subdivision 3. Upon the written request of a shelter facility that has been denied payments under section 256D.05, subdivision 3, the commissioner shall review all relevant evidence and make a determination within 30 days of the request for review regarding issuance of direct payments to the shelter facility. Failure to act within 30 days shall be considered a determination not to issue direct payments.

(q) Have the authority to establish and enforce the following county reporting requirements:

(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 noncompliance;

(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).

(r) Allocate federal fiscal disallowances or sanctions for audit exceptions when federal fiscal disallowances or sanctions are based on a statewide random sample for the foster care program under title IV-E of the Social Security Act, United States Code, title 42, in direct proportion to each county's title IV-E foster care maintenance claim for that period.

(s) 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.

(t) 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.

(u) Have the authority to administer a drug rebate program for drugs purchased pursuant to the prescription drug program established under section 256.955 after the beneficiary's satisfaction of any deductible established in the program. The commissioner shall require a rebate agreement from all manufacturers of covered drugs as defined in section 256B.0625, subdivision 13. Rebate agreements for prescription drugs delivered on or after July 1, 2002, must include rebates for individuals covered under the prescription drug program who are under 65 years of age. For each drug, the amount of the rebate shall be equal to the rebate as defined for purposes of the federal rebate program in United States Code, title 42, section 1396r-8. The manufacturers must provide full payment within 30 days of receipt of the state invoice for the rebate within the terms and conditions used for the federal rebate program established pursuant to section 1927 of title XIX of the Social Security Act. The manufacturers must provide the commissioner with any information necessary to verify the rebate determined per drug. The rebate program shall utilize the terms and conditions used for the federal rebate program established pursuant to section 1927 of title XIX of the Social Security Act.

(v) 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.

(w) 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.

(x) 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.

(y) 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 the biennium.

(z) 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.

(aa) 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.

(bb) 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.

(cc) Have the authority to administer a drug rebate program for drugs purchased for persons eligible for general assistance medical care under section 256D.03, subdivision 3. For manufacturers that agree to participate in the general assistance medical care rebate program, the commissioner shall enter into a rebate agreement for covered drugs as defined in section 256B.0625, subdivisions 13 and 13d. For each drug, the amount of the rebate shall be equal to the rebate as defined for purposes of the federal rebate program in United States Code, title 42, section 1396r-8. The manufacturers must provide payment within the terms and conditions used for the federal rebate program established under section 1927 of title XIX of the Social Security Act. The rebate program shall utilize the terms and conditions used for the federal rebate program established under section 1927 of title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Effective January 1, 2006, drug coverage under general assistance medical care shall be limited to those prescription drugs that:

(1) are covered under the medical assistance program as described in section 256B.0625, subdivisions 13 and 13d; and

(2) are provided by manufacturers that have fully executed general assistance medical care rebate agreements with the commissioner and comply with such agreements. Prescription drug coverage under general assistance medical care shall conform to coverage under the medical assistance program according to section 256B.0625, subdivisions 13 to 13g.

The rebate revenues collected under the drug rebate program are deposited in the general fund.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.24, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Child.

When the child to be adopted is over 14 years of age, the child's written consent to adoption by a particular person is also shall be necessary. A child of any age who is under the guardianship of the commissioner and is legally available for adoption may not refuse or waive the commissioner's agent's exhaustive efforts to recruit, identify, and place the child in an adoptive home required under section 260C.317, subdivision 3, paragraph (b), or sign a document relieving county social services agencies of all recruitment efforts on the child's behalf.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.53, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Notice to commissioner; referral for postplacement assessment.

(a) Upon the filing of a petition for adoption of a child who is:

(1) under the guardianship of the commissioner or a licensed child-placing agency according to section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or 260C.317;

(2) placed by the commissioner, commissioner's agent, or licensed child-placing agency after a consent to adopt according to section 259.24 or under an agreement conferring authority to place for adoption according to section 259.25; or

(3) placed by preadoptive custody order for a direct adoptive placement ordered by the district court under section 259.47,

the court administrator shall immediately transmit a copy of the petition to the commissioner of human services.

(b) The court shall immediately refer the petition to the agency specified below for completion of a postplacement assessment and report as required by subdivision 2.

(1) If the child to be adopted has been committed to the guardianship of the commissioner or an agency under section 260C.317 or an agency has been given authority to place the child under section 259.25, the court shall refer the petition to that agency, unless another agency is supervising the placement, in which case the court shall refer the petition to the supervising agency.

(2) If the child to be adopted has been placed in the petitioner's home by a direct adoptive placement, the court shall refer the petition to the agency supervising the placement under section 259.47, subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (6).

(3) If the child is to be adopted by an individual who is related to the child as defined by section 245A.02, subdivision 13, and in all other instances not described in clause (1) or (2), the court shall refer the petition to the local social services agency of the county in which the prospective adoptive parent lives.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.57, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Findings; orders.

Upon the hearing,

(a) if the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child that the petition be granted, a decree of adoption shall be made and recorded in the office of the court administrator, ordering that henceforth the child shall be the child of the petitioner. In the decree the court may change the name of the child if desired. After the decree is granted for a child who is:

(1) under the guardianship of the commissioner or a licensed child-placing agency according to section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or 260C.317;

(2) placed by the commissioner, commissioner's agent, or licensed child-placing agency after a consent to adopt according to section 259.24 or under an agreement conferring authority to place for adoption according to section 259.25; or

(3) adopted after a direct adoptive placement ordered by the district court under section 259.47,

the court administrator shall immediately mail a copy of the recorded decree to the commissioner of human services;

(b) if the court is not satisfied that the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the child, the court shall deny the petition, and shall order the child returned to the custody of the person or agency legally vested with permanent custody or certify the case for appropriate action and disposition to the court having jurisdiction to determine the custody and guardianship of the child.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.67, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Reimbursement of costs.

(a) Subject to rules of the commissioner, and the provisions of this subdivision a child-placing agency licensed in Minnesota or any other state, or local or tribal social services agency shall receive a reimbursement from the commissioner equal to 100 percent of the reasonable and appropriate cost of providing adoption services for a child certified as eligible for adoption assistance under subdivision 4. Such assistance. Adoption services under this subdivision may include adoptive family recruitment, counseling, and special training when needed.

(b) An eligible child must have a goal of adoption, which may include an adoption in accordance with tribal law, and meet one of the following criteria:

(1) is a ward of the commissioner of human services or a ward of tribal court pursuant to section 260.755, subdivision 20, who meets one of the criteria in subdivision 4, paragraph (b), clause (1), (2), or (3); or

(2) is under the guardianship of a Minnesota-licensed child-placing agency who meets one of the criteria in subdivision 4, paragraph (b), clause (1) or (2).

(c) A child-placing agency licensed in Minnesota or any other state shall receive reimbursement for adoption services it purchases for or directly provides to an eligible child. Tribal social services shall receive reimbursement for adoption services it purchases for or directly provides to an eligible child. A local or tribal social services agency shall receive such reimbursement only for adoption services it purchases for an eligible child.

(b) A child-placing agency licensed in Minnesota or any other state or local or tribal social services agency seeking reimbursement under this subdivision shall enter into Before providing adoption services for which reimbursement will be sought under this subdivision, a reimbursement agreement, on the designated format, must be entered into with the commissioner before providing adoption services for which reimbursement is sought. No reimbursement under this subdivision shall be made to an agency for services provided prior to entering a reimbursement agreement. Separate reimbursement agreements shall be made for each child and separate records shall be kept on each child for whom a reimbursement agreement is made. The commissioner of human services shall agree that the reimbursement costs are reasonable and appropriate. The commissioner may spend up to $16,000 for each purchase of service agreement. Only one agreement per child is allowed, unless an exception is granted by the commissioner. Funds encumbered and obligated under such an agreement for the child remain available until the terms of the agreement are fulfilled or the agreement is terminated.

(c) When a local or tribal social services agency uses a purchase of service agreement to provide services reimbursable under a reimbursement agreement, The commissioner may shall make reimbursement payments directly to the agency providing the service if direct reimbursement is specified by the purchase of service agreement, and if the request for reimbursement is submitted by the local or tribal social services agency along with a verification that the service was provided.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.75, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

Subd. 8.

Reasons for deferral.

Deferral of the listing of a child with the state adoption exchange shall be only for one or more of the following reasons:

(a) the child is in an adoptive placement but is not legally adopted;

(b) the child's foster parents or other individuals are now considering adoption;

(c) diagnostic study or testing is required to clarify the child's problem and provide an adequate description; or

(d) the child is currently in a hospital and continuing need for daily professional care will not permit placement in a family setting; or.

(e) the child is 14 years of age or older and will not consent to an adoption plan.

Approval of a request to defer listing for any of the reasons specified in paragraph (b) or (c) shall be valid for a period not to exceed 90 days, with no subsequent deferrals for those reasons.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260.012, is amended to read:

260.012 DUTY TO ENSURE PLACEMENT PREVENTION AND FAMILY REUNIFICATION; REASONABLE EFFORTS.

(a) Once a child alleged to be in need of protection or services is under the court's jurisdiction, the court shall ensure that reasonable efforts, including culturally appropriate services, by the social services agency are made to prevent placement or to eliminate the need for removal and to reunite the child with the child's family at the earliest possible time, and when a child cannot be reunified with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed, the court must ensure that the responsible social services agency makes reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent plan for the child as provided in paragraph (e). In determining reasonable efforts to be made with respect to a child and in making those reasonable efforts, the child's best interests, health, and safety must be of paramount concern. Reasonable efforts to prevent placement and for rehabilitation and reunification are always required except upon a determination by the court that a petition has been filed stating a prima facie case that:

(1) the parent has subjected a child to egregious harm as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14;

(2) the parental rights of the parent to another child have been terminated involuntarily;

(3) the child is an abandoned infant under section 260C.301, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (2);

(4) the parent's custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred to a relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (e), clause (1), or a similar law of another jurisdiction; or

(5) the provision of services or further services for the purpose of reunification is futile and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances.

(b) When the court makes one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a), either permanency pleadings under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or a termination of parental rights petition under sections 260C.141 and 260C.301 must be filed. A permanency hearing under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, must be held within 30 days of this determination.

(c) In the case of an Indian child, in proceedings under sections 260B.178 or 260C.178, 260C.201, and 260C.301 the juvenile court must make findings and conclusions consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901 et seq., as to the provision of active efforts. In cases governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901, the responsible social services agency must provide active efforts as required under United States Code, title 25, section 1911(d).

(d) "Reasonable efforts to prevent placement" means:

(1) the agency has made reasonable efforts to prevent the placement of the child in foster care; or

(2) given the particular circumstances of the child and family at the time of the child's removal, there are no services or efforts available which could allow the child to safely remain in the home.

(e) "Reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent plan for the child" means due diligence by the responsible social services agency to:

(1) reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed;

(2) assess a noncustodial parent's ability to provide day-to-day care for the child and, where appropriate, provide services necessary to enable the noncustodial parent to safely provide the care, as required by section 260C.212, subdivision 4;

(3) conduct a relative search as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 5; and

(4) when the child cannot return to the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed, to plan for and finalize a safe and legally permanent alternative home for the child, and considers permanent alternative homes for the child inside or outside of the state, preferably through adoption or transfer of permanent legal and physical custody of the child.

(f) Reasonable efforts are made upon the exercise of due diligence by the responsible social services agency to use culturally appropriate and available services to meet the needs of the child and the child's family. Services may include those provided by the responsible social services agency and other culturally appropriate services available in the community. At each stage of the proceedings where the court is required to review the appropriateness of the responsible social services agency's reasonable efforts as described in paragraphs (a), (d), and (e), the social services agency has the burden of demonstrating that:

(1) it has made reasonable efforts to prevent placement of the child in foster care;

(2) it has made reasonable efforts to eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child's home and to reunify the child with the child's family at the earliest possible time;

(3) it has made reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent home for the child, and considers permanent alternative homes for the child inside or outside of the state; or

(4) reasonable efforts to prevent placement and to reunify the child with the parent or guardian are not required. The agency may meet this burden by stating facts in a sworn petition filed under section 260C.141, by filing an affidavit summarizing the agency's reasonable efforts or facts the agency believes demonstrate there is no need for reasonable efforts to reunify the parent and child, or through testimony or a certified report required under juvenile court rules.

(g) Once the court determines that reasonable efforts for reunification are not required because the court has made one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a), the court may only require reasonable efforts for reunification after a hearing according to section 260C.163, where the court finds there is not clear and convincing evidence of the facts upon which the court based its prima facie determination. In this case when there is clear and convincing evidence that the child is in need of protection or services, the court may find the child in need of protection or services and order any of the dispositions available under section 260C.201, subdivision 1. Reunification of a surviving child with a parent is not required if the parent has been convicted of:

(1) a violation of, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit a violation of, sections 609.185 to 609.20; 609.222, subdivision 2; or 609.223 in regard to another child of the parent;

(2) a violation of section 609.222, subdivision 2; or 609.223, in regard to the surviving child; or

(3) a violation of, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit a violation of, United States Code, title 18, section 1111(a) or 1112(a), in regard to another child of the parent.

(h) The juvenile court, in proceedings under sections 260B.178 or 260C.178, 260C.201, and 260C.301 shall make findings and conclusions as to the provision of reasonable efforts. When determining whether reasonable efforts have been made, the court shall consider whether services to the child and family were:

(1) relevant to the safety and protection of the child;

(2) adequate to meet the needs of the child and family;

(3) culturally appropriate;

(4) available and accessible;

(5) consistent and timely; and

(6) realistic under the circumstances.

In the alternative, the court may determine that provision of services or further services for the purpose of rehabilitation is futile and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances or that reasonable efforts are not required as provided in paragraph (a).

(i) This section does not prevent out-of-home placement for treatment of a child with a mental disability when the child's diagnostic assessment or individual treatment plan indicates that appropriate and necessary treatment cannot be effectively provided outside of a residential or inpatient treatment program.

(j) If continuation of reasonable efforts to prevent placement or reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed is determined by the court to be inconsistent with the permanent plan for the child or upon the court making one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a), reasonable efforts must be made to place the child in a timely manner in a safe and permanent home and to complete whatever steps are necessary to legally finalize the permanent placement of the child.

(k) Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or in another permanent placement may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to prevent placement or to reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed. When the responsible social services agency decides to concurrently make reasonable efforts for both reunification and permanent placement away from the parent under paragraph (a), the agency shall disclose its decision and both plans for concurrent reasonable efforts to all parties and the court. When the agency discloses its decision to proceed on both plans for reunification and permanent placement away from the parent, the court's review of the agency's reasonable efforts shall include the agency's efforts under both plans.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260.755, subdivision 12, is amended to read:

Subd. 12.

Indian tribe.

"Indian tribe" means an Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians recognized as eligible for the services provided to Indians by the secretary because of their status as Indians, including any band Native group under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, United States Code, title 43, section 1602, and exercising tribal governmental powers.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260.755, subdivision 20, is amended to read:

Subd. 20.

Tribal court.

"Tribal court" means a court with federally recognized jurisdiction over child custody proceedings and which is either a court of Indian offenses, or a court established and operated under the code or custom of an Indian tribe, or the any other administrative body of a tribe which is vested with authority over child custody proceedings. Except as provided in section 260.771, subdivision 5, nothing in this chapter shall be construed as conferring jurisdiction on an Indian tribe.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260.761, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Identification of extended family members.

Any agency considering placement of an Indian child shall make reasonable active efforts to identify and locate extended family members.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260.765, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Identification of extended family members.

Any agency considering placement of an Indian child shall make reasonable active efforts to identify and locate extended family members.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260.771, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Indian tribe jurisdiction.

An Indian tribe with a tribal court has exclusive jurisdiction over a child placement proceeding involving an Indian child who resides or is domiciled within the reservation of such the tribe at the commencement of the proceedings, except where jurisdiction is otherwise vested in the state by existing federal law. When an Indian child is in the legal custody of a person or agency pursuant to an order of a ward of the tribal court, the Indian tribe retains exclusive jurisdiction, notwithstanding the residence or domicile of the child.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260.771, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Court determination of tribal affiliation of child.

In any child placement proceeding, the court shall establish whether an Indian child is involved and the identity of the Indian child's tribe. This chapter and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act are applicable without exception in any child custody proceeding, as defined in the federal act, involving an Indian child. This chapter applies to child custody proceedings involving an Indian child whether the child is in the physical or legal custody of an Indian parent, Indian custodian, Indian extended family member, or other person at the commencement of the proceedings. A court shall not determine the applicability of this chapter or the federal Indian Child Welfare Act to a child custody proceeding based upon whether an Indian child is part of an existing Indian family or based upon the level of contact a child has with the child's Indian tribe, reservation, society, or off-reservation community.

Sec. 14.

[260.852] PLACEMENT PROCEDURES.

Subdivision 1.

Home study.

The state must have procedures for the orderly and timely interstate placement of children that are implemented in accordance with an interstate compact and that, within 60 days after the state receives from another state a request to conduct a study of a home environment for purposes of assessing the safety and suitability of placing a child in the home, the state shall, directly or by contract, conduct and complete a home study and return to the other state a report on the results of the study, which shall address the extent to which placement in the home would meet the needs of the child; except in the case of a home study begun before October 1, 2008, if the state fails to comply with conducting and completing the home study within the 60-day period and this is as a result of circumstances beyond the control of the state, the state has 75 days to comply if the state documents the circumstances involved and certifies that completing the home study is in the best interests of the child.

This subdivision does not require the completion within the applicable period of the parts of the home study involving the education and training of the prospective foster or adoptive parents.

Subd. 2.

Effect of received report.

The state shall treat any report described in subdivision 1 that is received from another state, an Indian tribe, or a private agency under contract with another state or Indian tribe as meeting any requirements imposed by the state for the completion of a home study before placing a child in the home, unless, within 14 days after receipt of the report, the state determines, based on grounds that are specific to the content of the report, that making a decision in reliance on the report would be contrary to the welfare of the child.

Subd. 3.

Resources.

The state shall make effective use of cross-jurisdictional resources, including through contract for the purchase of services, and shall eliminate legal barriers to facilitate timely adoptive or permanent placements for waiting children. The state shall not impose any restriction on the use of private agencies for the purpose of conducting a home study to meet the 60-day requirement.

Subd. 4.

Incentive eligibility.

Minnesota is an incentive-eligible state and must:

(1) have an approved plan as required by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(2) be in compliance with the data requirements of the United States Department of Health and Human Services; and

(3) have data that verify that a home study is completed within 30 days.

Subd. 5.

Data requirements.

The state shall provide to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services a written report, covering the preceding fiscal year, that specifies:

(1) the total number of interstate home studies requested by the state with respect to children in foster care under the responsibility of the state, and with respect to each study, the identity of the other state involved;

(2) the total number of timely interstate home studies completed by the state with respect to children in foster care under the responsibility of other states and, with respect to each study, the identity of the other state involved; and

(3) other information the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services requires in order to determine whether Minnesota is a home study incentive-eligible state.

Subd. 6.

Definitions.

(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.

(b) "Home study" means an evaluation of a home environment conducted in accordance with applicable requirements of the state in which the home is located, to determine whether a proposed placement of a child would meet the individual needs of the child, including the child's safety; permanency; health; well-being; and mental, emotional, and physical development.

(c) "Interstate home study" means a home study conducted by a state at the request of another state to facilitate an adoptive or foster placement in the state of a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state.

(d) "Timely interstate home study" means an interstate home study completed by a state if the state provides to the state that requested the study, within 30 days after receipt of the request, a report on the results of the study, except that there is no requirement for completion within the 30-day period of the parts of the home study involving the education and training of the prospective foster or adoptive parents.

Subd. 7.

Background study requirements for adoption and foster care.

(a) Background study requirements for an adoption home study must be completed consistent with section 259.41, subdivisions 1, 2, and 3.

(b) Background study requirements for a foster care license must be completed consistent with section 245C.08.

Subd. 8.

Home visits.

If a child has been placed in foster care outside the state in which the home of the parents of the child is located, periodically, but at least every six months, a caseworker on the staff of the agency of the state in which the home of the parents of the child is located or the state in which the child has been placed, or a private agency under contract with either state, must visit the child in the home or institution and submit a report on each visit to the agency of the state in which the home of the parents of the child is located.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260B.157, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Investigation.

Upon request of the court the local social services agency or probation officer shall investigate the personal and family history and environment of any minor coming within the jurisdiction of the court under section 260B.101 and shall report its findings to the court. The court may order any minor coming within its jurisdiction to be examined by a duly qualified physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist appointed by the court.

The court shall have order a chemical use assessment conducted when a child is (1) found to be delinquent for violating a provision of chapter 152, or for committing a felony-level violation of a provision of chapter 609 if the probation officer determines that alcohol or drug use was a contributing factor in the commission of the offense, or (2) alleged to be delinquent for violating a provision of chapter 152, if the child is being held in custody under a detention order. The assessor's qualifications and the assessment criteria shall comply with Minnesota Rules, parts 9530.6600 to 9530.6655. If funds under chapter 254B are to be used to pay for the recommended treatment, the assessment and placement must comply with all provisions of Minnesota Rules, parts 9530.6600 to 9530.6655 and 9530.7000 to 9530.7030. The commissioner of human services shall reimburse the court for the cost of the chemical use assessment, up to a maximum of $100.

The court shall have order a children's mental health screening conducted when a child is found to be delinquent. The screening shall be conducted with a screening instrument approved by the commissioner of human services and shall be conducted by a mental health practitioner as defined in section 245.4871, subdivision 26, or a probation officer who is trained in the use of the screening instrument. If the screening indicates a need for assessment, the local social services agency, in consultation with the child's family, shall have a diagnostic assessment conducted, including a functional assessment, as defined in section 245.4871.

With the consent of the commissioner of corrections and agreement of the county to pay the costs thereof, the court may, by order, place a minor coming within its jurisdiction in an institution maintained by the commissioner for the detention, diagnosis, custody and treatment of persons adjudicated to be delinquent, in order that the condition of the minor be given due consideration in the disposition of the case. Any funds received under the provisions of this subdivision shall not cancel until the end of the fiscal year immediately following the fiscal year in which the funds were received. The funds are available for use by the commissioner of corrections during that period and are hereby appropriated annually to the commissioner of corrections as reimbursement of the costs of providing these services to the juvenile courts.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.152, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Notice to foster parents and preadoptive parents and relatives.

The foster parents, if any, of a child and any preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child must be provided notice of and an opportunity a right to be heard in any review or hearing to be held with respect to the child. Any other relative may also request, and must be granted, a notice and the opportunity to be heard under this section. This subdivision does not require that a foster parent, preadoptive parent, or relative providing care for the child be made a party to a review or hearing solely on the basis of the notice and opportunity right to be heard.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.163, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

General.

(a) Except for hearings arising under section 260C.425, hearings on any matter shall be without a jury and may be conducted in an informal manner. In all adjudicatory proceedings involving a child alleged to be in need of protection or services, the court shall admit only evidence that would be admissible in a civil trial. To be proved at trial, allegations of a petition alleging a child to be in need of protection or services must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

(b) Except for proceedings involving a child alleged to be in need of protection or services and petitions for the termination of parental rights, hearings may be continued or adjourned from time to time. In proceedings involving a child alleged to be in need of protection or services and petitions for the termination of parental rights, hearings may not be continued or adjourned for more than one week unless the court makes specific findings that the continuance or adjournment is in the best interests of the child. If a hearing is held on a petition involving physical or sexual abuse of a child who is alleged to be in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, the court shall file the decision with the court administrator as soon as possible but no later than 15 days after the matter is submitted to the court. When a continuance or adjournment is ordered in any proceeding, the court may make any interim orders as it deems in the best interests of the minor in accordance with the provisions of sections 260C.001 to 260C.421.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the court shall exclude the general public from hearings under this chapter and shall admit only those persons who, in the discretion of the court, have a direct interest in the case or in the work of the court.

(d) Adoption hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of laws relating to adoptions.

(e) In any permanency hearing, including the transition of a child from foster care to independent living, the court shall ensure that any consult with the child is in an age-appropriate manner.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.201, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

Subd. 11.

Review of court-ordered placements; permanent placement determination.

(a) This subdivision and subdivision 11a do not apply in cases where the child is in placement due solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, where legal custody has not been transferred to the responsible social services agency, and where the court finds compelling reasons under section 260C.007, subdivision 8, to continue the child in foster care past the time periods specified in this subdivision. Foster care placements of children due solely to their disability are governed by section 260C.141, subdivision 2a. In all other cases where the child is in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent under subdivision 1, the court shall commence proceedings to determine the permanent status of a child not later than 12 months after the child is placed in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent. At the admit-deny hearing commencing such proceedings, the court shall determine whether there is a prima facie basis for finding that the agency made reasonable efforts, or in the case of an Indian child active efforts, required under section 260.012 and proceed according to the rules of juvenile court.

For purposes of this subdivision, the date of the child's placement in foster care is the earlier of the first court-ordered placement or 60 days after the date on which the child has been voluntarily placed in foster care by the child's parent or guardian. For purposes of this subdivision, time spent by a child under the protective supervision of the responsible social services agency in the home of a noncustodial parent pursuant to an order under subdivision 1 counts towards the requirement of a permanency hearing under this subdivision or subdivision 11a. Time spent on a trial home visit does not count counts towards the requirement of a permanency hearing under this subdivision or and a permanency review for a child under eight years of age under subdivision 11a.

For purposes of this subdivision, 12 months is calculated as follows:

(1) during the pendency of a petition alleging that a child is in need of protection or services, all time periods when a child is placed in foster care or in the home of a noncustodial parent are cumulated;

(2) if a child has been placed in foster care within the previous five years under one or more previous petitions, the lengths of all prior time periods when the child was placed in foster care within the previous five years are cumulated. If a child under this clause has been in foster care for 12 months or more, the court, if it is in the best interests of the child and for compelling reasons, may extend the total time the child may continue out of the home under the current petition up to an additional six months before making a permanency determination.

(b) Unless the responsible social services agency recommends return of the child to the custodial parent or parents, not later than 30 days prior to the admit-deny hearing required under paragraph (a) and the rules of juvenile court, the responsible social services agency shall file pleadings in juvenile court to establish the basis for the juvenile court to order permanent placement of the child, including a termination of parental rights petition, according to paragraph (d). Notice of the hearing and copies of the pleadings must be provided pursuant to section 260C.152.

(c) The permanency proceedings shall be conducted in a timely fashion including that any trial required under section 260C.163 shall be commenced within 60 days of the admit-deny hearing required under paragraph (a). At the conclusion of the permanency proceedings, the court shall:

(1) order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed; or

(2) order a permanent placement or termination of parental rights if permanent placement or termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests. The "best interests of the child" means all relevant factors to be considered and evaluated. Transfer of permanent legal and physical custody, termination of parental rights, or guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner through a consent to adopt are preferred permanency options for a child who cannot return home.

(d) If the child is not returned to the home, the court must order one of the following dispositions:

(1) permanent legal and physical custody to a relative in the best interests of the child according to the following conditions:

(i) an order for transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative shall only be made after the court has reviewed the suitability of the prospective legal and physical custodian;

(ii) in transferring permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, the juvenile court shall follow the standards applicable under this chapter and chapter 260, and the procedures set out in the juvenile court rules;

(iii) an order establishing permanent legal and physical custody under this subdivision must be filed with the family court;

(iv) a transfer of legal and physical custody includes responsibility for the protection, education, care, and control of the child and decision making on behalf of the child;

(v) the social services agency may bring a petition or motion naming a fit and willing relative as a proposed permanent legal and physical custodian. The commissioner of human services shall annually prepare for counties information that must be given to proposed custodians about their legal rights and obligations as custodians together with information on financial and medical benefits for which the child is eligible; and

(vi) the juvenile court may maintain jurisdiction over the responsible social services agency, the parents or guardian of the child, the child, and the permanent legal and physical custodian for purposes of ensuring appropriate services are delivered to the child and permanent legal custodian or for the purpose of ensuring conditions ordered by the court related to the care and custody of the child are met;

(2) termination of parental rights when the requirements of sections 260C.301 to 260C.328 are met or according to the following conditions:

(i) order the social services agency to file a petition for termination of parental rights in which case all the requirements of sections 260C.301 to 260C.328 remain applicable; and

(ii) an adoption completed subsequent to a determination under this subdivision may include an agreement for communication or contact under section 259.58;

(3) long-term foster care according to the following conditions:

(i) the court may order a child into long-term foster care only if it approves the responsible social service agency's compelling reasons that neither an award of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, nor termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests;

(ii) further, the court may only order long-term foster care for the child under this section if it finds the following:

(A) the child has reached age 12 and the responsible social services agency has made reasonable efforts to locate and place the child with an adoptive family or with a fit and willing relative who will agree to a transfer of permanent legal and physical custody of the child, but such efforts have not proven successful; or

(B) the child is a sibling of a child described in subitem (A) and the siblings have a significant positive relationship and are ordered into the same long-term foster care home; and

(iii) at least annually, the responsible social services agency reconsiders its provision of services to the child and the child's placement in long-term foster care to ensure that:

(A) long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal arrangement for meeting the child's need for permanency and stability, including whether there is another permanent placement option under this chapter that would better serve the child's needs and best interests;

(B) whenever possible, there is an identified long-term foster care family that is committed to being the foster family for the child as long as the child is a minor or under the jurisdiction of the court;

(C) the child is receiving appropriate services or assistance to maintain or build connections with the child's family and community;

(D) the child's physical and mental health needs are being appropriately provided for; and

(E) the child's educational needs are being met;

(4) foster care for a specified period of time according to the following conditions:

(i) foster care for a specified period of time may be ordered only if:

(A) the sole basis for an adjudication that the child is in need of protection or services is the child's behavior;

(B) the court finds that foster care for a specified period of time is in the best interests of the child; and

(C) the court approves the responsible social services agency's compelling reasons that neither an award of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, nor termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests;

(ii) the order does not specify that the child continue in foster care for any period exceeding one year; or

(5) guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner of human services under the following procedures and conditions:

(i) there is an identified prospective adoptive home agreed to by the responsible social services agency having legal custody of the child pursuant to court order under this section that has agreed to adopt the child and the court accepts the parent's voluntary consent to adopt under section 259.24, except that such consent executed by a parent under this item, following proper notice that consent given under this provision is irrevocable upon acceptance by the court, shall be irrevocable unless fraud is established and an order issues permitting revocation as stated in item (vii);

(ii) if the court accepts a consent to adopt in lieu of ordering one of the other enumerated permanency dispositions, the court must review the matter at least every 90 days. The review will address the reasonable efforts of the agency to achieve a finalized adoption;

(iii) a consent to adopt under this clause vests all legal authority regarding the child, including guardianship and legal custody of the child, with the commissioner of human services as if the child were a state ward after termination of parental rights;

(iv) the court must forward a copy of the consent to adopt, together with a certified copy of the order transferring guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner, to the commissioner;

(v) if an adoption is not finalized by the identified prospective adoptive parent within 12 months of the execution of the consent to adopt under this clause, the commissioner of human services or the commissioner's delegate shall pursue adoptive placement in another home unless the commissioner certifies that the failure to finalize is not due to either an action or a failure to act by the prospective adoptive parent;

(vi) notwithstanding item (v), the commissioner of human services or the commissioner's designee must pursue adoptive placement in another home as soon as the commissioner or commissioner's designee determines that finalization of the adoption with the identified prospective adoptive parent is not possible, that the identified prospective adoptive parent is not willing to adopt the child, that the identified prospective adoptive parent is not cooperative in completing the steps necessary to finalize the adoption, or upon the commissioner's determination to withhold consent to the adoption.

(vii) unless otherwise required by the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, section 1913, a consent to adopt executed under this section, following proper notice that consent given under this provision is irrevocable upon acceptance by the court, shall be irrevocable upon acceptance by the court except upon order permitting revocation issued by the same court after written findings that consent was obtained by fraud.

(e) In ordering a permanent placement of a child, the court must be governed by the best interests of the child, including a review of the relationship between the child and relatives and the child and other important persons with whom the child has resided or had significant contact. When the court has determined that permanent placement of the child away from the parent is necessary, the court shall consider permanent alternative homes that are available both inside and outside the state.

(f) Once a permanent placement determination has been made and permanent placement has been established, further court reviews are necessary if:

(1) the placement is long-term foster care or foster care for a specified period of time;

(2) the court orders further hearings because it has retained jurisdiction of a transfer of permanent legal and physical custody matter;

(3) an adoption has not yet been finalized; or

(4) there is a disruption of the permanent or long-term placement.

(g) Court reviews of an order for long-term foster care, whether under this section or section 260C.317, subdivision 3, paragraph (d), must be conducted at least yearly and must review the child's out-of-home placement plan and the reasonable efforts of the agency to finalize the permanent plan for the child including the agency's efforts to:

(1) ensure that long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal arrangement for meeting the child's need for permanency and stability or, if not, to identify and attempt to finalize another permanent placement option under this chapter that would better serve the child's needs and best interests;

(2) identify a specific long-term foster home for the child, if one has not already been identified;

(3) support continued placement of the child in the identified home, if one has been identified;

(4) ensure appropriate services are provided to address the physical health, mental health, and educational needs of the child during the period of long-term foster care and also ensure appropriate services or assistance to maintain relationships with appropriate family members and the child's community; and

(5) plan for the child's independence upon the child's leaving long-term foster care living as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1.

(h) In the event it is necessary for a child that has been ordered into foster care for a specified period of time to be in foster care longer than one year after the permanency hearing held under this section, not later than 12 months after the time the child was ordered into foster care for a specified period of time, the matter must be returned to court for a review of the appropriateness of continuing the child in foster care and of the responsible social services agency's reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent plan for the child; if it is in the child's best interests to continue the order for foster care for a specified period of time past a total of 12 months, the court shall set objectives for the child's continuation in foster care, specify any further amount of time the child may be in foster care, and review the plan for the safe return of the child to the parent.

(i) An order permanently placing a child out of the home of the parent or guardian must include the following detailed findings:

(1) how the child's best interests are served by the order;

(2) the nature and extent of the responsible social service agency's reasonable efforts, or, in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to reunify the child with the parent or guardian where reasonable efforts are required;

(3) the parent's or parents' efforts and ability to use services to correct the conditions which led to the out-of-home placement; and

(4) that the conditions which led to the out-of-home placement have not been corrected so that the child can safely return home.

(j) An order for permanent legal and physical custody of a child may be modified under sections 518.18 and 518.185. The social services agency is a party to the proceeding and must receive notice. A parent may only seek modification of an order for long-term foster care upon motion and a showing by the parent of a substantial change in the parent's circumstances such that the parent could provide appropriate care for the child and that removal of the child from the child's permanent placement and the return to the parent's care would be in the best interest of the child. The responsible social services agency may ask the court to vacate an order for long-term foster care upon a prima facie showing that there is a factual basis for the court to order another permanency option under this chapter and that such an option is in the child's best interests. Upon a hearing where the court determines that there is a factual basis for vacating the order for long-term foster care and that another permanent order regarding the placement of the child is in the child's best interests, the court may vacate the order for long-term foster care and enter a different order for permanent placement that is in the child's best interests. The court shall not require further reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent or guardian as a basis for vacating the order for long-term foster care and ordering a different permanent placement in the child's best interests. The county attorney must file pleadings and give notice as required under the rules of juvenile court in order to modify an order for long-term foster care under this paragraph.

(k) The court shall issue an order required under this section within 15 days of the close of the proceedings. The court may extend issuing the order an additional 15 days when necessary in the interests of justice and the best interests of the child.

(l) This paragraph applies to proceedings required under this subdivision when the child is on a trial home visit:

(1) if the child is on a trial home visit 12 months after the child was placed in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent as calculated in this subdivision, the responsible social services agency may file a report with the court regarding the child's and parent's progress on the trial home visit and its reasonable efforts to finalize the child's safe and permanent return to the care of the parent in lieu of filing the pleadings required under paragraph (b). The court shall make findings regarding reasonableness of the responsible social services efforts to finalize the child's return home as the permanent order in the best interests of the child. The court may continue the trial home visit to a total time not to exceed six months as provided in subdivision 1. If the court finds the responsible social services agency has not made reasonable efforts to finalize the child's return home as the permanent order in the best interests of the child, the court may order other or additional efforts to support the child remaining in the care of the parent; and

(2) if a trial home visit ordered or continued at proceedings under this subdivision terminates, the court shall re-commence proceedings under this subdivision to determine the permanent status of the child not later than 30 days after the child is returned to foster care.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.212, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Out-of-home placement; plan.

(a) An out-of-home placement plan shall be prepared within 30 days after any child is placed in a residential facility by court order or by the voluntary release of the child by the parent or parents.

For purposes of this section, a residential facility means any group home, family foster home or other publicly supported out-of-home residential facility, including any out-of-home residential facility under contract with the state, county or other political subdivision, or any agency thereof, to provide those services or foster care as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 18.

(b) An out-of-home placement plan means a written document which is prepared by the responsible social services agency jointly with the parent or parents or guardian of the child and in consultation with the child's guardian ad litem, the child's tribe, if the child is an Indian child, the child's foster parent or representative of the residential facility, and, where appropriate, the child. For a child in placement due solely or in part to the child's emotional disturbance, preparation of the out-of-home placement plan shall additionally include the child's mental health treatment provider. As appropriate, the plan shall be:

(1) submitted to the court for approval under section 260C.178, subdivision 7;

(2) ordered by the court, either as presented or modified after hearing, under section 260C.178, subdivision 7, or 260C.201, subdivision 6; and

(3) signed by the parent or parents or guardian of the child, the child's guardian ad litem, a representative of the child's tribe, the responsible social services agency, and, if possible, the child.

(c) The out-of-home placement plan shall be explained to all persons involved in its implementation, including the child who has signed the plan, and shall set forth:

(1) a description of the residential facility including how the out-of-home placement plan is designed to achieve a safe placement for the child in the least restrictive, most family-like, setting available which is in close proximity to the home of the parent or parents or guardian of the child when the case plan goal is reunification, and how the placement is consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child according to the factors under subdivision 2, paragraph (b);

(2) the specific reasons for the placement of the child in a residential facility, and when reunification is the plan, a description of the problems or conditions in the home of the parent or parents which necessitated removal of the child from home and the changes the parent or parents must make in order for the child to safely return home;

(3) a description of the services offered and provided to prevent removal of the child from the home and to reunify the family including:

(i) the specific actions to be taken by the parent or parents of the child to eliminate or correct the problems or conditions identified in clause (2), and the time period during which the actions are to be taken; and

(ii) the reasonable efforts, or in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to be made to achieve a safe and stable home for the child including social and other supportive services to be provided or offered to the parent or parents or guardian of the child, the child, and the residential facility during the period the child is in the residential facility;

(4) a description of any services or resources that were requested by the child or the child's parent, guardian, foster parent, or custodian since the date of the child's placement in the residential facility, and whether those services or resources were provided and if not, the basis for the denial of the services or resources;

(5) the visitation plan for the parent or parents or guardian, other relatives as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 27, and siblings of the child if the siblings are not placed together in the residential facility, and whether visitation is consistent with the best interest of the child, during the period the child is in the residential facility;

(6) documentation of steps to finalize the adoption or legal guardianship of the child if the court has issued an order terminating the rights of both parents of the child or of the only known, living parent of the child, and. At a minimum, the documentation must include child-specific recruitment efforts such as relative search and the use of state, regional, and national adoption exchanges to facilitate orderly and timely placements in and outside of the state. A copy of this documentation shall be provided to the court in the review required under section 260C.317, subdivision 3, paragraph (b);

(7) to the extent available and accessible, the health and educational records of the child including the most recent information available regarding:

(i) the names and addresses of the child's health and educational providers;

(ii) the child's grade level performance;

(iii) the child's school record;

(iv) assurances that the child's placement in foster care takes into account proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement;

(v) a record of the child's immunizations;

(vi) the child's known medical problems, including any known communicable diseases, as defined in section 144.4172, subdivision 2;

(vii) the child's medications; and

(viii) any other relevant health and education information;

(8) an independent living plan for a child age 16 or older who is in placement as a result of a permanency disposition. The plan should include, but not be limited to, the following objectives:

(i) educational, vocational, or employment planning;

(ii) health care planning and medical coverage;

(iii) transportation including, where appropriate, assisting the child in obtaining a driver's license;

(iv) money management;

(v) planning for housing;

(vi) social and recreational skills; and

(vii) establishing and maintaining connections with the child's family and community; and

(9) for a child in placement due solely or in part to the child's emotional disturbance, diagnostic and assessment information, specific services relating to meeting the mental health care needs of the child, and treatment outcomes.

(d) The parent or parents or guardian and the child each shall have the right to legal counsel in the preparation of the case plan and shall be informed of the right at the time of placement of the child. The child shall also have the right to a guardian ad litem. If unable to employ counsel from their own resources, the court shall appoint counsel upon the request of the parent or parents or the child or the child's legal guardian. The parent or parents may also receive assistance from any person or social services agency in preparation of the case plan.

After the plan has been agreed upon by the parties involved or approved or ordered by the court, the foster parents shall be fully informed of the provisions of the case plan and shall be provided a copy of the plan.

Upon discharge from foster care, the parent, adoptive parent, or permanent legal and physical custodian, as appropriate, and the child, if appropriate, must be provided with a current copy of the child's health and education record.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.212, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Responsible social service agency's duties for children in placement.

(a) When a child is in placement, the responsible social services agency shall make diligent efforts to identify, locate, and, where appropriate, offer services to both parents of the child.

(1) The responsible social services agency shall assess whether a noncustodial or nonadjudicated parent is willing and capable of providing for the day-to-day care of the child temporarily or permanently. An assessment under this clause may include, but is not limited to, obtaining information under section 260C.209. If after assessment, the responsible social services agency determines that a noncustodial or nonadjudicated parent is willing and capable of providing day-to-day care of the child, the responsible social services agency may seek authority from the custodial parent or the court to have that parent assume day-to-day care of the child. If a parent is not an adjudicated parent, the responsible social services agency shall require the nonadjudicated parent to cooperate with paternity establishment procedures as part of the case plan.

(2) If, after assessment, the responsible social services agency determines that the child cannot be in the day-to-day care of either parent, the agency shall:

(i) prepare an out-of-home placement plan addressing the conditions that each parent must meet before the child can be in that parent's day-to-day care; and

(ii) provide a parent who is the subject of a background study under section 260C.209 15 days' notice that it intends to use the study to recommend against putting the child with that parent, as well as the notice provided in section 260C.209, subdivision 4, and the court shall afford the parent an opportunity to be heard concerning the study.

The results of a background study of a noncustodial parent shall not be used by the agency to determine that the parent is incapable of providing day-to-day care of the child unless the agency reasonably believes that placement of the child into the home of that parent would endanger the child's health, safety, or welfare.

(3) If, after the provision of services following an out-of-home placement plan under this section, the child cannot return to the care of the parent from whom the child was removed or who had legal custody at the time the child was placed in foster care, the agency may petition on behalf of a noncustodial parent to establish legal custody with that parent under section 260C.201, subdivision 11. If paternity has not already been established, it may be established in the same proceeding in the manner provided for under chapter 257.

(4) The responsible social services agency may be relieved of the requirement to locate and offer services to both parents by the juvenile court upon a finding of good cause after the filing of a petition under section 260C.141.

(b) The responsible social services agency shall give notice to the parent or parents or guardian of each child in a residential facility, other than a child in placement due solely to that child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, of the following information:

(1) that residential care of the child may result in termination of parental rights or an order permanently placing the child out of the custody of the parent, but only after notice and a hearing as required under chapter 260C and the juvenile court rules;

(2) time limits on the length of placement and of reunification services, including the date on which the child is expected to be returned to and safely maintained in the home of the parent or parents or placed for adoption or otherwise permanently removed from the care of the parent by court order;

(3) the nature of the services available to the parent;

(4) the consequences to the parent and the child if the parent fails or is unable to use services to correct the circumstances that led to the child's placement;

(5) the first consideration for placement with relatives;

(6) the benefit to the child in getting the child out of residential care as soon as possible, preferably by returning the child home, but if that is not possible, through a permanent legal placement of the child away from the parent;

(7) when safe for the child, the benefits to the child and the parent of maintaining visitation with the child as soon as possible in the course of the case and, in any event, according to the visitation plan under this section; and

(8) the financial responsibilities and obligations, if any, of the parent or parents for the support of the child during the period the child is in the residential facility.

(c) The responsible social services agency shall inform a parent considering voluntary placement of a child who is not developmentally disabled or emotionally disturbed of the following information:

(1) the parent and the child each has a right to separate legal counsel before signing a voluntary placement agreement, but not to counsel appointed at public expense;

(2) the parent is not required to agree to the voluntary placement, and a parent who enters a voluntary placement agreement may at any time request that the agency return the child. If the parent so requests, the child must be returned within 24 hours of the receipt of the request;

(3) evidence gathered during the time the child is voluntarily placed may be used at a later time as the basis for a petition alleging that the child is in need of protection or services or as the basis for a petition seeking termination of parental rights or other permanent placement of the child away from the parent;

(4) if the responsible social services agency files a petition alleging that the child is in need of protection or services or a petition seeking the termination of parental rights or other permanent placement of the child away from the parent, the parent would have the right to appointment of separate legal counsel and the child would have a right to the appointment of counsel and a guardian ad litem as provided by law, and that counsel will be appointed at public expense if they are unable to afford counsel; and

(5) the timelines and procedures for review of voluntary placements under subdivision 3, and the effect the time spent in voluntary placement on the scheduling of a permanent placement determination hearing under section 260C.201, subdivision 11.

(d) When an agency accepts a child for placement, the agency shall determine whether the child has had a physical examination by or under the direction of a licensed physician within the 12 months immediately preceding the date when the child came into the agency's care. If there is documentation that the child has had an examination within the last 12 months, the agency is responsible for seeing that the child has another physical examination within one year of the documented examination and annually in subsequent years. If the agency determines that the child has not had a physical examination within the 12 months immediately preceding placement, the agency shall ensure that the child has an examination within 30 days of coming into the agency's care and once a year in subsequent years.

(e) If a child leaves foster care by reason of having attained the age of majority under state law, the child must be given at no cost a copy of the child's health and education report.

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.212, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

Subd. 9.

Review of certain child placements.

(a) When a developmentally disabled child or emotionally disturbed child needs placement in a residential facility for the sole reason of accessing services or a level of skilled care that cannot be provided in the parent's home, the child must be placed pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement between the responsible social services agency and the child's parent. The voluntary placement agreement must give the responsible social services agency legal responsibility for the child's physical care, custody, and control, but must not transfer legal custody of the child to the agency. The voluntary placement agreement must be executed in a form developed and promulgated by the commissioner of human services. The responsible social services agency shall report to the commissioner the number of children who are the subject of a voluntary placement agreement under this subdivision and other information regarding these children as the commissioner may require.

(b) If a developmentally disabled child or a child diagnosed as emotionally disturbed has been placed in a residential facility pursuant to a voluntary release by the child's parent or parents because of the child's disabling conditions or need for long-term residential treatment or supervision, the social services agency responsible for the placement shall report to the court and bring a petition for review of the child's foster care status as required in section 260C.141, subdivision 2a.

(b) (c) If a child is in placement due solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, and the court finds compelling reasons not to proceed under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, and custody of the child is not transferred to the responsible social services agency under section 260C.201, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), and no petition is required by section 260C.201, subdivision 11.

(c) (d) Whenever a petition for review is brought pursuant to this subdivision, a guardian ad litem shall be appointed for the child.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.317, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Order; retention of jurisdiction.

(a) A certified copy of the findings and the order terminating parental rights, and a summary of the court's information concerning the child shall be furnished by the court to the commissioner or the agency to which guardianship is transferred. The orders shall be on a document separate from the findings. The court shall furnish the individual to whom guardianship is transferred a copy of the order terminating parental rights.

(b) The court shall retain jurisdiction in a case where adoption is the intended permanent placement disposition until the child's adoption is finalized, the child is 18 years of age, or the child is otherwise ordered discharged from the jurisdiction of the court. The guardian ad litem and counsel for the child shall continue on the case until an adoption decree is entered. A hearing must be held every 90 days following termination of parental rights for the court to review progress toward an adoptive placement and the specific recruitment efforts the agency has taken to find an adoptive family or other placement living arrangement for the child and to finalize the adoption or other permanency plan.

(c) The responsible social services agency may make a determination of compelling reasons for a child to be in long-term foster care when the agency has made exhaustive efforts to recruit, identify, and place the child in an adoptive home, and the child continues in foster care for at least 24 months after the court has issued the order terminating parental rights. A child of any age who is under the guardianship of the commissioner of the Department of Human Services and is legally available for adoption may not refuse or waive the commissioner's agent's exhaustive efforts to recruit, identify, and place the child in an adoptive home required under paragraph (b) or sign a document relieving county social services agencies of all recruitment efforts on the child's behalf. Upon approving the agency's determination of compelling reasons, the court may order the child placed in long-term foster care. At least every 12 months thereafter as long as the child continues in out-of-home placement, the court shall conduct a permanency review hearing to determine the future status of the child using the review requirements of section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (g).

(d) The court shall retain jurisdiction through the child's minority in a case where long-term foster care is the permanent disposition whether under paragraph (c) or section 260C.201, subdivision 11.

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.331, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Care, examination, or treatment.

(a) Except where parental rights are terminated,

(1) whenever legal custody of a child is transferred by the court to a responsible social services agency,

(2) whenever legal custody is transferred to a person other than the responsible social services agency, but under the supervision of the responsible social services agency, or

(3) whenever a child is given physical or mental examinations or treatment under order of the court, and no provision is otherwise made by law for payment for the care, examination, or treatment of the child, these costs are a charge upon the welfare funds of the county in which proceedings are held upon certification of the judge of juvenile court.

(b) The court shall order, and the responsible social services agency shall require, the parents or custodian of a child, while the child is under the age of 18, to use the total income and resources attributable to the child for the period of care, examination, or treatment, except for clothing and personal needs allowance as provided in section 256B.35, to reimburse the county for the cost of care, examination, or treatment. Income and resources attributable to the child include, but are not limited to, Social Security benefits, supplemental security income (SSI), veterans benefits, railroad retirement benefits and child support. When the child is over the age of 18, and continues to receive care, examination, or treatment, the court shall order, and the responsible social services agency shall require, reimbursement from the child for the cost of care, examination, or treatment from the income and resources attributable to the child less the clothing and personal needs allowance. Income does not include earnings from a child over the age of 18 who is working as part of a plan under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (8), to transition from foster care.

(c) If the income and resources attributable to the child are not enough to reimburse the county for the full cost of the care, examination, or treatment, the court shall inquire into the ability of the parents to support the child and, after giving the parents a reasonable opportunity to be heard, the court shall order, and the responsible social services agency shall require, the parents to contribute to the cost of care, examination, or treatment of the child. When determining the amount to be contributed by the parents, the court shall use a fee schedule based upon ability to pay that is established by the responsible social services agency and approved by the commissioner of human services. The income of a stepparent who has not adopted a child shall be excluded in calculating the parental contribution under this section.

(d) The court shall order the amount of reimbursement attributable to the parents or custodian, or attributable to the child, or attributable to both sources, withheld under chapter 518A from the income of the parents or the custodian of the child. A parent or custodian who fails to pay without good reason may be proceeded against for contempt, or the court may inform the county attorney, who shall proceed to collect the unpaid sums, or both procedures may be used.

(e) If the court orders a physical or mental examination for a child, the examination is a medically necessary service for purposes of determining whether the service is covered by a health insurance policy, health maintenance contract, or other health coverage plan. Court-ordered treatment shall be subject to policy, contract, or plan requirements for medical necessity. Nothing in this paragraph changes or eliminates benefit limits, conditions of coverage, co-payments or deductibles, provider restrictions, or other requirements in the policy, contract, or plan that relate to coverage of other medically necessary services.

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Definitions.

As used in this section, the following terms have the meanings given them unless the specific content indicates otherwise:

(a) "Family assessment" means a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of subsequent child maltreatment, and family strengths and needs that is applied to a child maltreatment report that does not allege substantial child endangerment. Family assessment does not include a determination as to whether child maltreatment occurred but does determine the need for services to address the safety of family members and the risk of subsequent maltreatment.

(b) "Investigation" means fact gathering related to the current safety of a child and the risk of subsequent maltreatment that determines whether child maltreatment occurred and whether child protective services are needed. An investigation must be used when reports involve substantial child endangerment, and for reports of maltreatment in facilities required to be licensed under chapter 245A or 245B; under sections 144.50 to 144.58 and 241.021; in a school as defined in sections 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, and 13, and 124D.10; or in a nonlicensed personal care provider association as defined in sections 256B.04, subdivision 16, and 256B.0625, subdivision 19a.

(c) "Substantial child endangerment" means a person responsible for a child's care, and in the case of sexual abuse includes a person who has a significant relationship to the child as defined in section 609.341, or a person in a position of authority as defined in section 609.341, who by act or omission commits or attempts to commit an act against a child under their care that constitutes any of the following:

(1) egregious harm as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14;

(2) sexual abuse as defined in paragraph (d);

(3) abandonment under section 260C.301, subdivision 2;

(4) neglect as defined in paragraph (f), clause (2), that substantially endangers the child's physical or mental health, including a growth delay, which may be referred to as failure to thrive, that has been diagnosed by a physician and is due to parental neglect;

(5) murder in the first, second, or third degree under section 609.185, 609.19, or 609.195;

(6) manslaughter in the first or second degree under section 609.20 or 609.205;

(7) assault in the first, second, or third degree under section 609.221, 609.222, or 609.223;

(8) solicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution under section 609.322;

(9) criminal sexual conduct under sections 609.342 to 609.3451;

(10) solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct under section 609.352;

(11) malicious punishment or neglect or endangerment of a child under section 609.377 or 609.378;

(12) use of a minor in sexual performance under section 617.246; or

(13) parental behavior, status, or condition which mandates that the county attorney file a termination of parental rights petition under section 260C.301, subdivision 3, paragraph (a).

(d) "Sexual abuse" means the subjection of a child by a person responsible for the child's care, by a person who has a significant relationship to the child, as defined in section 609.341, or by a person in a position of authority, as defined in section 609.341, subdivision 10, to any act which constitutes a violation of section 609.342 (criminal sexual conduct in the first degree), 609.343 (criminal sexual conduct in the second degree), 609.344 (criminal sexual conduct in the third degree), 609.345 (criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree), or 609.3451 (criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree). Sexual abuse also includes any act which involves a minor which constitutes a violation of prostitution offenses under sections 609.321 to 609.324 or 617.246. Sexual abuse includes threatened sexual abuse.

(e) "Person responsible for the child's care" means (1) an individual functioning within the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a parent, guardian, or other person having similar care responsibilities, or (2) an individual functioning outside the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a teacher, school administrator, other school employees or agents, or other lawful custodian of a child having either full-time or short-term care responsibilities including, but not limited to, day care, babysitting whether paid or unpaid, counseling, teaching, and coaching.

(f) "Neglect" means:

(1) failure by a person responsible for a child's care to supply a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, health, medical, or other care required for the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so;

(2) failure to protect a child from conditions or actions that seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so, including a growth delay, which may be referred to as a failure to thrive, that has been diagnosed by a physician and is due to parental neglect;

(3) failure to provide for necessary supervision or child care arrangements appropriate for a child after considering factors as the child's age, mental ability, physical condition, length of absence, or environment, when the child is unable to care for the child's own basic needs or safety, or the basic needs or safety of another child in their care;

(4) failure to ensure that the child is educated as defined in sections 120A.22 and 260C.163, subdivision 11, which does not include a parent's refusal to provide the parent's child with sympathomimetic medications, consistent with section 125A.091, subdivision 5;

(5) nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a child is neglected solely because the child's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's care in good faith selects and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment or care of disease or remedial care of the child in lieu of medical care; except that a parent, guardian, or caretaker, or a person mandated to report pursuant to subdivision 3, has a duty to report if a lack of medical care may cause serious danger to the child's health. This section does not impose upon persons, not otherwise legally responsible for providing a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, or medical care, a duty to provide that care;

(6) prenatal exposure to a controlled substance, as defined in section 253B.02, subdivision 2, used by the mother for a nonmedical purpose, as evidenced by withdrawal symptoms in the child at birth, results of a toxicology test performed on the mother at delivery or the child at birth, or medical effects or developmental delays during the child's first year of life that medically indicate prenatal exposure to a controlled substance;

(7) "medical neglect" as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (5);

(8) chronic and severe use of alcohol or a controlled substance by a parent or person responsible for the care of the child that adversely affects the child's basic needs and safety; or

(9) emotional harm from a pattern of behavior which contributes to impaired emotional functioning of the child which may be demonstrated by a substantial and observable effect in the child's behavior, emotional response, or cognition that is not within the normal range for the child's age and stage of development, with due regard to the child's culture.

(g) "Physical abuse" means any physical injury, mental injury, or threatened injury, inflicted by a person responsible for the child's care on a child other than by accidental means, or any physical or mental injury that cannot reasonably be explained by the child's history of injuries, or any aversive or deprivation procedures, or regulated interventions, that have not been authorized under section 121A.67 or 245.825. Abuse does not include reasonable and moderate physical discipline of a child administered by a parent or legal guardian which does not result in an injury. Abuse does not include the use of reasonable force by a teacher, principal, or school employee as allowed by section 121A.582. Actions which are not reasonable and moderate include, but are not limited to, any of the following that are done in anger or without regard to the safety of the child:

(1) throwing, kicking, burning, biting, or cutting a child;

(2) striking a child with a closed fist;

(3) shaking a child under age three;

(4) striking or other actions which result in any nonaccidental injury to a child under 18 months of age;

(5) unreasonable interference with a child's breathing;

(6) threatening a child with a weapon, as defined in section 609.02, subdivision 6;

(7) striking a child under age one on the face or head;

(8) purposely giving a child poison, alcohol, or dangerous, harmful, or controlled substances which were not prescribed for the child by a practitioner, in order to control or punish the child; or other substances that substantially affect the child's behavior, motor coordination, or judgment or that results in sickness or internal injury, or subjects the child to medical procedures that would be unnecessary if the child were not exposed to the substances;

(9) unreasonable physical confinement or restraint not permitted under section 609.379, including but not limited to tying, caging, or chaining; or

(10) in a school facility or school zone, an act by a person responsible for the child's care that is a violation under section 121A.58.

(h) "Report" means any report received by the local welfare agency, police department, county sheriff, or agency responsible for assessing or investigating maltreatment pursuant to this section.

(i) "Facility" means:

(1) a licensed or unlicensed day care facility, residential facility, agency, hospital, sanitarium, or other facility or institution required to be licensed under sections 144.50 to 144.58, 241.021, or 245A.01 to 245A.16, or chapter 245B;

(2) a school as defined in sections 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, and 13; and 124D.10; or

(3) a nonlicensed personal care provider organization as defined in sections 256B.04, subdivision 16, and 256B.0625, subdivision 19a.

(j) "Operator" means an operator or agency as defined in section 245A.02.

(k) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services.

(l) "Practice of social services," for the purposes of subdivision 3, includes but is not limited to employee assistance counseling and the provision of guardian ad litem and parenting time expeditor services.

(m) "Mental injury" means an injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced by an observable or substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior with due regard to the child's culture.

(n) "Threatened injury" means a statement, overt act, condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of physical or sexual abuse or mental injury. Threatened injury includes, but is not limited to, exposing a child to a person responsible for the child's care, as defined in paragraph (e), clause (1), who has:

(1) subjected a child to, or failed to protect a child from, an overt act or condition that constitutes egregious harm, as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14, or a similar law of another jurisdiction;

(2) been found to be palpably unfit under section 260C.301, paragraph (b), clause (4), or a similar law of another jurisdiction;

(3) committed an act that has resulted in an involuntary termination of parental rights under section 260C.301, or a similar law of another jurisdiction; or

(4) committed an act that has resulted in the involuntary transfer of permanent legal and physical custody of a child to a relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (d), clause (1), or a similar law of another jurisdiction.

(o) Persons who conduct assessments or investigations under this section shall take into account accepted child-rearing practices of the culture in which a child participates and accepted teacher discipline practices, which are not injurious to the child's health, welfare, and safety.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Persons mandated to report.

(a) A person who knows or has reason to believe a child is being neglected or physically or sexually abused, as defined in subdivision 2, or has been neglected or physically or sexually abused within the preceding three years, shall immediately report the information to the local welfare agency, agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, police department, or the county sheriff if the person is:

(1) a professional or professional's delegate who is engaged in the practice of the healing arts, social services, hospital administration, psychological or psychiatric treatment, child care, education, correctional supervision, probation and correctional services, or law enforcement; or

(2) employed as a member of the clergy and received the information while engaged in ministerial duties, provided that a member of the clergy is not required by this subdivision to report information that is otherwise privileged under section 595.02, subdivision 1, paragraph (c).

The police department or the county sheriff, upon receiving a report, shall immediately notify the local welfare agency or agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, orally and in writing. The local welfare agency, or agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, upon receiving a report, shall immediately notify the local police department or the county sheriff orally and in writing. The county sheriff and the head of every local welfare agency, agency responsible for assessing or investigating reports, and police department shall each designate a person within their agency, department, or office who is responsible for ensuring that the notification duties of this paragraph and paragraph (b) are carried out. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require more than one report from any institution, facility, school, or agency.

(b) Any person may voluntarily report to the local welfare agency, agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, police department, or the county sheriff if the person knows, has reason to believe, or suspects a child is being or has been neglected or subjected to physical or sexual abuse. The police department or the county sheriff, upon receiving a report, shall immediately notify the local welfare agency or agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, orally and in writing. The local welfare agency or agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, upon receiving a report, shall immediately notify the local police department or the county sheriff orally and in writing.

(c) A person mandated to report physical or sexual child abuse or neglect occurring within a licensed facility shall report the information to the agency responsible for licensing the facility under sections 144.50 to 144.58; 241.021; 245A.01 to 245A.16; or chapter 245B; or a nonlicensed personal care provider organization as defined in sections 256B.04, subdivision 16; and 256B.0625, subdivision 19. A health or corrections agency receiving a report may request the local welfare agency to provide assistance pursuant to subdivisions 10, 10a, and 10b. A board or other entity whose licensees perform work within a school facility, upon receiving a complaint of alleged maltreatment, shall provide information about the circumstances of the alleged maltreatment to the commissioner of education. Section 13.03, subdivision 4, applies to data received by the commissioner of education from a licensing entity.

(d) Any person mandated to report shall receive a summary of the disposition of any report made by that reporter, including whether the case has been opened for child protection or other services, or if a referral has been made to a community organization, unless release would be detrimental to the best interests of the child. Any person who is not mandated to report shall, upon request to the local welfare agency, receive a concise summary of the disposition of any report made by that reporter, unless release would be detrimental to the best interests of the child.

(e) For purposes of this subdivision section, "immediately" means as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 3e.

Agency responsibility for assessing or investigating reports of sexual abuse.

The local welfare agency is the agency responsible for investigating allegations of sexual abuse if the alleged offender is the parent, guardian, sibling, or an individual functioning within the family unit as a person responsible for the child's care, or a person with a significant relationship to the child if that person resides in the child's household.

Sec. 27.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 3f.

Law enforcement agency responsibility for investigating maltreatment.

The local law enforcement agency has responsibility for investigating any report of child maltreatment if a violation of a criminal statute is alleged. Law enforcement and the responsible agency must coordinate their investigations or assessments as required under subdivision 10.

Sec. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

Subd. 10.

Duties of local welfare agency and local law enforcement agency upon receipt of a report.

(a) Upon receipt of a report, the local welfare agency shall determine whether to conduct a family assessment or an investigation as appropriate to prevent or provide a remedy for child maltreatment. The local welfare agency:

(1) shall conduct an investigation on reports involving substantial child endangerment;

(2) shall begin an immediate investigation if, at any time when it is using a family assessment response, it determines that there is reason to believe that substantial child endangerment or a serious threat to the child's safety exists;

(3) may conduct a family assessment for reports that do not allege substantial child endangerment. In determining that a family assessment is appropriate, the local welfare agency may consider issues of child safety, parental cooperation, and the need for an immediate response; and

(4) may conduct a family assessment on a report that was initially screened and assigned for an investigation. In determining that a complete investigation is not required, the local welfare agency must document the reason for terminating the investigation and notify the local law enforcement agency if the local law enforcement agency is conducting a joint investigation.

If the report alleges neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, or individual functioning within the family unit as a person responsible for the child's care, or sexual abuse by a person with a significant relationship to the child when that person resides in the child's household or by a sibling, the local welfare agency shall immediately conduct a family assessment or investigation as identified in clauses (1) to (4). In conducting a family assessment or investigation, the local welfare agency shall gather information on the existence of substance abuse and domestic violence and offer services for purposes of preventing future child maltreatment, safeguarding and enhancing the welfare of the abused or neglected minor, and supporting and preserving family life whenever possible. If the report alleges a violation of a criminal statute involving sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect or endangerment, under section 609.378, the local law enforcement agency and local welfare agency shall coordinate the planning and execution of their respective investigation and assessment efforts to avoid a duplication of fact-finding efforts and multiple interviews. Each agency shall prepare a separate report of the results of its investigation. In cases of alleged child maltreatment resulting in death, the local agency may rely on the fact-finding efforts of a law enforcement investigation to make a determination of whether or not maltreatment occurred. When necessary the local welfare agency shall seek authority to remove the child from the custody of a parent, guardian, or adult with whom the child is living. In performing any of these duties, the local welfare agency shall maintain appropriate records.

If the family assessment or investigation indicates there is a potential for abuse of alcohol or other drugs by the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the child's care, the local welfare agency shall conduct a chemical use assessment pursuant to Minnesota Rules, part 9530.6615. The local welfare agency shall report the determination of the chemical use assessment, and the recommendations and referrals for alcohol and other drug treatment services to the state authority on alcohol and drug abuse.

(b) When a local agency receives a report or otherwise has information indicating that a child who is a client, as defined in section 245.91, has been the subject of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect at an agency, facility, or program as defined in section 245.91, it shall, in addition to its other duties under this section, immediately inform the ombudsman established under sections 245.91 to 245.97. The commissioner of education shall inform the ombudsman established under sections 245.91 to 245.97 of reports regarding a child defined as a client in section 245.91 that maltreatment occurred at a school as defined in sections 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, and 13, and 124D.10.

(c) Authority of the local welfare agency responsible for assessing or investigating the child abuse or neglect report, the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, and of the local law enforcement agency for investigating the alleged abuse or neglect includes, but is not limited to, authority to interview, without parental consent, the alleged victim and any other minors who currently reside with or who have resided with the alleged offender. The interview may take place at school or at any facility or other place where the alleged victim or other minors might be found or the child may be transported to, and the interview conducted at, a place appropriate for the interview of a child designated by the local welfare agency or law enforcement agency. The interview may take place outside the presence of the alleged offender or parent, legal custodian, guardian, or school official. For family assessments, it is the preferred practice to request a parent or guardian's permission to interview the child prior to conducting the child interview, unless doing so would compromise the safety assessment. Except as provided in this paragraph, the parent, legal custodian, or guardian shall be notified by the responsible local welfare or law enforcement agency no later than the conclusion of the investigation or assessment that this interview has occurred. Notwithstanding rule 49.02 32 of the Minnesota Rules of Procedure for Juvenile Courts, the juvenile court may, after hearing on an ex parte motion by the local welfare agency, order that, where reasonable cause exists, the agency withhold notification of this interview from the parent, legal custodian, or guardian. If the interview took place or is to take place on school property, the order shall specify that school officials may not disclose to the parent, legal custodian, or guardian the contents of the notification of intent to interview the child on school property, as provided under this paragraph, and any other related information regarding the interview that may be a part of the child's school record. A copy of the order shall be sent by the local welfare or law enforcement agency to the appropriate school official.

(d) When the local welfare, local law enforcement agency, or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating a report of maltreatment determines that an interview should take place on school property, written notification of intent to interview the child on school property must be received by school officials prior to the interview. The notification shall include the name of the child to be interviewed, the purpose of the interview, and a reference to the statutory authority to conduct an interview on school property. For interviews conducted by the local welfare agency, the notification shall be signed by the chair of the local social services agency or the chair's designee. The notification shall be private data on individuals subject to the provisions of this paragraph. School officials may not disclose to the parent, legal custodian, or guardian the contents of the notification or any other related information regarding the interview until notified in writing by the local welfare or law enforcement agency that the investigation or assessment has been concluded, unless a school employee or agent is alleged to have maltreated the child. Until that time, the local welfare or law enforcement agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating a report of maltreatment shall be solely responsible for any disclosures regarding the nature of the assessment or investigation.

Except where the alleged offender is believed to be a school official or employee, the time and place, and manner of the interview on school premises shall be within the discretion of school officials, but the local welfare or law enforcement agency shall have the exclusive authority to determine who may attend the interview. The conditions as to time, place, and manner of the interview set by the school officials shall be reasonable and the interview shall be conducted not more than 24 hours after the receipt of the notification unless another time is considered necessary by agreement between the school officials and the local welfare or law enforcement agency. Where the school fails to comply with the provisions of this paragraph, the juvenile court may order the school to comply. Every effort must be made to reduce the disruption of the educational program of the child, other students, or school staff when an interview is conducted on school premises.

(e) Where the alleged offender or a person responsible for the care of the alleged victim or other minor prevents access to the victim or other minor by the local welfare agency, the juvenile court may order the parents, legal custodian, or guardian to produce the alleged victim or other minor for questioning by the local welfare agency or the local law enforcement agency outside the presence of the alleged offender or any person responsible for the child's care at reasonable places and times as specified by court order.

(f) Before making an order under paragraph (e), the court shall issue an order to show cause, either upon its own motion or upon a verified petition, specifying the basis for the requested interviews and fixing the time and place of the hearing. The order to show cause shall be served personally and shall be heard in the same manner as provided in other cases in the juvenile court. The court shall consider the need for appointment of a guardian ad litem to protect the best interests of the child. If appointed, the guardian ad litem shall be present at the hearing on the order to show cause.

(g) The commissioner of human services, the ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities, the local welfare agencies responsible for investigating reports, the commissioner of education, and the local law enforcement agencies have the right to enter facilities as defined in subdivision 2 and to inspect and copy the facility's records, including medical records, as part of the investigation. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 13, they also have the right to inform the facility under investigation that they are conducting an investigation, to disclose to the facility the names of the individuals under investigation for abusing or neglecting a child, and to provide the facility with a copy of the report and the investigative findings.

(h) The local welfare agency responsible for conducting a family assessment or investigation shall collect available and relevant information to determine child safety, risk of subsequent child maltreatment, and family strengths and needs and share not public information with an Indian's tribal social services agency without violating any law of the state that may otherwise impose duties of confidentiality on the local welfare agency in order to implement the tribal state agreement. The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for investigating the report shall collect available and relevant information to ascertain whether maltreatment occurred and whether protective services are needed. Information collected includes, when relevant, information with regard to the person reporting the alleged maltreatment, including the nature of the reporter's relationship to the child and to the alleged offender, and the basis of the reporter's knowledge for the report; the child allegedly being maltreated; the alleged offender; the child's caretaker; and other collateral sources having relevant information related to the alleged maltreatment. The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report may make a determination of no maltreatment early in an assessment, and close the case and retain immunity, if the collected information shows no basis for a full assessment or investigation.

Information relevant to the assessment or investigation must be asked for, and may include:

(1) the child's sex and age, prior reports of maltreatment, information relating to developmental functioning, credibility of the child's statement, and whether the information provided under this clause is consistent with other information collected during the course of the assessment or investigation;

(2) the alleged offender's age, a record check for prior reports of maltreatment, and criminal charges and convictions. The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report must provide the alleged offender with an opportunity to make a statement. The alleged offender may submit supporting documentation relevant to the assessment or investigation;

(3) collateral source information regarding the alleged maltreatment and care of the child. Collateral information includes, when relevant: (i) a medical examination of the child; (ii) prior medical records relating to the alleged maltreatment or the care of the child maintained by any facility, clinic, or health care professional and an interview with the treating professionals; and (iii) interviews with the child's caretakers, including the child's parent, guardian, foster parent, child care provider, teachers, counselors, family members, relatives, and other persons who may have knowledge regarding the alleged maltreatment and the care of the child; and

(4) information on the existence of domestic abuse and violence in the home of the child, and substance abuse.

Nothing in this paragraph precludes the local welfare agency, the local law enforcement agency, or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report from collecting other relevant information necessary to conduct the assessment or investigation. Notwithstanding section 13.384 or 144.335, the local welfare agency has access to medical data and records for purposes of clause (3). Notwithstanding the data's classification in the possession of any other agency, data acquired by the local welfare agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report during the course of the assessment or investigation are private data on individuals and must be maintained in accordance with subdivision 11. Data of the commissioner of education collected or maintained during and for the purpose of an investigation of alleged maltreatment in a school are governed by this section, notwithstanding the data's classification as educational, licensing, or personnel data under chapter 13.

In conducting an assessment or investigation involving a school facility as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (i), the commissioner of education shall collect investigative reports and data that are relevant to a report of maltreatment and are from local law enforcement and the school facility.

(i) Upon receipt of a report, the local welfare agency shall conduct a face-to-face contact with the child reported to be maltreated and with the child's primary caregiver sufficient to complete a safety assessment and ensure the immediate safety of the child. The face-to-face contact with the child and primary caregiver shall occur immediately if substantial child endangerment is alleged and within five calendar days for all other reports. If the alleged offender was not already interviewed as the primary caregiver, the local welfare agency shall also conduct a face-to-face interview with the alleged offender in the early stages of the assessment or investigation. At the initial contact, the local child welfare agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report must inform the alleged offender of the complaints or allegations made against the individual in a manner consistent with laws protecting the rights of the person who made the report. The interview with the alleged offender may be postponed if it would jeopardize an active law enforcement investigation.

(j) When conducting an investigation, the local welfare agency shall use a question and answer interviewing format with questioning as nondirective as possible to elicit spontaneous responses. For investigations only, the following interviewing methods and procedures must be used whenever possible when collecting information:

(1) audio recordings of all interviews with witnesses and collateral sources; and

(2) in cases of alleged sexual abuse, audio-video recordings of each interview with the alleged victim and child witnesses.

(k) In conducting an assessment or investigation involving a school facility as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (i), the commissioner of education shall collect available and relevant information and use the procedures in paragraphs (i), (k), and subdivision 3d, except that the requirement for face-to-face observation of the child and face-to-face interview of the alleged offender is to occur in the initial stages of the assessment or investigation provided that the commissioner may also base the assessment or investigation on investigative reports and data received from the school facility and local law enforcement, to the extent those investigations satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (i) and (k), and subdivision 3d.

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, subdivision 10a, is amended to read:

Subd. 10a.

Abuse outside family unit Law enforcement agency responsibility for investigation; welfare agency reliance on law enforcement fact-finding; welfare agency offer of services.

(a) If the report alleges neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse by a person who is not a parent, guardian, sibling, person responsible for the child's care functioning outside within the family unit, or a person who lives in the child's household and who has a significant relationship to the child, in a setting other than a facility as defined in subdivision 2, the local welfare agency shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency, which shall conduct an investigation of the alleged abuse or neglect if a violation of a criminal statute is alleged.

(b) The local agency may rely on the fact-finding efforts of the law enforcement investigation conducted under this subdivision to make a determination whether or not threatened harm or other maltreatment has occurred under subdivision 2 if an alleged offender has minor children or lives with minors.

(c) The local welfare agency shall offer appropriate social services for the purpose of safeguarding and enhancing the welfare of the abused or neglected minor.

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, subdivision 10c, is amended to read:

Subd. 10c.

Duties of local social service agency upon receipt of a report of medical neglect.

If the report alleges medical neglect as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 4 6, clause (5), the local welfare agency shall, in addition to its other duties under this section, immediately consult with designated hospital staff and with the parents of the infant to verify that appropriate nutrition, hydration, and medication are being provided; and shall immediately secure an independent medical review of the infant's medical charts and records and, if necessary, seek a court order for an independent medical examination of the infant. If the review or examination leads to a conclusion of medical neglect, the agency shall intervene on behalf of the infant by initiating legal proceedings under section 260C.141 and by filing an expedited motion to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatment.

Sec. 31.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 626.556, subdivision 10f, is amended to read:

Subd. 10f.

Notice of determinations.

Within ten working days of the conclusion of a family assessment, the local welfare agency shall notify the parent or guardian of the child of the need for services to address child safety concerns or significant risk of subsequent child maltreatment. The local welfare agency and the family may also jointly agree that family support and family preservation services are needed. Within ten working days of the conclusion of an investigation, the local welfare agency or agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report shall notify the parent or guardian of the child, the person determined to be maltreating the child, and if applicable, the director of the facility, of the determination and a summary of the specific reasons for the determination. The notice must also include a certification that the information collection procedures under subdivision 10, paragraphs (h), (i), and (j), were followed and a notice of the right of a data subject to obtain access to other private data on the subject collected, created, or maintained under this section. In addition, the notice shall include the length of time that the records will be kept under subdivision 11c. The investigating agency shall notify the parent or guardian of the child who is the subject of the report, and any person or facility determined to have maltreated a child, of their appeal or review rights under this section or section 256.022. The notice must also state that a finding of maltreatment may result in denial of a license application or background study disqualification under chapter 245C related to employment or services that are licensed by the Department of Human Services under chapter 245A, the Department of Health under chapter 144 or 144A, the Department of Corrections under section 241.021, and from providing services related to an unlicensed personal care provider organization under chapter 256B.

Sec. 32.

REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.

(a) The revisor shall renumber Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556, subdivision 3d, as Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556, subdivision 3g.

(b) The revisor shall change references to Minnesota Statutes, section 260.851, to section 260.853 and references to Minnesota Statutes, section 260.851, article 5, to section 260.853, article 4, wherever those references appear in Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota Rules.

ARTICLE 2

CHILDREN AND FAMILY

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, 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) according to section 13.05;

(2) according to court order;

(3) according 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 or prosecution of a criminal or civil proceeding relating to the administration of a program;

(5) to personnel of the welfare system who require the data to verify an individual's identity; determine eligibility, amount of assistance, and the need to provide services to an individual or family across programs; evaluate the effectiveness of programs; and investigate suspected fraud;

(6) to administer federal funds or programs;

(7) between personnel of the welfare system working in the same program;

(8) to the Department of Revenue to administer and evaluate tax refund or tax credit programs and to identify individuals who may benefit from these programs. The following information may be disclosed under this paragraph: an individual's and their dependent's names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, income, addresses, and other data as required, upon request by the Department of Revenue. Disclosures by the commissioner of revenue to the commissioner of human services for the purposes described in this clause are governed by section 270B.14, subdivision 1. Tax refund or tax credit programs include, but are not limited to, the dependent care credit under section 290.067, the Minnesota working family credit under section 290.0671, the property tax refund and rental credit under section 290A.04, and the Minnesota education credit under section 290.0674;

(9) between the Department of Human Services, the Department of Education, and the Department of Employment and Economic Development for the purpose of monitoring the eligibility of the data subject for unemployment benefits, for any employment or training program administered, supervised, or certified by that agency, for the purpose of administering any rehabilitation program or child care assistance program, whether alone or in conjunction with the welfare system, or to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program or the child care assistance program by exchanging data on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B, 256D, or 256L;

(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;

(11) data maintained by residential programs as defined in section 245A.02 may be disclosed to the protection and advocacy system established in this state according to Part C of Public Law 98-527 to protect the legal and human rights of persons with developmental disabilities 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;

(12) to the county medical examiner or the county coroner for identifying or locating relatives or friends of a deceased person;

(13) data on a child support obligor who makes payments to the public agency may be disclosed to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to the extent necessary to determine eligibility under section 136A.121, subdivision 2, clause (5);

(14) participant Social Security numbers and names collected by the telephone assistance program may be disclosed to the Department of Revenue to conduct an electronic data match with the property tax refund database to determine eligibility under section 237.70, subdivision 4a;

(15) the current address of a Minnesota family investment program participant may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who provide the name of the participant and notify the agency that:

(i) the participant:

(A) is a fugitive felon fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction from which the individual is fleeing; or

(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law;

(ii) the location or apprehension of the felon is within the law enforcement officer's official duties; and

(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of those duties;

(16) the current address of a recipient of general assistance or general assistance medical care may be disclosed to probation officers and corrections agents who are supervising the recipient and to law enforcement officers who are investigating the recipient in connection with a felony level offense;

(17) information obtained from food support applicant or recipient households may be disclosed to local, state, or federal law enforcement officials, upon their written request, for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the Food Stamp Act, according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, section 272.1(c);

(18) the address, Social Security number, and, if available, photograph of any member of a household receiving food support shall be made available, on request, to a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer if the officer furnishes the agency with the name of the member and notifies the agency that:

(i) the member:

(A) is fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony in the jurisdiction the member is fleeing;

(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law; or

(C) has information that is necessary for the officer to conduct an official duty related to conduct described in subitem (A) or (B);

(ii) locating or apprehending the member is within the officer's official duties; and

(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of the officer's official duty;

(19) the current address of a recipient of Minnesota family investment program, general assistance, general assistance medical care, or food support may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who, in writing, provide the name of the recipient and notify the agency that the recipient is a person required to register under section 243.166, but is not residing at the address at which the recipient is registered under section 243.166;

(20) certain information regarding child support obligors who are in arrears may be made public according to section 518A.74;

(21) data on child support payments made by a child support obligor and data on the distribution of those payments excluding identifying information on obligees may be disclosed to all obligees to whom the obligor owes support, and data on the enforcement actions undertaken by the public authority, the status of those actions, and data on the income of the obligor or obligee may be disclosed to the other party;

(22) data in the work reporting system may be disclosed under section 256.998, subdivision 7;

(23) to the Department of Education for the purpose of matching Department of Education student data with public assistance data to determine students eligible for free and reduced price meals, meal supplements, and free milk according to United States Code, title 42, sections 1758, 1761, 1766, 1766a, 1772, and 1773; to allocate federal and state funds that are distributed based on income of the student's family; and to verify receipt of energy assistance for the telephone assistance plan;

(24) the current address and telephone number of program recipients and emergency contacts may be released to the commissioner of health or a local board of health as defined in section 145A.02, subdivision 2, when the commissioner or local board of health has reason to believe that a program recipient is a disease case, carrier, suspect case, or at risk of illness, and the data are necessary to locate the person;

(25) to other state agencies, statewide systems, and political subdivisions of this state, including the attorney general, and agencies of other states, interstate information networks, federal agencies, and other entities as required by federal regulation or law for the administration of the child support enforcement program;

(26) to personnel of public assistance programs as defined in section 256.741, for access to the child support system database for the purpose of administration, including monitoring and evaluation of those public assistance programs;

(27) to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program by exchanging data between the Departments of Human Services and Education, on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B, 256D, or 256L;

(28) to evaluate child support program performance and to identify and prevent fraud in the child support program by exchanging data between the Department of Human Services, Department of Revenue under section 270B.14, subdivision 1, paragraphs (a) and (b), without regard to the limitation of use in paragraph (c), Department of Health, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and other state agencies as is reasonably necessary to perform these functions; or

(29) counties operating child care assistance programs under chapter 119B may disseminate data on program participants, applicants, and providers to the commissioner of education.

(b) Information on persons who have been treated for drug or alcohol abuse may only be disclosed according to the requirements of Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, sections 2.1 to 2.67.

(c) Data provided to law enforcement agencies under paragraph (a), clause (15), (16), (17), or (18), or paragraph (b), are investigative data and are confidential or protected nonpublic while the investigation is active. The data are private after the investigation becomes inactive under section 13.82, subdivision 5, paragraph (a) or (b).

(d) 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).

For the purposes of this subdivision, a request will be deemed to be made in writing if made through a computer interface system.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 16D.13, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Exclusion.

A state agency may not charge interest under this section on overpayments of assistance benefits under the programs formerly codified in sections 256.031 to 256.0361, 256.72 to 256.87, and under chapters 119B, 256D, and 256I, or the federal food stamp program. Notwithstanding this prohibition, any debts that have been reduced to judgment under these programs are subject to the interest charges provided under section 549.09.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.011, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 13a.

Family stabilization services.

"Family stabilization services" means the services under section 256J.575.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.035, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

A family in which a parent provides care for the family's infant child may receive a subsidy in lieu of assistance if the family is eligible for or is receiving assistance under the basic sliding fee program. An eligible family must meet the eligibility factors under section 119B.09, except as provided in subdivision 4, and the requirements of this section. Subject to federal match and maintenance of effort requirements for the child care and development fund, and up to available appropriations, the commissioner shall establish a pool of up to three percent of the annual state appropriation for the basic sliding fee program to provide assistance under the at-home infant child care program and for administrative costs associated with the program. At the end of a fiscal year, the commissioner may carry forward any unspent funds under this section to the next fiscal year within the same biennium for assistance under the basic sliding fee program.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Eligible participants.

Families eligible for child care assistance under the MFIP child care program are:

(1) MFIP participants who are employed or in job search and meet the requirements of section 119B.10;

(2) persons who are members of transition year families under section 119B.011, subdivision 20, and meet the requirements of section 119B.10;

(3) families who are participating in employment orientation or job search, or other employment or training activities that are included in an approved employability development plan under section 256J.95;

(4) MFIP families who are participating in work job search, job support, employment, or training activities as required in their employment plan, or in appeals, hearings, assessments, or orientations according to chapter 256J;

(5) MFIP families who are participating in social services activities under chapter 256J as required in their employment plan approved according to chapter 256J;

(6) families who are participating in services or activities that are included in an approved family stabilization plan under section 256J.575;

(7) families who are participating in programs as required in tribal contracts under section 119B.02, subdivision 2, or 256.01, subdivision 2; and

(7) (8) families who are participating in the transition year extension under section 119B.011, subdivision 20a.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.09, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Date of eligibility for assistance.

(a) The date of eligibility for child care assistance under this chapter is the later of the date the application was signed; the beginning date of employment, education, or training; the date the infant is born for applicants to the at-home infant care program; or the date a determination has been made that the applicant is a participant in employment and training services under Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0080, subpart 2a, or chapter 256J.

(b) Payment ceases for a family under the at-home infant child care program when a family has used a total of 12 months of assistance as specified under section 119B.035. Payment of child care assistance for employed persons on MFIP is effective the date of employment or the date of MFIP eligibility, whichever is later. Payment of child care assistance for MFIP or DWP participants in employment and training services is effective the date of commencement of the services or the date of MFIP or DWP eligibility, whichever is later. Payment of child care assistance for transition year child care must be made retroactive to the date of eligibility for transition year child care.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.09, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 11.

Payment of other child care expenses.

Payment by a source other than the family, of part or all of a family's child care expenses not payable under this chapter, does not affect the family's eligibility for child care assistance, and the amount paid is excluded from the family's income, if the funds are paid directly to the family's child care provider on behalf of the family. Child care providers who accept third-party payments must maintain family-specific documentation of payment source, amount, type of expenses, and time period covered by the payment.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.09, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 12.

Sliding fee.

Child care services to families must be made available on a sliding fee basis. The commissioner shall convert eligibility requirements in section 119B.09 and parent fee schedules in 119B.12 to state median income, based on a family size of three, adjusted for family size, by July 1, 2008. The commissioner shall report to the 2008 legislature with the necessary statutory changes to codify this conversion to state median income.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.12, is amended to read:

119B.12 SLIDING FEE SCALE.

Subdivision 1.

Fee schedule.

In setting the sliding fee schedule, the commissioner shall exclude from the amount of income used to determine eligibility an amount for federal and state income and Social Security taxes attributable to that income level according to federal and state standardized tax tables. The commissioner shall base the parent fee on the ability of the family to pay for child care. The fee schedule must be designed to use any available tax credits.

PARENT FEE SCHEDULE. The parent fee schedule is as follows:

Income Range (as a percent of the federal poverty guidelines) Co-payment (as a percentage of adjusted gross income)
0-74.99% $0/month
75.00-99.99% $5/month
100.00-104.99% 2.61%
105.00-109.99% 2.61%
110.00-114.99% 2.61%
115.00-119.99% 2.61%
120.00-124.99% 2.91%
125.00-129.99% 2.91%
130.00-134.99% 2.91%
135.00-139.99% 2.91%
140.00-144.99% 3.21%
145.00-149.99% 3.21%
150.00-154.99% 3.21%
155.00-159.99% 3.84%
160.00-164.99% 3.84%
165.00-169.99% 4.46%
170.00-174.99% 4.76%
175.00-179.99% 5.05%
180.00-184.99% 5.65%
185.00-189.99% 5.95%
190.00-194.99% 6.24%
195.00-199.99% 6.84%
200.00-204.99% 7.58%
205.00-209.99% 8.33%
210.00-214.99% 9.20%
215.00-219.99% 10.07%
220.00-224.99% 10.94%
225.00-229.99% 11.55%
230.00-234.99% 12.16%
235.00-239.99% 12.77%
240.00-244.99% 13.38%
245.00-249.99% 14.00%
250% ineligible

A family's monthly co-payment fee is the fixed percentage established for the income range multiplied by the highest possible income within that income range.

Subd. 2.

Parent fee.

A family must be assessed a parent fee for each service period. A family's parent fee must be a fixed percentage of its annual gross income. Parent fees must apply to families eligible for child care assistance under sections 119B.03 and 119B.05. Income must be as defined in section 119B.011, subdivision 15. The fixed percent is based on the relationship of the family's annual gross income to 100 percent of the annual federal poverty guidelines. Parent fees must begin at 75 percent of the poverty level. The minimum parent fees for families between 75 percent and 100 percent of poverty level must be $10 $5 per month. Parent fees must provide for graduated movement to full payment. Payment of part or all of a family's parent fee directly to the family's child care provider on behalf of the family by a source other than the family shall not affect the family's eligibility for child care assistance, and the amount paid shall be excluded from the family's income. Child care providers who accept third-party payments must maintain family specific documentation of payment source, amount, and time period covered by the payment.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

(a) This section is effective July 1, 2007.

(b) Effective July 1, 2008, the parent fee scale for families with incomes greater than or equal to 100 percent of FPG shall be converted to state median income for a family size of three, adjusted for family size, as directed in section 119B.09, subdivision 12.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.125, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Persons who cannot be authorized.

(a) A person who meets any of the conditions under paragraphs (b) to (n) must not be authorized as a legal nonlicensed family child care provider. To determine whether any of the listed conditions exist, the county must request information about the provider from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the juvenile courts, and social service agencies. When one of the listed entities does not maintain information on a statewide basis, the county must contact the entity in the county where the provider resides and any other county in which the provider previously resided in the past year. For purposes of this subdivision, a finding that a delinquency petition is proven in juvenile court must be considered a conviction in state district court. If a county has determined that a provider is able to be authorized in that county, and a family in another county later selects that provider, the provider is able to be authorized in the second county without undergoing a new background investigation unless one of the following conditions exists:

(1) two years have passed since the first authorization;

(2) another person age 13 or older has joined the provider's household since the last authorization;

(3) a current household member has turned 13 since the last authorization; or

(4) there is reason to believe that a household member has a factor that prevents authorization.

(b) The person has been convicted of one of the following offenses or has admitted to committing or a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the person has committed an act that meets the definition of one of the following offenses: sections 609.185 to 609.195, murder in the first, second, or third degree; 609.2661 to 609.2663, murder of an unborn child in the first, second, or third degree; 609.322, solicitation, inducement, promotion of prostitution, or receiving profit from prostitution; 609.342 to 609.345, criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, third, or fourth degree; 609.352, solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct; 609.365, incest; 609.377, felony malicious punishment of a child; 617.246, use of minors in sexual performance; 617.247, possession of pictorial representation of a minor; 609.2242 to 609.2243, felony domestic assault; a felony offense of spousal abuse; a felony offense of child abuse or neglect; a felony offense of a crime against children; or an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses as defined in Minnesota Statutes; or an offense in any other state or country where the elements are substantially similar to any of the offenses listed in this paragraph.

(c) Less than 15 years have passed since the discharge of the sentence imposed for the offense and the person has received a felony conviction for one of the following offenses, or the person has admitted to committing or a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the person has committed an act that meets the definition of a felony conviction for one of the following offenses: sections 609.20 to 609.205, manslaughter in the first or second degree; 609.21, criminal vehicular homicide; 609.215, aiding suicide or aiding attempted suicide; 609.221 to 609.2231, assault in the first, second, third, or fourth degree; 609.224, repeat offenses of fifth degree assault; 609.228, great bodily harm caused by distribution of drugs; 609.2325, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult; 609.2335, financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult; 609.235, use of drugs to injure or facilitate a crime; 609.24, simple robbery; 617.241, repeat offenses of obscene materials and performances; 609.245, aggravated robbery; 609.25, kidnapping; 609.255, false imprisonment; 609.2664 to 609.2665, manslaughter of an unborn child in the first or second degree; 609.267 to 609.2672, assault of an unborn child in the first, second, or third degree; 609.268, injury or death of an unborn child in the commission of a crime; 609.27, coercion; 609.275, attempt to coerce; 609.324, subdivision 1, other prohibited acts, minor engaged in prostitution; 609.3451, repeat offenses of criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree; 609.378, neglect or endangerment of a child; 609.52, theft; 609.521, possession of shoplifting gear; 609.561 to 609.563, arson in the first, second, or third degree; 609.582, burglary in the first, second, third, or fourth degree; 609.625, aggravated forgery; 609.63, forgery; 609.631, check forgery, offering a forged check; 609.635, obtaining signature by false pretenses; 609.66, dangerous weapon; 609.665, setting a spring gun; 609.67, unlawfully owning, possessing, or operating a machine gun; 609.687, adulteration; 609.71, riot; 609.713, terrorist threats; 609.749, harassment, stalking; 260C.301, termination of parental rights; 152.021 to 152.022 and 152.0262, controlled substance crime in the first or second degree; 152.023, subdivision 1, clause (3) or (4), or 152.023, subdivision 2, clause (4), controlled substance crime in third degree; 152.024, subdivision 1, clause (2), (3), or (4), controlled substance crime in fourth degree; 617.23, repeat offenses of indecent exposure; an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses as defined in Minnesota Statutes; or an offense in any other state or country where the elements are substantially similar to any of the offenses listed in this paragraph.

(d) Less than ten years have passed since the discharge of the sentence imposed for the offense and the person has received a gross misdemeanor conviction for one of the following offenses or the person has admitted to committing or a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the person has committed an act that meets the definition of a gross misdemeanor conviction for one of the following offenses: sections 609.224, fifth degree assault; 609.2242 to 609.2243, domestic assault; 518B.01, subdivision 14, violation of an order for protection; 609.3451, fifth degree criminal sexual conduct; 609.746, repeat offenses of interference with privacy; 617.23, repeat offenses of indecent exposure; 617.241, obscene materials and performances; 617.243, indecent literature, distribution; 617.293, disseminating or displaying harmful material to minors; 609.71, riot; 609.66, dangerous weapons; 609.749, harassment, stalking; 609.224, subdivision 2, paragraph (c), fifth degree assault against a vulnerable adult by a caregiver; 609.23, mistreatment of persons confined; 609.231, mistreatment of residents or patients; 609.2325, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult; 609.2335, financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult; 609.233, criminal neglect of a vulnerable adult; 609.234, failure to report maltreatment of a vulnerable adult; 609.72, subdivision 3, disorderly conduct against a vulnerable adult; 609.265, abduction; 609.378, neglect or endangerment of a child; 609.377, malicious punishment of a child; 609.324, subdivision 1a, other prohibited acts, minor engaged in prostitution; 609.33, disorderly house; 609.52, theft; 609.582, burglary in the first, second, third, or fourth degree; 609.631, check forgery, offering a forged check; 609.275, attempt to coerce; an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses as defined in Minnesota Statutes; or an offense in any other state or country where the elements are substantially similar to any of the offenses listed in this paragraph.

(e) Less than seven years have passed since the discharge of the sentence imposed for the offense and the person has received a misdemeanor conviction for one of the following offenses or the person has admitted to committing or a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the person has committed an act that meets the definition of a misdemeanor conviction for one of the following offenses: sections 609.224, fifth degree assault; 609.2242, domestic assault; 518B.01, violation of an order for protection; 609.3232, violation of an order for protection; 609.746, interference with privacy; 609.79, obscene or harassing telephone calls; 609.795, letter, telegram, or package opening, harassment; 617.23, indecent exposure; 609.2672, assault of an unborn child, third degree; 617.293, dissemination and display of harmful materials to minors; 609.66, dangerous weapons; 609.665, spring guns; an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses as defined in Minnesota Statutes; or an offense in any other state or country where the elements are substantially similar to any of the offenses listed in this paragraph.

(f) The person has been identified by the child protection agency in the county where the provider resides or a county where the provider has resided or by the statewide child protection database as a person found by a preponderance of evidence under section 626.556 to be responsible for physical or sexual abuse of a child within the last seven years.

(g) The person has been identified by the adult protection agency in the county where the provider resides or a county where the provider has resided or by the statewide adult protection database as the person responsible for abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult within the last seven years.

(h) The person has refused to give written consent for disclosure of criminal history records.

(i) The person has been denied a family child care license or has received a fine or a sanction as a licensed child care provider that has not been reversed on appeal.

(j) The person has a family child care licensing disqualification that has not been set aside.

(k) The person has admitted or a county has found that there is a preponderance of evidence that fraudulent information was given to the county for child care assistance application purposes or was used in submitting child care assistance bills for payment.

(l) The person has been convicted of the crime of theft by wrongfully obtaining public assistance or has been found guilty of wrongfully obtaining public assistance by a federal court, state court, or an administrative hearing determination or waiver, through a disqualification consent agreement, as part of an approved diversion plan under section 401.065, or a court-ordered stay with probationary or other conditions.

(m) The person has a household member age 13 or older who has access to children during the hours that care is provided and who meets one of the conditions listed in paragraphs (b) to (l).

(n) The person has a household member ages ten to 12 who has access to children during the hours that care is provided; information or circumstances exist which provide the county with articulable suspicion that further pertinent information may exist showing the household member meets one of the conditions listed in paragraphs (b) to (l); and the household member actually meets one of the conditions listed in paragraphs (b) to (l).

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.13, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Subsidy restrictions.

(a) Beginning July 1, 2006, the maximum rate paid for child care assistance in any county or multicounty region under the child care fund shall be the rate for like-care arrangements in the county effective January 1, 2006, increased by six percent.

(b) Rate changes shall be implemented for services provided in September 2006 unless a participant eligibility redetermination or a new provider agreement is completed between July 1, 2006, and August 31, 2006.

As necessary, appropriate notice of adverse action must be made according to Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0185, subparts 3 and 4.

New cases approved on or after July 1, 2006, shall have the maximum rates under paragraph (a), implemented immediately.

(c) Not less than once every two years Every year, the commissioner shall survey rates charged by child care providers in Minnesota to determine the 75th percentile for like-care arrangements in counties. When the commissioner determines that, using the commissioner's established protocol, the number of providers responding to the survey is too small to determine the 75th percentile rate for like-care arrangements in a county or multicounty region, the commissioner may establish the 75th percentile maximum rate based on like-care arrangements in a county, region, or category that the commissioner deems to be similar.

(d) A rate which includes a special needs rate paid under subdivision 3 or under a school readiness service agreement paid under section 61 may be in excess of the maximum rate allowed under this subdivision.

(e) The department shall monitor the effect of this paragraph on provider rates. The county shall pay the provider's full charges for every child in care up to the maximum established. The commissioner shall determine the maximum rate for each type of care on an hourly, full-day, and weekly basis, including special needs and disability care.

(f) When the provider charge is greater than the maximum provider rate allowed, the parent is responsible for payment of the difference in the rates in addition to any family co-payment fee.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.13, subdivision 3a, is amended to read:

Subd. 3a.

Provider rate differential for accreditation.

A family child care provider or child care center shall be paid a 15 percent differential above the maximum rate established in subdivision 1, up to the actual provider rate, if the provider or center holds a current early childhood development credential or is accredited. For a family child care provider, early childhood development credential and accreditation includes an individual who has earned a child development associate degree, a child development associate credential, a diploma in child development from a Minnesota state technical college, or a bachelor's or post baccalaureate degree in early childhood education from an accredited college or university, or who is accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care or the Competency Based Training and Assessment Program. For a child care center, accreditation includes accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Council on Accreditation, the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation, the National School-Age Care Association, or the National Head Start Association Program of Excellence. For Montessori programs, accreditation includes the American Montessori Society, Association of Montessori International-USA, or the National Center for Montessori Education.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.13, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Absent days.

(a) Child care providers may not be reimbursed for more than 25 full-day absent days per child, excluding holidays, in a fiscal year, or for more than ten consecutive full-day absent days, unless the child has a documented medical condition that causes more frequent absences. Absences due to a documented medical condition of a parent or sibling who lives in the same residence as the child receiving child care assistance do not count against the 25-day absent day limit in a fiscal year. Documentation of medical conditions must be on the forms and submitted according to the timelines established by the commissioner. A public health nurse or school nurse may verify the illness in lieu of a medical practitioner. If a provider sends a child home early due to a medical reason, including, but not limited to, fever or contagious illness, the child care center director or lead teacher may verify the illness in lieu of a medical practitioner. If a child attends for part of the time authorized to be in care in a day, but is absent for part of the time authorized to be in care in that same day, the absent time will be reimbursed but the time will not count toward the ten consecutive or 25 cumulative absent day limits. Children in families where at least one parent is under the age of 21, does not have a high school or general equivalency diploma, and is a student in a school district or another similar program that provides or arranges for child care, as well as parenting, social services, career and employment supports, and academic support to achieve high school graduation, may be exempt from the absent day limits upon request of the program and approval of the county. If a child attends part of an authorized day, payment to the provider must be for the full amount of care authorized for that day. Child care providers may only be reimbursed for absent days if the provider has a written policy for child absences and charges all other families in care for similar absences.

(b) Child care providers must be reimbursed for up to ten federal or state holidays or designated holidays per year when the provider charges all families for these days and the holiday or designated holiday falls on a day when the child is authorized to be in attendance. Parents may substitute other cultural or religious holidays for the ten recognized state and federal holidays. Holidays do not count toward the ten consecutive or 25 cumulative absent day limits.

(c) A family or child care provider may not be assessed an overpayment for an absent day payment unless (1) there was an error in the amount of care authorized for the family, (2) all of the allowed full-day absent payments for the child have been paid, or (3) the family or provider did not timely report a change as required under law.

(d) The provider and family must receive notification of the number of absent days used upon initial provider authorization for a family and when the family has used 15 cumulative absent days. Upon statewide implementation of the Minnesota Electronic Child Care System, the provider and family authorization for a family and ongoing notification of the number of absent days used as of the date of the notification.

(e) A county may pay for more absent days than the statewide absent day policy established under this subdivision if current market practice in the county justifies payment for those additional days. County policies for payment of absent days in excess of the statewide absent day policy and justification for these county policies must be included in the county's child care fund plan under section 119B.08, subdivision 3.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 119B.21, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Child care services grants.

(a) A child care resource and referral program designated under section 119B.19, subdivision 1a, may award child care services grants for:

(1) creating new licensed child care facilities and expanding existing facilities, including, but not limited to, supplies, equipment, facility renovation, and remodeling;

(2) improving licensed child care facility programs;

(3) staff training and development services including, but not limited to, in-service training, curriculum development, accreditation, certification, consulting, resource centers, and program and resource materials, supporting effective teacher-child interactions, child-focused teaching, and content-driven classroom instruction;

(4) interim financing;

(5) capacity building through the purchase of appropriate technology to create, enhance, and maintain business management systems;

(6) emergency assistance for child care programs;

(7) new programs or projects for the creation, expansion, or improvement of programs that serve ethnic immigrant and refugee communities; and

(8) targeted recruitment initiatives to expand and build the capacity of the child care system and to improve the quality of care provided by legal nonlicensed child care providers.

(b) A child care resource and referral program designated under section 119B.19, subdivision 1a, may award child care services grants to:

(1) licensed providers;

(2) providers in the process of being licensed;

(3) corporations or public agencies that develop or provide child care services;

(4) school-age care programs; or

(5) any combination of clauses (1) to (4).

Unlicensed providers are only eligible for grants under paragraph (a), clause (7).

(c) A recipient of a child care services grant for facility improvements, interim financing, or staff training and development must provide a 25 percent local match.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.01, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Duties as state agency.

(a) The state agency shall:

(1) supervise the administration of assistance to dependent children under Laws 1937, chapter 438, by the county agencies in an integrated program with other service for dependent children maintained under the direction of the state agency;

(2) may subpoena witnesses and administer oaths, make rules, and take such action as may be necessary, or desirable for carrying out the provisions of Laws 1937, chapter 438. All rules made by the state agency shall be binding on the counties and shall be complied with by the respective county agencies;

(3) (2) establish adequate standards for personnel employed by the counties and the state agency in the administration of Laws 1937, chapter 438, and make the necessary rules to maintain such standards;

(4) (3) prescribe the form of and print and supply to the county agencies blanks for applications, reports, affidavits, and such other forms as it may deem necessary and advisable;

(5) (4) cooperate with the federal government and its public welfare agencies in any reasonable manner as may be necessary to qualify for federal aid for temporary assistance for needy families and in conformity with title I of Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and successor amendments, including the making of such reports and such forms and containing such information as the Federal Social Security Board may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as such board may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;

(6) may cooperate with other state agencies in establishing reciprocal agreements in instances where a child receiving Minnesota family investment program assistance moves or contemplates moving into or out of the state, in order that such child may continue to receive supervised aid from the state moved from until the child shall have resided for one year in the state moved to;

(7) (5) on or before October 1 in each even-numbered year make a biennial report to the governor concerning the activities of the agency;

(8) (6) enter into agreements with other departments of the state as necessary to meet all requirements of the federal government; and

(9) (7) cooperate with the commissioner of education to enforce the requirements for program integrity and fraud prevention for investigation for child care assistance under chapter 119B.

(b) The state agency may:

(1) subpoena witnesses and administer oaths, make rules, and take such action as may be necessary or desirable for carrying out the provisions of Laws 1937, chapter 438. All rules made by the state agency shall be binding on the counties and shall be complied with by the respective county agencies;

(2) cooperate with other state agencies in establishing reciprocal agreements in instances where a child receiving Minnesota family investment program assistance moves or contemplates moving into or out of the state, in order that the child may continue to receive supervised aid from the state moved from until the child has resided for one year in the state moved to; and

(3) administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, certify to official acts, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of individuals and the production of documents and other personal property necessary in connection with the administration of programs administered by the Department of Human Services.

(c) The fees for service of a subpoena in paragraph (b), clause (3), must be paid in the same manner as prescribed by law for a service of process issued by a district court. Witnesses must receive the same fees and mileage as in civil actions.

(d) The subpoena in paragraph (b), clause (3), shall be enforceable through the district court in the district where the subpoena is issued.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.01, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 23.

Administrative simplification; county cost study.

(a) The commissioner shall establish and convene the first meeting of an advisory committee to identify ways to simplify and streamline human services laws and administrative requirements. The advisory committee shall select its chair from its membership at the first meeting.

(b) The committee shall consist of three senators appointed by the senate Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration, three state representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and nine department staff and county representatives appointed by the commissioner. The appointments required under this paragraph must be completed by September 1, 2007.

(c) The committee shall discuss methods of reducing inconsistency between programs and complexity within programs in order to improve administrative efficiency and reduce the risk of recipient noncompliance. Topics for discussion may include child support enforcement, adoption services, child care licensing, child care assistance, and other programs. The state senators and state representatives on the advisory committee, in consultation with the advisory committee, shall report annually to the chairs of the legislative committees and divisions with jurisdiction over the Department of Human Services, beginning January 15, 2008, with recommendations developed by the advisory group.

(d) The commissioner, in consultation with the advisory committee, shall study and report to the legislature by January 15, 2009, on the transfer of any responsibilities between the department and counties that would result in more efficient and effective administration of human services programs.

(e) This section expires on June 30, 2012.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.015, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Cooperation required.

Upon the request of the Department of Human Services, any state agency or third party payer shall cooperate with the department in furnishing information to help establish a third party liability. Upon the request of the Department of Human Services or county child support or human service agencies, any employer or third party payer shall cooperate in furnishing information about group health insurance plans or medical benefit plans available to its employees. For purposes of section 176.191, subdivision 4, the Department of Labor and Industry may allow the Department of Human Services and county agencies direct access and data matching on information relating to workers' compensation claims in order to determine whether the claimant has reported the fact of a pending claim and the amount paid to or on behalf of the claimant to the Department of Human Services. The Department of Human Services and county agencies shall limit its use of information gained from agencies, third party payers, and employers to purposes directly connected with the administration of its public assistance and child support programs. The provision of information by agencies, third party payers, and employers to the department under this subdivision is not a violation of any right of confidentiality or data privacy.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.017, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Authority and purpose.

The commissioner shall administer a compliance system for the Minnesota family investment program, the food stamp or food support program, emergency assistance, general assistance, medical assistance, general assistance medical care, emergency general assistance, Minnesota supplemental assistance, preadmission screening, and alternative care grants, and the child care assistance program under the powers and authorities named in section 256.01, subdivision 2. The purpose of the compliance system is to permit the commissioner to supervise the administration of public assistance programs and to enforce timely and accurate distribution of benefits, completeness of service and efficient and effective program management and operations, to increase uniformity and consistency in the administration and delivery of public assistance programs throughout the state, and to reduce the possibility of sanctions and fiscal disallowances for noncompliance with federal regulations and state statutes.

The commissioner shall utilize training, technical assistance, and monitoring activities, as specified in section 256.01, subdivision 2, to encourage county agency compliance with written policies and procedures.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.017, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

Subd. 9.

Timing and disposition of penalty and case disallowance funds.

Quality control case penalty and administrative penalty amounts shall be disallowed or withheld from the next regular reimbursement made to the county agency for state and federal benefit reimbursements and federal administrative reimbursements for all programs covered in this section, according to procedures established in statute, but shall not be imposed sooner than 30 calendar days from the date of written notice of such penalties. Except for penalties withheld under the child care assistance program, all penalties must be deposited in the county incentive fund provided in section 256.018. Penalties withheld under the child care assistance program shall be reallocated to counties using the allocation formula under section 119B.03, subdivision 5. All penalties must be imposed according to this provision until a decision is made regarding the status of a written exception. Penalties must be returned to county agencies when a review of a written exception results in a decision in their favor.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.984, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Declaration.

Every application for public assistance under this chapter or chapters 256B, 256D, 256J, and 256L; child care programs under chapter 119B; and food stamps or food support under chapter 393 shall be in writing or reduced to writing as prescribed by the state agency and shall contain the following declaration which shall be signed by the applicant:

"I declare under the penalties of perjury that this application has been examined by me and to the best of my knowledge is a true and correct statement of every material point. I understand that a person convicted of perjury may be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both."

Sec. 21.

[256D.0516] EXPIRATION OF FOOD SUPPORT BENEFITS AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

Subdivision 1.

Expiration of food support benefits.

Food support benefits shall not be stored off line or expunged from a recipient's account unless the benefits have not been accessed for 12 months after the month they were issued.

Subd. 2.

Food support reporting requirements.

The commissioner of human services shall implement simplified reporting as permitted under the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, and the food stamp regulations in Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, part 273. Food support recipient households required to report periodically shall not be required to report more often than one time every six months. This provision shall not apply to households receiving food benefits under the Minnesota family investment program waiver.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

Subdivision 1 is effective February 1, 2008, and subdivision 2 is effective May 1, 2008.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.01, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 6.

Legislative approval to move programs or activities.

The commissioner shall not move programs or activities funded with MFIP or TANF maintenance of effort funds to other funding sources without legislative approval.

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.02, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Commissioner's authority to administer block grant funds.

The commissioner of human services is authorized to receive, administer, and expend funds available under the TANF block grant authorized under title I of Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and under Public Law 109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.02, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Authority to transfer.

Subject to limitations of title I of Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as amended, and under Public Law 109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the legislature may transfer money from the TANF block grant to the child care fund under chapter 119B, or the Title XX block grant.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.021, is amended to read:

256J.021 SEPARATE STATE PROGRAM FOR USE OF STATE MONEY.

(a) Until October 1, 2006, the commissioner of human services must treat MFIP expenditures made to or on behalf of any minor child under section 256J.02, subdivision 2, clause (1), who is a resident of this state under section 256J.12, and who is part of a two-parent eligible household as expenditures under a separately funded state program and report those expenditures to the federal Department of Health and Human Services as separate state program expenditures under Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 263.5. Families receiving assistance under this section shall comply with all applicable requirements in this chapter.

(b) Beginning October 1, 2006, the commissioner of human services must treat MFIP expenditures made to or on behalf of any minor child under section 256J.02, subdivision 2, clause (1), who is a resident of this state under section 256J.12, and who is part of a two-parent eligible household, as expenditures under a separately funded state program. These expenditures shall not count toward the state's maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements under the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program except if counting certain families would allow the commissioner to avoid a federal penalty. Families receiving assistance under this section must comply with all applicable requirements in this chapter.

(c) Beginning February 1, 2008, the commissioner of human services shall treat MFIP expenditures made to or on behalf of any minor child who is part of a household that meets criteria in section 256J.575, subdivision 3, as expenditures under a separately funded state program under section 256J.575, subdivision 8.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.08, subdivision 65, is amended to read:

Subd. 65.

Participant.

(a) "Participant" means includes any of the following:

(1) a person who is currently receiving cash assistance or the food portion available through MFIP. A person who fails to withdraw or access electronically any portion of the person's cash and food assistance payment by the end of the payment month, who makes a written request for closure before the first of a payment month and repays cash and food assistance electronically issued for that payment month within that payment month, or who returns any uncashed assistance check and food coupons and withdraws from the program is not a participant.;

(2) a person who withdraws a cash or food assistance payment by electronic transfer or receives and cashes an MFIP assistance check or food coupons and is subsequently determined to be ineligible for assistance for that period of time is a participant, regardless whether that assistance is repaid. The term "participant" includes;

(3) the caregiver relative and the minor child whose needs are included in the assistance payment.;

(4) a person in an assistance unit who does not receive a cash and food assistance payment because the case has been suspended from MFIP is a participant.;

(5) a person who receives cash payments under the diversionary work program under section 256J.95 is a participant.; and

(6) a person who receives cash payments under family stabilization services under section 256J.575.

(b) "Participant" does not include a person who fails to withdraw or access electronically any portion of the person's cash and food assistance payment by the end of the payment month, who makes a written request for closure before the first of a payment month and repays cash and food assistance electronically issued for that payment month within that payment month, or who returns any uncashed assistance check and food coupons and withdraws from the program.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 27.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.20, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Other property limitations.

To be eligible for MFIP, the equity value of all nonexcluded real and personal property of the assistance unit must not exceed $2,000 for applicants and $5,000 for ongoing participants. The value of assets in clauses (1) to (19) must be excluded when determining the equity value of real and personal property:

(1) a licensed vehicle up to a loan value of less than or equal to $7,500. The county agency shall apply any excess loan value as if it were equity value to the asset limit described in this section $15,000. If the assistance unit owns more than one licensed vehicle, the county agency shall determine the vehicle with the highest loan value and count only the loan value over $7,500, the loan value of all additional vehicles and exclude the combined loan value of less than or equal to $7,500. The county agency shall apply any excess loan value as if it were equity value to the asset limit described in this section, excluding: (i) the value of one vehicle per physically disabled person when the vehicle is needed to transport the disabled unit member; this exclusion does not apply to mentally disabled people; (ii) the value of special equipment for a disabled member of the assistance unit; and (iii) any vehicle used for long-distance travel, other than daily commuting, for the employment of a unit member.

The county agency shall count the loan value of all other vehicles and apply this amount as if it were equity value to the asset limit described in this section. To establish the loan value of vehicles, a county agency must use the N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide, Midwest Edition, for newer model cars. When a vehicle is not listed in the guidebook, or when the applicant or participant disputes the loan value listed in the guidebook as unreasonable given the condition of the particular vehicle, the county agency may require the applicant or participant document the loan value by securing a written statement from a motor vehicle dealer licensed under section 168.27, stating the amount that the dealer would pay to purchase the vehicle. The county agency shall reimburse the applicant or participant for the cost of a written statement that documents a lower loan value;

(2) the value of life insurance policies for members of the assistance unit;

(3) one burial plot per member of an assistance unit;

(4) the value of personal property needed to produce earned income, including tools, implements, farm animals, inventory, business loans, business checking and savings accounts used at least annually and used exclusively for the operation of a self-employment business, and any motor vehicles if at least 50 percent of the vehicle's use is to produce income and if the vehicles are essential for the self-employment business;

(5) the value of personal property not otherwise specified which is commonly used by household members in day-to-day living such as clothing, necessary household furniture, equipment, and other basic maintenance items essential for daily living;

(6) the value of real and personal property owned by a recipient of Supplemental Security Income or Minnesota supplemental aid;

(7) the value of corrective payments, but only for the month in which the payment is received and for the following month;

(8) a mobile home or other vehicle used by an applicant or participant as the applicant's or participant's home;

(9) money in a separate escrow account that is needed to pay real estate taxes or insurance and that is used for this purpose;

(10) money held in escrow to cover employee FICA, employee tax withholding, sales tax withholding, employee worker compensation, business insurance, property rental, property taxes, and other costs that are paid at least annually, but less often than monthly;

(11) monthly assistance payments for the current month's or short-term emergency needs under section 256J.626, subdivision 2;

(12) the value of school loans, grants, or scholarships for the period they are intended to cover;

(13) payments listed in section 256J.21, subdivision 2, clause (9), which are held in escrow for a period not to exceed three months to replace or repair personal or real property;

(14) income received in a budget month through the end of the payment month;

(15) savings from earned income of a minor child or a minor parent that are set aside in a separate account designated specifically for future education or employment costs;

(16) the federal earned income credit, Minnesota working family credit, state and federal income tax refunds, state homeowners and renters credits under chapter 290A, property tax rebates and other federal or state tax rebates in the month received and the following month;

(17) payments excluded under federal law as long as those payments are held in a separate account from any nonexcluded funds;

(18) the assets of children ineligible to receive MFIP benefits because foster care or adoption assistance payments are made on their behalf; and

(19) the assets of persons whose income is excluded under section 256J.21, subdivision 2, clause (43).

Sec. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.21, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Income exclusions.

The following must be excluded in determining a family's available income:

(1) payments for basic care, difficulty of care, and clothing allowances received for providing family foster care to children or adults under Minnesota Rules, parts 9555.5050 to 9555.6265, 9560.0521, and 9560.0650 to 9560.0655, and payments received and used for care and maintenance of a third-party beneficiary who is not a household member;

(2) reimbursements for employment training received through the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, United States Code, title 20, chapter 73, section 9201;

(3) reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred while performing volunteer services, jury duty, employment, or informal carpooling arrangements directly related to employment;

(4) all educational assistance, except the county agency must count graduate student teaching assistantships, fellowships, and other similar paid work as earned income and, after allowing deductions for any unmet and necessary educational expenses, shall count scholarships or grants awarded to graduate students that do not require teaching or research as unearned income;

(5) loans, regardless of purpose, from public or private lending institutions, governmental lending institutions, or governmental agencies;

(6) loans from private individuals, regardless of purpose, provided an applicant or participant documents that the lender expects repayment;

(7)(i) state income tax refunds; and

(ii) federal income tax refunds;

(8)(i) federal earned income credits;

(ii) Minnesota working family credits;

(iii) state homeowners and renters credits under chapter 290A; and

(iv) federal or state tax rebates;

(9) funds received for reimbursement, replacement, or rebate of personal or real property when these payments are made by public agencies, awarded by a court, solicited through public appeal, or made as a grant by a federal agency, state or local government, or disaster assistance organizations, subsequent to a presidential declaration of disaster;

(10) the portion of an insurance settlement that is used to pay medical, funeral, and burial expenses, or to repair or replace insured property;

(11) reimbursements for medical expenses that cannot be paid by medical assistance;

(12) payments by a vocational rehabilitation program administered by the state under chapter 268A, except those payments that are for current living expenses;

(13) in-kind income, including any payments directly made by a third party to a provider of goods and services;

(14) assistance payments to correct underpayments, but only for the month in which the payment is received;

(15) payments for short-term emergency needs under section 256J.626, subdivision 2;

(16) funeral and cemetery payments as provided by section 256.935;

(17) nonrecurring cash gifts of $30 or less, not exceeding $30 per participant in a calendar month;

(18) any form of energy assistance payment made through Public Law 97-35, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, payments made directly to energy providers by other public and private agencies, and any form of credit or rebate payment issued by energy providers;

(19) Supplemental Security Income (SSI), including retroactive SSI payments and other income of an SSI recipient, except as described in section 256J.37, subdivision 3b;

(20) Minnesota supplemental aid, including retroactive payments;

(21) proceeds from the sale of real or personal property;

(22) state adoption assistance payments under section 259.67, and up to an equal amount of county adoption assistance payments;

(23) state-funded family subsidy program payments made under section 252.32 to help families care for children with developmental disabilities, consumer support grant funds under section 256.476, and resources and services for a disabled household member under one of the home and community-based waiver services programs under chapter 256B;

(24) interest payments and dividends from property that is not excluded from and that does not exceed the asset limit;

(25) rent rebates;

(26) income earned by a minor caregiver, minor child through age 6, or a minor child who is at least a half-time student in an approved elementary or secondary education program;

(27) income earned by a caregiver under age 20 who is at least a half-time student in an approved elementary or secondary education program;

(28) MFIP child care payments under section 119B.05;

(29) all other payments made through MFIP to support a caregiver's pursuit of greater economic stability;

(30) income a participant receives related to shared living expenses;

(31) reverse mortgages;

(32) benefits provided by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, United States Code, title 42, chapter 13A, sections 1771 to 1790;

(33) benefits provided by the women, infants, and children (WIC) nutrition program, United States Code, title 42, chapter 13A, section 1786;

(34) benefits from the National School Lunch Act, United States Code, title 42, chapter 13, sections 1751 to 1769e;

(35) relocation assistance for displaced persons under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, United States Code, title 42, chapter 61, subchapter II, section 4636, or the National Housing Act, United States Code, title 12, chapter 13, sections 1701 to 1750jj;

(36) benefits from the Trade Act of 1974, United States Code, title 19, chapter 12, part 2, sections 2271 to 2322;

(37) war reparations payments to Japanese Americans and Aleuts under United States Code, title 50, sections 1989 to 1989d;

(38) payments to veterans or their dependents as a result of legal settlements regarding Agent Orange or other chemical exposure under Public Law 101-239, section 10405, paragraph (a)(2)(E);

(39) income that is otherwise specifically excluded from MFIP consideration in federal law, state law, or federal regulation;

(40) security and utility deposit refunds;

(41) American Indian tribal land settlements excluded under Public Laws 98-123, 98-124, and 99-377 to the Mississippi Band Chippewa Indians of White Earth, Leech Lake, and Mille Lacs reservations and payments to members of the White Earth Band, under United States Code, title 25, chapter 9, section 331, and chapter 16, section 1407;

(42) all income of the minor parent's parents and stepparents when determining the grant for the minor parent in households that include a minor parent living with parents or stepparents on MFIP with other children;

(43) income of the minor parent's parents and stepparents equal to 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline for a family size not including the minor parent and the minor parent's child in households that include a minor parent living with parents or stepparents not on MFIP when determining the grant for the minor parent. The remainder of income is deemed as specified in section 256J.37, subdivision 1b;

(44) payments made to children eligible for relative custody assistance under section 257.85;

(45) vendor payments for goods and services made on behalf of a client unless the client has the option of receiving the payment in cash; and

(46) the principal portion of a contract for deed payment.; and

(47) cash payments to individuals enrolled for full-time service as a volunteer under AmeriCorps programs including AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps National, and AmeriCorps NCCC.

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.32, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

Subd. 6.

Recertification.

The county agency shall recertify eligibility in an annual face-to-face interview with the participant and verify the following:

(1) presence of the minor child in the home, if questionable;

(2) income, unless excluded, including self-employment expenses used as a deduction or deposits or withdrawals from business accounts;

(3) assets when the value is within $200 of the asset limit;

(4) information to establish an exception under section 256J.24, subdivision 9, if questionable; and

(5) inconsistent information, if related to eligibility; and

(6) whether a single caregiver household meets requirements in section 256J.575, subdivision 3.

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.42, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Time limit.

(a) Except as otherwise provided for in this section, an assistance unit in which any adult caregiver has received 60 months of cash assistance funded in whole or in part by the TANF block grant in this or any other state or United States territory, or from a tribal TANF program, MFIP, the AFDC program formerly codified in sections 256.72 to 256.87, or the family general assistance program formerly codified in sections 256D.01 to 256D.23, funded in whole or in part by state appropriations, is ineligible to receive MFIP. Any cash assistance funded with TANF dollars in this or any other state or United States territory, or from a tribal TANF program, or MFIP assistance funded in whole or in part by state appropriations, that was received by the unit on or after the date TANF was implemented, including any assistance received in states or United States territories of prior residence, counts toward the 60-month limitation. Months during which any cash assistance is received by an assistance unit with a mandatory member who is disqualified for wrongfully obtaining public assistance under section 256.98, subdivision 8, counts toward the time limit for the disqualified member. The 60-month limit applies to a minor caregiver except under subdivision 5. The 60-month time period does not need to be consecutive months for this provision to apply.

(b) The months before July 1998 in which individuals received assistance as part of the field trials as an MFIP, MFIP-R, or MFIP or MFIP-R comparison group family are not included in the 60-month time limit.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective October 1, 2007.

Sec. 31.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.46, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 3.

Restrictions on sanctions.

A participant shall not be sanctioned for failure to meet the agreed upon hours in a participant's employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 2, when the participant fails to meet the agreed upon hours of participation in paid employment because the participant is not eligible for holiday pay and the participant's place of employment is closed for a holiday.

Sec. 32.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.49, subdivision 13, is amended to read:

Subd. 13.

Work activity.

"Work activity" means any activity in a participant's approved employment plan that leads to employment. For purposes of the MFIP program, this includes activities that meet the definition of work activity under the participation requirements of TANF. Work activity includes:

(1) unsubsidized employment, including work study and paid apprenticeships or internships;

(2) subsidized private sector or public sector employment, including grant diversion as specified in section 256J.69, on-the-job training as specified in section 256J.66, the self-employment investment demonstration program (SEID) as specified in section 256J.65, paid work experience, and supported work when a wage subsidy is provided;

(3) unpaid work experience, including community service, volunteer work, the community work experience program as specified in section 256J.67, unpaid apprenticeships or internships, and supported work when a wage subsidy is not provided;. Unpaid work experience is only an option if the participant has been unable to obtain or maintain paid employment in the competitive labor market, and no paid work experience programs are available to the participant. Unless a participant consents to participating in unpaid work experience, the participant's employment plan may only include unpaid work experience if including the unpaid work experience in the plan will meet the following criteria:

(i) the unpaid work experience will provide the participant specific skills or experience that cannot be obtained through other work activity options where the participant resides or is willing to reside; and

(ii) the skills or experience gained through the unpaid work experience will result in higher wages for the participant than the participant could earn without the unpaid work experience;

(4) job search including job readiness assistance, job clubs, job placement, job-related counseling, and job retention services;

(5) job readiness education, including English as a second language (ESL) or functional work literacy classes as limited by the provisions of section 256J.531, subdivision 2, general educational development (GED) course work, high school completion, and adult basic education as limited by the provisions of section 256J.531, subdivision 1;

(6) job skills training directly related to employment, including education and training that can reasonably be expected to lead to employment, as limited by the provisions of section 256J.53;

(7) providing child care services to a participant who is working in a community service program;

(8) activities included in the employment plan that is developed under section 256J.521, subdivision 3; and

(9) preemployment activities including chemical and mental health assessments, treatment, and services; learning disabilities services; child protective services; family stabilization services; or other programs designed to enhance employability.

Sec. 33.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.521, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Assessments.

(a) For purposes of MFIP employment services, assessment is a continuing process of gathering information related to employability for the purpose of identifying both participant's strengths and strategies for coping with issues that interfere with employment. The job counselor must use information from the assessment process to develop and update the employment plan under subdivision 2 or 3, as appropriate, and to determine whether the participant qualifies for a family violence waiver including an employment plan under subdivision 3, and to determine whether the participant should be referred to family stabilization services under section 256J.575.

(b) The scope of assessment must cover at least the following areas:

(1) basic information about the participant's ability to obtain and retain employment, including: a review of the participant's education level; interests, skills, and abilities; prior employment or work experience; transferable work skills; child care and transportation needs;

(2) identification of personal and family circumstances that impact the participant's ability to obtain and retain employment, including: any special needs of the children, the level of English proficiency, family violence issues, and any involvement with social services or the legal system;

(3) the results of a mental and chemical health screening tool designed by the commissioner and results of the brief screening tool for special learning needs. Screening tools for mental and chemical health and special learning needs must be approved by the commissioner and may only be administered by job counselors or county staff trained in using such screening tools. The commissioner shall work with county agencies to develop protocols for referrals and follow-up actions after screens are administered to participants, including guidance on how employment plans may be modified based upon outcomes of certain screens. Participants must be told of the purpose of the screens and how the information will be used to assist the participant in identifying and overcoming barriers to employment. Screening for mental and chemical health and special learning needs must be completed by participants who are unable to find suitable employment after six weeks of job search under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), and participants who are determined to have barriers to employment under subdivision 2, paragraph (d). Failure to complete the screens will result in sanction under section 256J.46; and

(4) a comprehensive review of participation and progress for participants who have received MFIP assistance and have not worked in unsubsidized employment during the past 12 months. The purpose of the review is to determine the need for additional services and supports, including placement in subsidized employment or unpaid work experience under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, or referral to family stabilization services under section 256J.575.

(c) Information gathered during a caregiver's participation in the diversionary work program under section 256J.95 must be incorporated into the assessment process.

(d) The job counselor may require the participant to complete a professional chemical use assessment to be performed according to the rules adopted under section 254A.03, subdivision 3, including provisions in the administrative rules which recognize the cultural background of the participant, or a professional psychological assessment as a component of the assessment process, when the job counselor has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that a participant's ability to obtain and retain suitable employment is impaired by a medical condition. The job counselor may assist the participant with arranging services, including child care assistance and transportation, necessary to meet needs identified by the assessment. Data gathered as part of a professional assessment must be classified and disclosed according to the provisions in section 13.46.

Sec. 34.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.521, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Employment plan; contents.

(a) Based on the assessment under subdivision 1, the job counselor and the participant must develop an employment plan that includes participation in activities and hours that meet the requirements of section 256J.55, subdivision 1. The purpose of the employment plan is to identify for each participant the most direct path to unsubsidized employment and any subsequent steps that support long-term economic stability. The employment plan should be developed using the highest level of activity appropriate for the participant. Activities must be chosen from clauses (1) to (6), which are listed in order of preference. Notwithstanding this order of preference for activities, priority must be given for activities related to a family violence waiver when developing the employment plan. The employment plan must also list the specific steps the participant will take to obtain employment, including steps necessary for the participant to progress from one level of activity to another, and a timetable for completion of each step. Levels of activity include:

(1) unsubsidized employment;

(2) job search;

(3) subsidized employment or unpaid work experience;

(4) unsubsidized employment and job readiness education or job skills training;

(5) unsubsidized employment or unpaid work experience and activities related to a family violence waiver or preemployment needs; and

(6) activities related to a family violence waiver or preemployment needs.

(b) Participants who are determined to possess sufficient skills such that the participant is likely to succeed in obtaining unsubsidized employment must job search at least 30 hours per week for up to six weeks and accept any offer of suitable employment. The remaining hours necessary to meet the requirements of section 256J.55, subdivision 1, may be met through participation in other work activities under section 256J.49, subdivision 13. The participant's employment plan must specify, at a minimum: (1) whether the job search is supervised or unsupervised; (2) support services that will be provided; and (3) how frequently the participant must report to the job counselor. Participants who are unable to find suitable employment after six weeks must meet with the job counselor to determine whether other activities in paragraph (a) should be incorporated into the employment plan. Job search activities which are continued after six weeks must be structured and supervised.

(c) Beginning July 1, 2004, activities and hourly requirements in the employment plan may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the personal and family circumstances of participants identified under section 256J.561, subdivision 2, paragraph (d). Participants who no longer meet the provisions of section 256J.561, subdivision 2, paragraph (d), must meet with the job counselor within ten days of the determination to revise the employment plan.

(d) Participants who are determined to have barriers to obtaining or retaining employment that will not be overcome during six weeks of job search under paragraph (b) must work with the job counselor to develop an employment plan that addresses those barriers by incorporating appropriate activities from paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (6). The employment plan must include enough hours to meet the participation requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, unless a compelling reason to require fewer hours is noted in the participant's file.

(e) The job counselor and the participant must sign the employment plan to indicate agreement on the contents.

(f) Except as provided under paragraph (g), failure to develop or comply with activities in the plan, or voluntarily quitting suitable employment without good cause, will result in the imposition of a sanction under section 256J.46.

(g) When a participant fails to meet the agreed upon hours of participation in paid employment because the participant is not eligible for holiday pay and the participant's place of employment is closed for a holiday, the job counselor shall not impose a sanction or increase the hours of participation in any other activity, including paid employment, to offset the hours that were missed due to the holiday.

(f) (h) Employment plans must be reviewed at least every three months to determine whether activities and hourly requirements should be revised. The job counselor is encouraged to allow participants who are participating in at least 20 hours of work activities to also participate in education and training activities in order to meet the federal hourly participations rates.

Sec. 35.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.53, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Approval of postsecondary education or training.

(a) In order for a postsecondary education or training program to be an approved activity in an employment plan, the participant must be working in unsubsidized employment at least 20 hours per week. plan must include additional work activities if the education and training activities do not meet the minimum hours required to meet the federal work participation rate under Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, sections 261.31 and 261.35.

(b) Participants seeking approval of a postsecondary education or training plan must provide documentation that:

(1) the employment goal can only be met with the additional education or training;

(2) there are suitable employment opportunities that require the specific education or training in the area in which the participant resides or is willing to reside;

(3) the education or training will result in significantly higher wages for the participant than the participant could earn without the education or training;

(4) the participant can meet the requirements for admission into the program; and

(5) there is a reasonable expectation that the participant will complete the training program based on such factors as the participant's MFIP assessment, previous education, training, and work history; current motivation; and changes in previous circumstances.

(c) The hourly unsubsidized employment requirement does not apply for intensive education or training programs lasting 12 weeks or less when full-time attendance is required.

(d) Participants with an approved employment plan in place on July 1, 2003, which includes more than 12 months of postsecondary education or training shall be allowed to complete that plan provided that hourly requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, and conditions specified in paragraph (b), and subdivisions 3 and 5 are met. A participant whose case is subsequently closed for three months or less for reasons other than noncompliance with program requirements and who returns to MFIP shall be allowed to complete that plan provided that hourly requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, and conditions specified in paragraph (b) and subdivisions 3 and 5 are met.

Sec. 36.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.55, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Participation requirements.

(a) All caregivers must participate in employment services under sections 256J.515 to 256J.57 concurrent with receipt of MFIP assistance.

(b) Until July 1, 2004, participants who meet the requirements of section 256J.56 are exempt from participation requirements.

(c) Participants under paragraph (a) must develop and comply with an employment plan under section 256J.521 or section 256J.54 in the case of a participant under the age of 20 who has not obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.

(d) With the exception of participants under the age of 20 who must meet the education requirements of section 256J.54, all participants must meet the hourly participation requirements of TANF or the hourly requirements listed in clauses (1) to (3), whichever is higher.

(1) In single-parent families with no children under six years of age, the job counselor and the caregiver must develop an employment plan that includes 30 to 35 hours per week of work activities 130 hours per month of work activities.

(2) In single-parent families with a child under six years of age, the job counselor and the caregiver must develop an employment plan that includes 20 to 35 hours per week of work activities 87 hours per month of work activities.

(3) In two-parent families, the job counselor and the caregivers must develop employment plans which result in a combined total of at least 55 hours per week of work activities.

(e) Failure to participate in employment services, including the requirement to develop and comply with an employment plan, including hourly requirements, without good cause under section 256J.57, shall result in the imposition of a sanction under section 256J.46.

Sec. 37.

[256J.575] FAMILY STABILIZATION SERVICES.

Subdivision 1.

Purpose.

(a) The family stabilization services serve families who are not making significant progress within the Minnesota family investment program (MFIP) due to a variety of barriers to employment.

(b) The goal of the services is to stabilize and improve the lives of families at risk of long-term welfare dependency or family instability due to employment barriers such as physical disability, mental disability, age, or providing care for a disabled household member. These services promote and support families to achieve the greatest possible degree of self-sufficiency.

Subd. 2.

Definitions.

The terms used in this section have the meanings given them in paragraphs (a) to (d).

(a) "Case manager" means the county-designated staff person or employment services counselor.

(b) "Case management" means the services provided by or through the county agency or through the employment services agency to participating families, including assessment, information, referrals, and assistance in the preparation and implementation of a family stabilization plan under subdivision 5.

(c) "Family stabilization plan" means a plan developed by a case manager and the participant, which identifies the participant's most appropriate path to unsubsidized employment, family stability, and barrier reduction, taking into account the family's circumstances.

(d) "Family stabilization services" means programs, activities, and services in this section that provide participants and their family members with assistance regarding, but not limited to:

(1) obtaining and retaining unsubsidized employment;

(2) family stability;

(3) economic stability; and

(4) barrier reduction.

The goal of the services is to achieve the greatest degree of economic self-sufficiency and family well-being possible for the family under the circumstances.

Subd. 3.

Eligibility.

(a) The following MFIP or diversionary work program (DWP) participants are eligible for the services under this section:

(1) a participant who meets the requirements for or has been granted a hardship extension under section 256J.425, subdivision 2 or 3, except that it is not necessary for the participant to have reached or be approaching 60 months of eligibility for this section to apply;

(2) a participant who is applying for supplemental security income or Social Security disability insurance; and

(3) a participant who is a noncitizen who has been in the United States for 12 or fewer months.

(b) Families must meet all other eligibility requirements for MFIP established in this chapter. Families are eligible for financial assistance to the same extent as if they were participating in MFIP.

(c) A participant under paragraph (a), clause (3), must be provided with English as a second language opportunities and skills training for up to 12 months. After 12 months, the case manager and participant must determine whether the participant should continue with English as a second language classes or skills training, or both, and continue to receive family stabilization services.

Subd. 4.

Universal participation.

All caregivers must participate in family stabilization services as defined in subdivision 2.

Subd. 5.

Case management; family stabilization plans; coordinated services.

(a) The county agency or employment services provider shall provide family stabilization services to families through a case management model. A case manager shall be assigned to each participating family within 30 days after the family is determined to be eligible for family stabilization services. The case manager, with the full involvement of the participant, shall recommend, and the county agency shall establish and modify as necessary, a family stabilization plan for each participating family. If a participant is already assigned to a county case manager or a county-designated case manager in social services, disability services, or housing services that case manager already assigned may be the case manager for purposes of these services.

(b) The family stabilization plan must include:

(1) each participant's plan for long-term self-sufficiency, including an employment goal where applicable;

(2) an assessment of each participant's strengths and barriers, and any special circumstances of the participant's family that impact, or are likely to impact, the participant's progress towards the goals in the plan; and

(3) an identification of the services, supports, education, training, and accommodations needed to reduce or overcome any barriers to enable the family to achieve self-sufficiency and to fulfill each caregiver's personal and family responsibilities.

(c) The case manager and the participant shall meet within 30 days of the family's referral to the case manager. The initial family stabilization plan must be completed within 30 days of the first meeting with the case manager. The case manager shall establish a schedule for periodic review of the family stabilization plan that includes personal contact with the participant at least once per month. In addition, the case manager shall review and, if necessary, modify the plan under the following circumstances:

(1) there is a lack of satisfactory progress in achieving the goals of the plan;

(2) the participant has lost unsubsidized or subsidized employment;

(3) a family member has failed or is unable to comply with a family stabilization plan requirement;

(4) services, supports, or other activities required by the plan are unavailable;

(5) changes to the plan are needed to promote the well-being of the children; or

(6) the participant and case manager determine that the plan is no longer appropriate for any other reason.

Subd. 6.

Cooperation with services requirements.

(a) To be eligible, a participant shall comply with paragraphs (b) to (d).

(b) Participants shall engage in family stabilization plan services for the appropriate number of hours per week that the activities are scheduled and available, unless good cause exists for not doing so, as defined in section 256J.57, subdivision 1. The appropriate number of hours must be based on the participant's plan.

(c) The case manager shall review the participant's progress toward the goals in the family stabilization plan every six months to determine whether conditions have changed, including whether revisions to the plan are needed.

(d) A participant's requirement to comply with any or all family stabilization plan requirements under this subdivision is excused when the case management services, training and educational services, or family support services identified in the participant's family stabilization plan are unavailable for reasons beyond the control of the participant, including when money appropriated is not sufficient to provide the services.

Subd. 7.

Sanctions.

(a) The financial assistance grant of a participating family is reduced according to section 256J.46, if a participating adult fails without good cause to comply or continue to comply with the family stabilization plan requirements in this subdivision, unless compliance has been excused under subdivision 6, paragraph (e).

(b) Given the purpose of the family stabilization services in this section and the nature of the underlying family circumstances that act as barriers to both employment and full compliance with program requirements, there must be a review by the county agency prior to imposing a sanction to determine whether the plan was appropriated to the needs of the participant and family, and that the participant in all ways had the ability to comply with the plan, as confirmed by a behavioral health or medical professional.

(c) Prior to the imposition of a sanction, the county agency or employment services provider shall review the participant's case to determine if the family stabilization plan is still appropriate and meet with the participant face-to-face. The participant may bring an advocate to the face-to-face meeting.

During the face-to-face meeting, the county agency shall:

(1) determine whether the continued noncompliance can be explained and mitigated by providing a needed family stabilization service, as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (d);

(2) determine whether the participant qualifies for a good cause exception under section 256J.57, or if the sanction is for noncooperation with child support requirements, determine if the participant qualifies for a good cause exemption under section 256.741, subdivision 10;

(3) determine whether activities in the family stabilization plan are appropriate based on the family's circumstances;

(4) explain the consequences of continuing noncompliance;

(5) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the needs of the family; and

(6) inform the participant of the right to appeal under section 256J.40.

If the lack of an identified activity or service can explain the noncompliance, the county shall work with the participant to provide the identified activity.

(d) If the participant fails to come to the face-to-face meeting, the case manager or a designee shall attempt at least one home visit. If a face-to-face meeting is not conducted, the county agency shall send the participant a written notice that includes the information under paragraph (c).

(e) After the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) are met and prior to imposition of a sanction, the county agency shall provide a notice of intent to sanction under section 256J.57, subdivision 2, and, when applicable, a notice of adverse action under section 256J.31.

(f) Section 256J.57 applies to this section except to the extent that it is modified by this subdivision.

Subd. 8.

Funding.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall treat MFIP expenditures made to or on behalf of any minor child under this section, who is part of a household that meets criteria in subdivision 3, as expenditures under a separately funded state program. These expenditures shall not count toward the state's maintenance of effort requirements under the federal TANF program.

(b) A family is no longer part of a separately funded program under this section if the caregiver no longer meets the criteria for family stabilization services in subdivision 3, or if it is determined at recertification that a caregiver with a child under the age of six is working at least 87 hours per month in paid or unpaid employment, or a caregiver without a child under the age of six is working at least 130 hours per month in paid or unpaid employment, whichever occurs sooner.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective February 1, 2008.

Sec. 38.

[256J.621] WORK PARTICIPATION BONUS.

(a) Upon exiting the diversionary work program (DWP) or upon terminating MFIP cash assistance with earnings, a participant who is employed may be eligible for transitional assistance of $75 per month to assist in meeting the family's basic needs as the participant continues to move toward self-sufficiency.

(b) To be eligible for a transitional assistance payment, the participant shall not receive MFIP cash assistance or diversionary work program assistance during the month and the participant or participants must meet the following work requirements:

(1) if the participant is a single caregiver and has a child under six years of age, the participant must be employed at least 87 hours per month;

(2) if the participant is a single caregiver and does not have a child under six years of age, the participant must be employed at least 130 hours per month; or

(3) if the household is a two-parent family, at least one of the parents must be employed an average of at least 130 hours per month.

Whenever a participant exits the diversionary work program or is terminated from MFIP cash assistance and meets the other criteria in this section, transitional assistance is available for up to 24 consecutive months.

(c) Expenditures on the program are maintenance of effort state funds for participants under paragraph (b), clauses (1) and (2). Expenditures for participants under paragraph (b), clause (3), are nonmaintenance of effort funds. Months in which a participant receives transitional assistance under this section do not count toward the participant's MFIP 60-month time limit.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective February 1, 2009.

Sec. 39.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.626, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Consolidated fund.

The consolidated fund is established to support counties and tribes in meeting their duties under this chapter. Counties and tribes must use funds from the consolidated fund to develop programs and services that are designed to improve participant outcomes as measured in section 256J.751, subdivision 2. Counties may use the funds for any allowable expenditures under subdivision 2, including case management. Tribes may use the funds for any allowable expenditures under subdivision 2, including case management, except those in subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clauses (1) and (6).

Sec. 40.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.626, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Allowable expenditures.

(a) The commissioner must restrict expenditures under the consolidated fund to benefits and services allowed under title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act. Allowable expenditures under the consolidated fund may include, but are not limited to:

(1) short-term, nonrecurring shelter and utility needs that are excluded from the definition of assistance under Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 260.31, for families who meet the residency requirement in section 256J.12, subdivisions 1 and 1a. Payments under this subdivision are not considered TANF cash assistance and are not counted towards the 60-month time limit;

(2) transportation needed to obtain or retain employment or to participate in other approved work activities or activities under a family stabilization plan;

(3) direct and administrative costs of staff to deliver employment services for MFIP or, the diversionary work program, or family stabilization services; to administer financial assistance,; and to provide specialized services intended to assist hard-to-employ participants to transition to work or transition from family stabilization services to MFIP;

(4) costs of education and training including functional work literacy and English as a second language;

(5) cost of work supports including tools, clothing, boots, telephone service, and other work-related expenses;

(6) county administrative expenses as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 260(b);

(7) services to parenting and pregnant teens;

(8) supported work;

(9) wage subsidies;

(10) child care needed for MFIP or, the diversionary work program, or family stabilization services participants to participate in social services;

(11) child care to ensure that families leaving MFIP or diversionary work program will continue to receive child care assistance from the time the family no longer qualifies for transition year child care until an opening occurs under the basic sliding fee child care program; and

(12) services to help noncustodial parents who live in Minnesota and have minor children receiving MFIP or DWP assistance, but do not live in the same household as the child, obtain or retain employment; and

(13) services to help families participating in family stabilization services achieve the greatest possible degree of self-sufficiency.

(b) Administrative costs that are not matched with county funds as provided in subdivision 8 may not exceed 7.5 percent of a county's or 15 percent of a tribe's allocation under this section. The commissioner shall define administrative costs for purposes of this subdivision.

(c) The commissioner may waive the cap on administrative costs for a county or tribe that elects to provide an approved supported employment, unpaid work, or community work experience program for a major segment of the county's or tribe's MFIP population. The county or tribe must apply for the waiver on forms provided by the commissioner. In no case shall total administrative costs exceed the TANF limits.

Sec. 41.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.626, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Eligibility for services.

Families with a minor child, a pregnant woman, or a noncustodial parent of a minor child receiving assistance, with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline for a family of the applicable size, are eligible for services funded under the consolidated fund. Counties and tribes must give priority to families currently receiving MFIP or, the diversionary work program, or family stabilization services, and families at risk of receiving MFIP or diversionary work program.

Sec. 42.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.626, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

County and tribal biennial service agreements.

(a) Effective January 1, 2004, and each two-year period thereafter, each county and tribe must have in place an approved biennial service agreement related to the services and programs in this chapter. In counties with a city of the first class with a population over 300,000, the county must consider a service agreement that includes a jointly developed plan for the delivery of employment services with the city. Counties may collaborate to develop multicounty, multitribal, or regional service agreements.

(b) The service agreements will be completed in a form prescribed by the commissioner. The agreement must include:

(1) a statement of the needs of the service population and strengths and resources in the community;

(2) numerical goals for participant outcomes measures to be accomplished during the biennial period. The commissioner may identify outcomes from section 256J.751, subdivision 2, as core outcomes for all counties and tribes;

(3) strategies the county or tribe will pursue to achieve the outcome targets. Strategies must include specification of how funds under this section will be used and may include community partnerships that will be established or strengthened; and

(4) strategies the county or tribe will pursue under family stabilization services; and

(5) other items prescribed by the commissioner in consultation with counties and tribes.

(c) The commissioner shall provide each county and tribe with information needed to complete an agreement, including: (1) information on MFIP cases in the county or tribe; (2) comparisons with the rest of the state; (3) baseline performance on outcome measures; and (4) promising program practices.

(d) The service agreement must be submitted to the commissioner by October 15, 2003, and October 15 of each second year thereafter. The county or tribe must allow a period of not less than 30 days prior to the submission of the agreement to solicit comments from the public on the contents of the agreement.

(e) The commissioner must, within 60 days of receiving each county or tribal service agreement, inform the county or tribe if the service agreement is approved. If the service agreement is not approved, the commissioner must inform the county or tribe of any revisions needed prior to approval.

(f) The service agreement in this subdivision supersedes the plan requirements of section 116L.88.

Sec. 43.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.626, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Innovation projects.

Beginning January 1, 2005, no more than $3,000,000 of the funds annually appropriated to the commissioner for use in the consolidated fund shall be available to the commissioner for projects testing innovative approaches to improving outcomes for MFIP participants, family stabilization services participants, and persons at risk of receiving MFIP as detailed in subdivision 3. Projects shall be targeted to geographic areas with poor outcomes as specified in section 256J.751, subdivision 5, or to subgroups within the MFIP case load who are experiencing poor outcomes.

Sec. 44.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.626, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

Subd. 6.

Base allocation to counties and tribes; definitions.

(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.

(1) "2002 historic spending base" means the commissioner's determination of the sum of the reimbursement related to fiscal year 2002 of county or tribal agency expenditures for the base programs listed in clause (6), items (i) through (iv), and earnings related to calendar year 2002 in the base program listed in clause (6), item (v), and the amount of spending in fiscal year 2002 in the base program listed in clause (6), item (vi), issued to or on behalf of persons residing in the county or tribal service delivery area.

(2) "Adjusted caseload factor" means a factor weighted:

(i) 47 percent on the MFIP cases in each county at four points in time in the most recent 12-month period for which data is available multiplied by the county's caseload difficulty factor; and

(ii) 53 percent on the count of adults on MFIP in each county and tribe at four points in time in the most recent 12-month period for which data is available multiplied by the county or tribe's caseload difficulty factor.

(3) "Caseload difficulty factor" means a factor determined by the commissioner for each county and tribe based upon the self-support index described in section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7) (6).

(4) "Initial allocation" means the amount potentially available to each county or tribe based on the formula in paragraphs (b) through (h) (d).

(5) "Final allocation" means the amount available to each county or tribe based on the formula in paragraphs (b) through (h) (d), after adjustment by subdivision 7.

(6) "Base programs" means the:

(i) MFIP employment and training services under Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 256J.62, subdivision 1, in effect June 30, 2002;

(ii) bilingual employment and training services to refugees under Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 256J.62, subdivision 6, in effect June 30, 2002;

(iii) work literacy language programs under Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 256J.62, subdivision 7, in effect June 30, 2002;

(iv) supported work program authorized in Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 9, article 17, section 2, in effect June 30, 2002;

(v) administrative aid program under section 256J.76 in effect December 31, 2002; and

(vi) emergency assistance program under Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 256J.48, in effect June 30, 2002.

(b) The commissioner shall:

(1) beginning July 1, 2003, determine the initial allocation of funds available under this section according to clause (2);

(2) allocate all of the funds available for the period beginning July 1, 2003, and ending December 31, 2004, to each county or tribe in proportion to the county's or tribe's share of the statewide 2002 historic spending base;

(3) determine for calendar year 2005 the initial allocation of funds to be made available under this section in proportion to the county or tribe's initial allocation for the period of July 1, 2003, to December 31, 2004;

(4) determine for calendar year 2006 the initial allocation of funds to be made available under this section based 90 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the statewide 2002 historic spending base and ten percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the adjusted caseload factor;

(5) determine for calendar year 2007 the initial allocation of funds to be made available under this section based 70 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the statewide 2002 historic spending base and 30 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the adjusted caseload factor; and

(6) determine for calendar year 2008 and subsequent years the initial allocation of funds to be made available under this section based 50 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the statewide 2002 historic spending base and 50 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the adjusted caseload factor.

(c) With the commencement of a new or expanded tribal TANF program or an agreement under section 256.01, subdivision 2, paragraph (g), in which some or all of the responsibilities of particular counties under this section are transferred to a tribe, the commissioner shall:

(1) in the case where all responsibilities under this section are transferred to a tribal program, determine the percentage of the county's current caseload that is transferring to a tribal program and adjust the affected county's allocation accordingly; and

(2) in the case where a portion of the responsibilities under this section are transferred to a tribal program, the commissioner shall consult with the affected county or counties to determine an appropriate adjustment to the allocation.

(d) Effective January 1, 2005, counties and tribes will have their final allocations adjusted based on the performance provisions of subdivision 7.

Sec. 45.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.626, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Performance base funds.

(a) Beginning calendar year 2005 2008, each county and tribe will be allocated 95 percent of their initial calendar year allocation. Counties and tribes will be allocated additional funds based on performance as follows:

(1) for calendar year 2005, a county or tribe that achieves a 30 percent rate or higher on the MFIP participation rate under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (8), as averaged across the four quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and

(2) for calendar year 2006, a county or tribe that achieves a 40 percent rate or a five percentage point improvement over the previous year's MFIP participation rate under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (8), as averaged across the four quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and

(3) for calendar year 2007, a county or tribe that achieves a 50 percent rate or a five percentage point improvement over the previous year's MFIP participation rate under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (8), as averaged across the four quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and

(4) for calendar year 2008 and yearly thereafter, a county or tribe that achieves a 50 percent MFIP participation rate or a five percentage point improvement over the previous year's MFIP participation rate under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (8) (7), as averaged across the four quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and

(5) (2) for calendar years 2005 and thereafter, a county or tribe that performs above the top of its annualized range of expected performance on the three-year self-support index under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7) (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to five percent of its initial allocation; or and

(6) (3) for calendar years 2005 and thereafter, a county or tribe that performs within its range of expected performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7) (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and

(4) for calendar years 2008 and thereafter, a county or tribe that does not achieve a 50 percent MFIP participation rate or a five percentage point improvement over the previous year's MFIP participation rate under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7), as averaged across the four quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will not receive an additional 2.5 percent of its initial allocation until after negotiating a multiyear improvement plan with the commissioner; or

(5) for calendar years 2008 and thereafter, a county or tribe that does not perform within its range of expected performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (6), will not receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation until after negotiating a multiyear improvement plan with the commissioner.

(b) Performance-based funds for a federally approved tribal TANF program in which the state and tribe have in place a contract under section 256.01, addressing consolidated funding, will be allocated as follows:

(1) for calendar year 2006 and yearly thereafter, a tribe that achieves the participation rate approved in its federal TANF plan using the average of four quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and

(2) for calendar years 2006 and thereafter, a tribe that performs above the top of its annualized range of expected performance on the three-year self-support index under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7) (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to five percent of its initial allocation; or

(3) for calendar years 2006 and thereafter, a tribe that performs within its range of expected performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7) (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; or

(4) for calendar year 2008 and yearly thereafter, a tribe that does not achieve the participation rate approved in its federal TANF plan using the average of four quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will not receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation until after negotiating a multiyear improvement plan with the commissioner; or

(5) for calendar year 2008 and yearly thereafter, a tribe that does not perform within its range of expected performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (6), will not receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent until after negotiating a multiyear improvement plan with the commissioner.

(c) Funds remaining unallocated after the performance-based allocations in paragraph (a) are available to the commissioner for innovation projects under subdivision 5.

(d)(1) If available funds are insufficient to meet county and tribal allocations under paragraph (a), the commissioner may make available for allocation funds that are unobligated and available from the innovation projects through the end of the current biennium.

(2) If after the application of clause (1) funds remain insufficient to meet county and tribal allocations under paragraph (a), the commissioner must proportionally reduce the allocation of each county and tribe with respect to their maximum allocation available under paragraph (a).

Sec. 46.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.751, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Quarterly comparison report.

The commissioner shall report quarterly to all counties on each county's performance on the following measures:

(1) percent of MFIP caseload working in paid employment;

(2) percent of MFIP caseload receiving only the food portion of assistance;

(3) number of MFIP cases that have left assistance;

(4) median placement wage rate;

(5) caseload by months of TANF assistance;

(6) percent of MFIP and diversionary work program (DWP) cases off cash assistance or working 30 or more hours per week at one-year, two-year, and three-year follow-up points from a baseline quarter. This measure is called the self-support index. The commissioner shall report quarterly an expected range of performance for each county, county grouping, and tribe on the self-support index. The expected range shall be derived by a statistical methodology developed by the commissioner in consultation with the counties and tribes. The statistical methodology shall control differences across counties in economic conditions and demographics of the MFIP and DWP case load; and

(7) the MFIP TANF work participation rate, defined as the participation requirements specified in title 1 of Public Law 104-193 applied to all MFIP cases except child only cases under Public Law 109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

Sec. 47.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.751, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Failure to meet federal performance standards.

(a) If sanctions occur for failure to meet the performance standards specified in title 1 of Public Law 104-193 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, and under Public Law 109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the state shall pay 88 percent of the sanction. The remaining 12 percent of the sanction will be paid by the counties. The county portion of the sanction will be distributed across all counties in proportion to each county's percentage of the MFIP average monthly caseload during the period for which the sanction was applied.

(b) If a county fails to meet the performance standards specified in title 1 of Public Law 104-193 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, and Public Law 109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, for any year, the commissioner shall work with counties to organize a joint state-county technical assistance team to work with the county. The commissioner shall coordinate any technical assistance with other departments and agencies including the Departments of Employment and Economic Development and Education as necessary to achieve the purpose of this paragraph.

(c) For state performance measures, a low-performing county is one that:

(1) performs below the bottom of their expected range for the measure in subdivision 2, clause (7) (6), in an annualized measurement reported in October of each year; or

(2) performs below 40 percent for the measure in subdivision 2, clause (8) (7), as averaged across the four quarterly measurements for the year, or the ten counties with the lowest rates if more than ten are below 40 percent.

(d) Low-performing counties under paragraph (c) must engage in corrective action planning as defined by the commissioner. The commissioner may coordinate technical assistance as specified in paragraph (b) for low-performing counties under paragraph (c).

Sec. 48.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.95, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Eligibility for diversionary work program.

(a) Except for the categories of family units listed below, all family units who apply for cash benefits and who meet MFIP eligibility as required in sections 256J.11 to 256J.15 are eligible and must participate in the diversionary work program. Family units that are not eligible for the diversionary work program include:

(1) child only cases;

(2) a single-parent family unit that includes a child under 12 weeks of age. A parent is eligible for this exception once in a parent's lifetime and is not eligible if the parent has already used the previously allowed child under age one exemption from MFIP employment services;

(3) a minor parent without a high school diploma or its equivalent;

(4) an 18- or 19-year-old caregiver without a high school diploma or its equivalent who chooses to have an employment plan with an education option;

(5) a caregiver age 60 or over;

(6) family units with a caregiver who received DWP benefits in the 12 months prior to the month the family applied for DWP, except as provided in paragraph (c);

(7) family units with a caregiver who received MFIP within the 12 months prior to the month the family unit applied for DWP;

(8) a family unit with a caregiver who received 60 or more months of TANF assistance; and

(9) a family unit with a caregiver who is disqualified from DWP or MFIP due to fraud.; and

(10) refugees as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, chapter IV, section 444.43, who arrived in the United States in the 12 months prior to the date of application for family cash assistance.

(b) A two-parent family must participate in DWP unless both caregivers meet the criteria for an exception under paragraph (a), clauses (1) through (5), or the family unit includes a parent who meets the criteria in paragraph (a), clause (6), (7), (8), or (9).

(c) Once DWP eligibility is determined, the four months run consecutively. If a participant leaves the program for any reason and reapplies during the four-month period, the county must redetermine eligibility for DWP.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 49.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256K.45, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 6.

Funding.

Any funds appropriated for this section may be expended on programs described under subdivisions 3 to 5, technical assistance, and capacity building. Up to four percent of funds appropriated may be used for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating runaway and homeless youth programs receiving funding under this section. Funding shall be directed to meet the greatest need, with a significant share of the funding focused on homeless youth providers in greater Minnesota.

Sec. 50.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.67, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Eligibility conditions.

(a) The placing agency shall use the AFDC requirements as specified in federal law as of July 16, 1996, when determining the child's eligibility for adoption assistance under title IV-E of the Social Security Act. If the child does not qualify, the placing agency shall certify a child as eligible for state funded adoption assistance only if the following criteria are met:

(1) Due to the child's characteristics or circumstances it would be difficult to provide the child an adoptive home without adoption assistance.

(2)(i) A placement agency has made reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption without adoption assistance, but has been unsuccessful; or

(ii) the child's licensed foster parents desire to adopt the child and it is determined by the placing agency that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.

(3)(i) The child has been a ward of the commissioner, a Minnesota-licensed child-placing agency, or a tribal social service agency of Minnesota recognized by the Secretary of the Interior; or (ii) the child will be adopted according to tribal law without a termination of parental rights or relinquishment, provided that the tribe has documented the valid reason why the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the child's parent. The placing agency shall not certify a child who remains under the jurisdiction of the sending agency pursuant to section 260.851, article 5, for state-funded adoption assistance when Minnesota is the receiving state.

(b) For purposes of this subdivision, the characteristics or circumstances that may be considered in determining whether a child is a child with special needs under United States Code, title 42, chapter 7, subchapter IV, part E, or meets the requirements of paragraph (a), clause (1), are the following:

(1) The child is a member of a sibling group to be placed as one unit in which at least one sibling is older than 15 months of age or is described in clause (2) or (3).

(2) The child has documented physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities.

(3) The child has a high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities.

(4) The child is adopted according to tribal law without a termination of parental rights or relinquishment, provided that the tribe has documented the valid reason why the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the child's parent.

(4) The child is five years of age or older.

(c) When a child's eligibility for adoption assistance is based upon the high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities, payments shall not be made under the adoption assistance agreement unless and until the potential disability manifests itself as documented by an appropriate health care professional.

Sec. 51.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 270B.14, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Disclosure to commissioner of human services.

(a) On the request of the commissioner of human services, the commissioner shall disclose return information regarding taxes imposed by chapter 290, and claims for refunds under chapter 290A, to the extent provided in paragraph (b) and for the purposes set forth in paragraph (c).

(b) Data that may be disclosed are limited to data relating to the identity, whereabouts, employment, income, and property of a person owing or alleged to be owing an obligation of child support.

(c) The commissioner of human services may request data only for the purposes of carrying out the child support enforcement program and to assist in the location of parents who have, or appear to have, deserted their children. Data received may be used only as set forth in section 256.978.

(d) The commissioner shall provide the records and information necessary to administer the supplemental housing allowance to the commissioner of human services.

(e) At the request of the commissioner of human services, the commissioner of revenue shall electronically match the Social Security numbers and names of participants in the telephone assistance plan operated under sections 237.69 to 237.711, with those of property tax refund filers, and determine whether each participant's household income is within the eligibility standards for the telephone assistance plan.

(f) The commissioner may provide records and information collected under sections 295.50 to 295.59 to the commissioner of human services for purposes of the Medicaid Voluntary Contribution and Provider-Specific Tax Amendments of 1991, Public Law 102-234. Upon the written agreement by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to maintain the confidentiality of the data, the commissioner may provide records and information collected under sections 295.50 to 295.59 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services section of the United States Department of Health and Human Services for purposes of meeting federal reporting requirements.

(g) The commissioner may provide records and information to the commissioner of human services as necessary to administer the early refund of refundable tax credits.

(h) The commissioner may disclose information to the commissioner of human services necessary to verify income for eligibility and premium payment under the MinnesotaCare program, under section 256L.05, subdivision 2.

(i) The commissioner may disclose information to the commissioner of human services necessary to verify whether applicants or recipients for the Minnesota family investment program, general assistance, food support, and Minnesota supplemental aid program, and child care assistance have claimed refundable tax credits under chapter 290 and the property tax refund under chapter 290A, and the amounts of the credits.

Sec. 52.

MFIP PILOT PROGRAM; WORKFORCE U.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

A pilot program is established in Stearns and Benton Counties to expand the Workforce U program administered by the Stearns-Benton Employment and Training Council.

Subd. 2.

Evaluation.

The Workforce U pilot program must be evaluated by a research and evaluation organization with experience evaluating welfare programs. The evaluation must include information on the total number of persons served, percentage of participants exiting the program, percentage of former participants reentering the program, average wages of program participants, and recommendations to the legislature for possible statewide implementation of the program. The evaluation must be presented to the legislature by February 15, 2011.

Subd. 3.

Expiration.

The Workforce U pilot program expires on June 30, 2011.

Sec. 53.

LEECH LAKE YOUTH TREATMENT CENTER PROPOSAL.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall provide a planning grant to address the unmet need for local, effective, culturally relevant alcohol and drug treatment for American Indian youth, and develop a plan for a family-based youth treatment center in the Leech Lake area. The planning grant must be provided to a volunteer board consisting of at least four members appointed by the commissioner, to include at least the following:

(1) two members of the Leech Lake Tribal Council or their designees;

(2) one member appointed by the Cass County Social Services administrator; and

(3) one member appointed by the Cass Lake-Bena Public School superintendent.

(b) The plan must include:

(1) an interest, feasibility, and suitability of location study;

(2) defining scope of programs and services to be offered;

(3) defining site use limitations and restrictions, including physical and capacity;

(4) defining facilities required for programs and services offered;

(5) identifying partners, partnership roles, and partner resources;

(6) developing proposed operating and maintenance budgets;

(7) identifying funding sources;

(8) developing a long-term funding plan; and

(9) developing a formal steering committee, structure, and bylaws.

(c) The plan is due to the legislative committees having jurisdiction over chemical health issues no later than September 2008 in order to provide the 12 months necessary to complete the plan.

Sec. 54.

MINNESOTA FOOD SUPPORT PROGRAM SIMPLIFIED APPLICATION.

The commissioner of human services shall implement a simplified application form and process for the food support program by January 1, 2008. The commissioner shall consult with counties and representatives of persons served by the program to develop the simplified application form and process. The application process shall:

(1) include a simple, short form that can be completed by individuals with limited literacy skills;

(2) include an application form for individuals without dependents;

(3) include a process that does not require individuals to take time off work for a face-to-face interview; and

(4) minimize demands on county staff in assisting applicants.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 55.

INSPECTION OF LEGAL UNLICENSED CHILD CARE PROVIDERS.

The commissioner of human services, in consultation with the commissioner of health and the counties, shall develop and present recommendations to the legislature in January 2008 in order for each legally unlicensed child care provider receiving child care assistance funds to receive a onetime home visit to receive information on health and safety, and school readiness.

Sec. 56.

COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN SERVICES DUTIES; EARLY CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL-AGE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING.

Subdivision 1.

Development and implementation of an early childhood and school-age professional development system.

(a) The commissioner of human services, in cooperation with the commissioners of education and health, shall develop and phase-in the implementation of a professional development system for practitioners serving children in early childhood and school-age programs. The system shall provide training options and supports for practitioners to voluntarily choose, as they complete or exceed existing licensing requirements.

The system must, at a minimum, include the following features:

(1) a continuum of training content based on the early childhood and school-age care practitioner core competencies that translates knowledge into improved practice to support children's school success;

(2) training strategies that provide direct feedback about practice to practitioners through ongoing consultation, mentoring, or coaching with special emphasis on early literacy and early mathematics;

(3) an approval process for trainers;

(4) a professional development registry for early childhood and school-age care practitioners that will provide tracking and recognition of practitioner training/career development progress;

(5) a career lattice that includes a range of professional development and educational opportunities that provide appropriate coursework and degree pathways;

(6) development of a plan with public higher education institutions for an articulated system of education, training, and professional development that includes credit for prior learning and development of equivalences to two- and four-year degrees;

(7) incentives and supports for early childhood and school-age care practitioners to seek additional training and education, including TEACH, other scholarships, and career guidance; and

(8) coordinated and accessible delivery of training to early childhood and school-age care practitioners.

(b) By January 1, 2008, the commissioner, in consultation with the organizations named in subdivision 2 shall develop additional opportunities in order to qualify more licensed family child care providers under section 119B.13, subdivision 3a.

(c) The commissioner of human services must evaluate the professional development system and make continuous improvements.

(d) Beginning July 1, 2007, as appropriations permit, the commissioner shall phase-in the professional development system.

Subd. 2.

Two-hour early childhood training.

By January 15, 2008, the commissioner of human services, with input from the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association and the Minnesota Professional Development Council, shall identify trainings that qualify for the two-hour early childhood development training requirement for new child care practitioners under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.14, subdivision 9a, paragraphs (a) and (b). For licensed family child care, the commissioner shall also seek the input of labor unions that serve licensed family child care providers, if the union has been recognized by a county to serve licensed family child care providers.

Sec. 57.

[119B.231] SCHOOL READINESS SERVICE AGREEMENTS.

Subdivision 1.

Overview.

(a) Effective July 1, 2007, funds must be made available to allow the commissioner to pay higher rates to up to 50 child care providers who are deemed by the commissioner to meet the requirements of a school readiness service agreement (SRSA) provider and perform services that support school readiness for children and economic stability for parents.

(b) A provider may be paid a rate above that currently allowed under Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.13, if:

(1) the provider has entered into an SRSA with the commissioner;

(2) a family using that provider receives child care assistance under any provision in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 119B, except Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.035;

(3) the family using that provider meets the criteria in this section; and

(4) funding is available under this section.

Subd. 2.

Provider eligibility.

(a) To be considered for an SRSA, a provider shall apply to the commissioner. To be eligible to apply for an SRSA, a provider shall:

(1) be eligible for child care assistance payments under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 119B;

(2) have at least 25 percent of the children enrolled with the provider subsidized through the child care assistance program;

(3) provide full-time, full-year child care services; and

(4) serve at least one child who is subsidized through the child care assistance program and who is expected to enter kindergarten within the following 30 months.

(b) The commissioner may waive the 25 percent requirement in paragraph (a), clause (2), if necessary to achieve geographic distribution of SRSA providers and diversity of types of care provided by SRSA providers.

(c) An eligible provider who would like to enter into an SRSA with the commissioner shall submit an SRSA application. To determine whether to enter into an SRSA with a provider, the commissioner shall evaluate the following factors:

(1) the qualifications of the provider and the provider's staff;

(2) the provider's staff-child ratios;

(3) the provider's curriculum;

(4) the provider's current or planned parent education activities;

(5) the provider's current or planned social service and employment linkages;

(6) the provider's child development assessment plan;

(7) the geographic distribution needed for SRSA providers;

(8) the inclusion of a variety of child care delivery models; and

(9) other related factors determined by the commissioner.

Subd. 3.

Family and child eligibility.

(a) A family eligible to choose an SRSA provider for their children shall:

(1) be eligible to receive child care assistance under any provision in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 119B, except Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.035;

(2) be in an authorized activity for an average of at least 35 hours per week when initial eligibility is determined; and

(3) include a child who has not yet entered kindergarten.

(b) A family who is determined to be eligible to choose an SRSA provider remains eligible to be paid at a higher rate through the SRSA provider when the following conditions exist:

(1) the child attends child care with the SRSA provider a minimum of 25 hours per week, on average;

(2) the family has a child who has not yet entered kindergarten; and

(3) the family maintains eligibility under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 119B, except Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.035.

(c) For the 12 months after initial eligibility has been determined, a decrease in the family's authorized activities to an average of less than 35 hours per week does not result in ineligibility for the SRSA rate.

(d) A family that moves between counties but continues to use the same SRSA provider shall continue to receive SRSA funding for the increased payments.

Subd. 4.

Requirements of providers.

An SRSA must include assessment, evaluation, and reporting requirements that promote the goals of improved school readiness and movement toward appropriate child development milestones. A provider who enters into an SRSA shall comply with the assessment, evaluation, and reporting requirements in the SRSA.

Subd. 5.

Relationship to current law.

(a) The following provisions in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 119B, must be waived or modified for families receiving services under this section.

(b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.13, subdivisions 1 and 1a, maximum weekly rates under this section are 125 percent of the existing maximum weekly rate for like-care. Providers eligible for a differential rate under Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.13, subdivision 3a, remain eligible for the differential above the rate identified in this section. Only care for children who have not yet entered kindergarten may be paid at the maximum rate under this section. The provider's charge for service provided through an SRSA may not exceed the rate that the provider charges a private-pay family for like-care arrangements.

(c) A family or child care provider may not be assessed an overpayment for care provided through an SRSA unless:

(1) there was an error in the amount of care authorized for the family; or

(2) the family or provider did not timely report a change as required under the law.

(d) Care provided through an SRSA is authorized on a weekly basis.

(e) Funds appropriated under this section to serve families eligible under Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.03, are not allocated through the basic sliding fee formula under Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.03. Funds appropriated under this section are used to offset increased costs when payments are made under SRSA's.

(f) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.09, subdivision 6, the maximum amount of child care assistance that may be authorized for a child receiving care through an SRSA in a two-week period is 160 hours per child.

Subd. 6.

Establishment of service agreements.

(a) The commissioner shall approve SRSA's for up to 50 providers that represent diverse parts of the state and a variety of child care delivery models. Entering into a service agreement does not guarantee that a provider will receive payment at a higher rate for families receiving child care assistance. A family eligible under this section shall choose a provider participating in an SRSA in order for a higher rate to be paid. Payments through SRSA's are also limited by the availability of SRSA funds.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit parent choice as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.09, subdivision 5.

(c) The commissioner may allow for startup time for some providers if failing to do so would limit geographic diversity of SRSA providers or a variety of child care delivery models.

Sec. 58.

[119B.232] FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR GRANT PROGRAM.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

A family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) grant program is established to promote children's early literacy, healthy development, and school readiness, and to foster community partnerships to promote children's school readiness. The commissioner shall attempt to ensure that grants are made in all areas of the state. The commissioner of human services shall make grants available to fund: community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes working with FFN caregivers under subdivision 2, paragraph (a); and community-based partnerships to implement early literacy programs under subdivision 2, paragraph (b).

Subd. 2.

Program components.

(a)(1) Grants that the commissioner awards under this section must be used by community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes working with FFN caregivers in local communities, cultural communities, and Indian tribes to:

(i) provide training, support, and resources to FFN caregivers in order to improve and promote children's health, safety, nutrition, and school readiness;

(ii) connect FFN caregivers and children's families with appropriate community resources that support the families' health, mental health, economic, and developmental needs;

(iii) connect FFN caregivers and children's families to early childhood screening programs and facilitate referrals where appropriate;

(iv) provide FFN caregivers and children's families with information about early learning guidelines from the Departments of Human Services and Education;

(v) provide FFN caregivers and children's families with information about becoming a licensed family child care provider; and

(vi) provide FFN caregivers and children's families with information about early learning allowances and enrollment opportunities in high quality community-based child-care and preschool programs.

(2) Grants that the commissioner awards under this paragraph also may be used for:

(i) health and safety and early learning kits for FFN caregivers;

(ii) play-and-learn groups with FFN caregivers;

(iii) culturally appropriate early childhood training for FFN caregivers;

(iv) transportation for FFN caregivers and children's families to school readiness and other early childhood training activities;

(v) other activities that promote school readiness;

(vi) data collection and evaluation;

(vii) staff outreach and outreach activities;

(viii) translation needs; or

(ix) administrative costs that equal up to 12 percent of the recipient's grant award.

(b) Grants that the commissioner awards under this section also must be used to fund partnerships among Minnesota public and regional library systems, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes to implement early literacy programs in low-income communities, including tribal communities, to:

(1) purchase and equip early childhood read-mobiles that provide FFN caregivers and children's families with books, training, and early literacy activities;

(2) provide FFN caregivers and children's families with translations of early childhood books, training, and early literacy activities in native languages; or

(3) provide FFN caregivers and children's families with early literacy activities in local libraries.

Subd. 3.

Grant awards.

Interested entities eligible to receive a grant under this section may apply to the commissioner in the form and manner the commissioner determines. The commissioner shall awards grants to eligible entities consistent with the requirements of this section.

Subd. 4.

Evaluation.

The commissioner, in consultation with early childhood care and education experts at the University of Minnesota, must evaluate the impact of the grants under subdivision 2 on children's school readiness and submit a written report to the human services and education finance and policy committees of the legislature by February 15, 2010.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 59.

CHILD CARE PROVIDER STUDY.

If sufficient resources to support the costs are provided by one or more nongovernmental entities, the commissioner of human services is directed to study the implications of restricting the use of state subsidies in center-based child care to centers meeting state quality standards under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.175, paragraph (c), and to publish the results no later than January 1, 2010. The study must include:

(1) the likelihood of there being sufficient child care providers meeting the standards;

(2) the cost to bring providers up to the standards and how this cost would be funded;

(3) how the standards and the ratings would be communicated to both parents and the general public; and

(4) a determination whether a similar system could be implemented for non-center-based care.

Sec. 60.

DIRECTION TO COMMISSIONER.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall offer a request for proposals to identify a research and evaluation firm with experience working with:

(1) homeless youth providers;

(2) data; and

(3) the topics of housing, homelessness, and a continuum of care for youth.

(b) The research and evaluation firm identified under paragraph (a) shall monitor and evaluate the programs receiving funding under Minnesota Statutes, section 256K.45.

Sec. 61.

NOT ASSESSING TANF PENALTIES AGAINST COUNTIES.

From October 2006 through October 2007, if the state does not meet the federal work participation requirements, and the state is penalized by a reduction in the TANF grant, the state shall not assess penalties against the counties.

Sec. 62.

PREKINDERGARTEN EXPLORATORY PROJECTS.

Subdivision 1.

Early childhood allowance.

The commissioners of human services and education shall establish three prekindergarten exploratory projects to be conducted in partnership with the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation to promote children's school readiness. The exploratory projects shall be designed and evaluated by the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation.

Subd. 2.

Family eligibility.

Parents or legal guardians with incomes less than or equal to 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible to receive allowances to pay for their children's education in a quality early education program, in an amount not to exceed $4,000 per child per year. The allowance must be used during the 12 months following receipt of the allowance by the claimant for a child who is age 3 or 4 on August 31, to pay for services designed to promote school readiness in a quality early education setting. A quality program is one that meets the standards in subdivision 3.

Subd. 3.

Quality standards.

(a) A quality early care and education setting is any service or program that receives a quality rating from the Department of Human Services under the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation quality rating system administered by the Department of Human Services and agrees to accept a prekindergarten education allowance to pay for services. For fiscal years 2008 and 2009 only, a provider may satisfy the quality rating system requirements and be deemed eligible to participate in this program if the provider has received a provisional quality rating system approval from either the Department of Human Services or the Department of Education.

(b) For the purposes of receiving a provisional quality rating, a child care program or provider must be approved by the commissioner of human services and a school readiness program or a Head Start program must be approved by the commissioner of education. Programs and providers must apply for approval in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioners. To receive approval, the commissioners must determine that applicants:

(1) use research-based curricula that are aligned with the education standards under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.021, instruction, and child assessment instruments approved by the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation;

(2) provide a program of sufficient intensity and duration to improve the school readiness of participating children;

(3) provide opportunities for parent involvement; and

(4) meet other research-based criteria determined necessary by the commissioners.

(c) For 2008 and 2009, notwithstanding paragraph (b), Head Start programs meeting Head Start performance standards and accredited child care centers are granted a provisional quality rating for the purposes of receiving a prekindergarten education allowance under this statute.

(d) A provider deemed eligible to receive a prekindergarten education allowance under paragraphs (a) to (c) may use the allowance to enhance services above the current quality levels, increase the duration of services provided, or expand the number of children to whom services are provided.

(e) For fiscal years 2008 and 2009 only, when no quality program is available, a recipient may direct the prekindergarten education allowance to a provider or program for school readiness quality improvements that will make the provider or program eligible for a quality rating according to the quality rating system. Allowable expenditures that will increase the capacity of the provider or program to help children be ready for school include purchase of curricula and assessment tools, training on the use of curriculum and assessment tools, purchase of materials to improve the learning environment, or other expenditures approved by the commissioner of human services for child care providers and the commissioner of education for school readiness programs.

Subd. 4.

Eligibility; applications.

Eligible families must have incomes less than or equal to 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Allowances paid to families under this program may not be counted as earned income for the purposes of medical assistance, MinnesotaCare, MFIP, child care assistance, or Head Start programs.

Subd. 5.

Expenditures.

This program shall operate during fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 63.

REPEALER.

(a) Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 119B.08, subdivision 4; 256J.29; and 256J.626, subdivision 9, are repealed.

(b) Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256J.37, subdivision 3b, is repealed effective February 1, 2008.

(c) Laws 1997, chapter 8, section 1, is repealed.

(d) Minnesota Rules, part 9560.0102, subpart 2, item C, is repealed.

Sec. 64.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

Section 27 (Minnesota Statutes, section 256J.20, subdivision 3) is effective January 1, 2008. Section 13 (Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.13, subdivision 7) is effective January 1, 2009.

ARTICLE 3

LICENSING

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245A.035, is amended to read:

245A.035 RELATIVE FOSTER CARE; UNLICENSED EMERGENCY LICENSE RELATIVE PLACEMENT.

Subdivision 1.

Grant of Emergency license placement.

Notwithstanding section 245A.03, subdivision 2a, or 245C.13, subdivision 2, a county agency may place a child for foster care with a relative who is not licensed to provide foster care, provided the requirements of subdivision 2 this section are met. As used in this section, the term "relative" has the meaning given it under section 260C.007, subdivision 27.

Subd. 2.

Cooperation with emergency licensing placement process.

(a) A county agency that places a child with a relative who is not licensed to provide foster care must begin the process of securing an emergency license for the relative as soon as possible and must conduct the initial inspection required by subdivision 3, clause (1), whenever possible, prior to placing the child in the relative's home, but no later than three working days after placing the child in the home. A child placed in the home of a relative who is not licensed to provide foster care must be removed from that home if the relative fails to cooperate with the county agency in securing an emergency foster care license. The commissioner may issue an emergency foster care license to a relative with whom the county agency wishes to place or has placed a child for foster care, or to a relative with whom a child has been placed by court order.

(b) If a child is to be placed in the home of a relative not licensed to provide foster care, either the placing agency or the county agency in the county in which the relative lives shall conduct the emergency licensing placement process as required in this section.

Subd. 3.

Requirements for emergency license placement.

Before an emergency license placement may be issued made, the following requirements must be met:

(1) the county agency must conduct an initial inspection of the premises where the foster care placement is to be provided made to ensure the health and safety of any child placed in the home. The county agency shall conduct the inspection using a form developed by the commissioner;

(2) at the time of the inspection or placement, whichever is earlier, the county agency must provide the relative being considered for an emergency license shall receive placement an application form for a child foster care license;

(3) whenever possible, prior to placing the child in the relative's home, the relative being considered for an emergency license placement shall provide the information required by section 245C.05; and

(4) if the county determines, prior to the issuance of an emergency license placement, that anyone requiring a background study may be prior to licensure of the home is disqualified under section 245C.14 and chapter 245C, and the disqualification is one which the commissioner cannot set aside, an emergency license shall placement must not be issued made.

Subd. 4.

Applicant study.

When the county agency has received the information required by section 245C.05, the county agency shall begin an applicant study according to the procedures in chapter 245C. The commissioner may issue an emergency license upon recommendation of the county agency once the initial inspection has been successfully completed and the information necessary to begin the applicant background study has been provided. If the county agency does not recommend that the emergency license be granted, the agency shall notify the relative in writing that the agency is recommending denial to the commissioner; shall remove any child who has been placed in the home prior to licensure; and shall inform the relative in writing of the procedure to request review pursuant to subdivision 6. An emergency license shall be effective until a child foster care license is granted or denied, but shall in no case remain in effect more than 120 days from the date of placement submit the information to the commissioner according to section 245C.05.

Subd. 5.

Child foster care license application.

(a) The relatives with whom the emergency license holder placement has been made shall complete the child foster care license application and necessary paperwork within ten days of the placement. The county agency shall assist the emergency license holder applicant to complete the application. The granting of a child foster care license to a relative shall be under the procedures in this chapter and according to the standards set forth by foster care rule in Minnesota Rules, chapter 2960. In licensing a relative, the commissioner shall consider the importance of maintaining the child's relationship with relatives as an additional significant factor in determining whether to a background study disqualification should be set aside a licensing disqualifier under section 245C.22, or to grant a variance of licensing requirements should be granted under sections 245C.21 to 245C.27 section 245C.30.

(b) When the county or private child-placing agency is processing an application for child foster care licensure of a relative as defined in section 260B.007, subdivision 12, or 260C.007, subdivision 27, the county agency or child-placing agency must explain the licensing process to the prospective licensee, including the background study process and the procedure for reconsideration of an initial disqualification for licensure. The county or private child-placing agency must also provide the prospective relative licensee with information regarding appropriate options for legal representation in the pertinent geographic area. If a relative is initially disqualified under section 245C.14, the county or child-placing agency commissioner must provide written notice of the reasons for the disqualification and the right to request a reconsideration by the commissioner as required under section 245C.17.

(c) The commissioner shall maintain licensing data so that activities related to applications and licensing actions for relative foster care providers may be distinguished from other child foster care settings.

Subd. 6.

Denial of emergency license.

If the commissioner denies an application for an emergency foster care license under this section, that denial must be in writing and must include reasons for the denial. Denial of an emergency license is not subject to appeal under chapter 14. The relative may request a review of the denial by submitting to the commissioner a written statement of the reasons an emergency license should be granted. The commissioner shall evaluate the request for review and determine whether to grant the emergency license. The commissioner's review shall be based on a review of the records submitted by the county agency and the relative. Within 15 working days of the receipt of the request for review, the commissioner shall notify the relative requesting review in written form whether the emergency license will be granted. The commissioner's review shall be based on a review of the records submitted by the county agency and the relative. A child shall not be placed or remain placed in the relative's home while the request for review is pending. Denial of an emergency license shall not preclude an individual from reapplying for an emergency license or from applying for a child foster care license. The decision of the commissioner is the final administrative agency action.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245A.10, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

County fees for background studies and licensing inspections.

(a) For purposes of family and group family child care licensing under this chapter, a county agency may charge a fee to an applicant or license holder to recover the actual cost of background studies, but in any case not to exceed $100 annually. A county agency may also charge a license fee to an applicant or license holder to recover the actual cost of licensing inspections, but in any case not to exceed $150 annually $50 for a one-year license or $100 for a two-year license.

(b) A county agency may charge a fee to a legal nonlicensed child care provider or applicant for authorization to recover the actual cost of background studies completed under section 119B.125, but in any case not to exceed $100 annually.

(c) Counties may elect to reduce or waive the fees in paragraph (a) or (b):

(1) in cases of financial hardship;

(2) if the county has a shortage of providers in the county's area;

(3) for new providers; or

(4) for providers who have attained at least 16 hours of training before seeking initial licensure.

(d) Counties may allow providers to pay the applicant fees in paragraph (a) or (b) on an installment basis for up to one year. If the provider is receiving child care assistance payments from the state, the provider may have the fees under paragraph (a) or (b) deducted from the child care assistance payments for up to one year and the state shall reimburse the county for the county fees collected in this manner.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245A.16, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Delegation of authority to agencies.

(a) County agencies and private agencies that have been designated or licensed by the commissioner to perform licensing functions and activities under section 245A.04 and background studies for adult foster care, family adult day services, and family child care, under chapter 245C,; to recommend denial of applicants under section 245A.05,; to issue correction orders, to issue variances, and recommend a conditional license under section 245A.06, or to recommend suspending or revoking a license or issuing a fine under section 245A.07, shall comply with rules and directives of the commissioner governing those functions and with this section. The following variances are excluded from the delegation of variance authority and may be issued only by the commissioner:

(1) dual licensure of family child care and child foster care, dual licensure of child and adult foster care, and adult foster care and family child care;

(2) adult foster care maximum capacity;

(3) adult foster care minimum age requirement;

(4) child foster care maximum age requirement;

(5) variances regarding disqualified individuals except that county agencies may issue variances under section 245C.30 regarding disqualified individuals when the county is responsible for conducting a consolidated reconsideration according to sections 245C.25 and 245C.27, subdivision 2, clauses (a) and (b), of a county maltreatment determination and a disqualification based on serious or recurring maltreatment; and

(6) the required presence of a caregiver in the adult foster care residence during normal sleeping hours.

(b) County agencies must report:

(1) information about disqualification reconsiderations under sections 245C.25 and 245C.27, subdivision 2, clauses paragraphs (a) and (b), and variances granted under paragraph (a), clause (5), to the commissioner at least monthly in a format prescribed by the commissioner; and.

(2) for relative child foster care applicants and license holders, the number of relatives, as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 27, and household members of relatives who are disqualified under section 245C.14; the disqualifying characteristics under section 245C.15; the number of these individuals who requested reconsideration under section 245C.21; the number of set-asides under section 245C.22; and variances under section 245C.30 issued. This information shall be reported to the commissioner annually by January 15 of each year in a format prescribed by the commissioner.

(c) For family day care programs, the commissioner may authorize licensing reviews every two years after a licensee has had at least one annual review.

(d) For family adult day services programs, the commissioner may authorize licensing reviews every two years after a licensee has had at least one annual review.

(e) A license issued under this section may be issued for up to two years.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245A.16, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Recommendations to the commissioner.

The county or private agency shall not make recommendations to the commissioner regarding licensure without first conducting an inspection, and for adult foster care, family adult day services, and family child care, a background study of the applicant, and evaluation pursuant to under chapter 245C. The county or private agency must forward its recommendation to the commissioner regarding the appropriate licensing action within 20 working days of receipt of a completed application.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.02, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 14a.

Private agency.

"Private agency" has the meaning given in section 245A.02, subdivision 12.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.04, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Licensed programs.

(a) The commissioner shall conduct a background study of an individual required to be studied under section 245C.03, subdivision 1, at least upon application for initial license for all license types.

(b) The commissioner shall conduct a background study of an individual required to be studied under section 245C.03, subdivision 1, at reapplication for a license for family child care, child foster care, and adult foster care, family adult day services, and family child care.

(c) The commissioner is not required to conduct a study of an individual at the time of reapplication for a license if the individual's background study was completed by the commissioner of human services for an adult foster care license holder that is also:

(1) registered under chapter 144D; or

(2) licensed to provide home and community-based services to people with disabilities at the foster care location and the license holder does not reside in the foster care residence; and

(3) the following conditions are met:

(i) a study of the individual was conducted either at the time of initial licensure or when the individual became affiliated with the license holder;

(ii) the individual has been continuously affiliated with the license holder since the last study was conducted; and

(iii) the last study of the individual was conducted on or after October 1, 1995.

(d) From July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2009, the commissioner of human services shall conduct a study of an individual required to be studied under section 245C.03, at the time of reapplication for a child foster care license. The county or private agency shall collect and forward to the commissioner the information required under section 245C.05, subdivisions 1, paragraphs (a) and (b), and 5, paragraphs (a) and (b). The background study conducted by the commissioner of human services under this paragraph must include a review of the information required under section 245C.08, subdivisions 1, paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (5), 3, and 4.

(e) The commissioner of human services shall conduct a background study of an individual specified under section 245C.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clauses (2) to (6), who is newly affiliated with a child foster care license holder. The county or private agency shall collect and forward to the commissioner the information required under section 245C.05, subdivisions 1 and 5. The background study conducted by the commissioner of human services under this paragraph must include a review of the information required under section 245C.08, subdivisions 1, 3, and 4.

(f) Applicants for licensure, license holders, and other entities as provided in this chapter must submit completed background study forms to the commissioner before individuals specified in section 245C.03, subdivision 1, begin positions allowing direct contact in any licensed program.

(e) (g) For purposes of this section, a physician licensed under chapter 147 is considered to be continuously affiliated upon the license holder's receipt from the commissioner of health or human services of the physician's background study results.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Individual studied.

(a) The individual who is the subject of the background study must provide the applicant, license holder, or other entity under section 245C.04 with sufficient information to ensure an accurate study, including:

(1) the individual's first, middle, and last name and all other names by which the individual has been known;

(2) home address, city, and state of residence;

(3) zip code;

(4) sex;

(5) date of birth; and

(6) Minnesota driver's license number or state identification number.

(b) Every subject of a background study conducted or initiated by counties or private agencies under this chapter must also provide the home address, city, county, and state of residence for the past five years.

(c) Every subject of a background study related to private agency adoptions or related to child foster care licensed through a private agency, who is 18 years of age or older, shall also provide the commissioner a signed consent for the release of any information received from national crime information databases to the private agency that initiated the background study.

(d) The subject of a background study shall provide fingerprints as required in subdivision 5, paragraph (c).

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.05, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 2a.

County or private agency.

For background studies related to child foster care, county and private agencies must collect the information under subdivision 1 and forward it to the commissioner.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.05, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Electronic transmission.

For background studies conducted by the Department of Human Services, the commissioner shall implement a system for the electronic transmission of:

(1) background study information to the commissioner; and

(2) background study results to the license holder.; and

(3) background study results to county and private agencies for background studies conducted by the commissioner for child foster care.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.05, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Fingerprints.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), for any background study completed under this chapter, when the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that further pertinent information may exist on the subject of the background study, the subject shall provide the commissioner with a set of classifiable fingerprints obtained from an authorized law enforcement agency.

(b) For purposes of requiring fingerprints, the commissioner has reasonable cause when, but not limited to, the:

(1) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicates that the subject is a multistate offender;

(2) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicates that multistate offender status is undetermined; or

(3) commissioner has received a report from the subject or a third party indicating that the subject has a criminal history in a jurisdiction other than Minnesota.

(c) Except as specified under section 245C.04, subdivision 1, paragraph (d), for background studies conducted by the commissioner for child foster care or adoptions, the subject of the background study, who is 18 years of age or older, shall provide the commissioner with a set of classifiable fingerprints obtained from an authorized agency.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.05, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Probation officer and corrections agent.

(a) A probation officer or corrections agent shall notify the commissioner of an individual's conviction if the individual is:

(1) affiliated with a program or facility regulated by the Department of Human Services or Department of Health, a facility serving children or youth licensed by the Department of Corrections, or any type of home care agency or provider of personal care assistance services; and

(2) convicted of a crime constituting a disqualification under section 245C.14.

(b) For the purpose of this subdivision, "conviction" has the meaning given it in section 609.02, subdivision 5.

(c) The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of corrections, shall develop forms and information necessary to implement this subdivision and shall provide the forms and information to the commissioner of corrections for distribution to local probation officers and corrections agents.

(d) The commissioner shall inform individuals subject to a background study that criminal convictions for disqualifying crimes will be reported to the commissioner by the corrections system.

(e) A probation officer, corrections agent, or corrections agency is not civilly or criminally liable for disclosing or failing to disclose the information required by this subdivision.

(f) Upon receipt of disqualifying information, the commissioner shall provide the notice required under section 245C.17, as appropriate, to agencies on record as having initiated a background study or making a request for documentation of the background study status of the individual.

(g) This subdivision does not apply to family child care and child foster care programs.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.08, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Background studies conducted by commissioner of human services.

(a) For a background study conducted by the commissioner, the commissioner shall review:

(1) information related to names of substantiated perpetrators of maltreatment of vulnerable adults that has been received by the commissioner as required under section 626.557, subdivision 9c, paragraph (i);

(2) the commissioner's records relating to the maltreatment of minors in licensed programs, and from county agency findings of maltreatment of minors as indicated through the social service information system;

(3) information from juvenile courts as required in subdivision 4 for individuals listed in section 245C.03, subdivision 1, clauses (2), (5), and (6); and

(4) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.;

(5) except as provided in clause (6), information from the national crime information system when the commissioner has reasonable cause as defined under section 245C.05, subdivision 5; and

(6) for a background study related to a child foster care application for licensure or adoptions, the commissioner shall also review:

(i) information from the child abuse and neglect registry for any state in which the background study subject has resided for the past five years; and

(ii) information from national crime information databases, when the background study object is 18 years of age or older.

(b) Notwithstanding expungement by a court, the commissioner may consider information obtained under paragraph (a), clauses (3) and (4), unless the commissioner received notice of the petition for expungement and the court order for expungement is directed specifically to the commissioner.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.08, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Background studies conducted by a county or private agency.

(a) For a background study conducted by a county or private agency for child foster care, adult foster care, family adult day services, and family child care homes services, the commissioner shall review:

(1) information from the county agency's record of substantiated maltreatment of adults and the maltreatment of minors;

(2) information from juvenile courts as required in subdivision 4 for individuals listed in section 245C.03, subdivision 1, clauses (2), (5), and (6);

(3) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; and

(4) arrest and investigative records maintained by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, county attorneys, county sheriffs, courts, county agencies, local police, the National Criminal Records Repository, and criminal records from other states.

(b) If the individual has resided in the county for less than five years, the study shall include the records specified under paragraph (a) for the previous county or counties of residence for the past five years.

(c) Notwithstanding expungement by a court, the county or private agency may consider information obtained under paragraph (a), clauses (3) and (4), unless the commissioner received notice of the petition for expungement and the court order for expungement is directed specifically to the commissioner.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.10, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 4.

Temporary personnel agencies, educational programs, and professional services agencies.

The commissioner shall recover the cost of the background studies initiated by temporary personnel agencies, educational programs, and professional services agencies that initiate background studies under section 245C.03, subdivision 4, through a fee of no more than $20 per study charged to the agency. The fees collected under this subdivision are appropriated to the commissioner for the purpose of conducting background studies.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.11, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Adult foster care; criminal conviction data.

For individuals who are required to have background studies under section 245C.03, subdivisions 1 and 2, and who have been continuously affiliated with a an adult foster care provider that is licensed in more than one county, criminal conviction data may be shared among those counties in which the adult foster care programs are licensed. A county agency's receipt of criminal conviction data from another county agency shall meet the criminal data background study requirements of this chapter.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.11, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Jointly licensed programs.

A county agency may accept a background study completed by the commissioner under this chapter in place of the background study required under section 245A.16, subdivision 3, in programs with joint licensure as home and community-based services and adult foster care for people with developmental disabilities when the license holder does not reside in the adult foster care residence and the subject of the study has been continuously affiliated with the license holder since the date of the commissioner's study.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.12, is amended to read:

245C.12 BACKGROUND STUDY; TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS.

(a) For the purposes of background studies completed by tribal organizations performing licensing activities otherwise required of the commissioner under this chapter, after obtaining consent from the background study subject, tribal licensing agencies shall have access to criminal history data in the same manner as county licensing agencies and private licensing agencies under this chapter.

(b) Tribal organizations may contract with the commissioner to obtain background study data on individuals under tribal jurisdiction related to adoptions according to section 245C.34. Tribal organizations may also contract with the commissioner to obtain background study data on individuals under tribal jurisdiction related to child foster care according to section 245C.34.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.16, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Determining immediate risk of harm.

(a) If the commissioner determines that the individual studied has a disqualifying characteristic, the commissioner shall review the information immediately available and make a determination as to the subject's immediate risk of harm to persons served by the program where the individual studied will have direct contact.

(b) The commissioner shall consider all relevant information available, including the following factors in determining the immediate risk of harm:

(1) the recency of the disqualifying characteristic;

(2) the recency of discharge from probation for the crimes;

(3) the number of disqualifying characteristics;

(4) the intrusiveness or violence of the disqualifying characteristic;

(5) the vulnerability of the victim involved in the disqualifying characteristic;

(6) the similarity of the victim to the persons served by the program where the individual studied will have direct contact; and

(7) whether the individual has a disqualification from a previous background study that has not been set aside.

(c) This section does not apply when the subject of a background study is regulated by a health-related licensing board as defined in chapter 214, and the subject is determined to be responsible for substantiated maltreatment under section 626.556 or 626.557.

(d) This section does not apply to a background study related to an initial application for a child foster care license.

(e) If the commissioner has reason to believe, based on arrest information or an active maltreatment investigation, that an individual poses an imminent risk of harm to persons receiving services, the commissioner may order that the person be continuously supervised or immediately removed pending the conclusion of the maltreatment investigation or criminal proceedings.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.17, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 5.

Notice to county or private agency.

For studies on individuals related to a license to provide child foster care, the commissioner shall also provide a notice of the background study results to the county or private agency that initiated the background study.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.21, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 1a.

Submission of reconsideration request to county or private agency.

(a) For disqualifications related to studies conducted by county agencies, and for disqualifications related to studies conducted by the commissioner for child foster care, the individual shall submit the request for reconsideration to the county or private agency that initiated the background study.

(b) A reconsideration request shall be submitted within 30 days of the individual's receipt of the disqualification notice or the time frames specified in subdivision 2, whichever time frame is shorter.

(c) The county or private agency shall forward the individual's request for reconsideration and provide the commissioner with a recommendation whether to set aside the individual's disqualification.

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 245C.23, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Commissioner's notice of disqualification that is not set aside.

(a) The commissioner shall notify the license holder of the disqualification and order the license holder to immediately remove the individual from any position allowing direct contact with persons receiving services from the license holder if:

(1) the individual studied does not submit a timely request for reconsideration under section 245C.21;

(2) the individual submits a timely request for reconsideration, but the commissioner does not set aside the disqualification for that license holder under section 245C.22;

(3) an individual who has a right to request a hearing under sections 245C.27 and 256.045, or 245C.28 and chapter 14 for a disqualification that has not been set aside, does not request a hearing within the specified time; or

(4) an individual submitted a timely request for a hearing under sections 245C.27 and 256.045, or 245C.28 and chapter 14, but the commissioner does not set aside the disqualification under section 245A.08, subdivision 5, or 256.045.

(b) If the commissioner does not set aside the disqualification under section 245C.22, and the license holder was previously ordered under section 245C.17 to immediately remove the disqualified individual from direct contact with persons receiving services or to ensure that the individual is under continuous, direct supervision when providing direct contact services, the order remains in effect pending the outcome of a hearing under sections 245C.27 and 256.045, or 245C.28 and chapter 14.

(c) For background studies related to child foster care, the commissioner shall also notify the county or private agency that initiated the study of the results of the reconsideration.

Sec. 22.

[245C.33] ADOPTION BACKGROUND STUDY REQUIREMENTS.

Subdivision 1.

Background studies conducted by commissioner.

Before placement of a child for purposes of adoption, the commissioner shall conduct a background study on individuals listed in section 259.41, subdivision 3, for county agencies and private agencies licensed to place children for adoption.

Subd. 2.

Information and data provided to county or private agency.

The subject of the background study shall provide the information specified in section 245C.05.

Subd. 3.

Information and data provided to commissioner.

The county or private agency shall forward the data collected under subdivision 2 to the commissioner.

Subd. 4.

Information commissioner reviews.

(a) The commissioner shall review the following information regarding the background study subject:

(1) the information under section 245C.08, subdivisions 1, 3, and 4;

(2) information from the child abuse and neglect registry for any state in which the subject has resided for the past five years; and

(3) information from national crime information databases, when required under section 245C.08.

(b) The commissioner shall provide any information collected under this subdivision to the county or private agency that initiated the background study. The commissioner shall indicate if the information collected shows that the subject of the background study has a conviction listed in United States Code, title 42, section 671(a)(20)(A).

Sec. 23.

[245C.34] ADOPTION AND CHILD FOSTER CARE BACKGROUND STUDIES; TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Background studies may be conducted by commissioner.

(a) Tribal organizations may contract with the commissioner under section 245C.12 to obtain background study data on individuals under tribal jurisdiction related to adoptions.

(b) Tribal organizations may contract with the commissioner under section 245C.12 to obtain background study data on individuals under tribal jurisdiction related to child foster care.

(c) Background studies initiated by tribal organizations under paragraphs (a) and (b) must be conducted as provided in subdivisions 2 and 3.

Subd. 2.

Information and data provided to tribal organization.

The background study subject must provide the information specified in section 245C.05.

Subd. 3.

Information and data provided to commissioner.

The tribal organization shall forward the data collected under subdivision 2 to the commissioner.

Subd. 4.

Information commissioner reviews.

(a) The commissioner shall review the following information regarding the background study subject:

(1) the information under section 245C.08, subdivisions 1, 3, and 4;

(2) information from the child abuse and neglect registry for any state in which the subject has resided for the past five years; and

(3) information from national crime information databases, when required under section 245C.08.

(b) The commissioner shall provide any information collected under this subdivision to the tribal organization that initiated the background study. The commissioner shall indicate if the information collected shows that the subject of the background study has a conviction listed in United States Code, title 42, section 671(a)(20)(A).

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.20, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Other applicable law.

(a) Portions of chapters 245A, 245C, 257, 260, and 317A may also affect the adoption of a particular child.

(b) Provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, chapter 21, sections 1901-1923, may also apply in the adoption of an Indian child, and may preempt specific provisions of this chapter.

(c) Consistent with section 245C.33 and Public Law 109-248, a completed background study is required before the approval of any foster or adoptive placement in a related or an unrelated home.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.29, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Best interests of the child.

(a) The policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the best interests of the child are met by requiring individualized determination of the needs of the child and of how the adoptive placement will serve the needs of the child.

(b) Among the factors the agency shall consider in determining the needs of the child are those specified under section 260C.193, subdivision 3, paragraph (b).

(c) Except for emergency placements provided for in section 245A.035, a completed background study is required under section 245C.33 before the approval of an adoptive placement in a home.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.41, is amended to read:

259.41 ADOPTION STUDY.

Subdivision 1.

Study required before placement; certain relatives excepted.

(a) An approved adoption study; completed background study, as required under section 245C.33; and written report must be completed before the child is placed in a prospective adoptive home under this chapter, except as allowed by section 259.47, subdivision 6. In an agency placement, the report must be filed with the court at the time the adoption petition is filed. In a direct adoptive placement, the report must be filed with the court in support of a motion for temporary preadoptive custody under section 259.47, subdivision 3, or, if the study and report are complete, in support of an emergency order under section 259.47, subdivision 6. The study and report shall be completed by a licensed child-placing agency and must be thorough and comprehensive. The study and report shall be paid for by the prospective adoptive parent, except as otherwise required under section 259.67 or 259.73.

(b) A placement for adoption with an individual who is related to the child, as defined by section 245A.02, subdivision 13, is not subject to this section except as required by section sections 245C.33 and 259.53, subdivision 2, paragraph (c).

(c) In the case of a licensed foster parent seeking to adopt a child who is in the foster parent's care, any portions of the foster care licensing process that duplicate requirements of the home study may be submitted in satisfaction of the relevant requirements of this section.

Subd. 2.

Form of study.

(a) The adoption study must include at least one in-home visit with the prospective adoptive parent. At a minimum, the study must include document the following information about the prospective adoptive parent:

(1) a background check study as required by subdivision 3 and section 245C.33, and including:

(i) an evaluation assessment of the data and information provided by section 245C.33, subdivision 4, to determine if the prospective adoptive parent and any other person over the age of 13 living in the home has a felony conviction consistent with subdivision 3 and section 471(a)(2) of the Social Security Act; and

(ii) an assessment of the effect of a any conviction or finding of substantiated maltreatment on the ability to capacity of the prospective adoptive parent to safely care for and parent a child;

(2) a medical and social history and assessment of current health;

(3) an assessment of potential parenting skills;

(4) an assessment of ability to provide adequate financial support for a child; and

(5) an assessment of the level of knowledge and awareness of adoption issues including, where appropriate, matters relating to interracial, cross-cultural, and special needs adoptions.

(b) The adoption study is the basis for completion of a written report. The report must be in a format specified by the commissioner and must contain recommendations regarding the suitability of the subject of the study to be an adoptive parent.

Subd. 3.

Background check; affidavit of history study.

(a) At the time an adoption study is commenced, each prospective adoptive parent must:

(1) authorize access by the agency to any private data needed to complete the study;

(2) provide all addresses at which the prospective adoptive parent and anyone in the household over the age of 13 has resided in the previous five years; and

(3) disclose any names used previously other than the name used at the time of the study.

(b) When the requirements of paragraph (a) have been met, the agency shall immediately begin initiate a background check, study under section 245C.33 to be completed by the commissioner on each person over the age of 13 living in the home, consisting, at a minimum, of the following:. As required under section 245C.33 and Public Law 109-248, a completed background study is required before the approval of any foster or adoptive placement in a related or an unrelated home. The required background study must be completed as part of the home study.

(1) a check of criminal conviction data with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and local law enforcement authorities;

(2) a check for data on substantiated maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult and domestic violence data with local law enforcement and social services agencies and district courts; and

(3) for those persons under the age of 25, a check of juvenile court records.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 260B.171 or 260C.171, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, local law enforcement and social services agencies, district courts, and juvenile courts shall release the requested information to the agency completing the adoption study.

(c) When paragraph (b) requires checking the data or records of local law enforcement and social services agencies and district and juvenile courts, the agency shall check with the law enforcement and social services agencies and courts whose jurisdictions cover the addresses under paragraph (a), clause (2). In the event that the agency is unable to complete any of the record checks required by paragraph (b), the agency shall document the fact and the agency's efforts to obtain the information.

(d) For a study completed under this section, when the agency has reasonable cause to believe that further information may exist on the prospective adoptive parent or household member over the age of 13 that may relate to the health, safety, or welfare of the child, the prospective adoptive parent or household member over the age of 13 shall provide the agency with a set of classifiable fingerprints obtained from an authorized law enforcement agency and the agency may obtain criminal history data from the National Criminal Records Repository by submitting fingerprints to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The agency has reasonable cause when, but not limited to, the:

(1) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicates that the prospective adoptive parent or household member over the age of 13 is a multistate offender;

(2) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicates that multistate offender status is undetermined;

(3) the agency has received a report from the prospective adoptive parent or household member over the age of 13 or a third party indicating that the prospective adoptive parent or household member over the age of 13 has a criminal history in a jurisdiction other than Minnesota; or

(4) the prospective adoptive parent or household member over the age of 13 is or has been a resident of a state other than Minnesota in the prior five years.

(e) At any time prior to completion of the background check required under paragraph (b), a prospective adoptive parent may submit to the agency conducting the study a sworn affidavit stating whether they or any person residing in the household have been convicted of a crime. The affidavit shall also state whether the adoptive parent or any other person residing in the household is the subject of an open investigation of, or have been the subject of a substantiated allegation of, child or vulnerable-adult maltreatment within the past ten years. A complete description of the crime, open investigation, or substantiated abuse, and a complete description of any sentence, treatment, or disposition must be included. The affidavit must contain an acknowledgment that if, at any time before the adoption is final, a court receives evidence leading to a conclusion that a prospective adoptive parent knowingly gave false information in the affidavit, it shall be determined that the adoption of the child by the prospective adoptive parent is not in the best interests of the child.

(f) For the purposes of subdivision 1 and section 259.47, subdivisions 3 and 6, an adoption study is complete for placement, even though the background checks required by paragraph (b) have not been completed, if each prospective adoptive parent has completed the affidavit allowed by paragraph (e) and the other requirements of this section have been met. The background checks required by paragraph (b) must be completed before an adoption petition is filed. If an adoption study has been submitted to the court under section 259.47, subdivision 3 or 6, before the background checks required by paragraph (b) were complete, an updated adoption study report which includes the results of the background check must be filed with the adoption petition. In the event that an agency is unable to complete any of the records checks required by paragraph (b), the agency shall submit with the petition to adopt an affidavit documenting the agency's efforts to complete the checks.

(c) A home study under paragraph (b) used to consider placement of any child on whose behalf Title IV-E adoption assistance payments are to be made must not be approved if a background study reveals a felony conviction at any time for:

(1) child abuse or neglect;

(2) spousal abuse;

(3) a crime against children, including child pornography; or

(4) a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery.

(d) A home study under paragraph (b) used to consider placement of any child on whose behalf Title IV-E adoption assistance payments are to be made must not be approved if a background study reveals a felony conviction within the past five years for:

(1) physical assault or battery; or

(2) a drug-related offense.

Subd. 4.

Updates to adoption study; period of validity.

An agency may update an adoption study and report as needed, regardless of when the original study and report or most recent update was completed. An update must be in a format specified by the commissioner and must verify the continuing accuracy of the elements of the original report and document any changes to elements of the original report. An update to a study and report not originally completed under this section must ensure that the study and report, as updated, meet the requirements of this section. An adoption study is valid if the report has been completed or updated within the previous 12 months.

Sec. 27.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.53, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Adoption agencies; postplacement assessment and report.

(a) The agency to which the petition has been referred under subdivision 1 shall conduct a postplacement assessment and file a report with the court within 90 days of receipt of a copy of the adoption petition. The agency shall send a copy of the report to the commissioner at the time it files the report with the court. The assessment and report must evaluate the environment and antecedents of the child to be adopted, the home of the petitioners, whether placement with the petitioners meets the needs of the child as described in section 259.57, subdivision 2. The report must include a recommendation to the court as to whether the petition should or should not be granted.

In making evaluations and recommendations, the postplacement assessment and report must, at a minimum, address the following:

(1) the level of adaptation by the prospective adoptive parents to parenting the child;

(2) the health and well-being of the child in the prospective adoptive parents' home;

(3) the level of incorporation by the child into the prospective adoptive parents' home, extended family, and community; and

(4) the level of inclusion of the child's previous history into the prospective adoptive home, such as cultural or ethnic practices, or contact with former foster parents or biological relatives.

(b) A postplacement adoption report is valid for 12 months following its date of completion.

(c) If the petitioner is an individual who is related to the child, as defined by section 245A.02, subdivision 13, the agency, as part of its postplacement assessment and report under paragraph (a), shall conduct a background check meeting the requirements of section 259.41, subdivision 3, paragraph (b). The prospective adoptive parent shall cooperate in the completion of the background check by supplying the information and authorizations described in section 259.41, subdivision 3, paragraph (a).

(d) (c) If the report recommends that the court not grant the petition to adopt the child, the provisions of this paragraph apply. Unless the assessment and report were completed by the local social services agency, the agency completing the report, at the time it files the report with the court under paragraph (a), must provide a copy of the report to the local social services agency in the county where the prospective adoptive parent lives. The agency or local social services agency may recommend that the court dismiss the petition. If the local social services agency determines that continued placement in the home endangers the child's physical or emotional health, the agency shall seek a court order to remove the child from the home.

(e) (d) If, through no fault of the petitioner, the agency to whom the petition was referred under subdivision 1, paragraph (b), fails to complete the assessment and file the report within 90 days of the date it received a copy of the adoption petition, the court may hear the petition upon giving the agency and the local social services agency, if different, five days' notice by mail of the time and place of the hearing.

Sec. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.57, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Protection of child's best interests.

(a) The policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the best interests of children are met by requiring an individualized determination of the needs of the child and how the adoptive placement will serve the needs of the child.

(b) Among the factors the court shall consider in determining the needs of the child are those specified under section 260C.193, subdivision 3, paragraph (b). Consistent with section 245C.33 and Public Law 109-248, a complete background study is required before the approval of an adoptive placement in a home.

(c) In reviewing adoptive placement and in determining appropriate adoption, the court shall consider placement, consistent with the child's best interests and in the following order, with (1) a relative or relatives of the child, or (2) an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact. Placement of a child cannot be delayed or denied based on race, color, or national origin of the adoptive parent or the child. Whenever possible, siblings should be placed together unless it is determined not to be in the best interests of a sibling.

(d) If the child's birth parent or parents explicitly request that relatives and important friends not be considered, the court shall honor that request consistent with the best interests of the child.

If the child's birth parent or parents express a preference for placing the child in an adoptive home of the same or a similar religious background to that of the birth parent or parents, the court shall place the child with a family that also meets the birth parent's religious preference. Only if no family is available as described in clause (a) or (b) may the court give preference to a family described in clause (c) that meets the parent's religious preference.

(e) This subdivision does not affect the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, sections 1901 to 1923, and the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, sections 260.751 to 260.835.

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.209, is amended to read:

260C.209 BACKGROUND CHECKS.

Subdivision 1.

Subjects.

The responsible social services agency must conduct initiate a background check study to be completed by the commissioner under this section of chapter 245C on the following individuals:

(1) a noncustodial parent or nonadjudicated parent who is being assessed for purposes of providing day-to-day care of a child temporarily or permanently under section 260C.212, subdivision 4, and any member of the parent's household who is over the age of 13 when there is a reasonable cause to believe that the parent or household member over age 13 has a criminal history or a history of maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult which would endanger the child's health, safety, or welfare;

(2) an individual whose suitability for relative placement under section 260C.212, subdivision 5, is being determined and any member of the relative's household who is over the age of 13 when:

(i) the relative must be licensed for foster care; or

(ii) the agency must conduct a background study is required under section 259.53, subdivision 2; or

(iii) the agency or the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe the relative or household member over the age of 13 has a criminal history which would not make transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to the relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, in the child's best interest; and

(3) a parent, following an out-of-home placement, when the responsible social services agency has reasonable cause to believe that the parent has been convicted of a crime directly related to the parent's capacity to maintain the child's health, safety, or welfare or the parent is the subject of an open investigation of, or has been the subject of a substantiated allegation of, child or vulnerable-adult maltreatment within the past ten years.

"Reasonable cause" means that the agency has received information or a report from the subject or a third person that creates an articulable suspicion that the individual has a history that may pose a risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the child. The information or report must be specific to the potential subject of the background check and shall not be based on the race, religion, ethnic background, age, class, or lifestyle of the potential subject.

Subd. 2.

General procedures.

(a) When conducting initiating a background check under subdivision 1, the agency may shall require the individual being assessed to provide sufficient information to ensure an accurate assessment under this section, including:

(1) the individual's first, middle, and last name and all other names by which the individual has been known;

(2) home address, zip code, city, county, and state of residence for the past ten five years;

(3) sex;

(4) date of birth; and

(5) driver's license number or state identification number.

(b) When notified by the commissioner or the responsible social services agency that it is conducting an assessment under this section, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, commissioners of health and human services, law enforcement, and county agencies must provide the commissioner or the responsible social services agency or county attorney with the following information on the individual being assessed: criminal history data, reports about the maltreatment of adults substantiated under section 626.557, and reports of maltreatment of minors substantiated under section 626.556.

Subd. 3.

Multistate information.

(a) For any assessment every background study completed under this section, if the responsible social services agency has reasonable cause to believe that the individual is a multistate offender, the individual must the subject of the background study shall provide the responsible social services agency or the county attorney with a set of classifiable fingerprints obtained from an authorized law enforcement agency. The responsible social services agency or county attorney may shall provide the fingerprints to the commissioner, and the commissioner shall obtain criminal history data from the National Criminal Records Repository by submitting the fingerprints to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

(b) For purposes of this subdivision, the responsible social services agency has reasonable cause when, but not limited to:

(1) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicates that the individual is a multistate offender;

(2) information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicates that multistate offender status is undetermined;

(3) the social services agency has received a report from the individual or a third party indicating that the individual has a criminal history in a jurisdiction other than Minnesota; or

(4) the individual is or has been a resident of a state other than Minnesota at any time during the prior ten years.

Subd. 4.

Notice upon receipt.

The responsible social services agency commissioner must provide the subject of the background study with the results of the study as required under this section within 15 business days of receipt or at least 15 days prior to the hearing at which the results will be presented, whichever comes first. The subject may provide written information to the agency that the results are incorrect and may provide additional or clarifying information to the agency and to the court through a party to the proceeding. This provision does not apply to any background study conducted under chapters 245A and chapter 245C.

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.212, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Placement decisions based on best interest of the child.

(a) The policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the child's best interests are met by requiring an individualized determination of the needs of the child and of how the selected placement will serve the needs of the child being placed. The authorized child-placing agency shall place a child, released by court order or by voluntary release by the parent or parents, in a family foster home selected by considering placement with relatives and important friends in the following order:

(1) with an individual who is related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption; or

(2) with an individual who is an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact.

(b) Among the factors the agency shall consider in determining the needs of the child are the following:

(1) the child's current functioning and behaviors;

(2) the medical, educational, and developmental needs of the child;

(3) the child's history and past experience;

(4) the child's religious and cultural needs;

(5) the child's connection with a community, school, and church;

(6) the child's interests and talents;

(7) the child's relationship to current caretakers, parents, siblings, and relatives; and

(8) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court, or the child-placing agency in the case of a voluntary placement, deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preferences.

(c) Placement of a child cannot be delayed or denied based on race, color, or national origin of the foster parent or the child.

(d) Siblings should be placed together for foster care and adoption at the earliest possible time unless it is determined not to be in the best interests of a sibling or unless it is not possible after appropriate efforts by the responsible social services agency.

(e) Except for emergency placement as provided for in section 245A.035, a completed background study is required under section 245C.08 before the approval of a foster placement in a related or unrelated home.

Sec. 31.

LICENSING MORATORIUM.

A program operated by a nonpublic school for children 33 months or older is exempt from the human services licensing requirements in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 245A, until July 1, 2009. Nothing in this section prohibits an already licensed nonpublic school program from continuing its licensure or a nonpublic school program from seeking licensure.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This moratorium is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 32.

ANNUAL LICENSE REVIEW.

The commissioner of human services shall work with counties to determine the cost and propose an ongoing funding allocation from the general fund to cover the cost to counties to implement an annual license review for licensed family child care providers. The commissioner shall solicit input from counties to determine the outcome. The commissioner shall report to the house and senate committees having jurisdiction over early childhood programs by January 15, 2008, as to the costs and the funding allocation recommended for future use.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

ARTICLE 4

HEALTH CARE POLICY

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 16A.724, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Transfers.

(a) Notwithstanding section 295.581, to the extent available resources in the health care access fund exceed expenditures in that fund, effective with for the biennium beginning July 1, 2007, the commissioner of finance shall transfer the excess funds from the health care access fund to the general fund on June 30 of each year, provided that the amount transferred in any fiscal biennium shall not exceed $96,000,000. The purpose of this transfer is to meet the rate increase required under Laws 2003, First Special Session chapter 14, article 13C, section 2, subdivision 6.

(b) For fiscal years 2006 to 2009, MinnesotaCare shall be a forecasted program, and, if necessary, the commissioner shall reduce these transfers from the health care access fund to the general fund to meet annual MinnesotaCare expenditures or, if necessary, transfer sufficient funds from the general fund to the health care access fund to meet annual MinnesotaCare expenditures.

Sec. 2.

[254A.171] INTERVENTION AND ADVOCACY PROGRAM.

Within the limit of money available, the commissioner shall fund voluntary outreach programs targeted at women who deliver children affected by prenatal alcohol or drug use. The programs shall help women obtain treatment, stay in recovery, and plan any future pregnancies. An advocate shall be assigned to each woman in the program to provide guidance and advice with respect to treatment programs, child safety and parenting, housing, family planning, and any other personal issues that are barriers to remaining free of chemical dependency.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.055, subdivision 14, is amended to read:

Subd. 14.

Persons detained by law.

(a) Medical assistance may be paid for an inmate of a correctional facility who is conditionally released as authorized under section 241.26, 244.065, or 631.425, if the individual does not require the security of a public detention facility and is housed in a halfway house or community correction center, or under house arrest and monitored by electronic surveillance in a residence approved by the commissioner of corrections, and if the individual meets the other eligibility requirements of this chapter.

(b) An individual who is enrolled in medical assistance, and who is charged with a crime and incarcerated for less than 12 months shall be suspended from eligibility at the time of incarceration until the individual is released. Upon release, medical assistance eligibility is reinstated without reapplication using a reinstatement process and form, if the individual is otherwise eligible.

(c) An individual, regardless of age, who is considered an inmate of a public institution as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.1009, is not eligible for medical assistance.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.056, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 1d.

Treatment of certain monetary gifts.

The commissioner shall disregard as income any portion of a monetary gift received by an applicant or enrollee that is designated to purchase a prosthetic device not covered by insurance, other third-party payers, or medical assistance.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0625, subdivision 13c, is amended to read:

Subd. 13c.

Formulary committee.

The commissioner, after receiving recommendations from professional medical associations and professional pharmacy associations, and consumer groups shall designate a Formulary Committee to carry out duties as described in subdivisions 13 to 13g. The Formulary Committee shall be comprised of four licensed physicians actively engaged in the practice of medicine in Minnesota one of whom must be actively engaged in the treatment of persons with mental illness; at least three licensed pharmacists actively engaged in the practice of pharmacy in Minnesota; and one consumer representative; the remainder to be made up of health care professionals who are licensed in their field and have recognized knowledge in the clinically appropriate prescribing, dispensing, and monitoring of covered outpatient drugs. Members of the Formulary Committee shall not be employed by the Department of Human Services, but the committee shall be staffed by an employee of the department who shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the board committee. The department's medical director shall also serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member for the committee. Committee members shall serve three-year terms and may be reappointed by the commissioner. The Formulary Committee shall meet at least quarterly. The commissioner may require more frequent Formulary Committee meetings as needed. An honorarium of $100 per meeting and reimbursement for mileage shall be paid to each committee member in attendance.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0625, subdivision 13d, is amended to read:

Subd. 13d.

Drug formulary.

(a) The commissioner shall establish a drug formulary. Its establishment and publication shall not be subject to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, but the Formulary Committee shall review and comment on the formulary contents.

(b) The formulary shall not include:

(1) drugs or products for which there is no federal funding;

(2) over-the-counter drugs, except as provided in subdivision 13;

(3) drugs used for weight loss, except that medically necessary lipase inhibitors may be covered for a recipient with type II diabetes;

(4) drugs when used for the treatment of impotence or erectile dysfunction;

(5) drugs for which medical value has not been established; and

(6) drugs from manufacturers who have not signed a rebate agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to section 1927 of title XIX of the Social Security Act.

(c) If a single-source drug used by at least two percent of the fee-for-service medical assistance recipients is removed from the formulary due to the failure of the manufacturer to sign a rebate agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, the commissioner shall notify prescribing practitioners within 30 days of receiving notification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that a rebate agreement was not signed.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0625, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 49.

Community health worker.

(a) Medical assistance covers the care coordination and patient education services provided by a community health worker if the community health worker has:

(1) received a certificate from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System approved community health worker curriculum; or

(2) at least five years of supervised experience with an enrolled physician, registered nurse, or advanced practice registered nurse.

Community health workers eligible for payment under clause (2) must complete the certification program by January 1, 2010, to continue to be eligible for payment.

(b) Community health workers must work under the supervision of a medical assistance enrolled physician, registered nurse, or advanced practice registered nurse.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.03, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Co-payments and coinsurance.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), the MinnesotaCare benefit plan shall include the following co-payments and coinsurance requirements for all enrollees:

(1) ten percent of the paid charges for inpatient hospital services for adult enrollees, subject to an annual inpatient out-of-pocket maximum of $1,000 per individual and $3,000 per family;

(2) $3 per prescription for adult enrollees;

(3) $25 for eyeglasses for adult enrollees;

(4) $3 per nonpreventive visit. For purposes of this subdivision, a "visit" means an episode of service which is required because of a recipient's symptoms, diagnosis, or established illness, and which is delivered in an ambulatory setting by a physician or physician ancillary, chiropractor, podiatrist, nurse midwife, advanced practice nurse, audiologist, optician, or optometrist; and

(5) $6 for nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room.

(b) Paragraph (a), clause (1), does not apply to parents and relative caretakers of children under the age of 21 in households with family income equal to or less than 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Paragraph (a), clause (1), does not apply to parents and relative caretakers of children under the age of 21 in households with family income greater than 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for inpatient hospital admissions occurring on or after January 1, 2001.

(c) Paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (4), do does not apply to pregnant women and children under the age of 21.

(d) Adult enrollees with family gross income that exceeds 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and who are not pregnant shall be financially responsible for the coinsurance amount, if applicable, and amounts which exceed the $10,000 inpatient hospital benefit limit.

(e) When a MinnesotaCare enrollee becomes a member of a prepaid health plan, or changes from one prepaid health plan to another during a calendar year, any charges submitted towards the $10,000 annual inpatient benefit limit, and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the enrollee for inpatient services, that were submitted or incurred prior to enrollment, or prior to the change in health plans, shall be disregarded.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.04, subdivision 12, is amended to read:

Subd. 12.

Persons in detention.

Beginning January 1, 1999, an applicant residing in a correctional or detention facility is not eligible for MinnesotaCare. An enrollee residing in a correctional or detention facility is not eligible at renewal of eligibility under section 256L.05, subdivision 3b 3a.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.17, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Documentation.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall require individuals and families, at the time of application or renewal, to indicate on a checkoff form developed by the commissioner whether they satisfy the MinnesotaCare asset requirement. This form must include the following or similar language: "To be eligible for MinnesotaCare, individuals and families must not own net assets in excess of $30,000 for a household of two or more persons or $15,000 for a household of one person, not including a homestead, household goods and personal effects, assets owned by children, vehicles used for employment, court-ordered settlements up to $10,000, individual retirement accounts, and capital and operating assets of a trade or business up to $200,000. Do you and your household own net assets in excess of these limits?"

(b) The commissioner may require individuals and families to provide any information the commissioner determines necessary to verify compliance with the asset requirement, if the commissioner determines that there is reason to believe that an individual or family has assets that exceed the program limit.

ARTICLE 5

HEALTH CARE

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 16A.724, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Transfers.

(a) Notwithstanding section 295.581, to the extent available resources in the health care access fund exceed expenditures in that fund, effective with for the biennium beginning July 1, 2007, the commissioner of finance shall transfer the excess funds from the health care access fund to the general fund on June 30 of each year, provided that the amount transferred in any fiscal biennium shall not exceed $96,000,000. The purpose of this transfer is to meet the rate increase required under Laws 2003, First Special Session chapter 14, article 13C, section 2, subdivision 6.

(b) For fiscal years 2006 to 2009 2011, MinnesotaCare shall be a forecasted program, and, if necessary, the commissioner shall reduce these transfers from the health care access fund to the general fund to meet annual MinnesotaCare expenditures or, if necessary, transfer sufficient funds from the general fund to the health care access fund to meet annual MinnesotaCare expenditures.

Sec. 2.

[256.962] MINNESOTA HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS OUTREACH.

Subdivision 1.

Public awareness and education.

The commissioner, in consultation with community organizations, health plans, and other public entities experienced in outreach to the uninsured, shall design and implement a statewide campaign to raise public awareness on the availability of health coverage through medical assistance, general assistance medical care, and MinnesotaCare and to educate the public on the importance of obtaining and maintaining health care coverage. The campaign shall include multimedia messages directed to the general population.

Subd. 2.

Outreach grants.

(a) The commissioner shall award grants to public and private organizations, regional collaboratives, and regional health care outreach centers for outreach activities, including, but not limited to:

(1) providing information, applications, and assistance in obtaining coverage through Minnesota public health care programs;

(2) collaborating with public and private entities such as hospitals, providers, health plans, legal aid offices, pharmacies, insurance agencies, and faith-based organizations to develop outreach activities and partnerships to ensure the distribution of information and applications and provide assistance in obtaining coverage through Minnesota health care programs; and

(3) providing or collaborating with public and private entities to provide multilingual and culturally specific information and assistance to applicants in areas of high uninsurance in the state or populations with high rates of uninsurance.

(b) The commissioner shall ensure that all outreach materials are available in languages other than English.

(c) The commissioner shall establish an outreach trainer program to provide training to designated individuals from the community and public and private entities on application assistance in order for these individuals to provide training to others in the community on an as-needed basis.

Subd. 3.

Application and assistance.

(a) The Minnesota health care programs application must be made available at provider offices, local human services agencies, school districts, public and private elementary schools in which 25 percent or more of the students receive free or reduced price lunches, community health offices, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program sites, Head Start program sites, public housing councils, child care centers, early childhood education and preschool program sites, legal aid offices, and libraries. The commissioner shall ensure that applications are available in languages other than English.

(b) Local human service agencies, hospitals, and health care community clinics receiving state funds must provide direct assistance in completing the application form, including the free use of a copy machine and a drop box for applications. These locations must ensure that the drop box is checked at least weekly and any applications are submitted to the commissioner. The commissioner shall provide these entities with an identification number to stamp on each application to identify the entity that provided assistance. Other locations where applications are required to be available shall either provide direct assistance in completing the application form or provide information on where an applicant can receive application assistance.

(c) Counties must offer applications and application assistance when providing child support collection services.

(d) Local public health agencies and counties that provide immunization clinics must offer applications and application assistance during these clinics.

(e) The commissioner shall coordinate with the commissioner of health to ensure that maternal and child health outreach efforts include information on Minnesota health care programs and application assistance, when needed.

Subd. 4.

Statewide toll-free telephone number.

The commissioner shall provide funds for a statewide toll-free telephone number to provide information on public and private health coverage options and sources of free and low-cost health care. The statewide telephone number must provide the option of obtaining this information in languages other than English.

Subd. 5.

Incentive program.

Beginning January 1, 2008, the commissioner shall establish an incentive program for organizations that directly identify and assist potential enrollees in filling out and submitting an application. For each applicant who is successfully enrolled in MinnesotaCare, medical assistance, or general assistance medical care, the commissioner, within the available appropriation, shall pay the organization a $20 application assistance bonus. The organization may provide an applicant a gift certificate or other incentive upon enrollment.

Subd. 6.

School districts.

(a) At the beginning of each school year, a school district shall provide information to each student on the availability of health care coverage through the Minnesota health care programs.

(b) For each child who is determined to be eligible for a free or reduced priced lunch, the district shall provide the child's family with an application for the Minnesota health care programs and information on how to obtain application assistance.

(c) A district shall also ensure that applications and information on application assistance are available at early childhood education sites and public schools located within the district's jurisdiction.

(d) Each district shall designate an enrollment specialist to provide application assistance and follow-up services with families who are eligible for the reduced or free lunch program or who have indicated an interest in receiving information or an application for the Minnesota health care program.

(e) Each school district shall provide on their Web site a link to information on how to obtain an application and application assistance.

Subd. 7.

Renewal notice.

(a) Beginning December 1, 2007, the commissioner shall mail a renewal notice to enrollees notifying the enrollees that the enrollees eligibility must be renewed. A notice shall be sent at least 90 days prior to the renewal date and at least 60 days prior to the renewal date.

(b) For enrollees who are receiving services through managed care plans, the managed care plan must provide a follow-up renewal call at least 60 days prior to the enrollees' renewal dates.

(c) The commissioner shall include the end of coverage dates on the monthly rosters of enrollees provided to managed care organizations.

Sec. 3.

[256.963] PRIMARY CARE ACCESS INITIATIVE.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

(a) The commissioner shall award a grant to implement in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties a Web-based primary care access pilot project designed as a collaboration between private and public sectors to connect, where appropriate, a patient with a primary care medical home, and schedule patients into available community-based appointments as an alternative to nonemergency use of the hospital emergency room. The grantee must establish a program that diverts patients presenting at an emergency room for nonemergency care to more appropriate outpatient settings. The program must refer the patient to an appropriate health care professional based on the patient's health care needs and situation. The program must provide the patient with a scheduled appointment that is timely, with an appropriate provider who is conveniently located. If the patient is uninsured and potentially eligible for a Minnesota health care program, the program must connect the patient to a primary care provider, community clinic, or agency that can assist the patient with the application process. The program must also ensure that discharged patients are connected with a community-based primary care provider and assist in scheduling any necessary follow-up visits before the patient is discharged.

(b) The program must not require a provider to pay a fee for accepting charity care patients or patients enrolled in a Minnesota public health care program.

Subd. 2.

Evaluation.

(a) The grantee must report to the commissioner on a quarterly basis the following information:

(1) the total number of appointments available for scheduling by specialty;

(2) the average length of time between scheduling and actual appointment;

(3) the total number of patients referred and whether the patient was insured or uninsured; and

(4) the total number of appointments resulting in visits completed and number of patients continuing services with the referring clinic.

(b) The commissioner, in consultation with the Minnesota Hospital Association, shall conduct an evaluation of the emergency room diversion pilot project and submit the results to the legislature by January 15, 2009. The evaluation shall compare the number of nonemergency visits and repeat visits to hospital emergency rooms for the period before the commencement of the project and one year after the commencement, and an estimate of the costs saved from any documented reductions.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.969, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

Subd. 9.

Disproportionate numbers of low-income patients served.

(a) For admissions occurring on or after October 1, 1992, through December 31, 1992, the medical assistance disproportionate population adjustment shall comply with federal law and shall be paid to a hospital, excluding regional treatment centers and facilities of the federal Indian Health Service, with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate in excess of the arithmetic mean. The adjustment must be determined as follows:

(1) for a hospital with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate above the arithmetic mean for all hospitals excluding regional treatment centers and facilities of the federal Indian Health Service but less than or equal to one standard deviation above the mean, the adjustment must be determined by multiplying the total of the operating and property payment rates by the difference between the hospital's actual medical assistance inpatient utilization rate and the arithmetic mean for all hospitals excluding regional treatment centers and facilities of the federal Indian Health Service; and

(2) for a hospital with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate above one standard deviation above the mean, the adjustment must be determined by multiplying the adjustment that would be determined under clause (1) for that hospital by 1.1. If federal matching funds are not available for all adjustments under this subdivision, the commissioner shall reduce payments on a pro rata basis so that all adjustments qualify for federal match. The commissioner may establish a separate disproportionate population operating payment rate adjustment under the general assistance medical care program. For purposes of this subdivision medical assistance does not include general assistance medical care. The commissioner shall report annually on the number of hospitals likely to receive the adjustment authorized by this paragraph. The commissioner shall specifically report on the adjustments received by public hospitals and public hospital corporations located in cities of the first class.

(b) For admissions occurring on or after July 1, 1993, the medical assistance disproportionate population adjustment shall comply with federal law and shall be paid to a hospital, excluding regional treatment centers and facilities of the federal Indian Health Service, with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate in excess of the arithmetic mean. The adjustment must be determined as follows:

(1) for a hospital with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate above the arithmetic mean for all hospitals excluding regional treatment centers and facilities of the federal Indian Health Service but less than or equal to one standard deviation above the mean, the adjustment must be determined by multiplying the total of the operating and property payment rates by the difference between the hospital's actual medical assistance inpatient utilization rate and the arithmetic mean for all hospitals excluding regional treatment centers and facilities of the federal Indian Health Service;

(2) for a hospital with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate above one standard deviation above the mean, the adjustment must be determined by multiplying the adjustment that would be determined under clause (1) for that hospital by 1.1. The commissioner may establish a separate disproportionate population operating payment rate adjustment under the general assistance medical care program. For purposes of this subdivision, medical assistance does not include general assistance medical care. The commissioner shall report annually on the number of hospitals likely to receive the adjustment authorized by this paragraph. The commissioner shall specifically report on the adjustments received by public hospitals and public hospital corporations located in cities of the first class;

(3) for a hospital that had medical assistance fee-for-service payment volume during calendar year 1991 in excess of 13 percent of total medical assistance fee-for-service payment volume, a medical assistance disproportionate population adjustment shall be paid in addition to any other disproportionate payment due under this subdivision as follows: $1,515,000 due on the 15th of each month after noon, beginning July 15, 1995. For a hospital that had medical assistance fee-for-service payment volume during calendar year 1991 in excess of eight percent of total medical assistance fee-for-service payment volume and was the primary hospital affiliated with the University of Minnesota, a medical assistance disproportionate population adjustment shall be paid in addition to any other disproportionate payment due under this subdivision as follows: $505,000 due on the 15th of each month after noon, beginning July 15, 1995; and

(4) effective August 1, 2005, the payments in paragraph (b), clause (3), shall be reduced to zero.

(c) The commissioner shall adjust rates paid to a health maintenance organization under contract with the commissioner to reflect rate increases provided in paragraph (b), clauses (1) and (2), on a nondiscounted hospital-specific basis but shall not adjust those rates to reflect payments provided in clause (3).

(d) If federal matching funds are not available for all adjustments under paragraph (b), the commissioner shall reduce payments under paragraph (b), clauses (1) and (2), on a pro rata basis so that all adjustments under paragraph (b) qualify for federal match.

(e) For purposes of this subdivision, medical assistance does not include general assistance medical care.

(f) For hospital services occurring on or after July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2007, :

(1) general assistance medical care expenditures for fee-for-service inpatient and outpatient hospital payments made by the department and by prepaid health plans participating in general assistance medical care shall be considered Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, except as limited below:

(1) (i) only the portion of Minnesota's disproportionate share hospital allotment under section 1923(f) of the Social Security Act that is not spent on the disproportionate population adjustments in paragraph (b), clauses (1) and (2), may be used for general assistance medical care expenditures;

(2) (ii) only those general assistance medical care expenditures made to hospitals that qualify for disproportionate share payments under section 1923 of the Social Security Act and the Medicaid state plan may be considered disproportionate share hospital payments;

(3) (iii) only those general assistance medical care expenditures made to an individual hospital that would not cause the hospital to exceed its individual hospital limits under section 1923 of the Social Security Act may be considered; and

(4) (iv) general assistance medical care expenditures may be considered only to the extent of Minnesota's aggregate allotment under section 1923 of the Social Security Act.

All hospitals and prepaid health plans participating in general assistance medical care must provide any necessary expenditure, cost, and revenue information required by the commissioner as necessary for purposes of obtaining federal Medicaid matching funds for general assistance medical care expenditures; and

(2) certified public expenditures made by Hennepin County Medical Center shall be considered Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments. Hennepin County and Hennepin County Medical Center shall report by June 15, 2007, on payments made beginning July 1, 2005, or another date specified by the commissioner, that may qualify for reimbursement under federal law. Based on these reports, the commissioner shall apply for federal matching funds.

(g) Upon federal approval of the related state plan amendment, paragraph (f) is effective retroactively from July 1, 2005, or the earliest effective date approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective retroactively from July 1, 2005.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.969, subdivision 27, is amended to read:

Subd. 27.

Quarterly payment adjustment.

(a) In addition to any other payment under this section, the commissioner shall make the following payments effective July 1, 2007:

(1) for a hospital located in Minnesota and not eligible for payments under subdivision 20, with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate greater than 17.8 percent of total patient days as of the base year in effect on July 1, 2005, a payment equal to 13 percent of the total of the operating and property payment rates;

(2) for a hospital located in Minnesota in a specified urban area outside of the seven-county metropolitan area and not eligible for payments under subdivision 20, with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate less than or equal to 17.8 percent of total patient days as of the base year in effect on July 1, 2005, a payment equal to ten percent of the total of the operating and property payment rates. For purposes of this clause, the following cities are specified urban areas: Detroit Lakes, Rochester, Willmar, Alexandria, Austin, Cambridge, Brainerd, Hibbing, Mankato, Duluth, St. Cloud, Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Fergus Falls, Albert Lea, Winona, Virginia, Thief River Falls, and Wadena; and

(3) for a hospital located in Minnesota but not located in a specified urban area under clause (2), with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate less than or equal to 17.8 percent of total patient days as of the base year in effect on July 1, 2005, a payment equal to four percent of the total of the operating and property payment rates. A hospital located in Woodbury and not in existence during the base year shall be reimbursed under this clause.; and

(4) in addition to any payments under clauses (1) to (3), for a hospital located in Minnesota and not eligible for payments under subdivision 20 with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate of 17.9 percent of total patient days as of the base year in effect on July 1, 2005, a payment equal to eight percent of the total of the operating and property payment rates, and for a hospital located in Minnesota and not eligible for payments under subdivision 20 with a medical assistance inpatient utilization rate of 59.6 percent of total patient days as of the base year in effect on July 1, 2005, a payment equal to nine percent of the total of the operating and property payment rates. After making any ratable adjustments required under paragraph (b), the commissioner shall proportionately reduce payments under clauses (2) and (3) by an amount needed to make payments under this clause.

(b) The state share of payments under paragraph (a) shall be equal to federal reimbursements to the commissioner to reimburse nonstate expenditures reported under section 256B.199. The commissioner shall ratably reduce or increase payments under this subdivision in order to ensure that these payments equal the amount of reimbursement received by the commissioner under section 256B.199, except that payments shall be ratably reduced by an amount equivalent to the state share of a four percent reduction in MinnesotaCare and medical assistance payments for inpatient hospital services. Effective July 1, 2009, the ratable reduction shall be equivalent to the state share of a three percent reduction in these payments.

(c) The payments under paragraph (a) shall be paid quarterly based on each hospital's operating and property payments from the second previous quarter, beginning on July 15, 2007, or upon federal approval of federal reimbursements under section 256B.199, whichever occurs later.

(d) The commissioner shall not adjust rates paid to a prepaid health plan under contract with the commissioner to reflect payments provided in paragraph (a).

(e) The commissioner shall maximize the use of available federal money for disproportionate share hospital payments and shall maximize payments to qualifying hospitals. In order to accomplish these purposes, the commissioner may, in consultation with the nonstate entities identified in section 256B.199, adjust, on a pro rata basis if feasible, the amounts reported by nonstate entities under section 256B.199 when application for reimbursement is made to the federal government, and otherwise adjust the provisions of this subdivision. The commissioner shall utilize a settlement process based on finalized data to maximize revenue under section 256B.199 and payments under this section.

(f) By January 15 of each year, beginning January 15, 2006, the commissioner shall report to the chairs of the house and senate finance committees and divisions with jurisdiction over funding for the Department of Human Services the following estimates for the current and upcoming federal and state fiscal years:

(1) the difference between the Medicare upper payment limit and actual or anticipated medical assistance payments for hospital services;

(2) the amount of federal disproportionate share hospital funding available to Minnesota and the amount expected to be claimed by the state; and

(3) the methodology used to calculate the results reported for clauses (1) and (2).

(g) For purposes of this subdivision, medical assistance does not include general assistance medical care.

(h) This section sunsets on June 30, 2009. The commissioner shall report to the legislature by December 15, 2008, with recommendations for maximizing federal disproportionate share hospital payments after June 30, 2009.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.04, subdivision 14, is amended to read:

Subd. 14.

Competitive bidding.

(a) When determined to be effective, economical, and feasible, the commissioner may utilize volume purchase through competitive bidding and negotiation under the provisions of chapter 16C, to provide items under the medical assistance program including but not limited to the following:

(1) eyeglasses;

(2) oxygen. The commissioner shall provide for oxygen needed in an emergency situation on a short-term basis, until the vendor can obtain the necessary supply from the contract dealer;

(3) hearing aids and supplies; and

(4) durable medical equipment, including but not limited to:

(i) hospital beds;

(ii) commodes;

(iii) glide-about chairs;

(iv) patient lift apparatus;

(v) wheelchairs and accessories;

(vi) oxygen administration equipment;

(vii) respiratory therapy equipment;

(viii) electronic diagnostic, therapeutic and life support systems;

(5) special nonemergency medical transportation services level of need determinations, disbursement of public transportation passes and tokens, and volunteer and recipient mileage and parking reimbursements; and

(6) drugs.

(b) Rate changes under this chapter and chapters 256D and 256L do not affect contract payments under this subdivision unless specifically identified.

(c) The commissioner may not utilize volume purchase through competitive bidding and negotiation for special transportation services under the provisions of chapter 16C.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.04, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 14a.

Level of need determination.

Nonemergency medical transportation level of need determinations must be performed by a physician, a registered nurse working under direct supervision of a physician, a physician's assistant, a nurse practitioner, a licensed practical nurse, or a discharge planner. Nonemergency medical transportation level of need determinations must not be performed more than semiannually on any individual, unless the individual's circumstances have sufficiently changed so as to require a new level of need determination. Individuals residing in licensed nursing facilities are exempt from a level of need determination and are eligible for special transportation services until the individual no longer resides in a licensed nursing facility. If a person authorized by this subdivision to perform a level of need determination determines that an individual requires stretcher transportation, the individual is presumed to maintain that level of need until otherwise determined by a person authorized to perform a level of need determination, or for six months, whichever is sooner.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.056, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

Subd. 10.

Eligibility verification.

(a) The commissioner shall require women who are applying for the continuation of medical assistance coverage following the end of the 60-day postpartum period to update their income and asset information and to submit any required income or asset verification.

(b) The commissioner shall determine the eligibility of private-sector health care coverage for infants less than one year of age eligible under section 256B.055, subdivision 10, or 256B.057, subdivision 1, paragraph (d), and shall pay for private-sector coverage if this is determined to be cost-effective.

(c) The commissioner shall modify the application for Minnesota health care programs to require more detailed information related to verification of assets and income, and shall verify assets and income for all applicants, and for all recipients upon renewal.

(d) The commissioner shall require Minnesota health care program recipients to report new or an increase in earned income within ten days of the change, and to verify new or an increase in earned income that affects eligibility within ten days of notification by the agency that the new or increased earned income affects eligibility. Recipients who fail to verify new or an increase in earned income that affects eligibility shall be disenrolled.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0625, subdivision 3f, is amended to read:

Subd. 3f.

Circumcision for newborns.

Newborn Circumcision is not covered, unless the procedure is medically necessary or required because of a well-established religious practice.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0631, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Co-payments.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision 2, the medical assistance benefit plan shall include the following co-payments for all recipients, effective for services provided on or after October 1, 2003, and before January 1, 2009:

(1) $3 per nonpreventive visit. For purposes of this subdivision, a visit means an episode of service which is required because of a recipient's symptoms, diagnosis, or established illness, and which is delivered in an ambulatory setting by a physician or physician ancillary, chiropractor, podiatrist, nurse midwife, advanced practice nurse, audiologist, optician, or optometrist;

(2) $3 for eyeglasses;

(3) $6 for nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room; and

(4) $3 per brand-name drug prescription and $1 per generic drug prescription, subject to a $12 per month maximum for prescription drug co-payments. No co-payments shall apply to antipsychotic drugs when used for the treatment of mental illness.

(b) Except as provided in subdivision 2, the medical assistance benefit plan shall include the following co-payments for all recipients, effective for services provided on or after January 1, 2009:

(1) $6 for nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room; and

(2) $3 per brand-name drug prescription and $1 per generic drug prescription, subject to a $7 per month maximum for prescription drug co-payments. No co-payments shall apply to antipsychotic drugs when used for the treatment of mental illness.

(c) Recipients of medical assistance are responsible for all co-payments in this subdivision.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0631, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Collection.

(a) The medical assistance reimbursement to the provider shall be reduced by the amount of the co-payment, except that reimbursement for prescription drugs shall not be reduced once a recipient has reached the $12 per month maximum or the $7 per month maximum effective January 1, 2009, for prescription drug co-payments.

(b) The provider collects the co-payment from the recipient. Providers may not deny services to recipients who are unable to pay the co-payment, except as provided in subdivision 4.

(c) Medical assistance reimbursement to fee-for-service providers and payments to managed care plans shall not be increased as a result of the removal of the co-payments effective January 1, 2009.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0644, is amended to read:

256B.0644 REIMBURSEMENT UNDER OTHER STATE HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS.

(a) A vendor of medical care, as defined in section 256B.02, subdivision 7, and a health maintenance organization, as defined in chapter 62D, must participate as a provider or contractor in the medical assistance program, general assistance medical care program, and MinnesotaCare as a condition of participating as a provider in health insurance plans and programs or contractor for state employees established under section 43A.18, the public employees insurance program under section 43A.316, for health insurance plans offered to local statutory or home rule charter city, county, and school district employees, the workers' compensation system under section 176.135, and insurance plans provided through the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association under sections 62E.01 to 62E.19. The limitations on insurance plans offered to local government employees shall not be applicable in geographic areas where provider participation is limited by managed care contracts with the Department of Human Services.

(b) For providers other than health maintenance organizations, participation in the medical assistance program means that:

(1) the provider accepts new medical assistance, general assistance medical care, and MinnesotaCare patients or;

(2) for providers other than dental service providers, at least 20 percent of the provider's patients are covered by medical assistance, general assistance medical care, and MinnesotaCare as their primary source of coverage, or; or

(3) for dental service providers, at least ten percent of the provider's patients are covered by medical assistance, general assistance medical care, and MinnesotaCare as their primary source of coverage, or the provider accepts new medical assistance and MinnesotaCare patients who are children with special health care needs. For purposes of this section, "children with special health care needs" means children up to age 18 who: (i) require health and related services beyond that required by children generally; and (ii) have or are at risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition, including: bleeding and coagulation disorders; immunodeficiency disorders; cancer; endocrinopathy; developmental disabilities; epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and other neurological diseases; visual impairment or deafness; Down syndrome and other genetic disorders; autism; fetal alcohol syndrome; and other conditions designated by the commissioner after consultation with representatives of pediatric dental providers and consumers.

(c) Patients seen on a volunteer basis by the provider at a location other than the provider's usual place of practice may be considered in meeting this the participation requirement in this section. The commissioner shall establish participation requirements for health maintenance organizations. The commissioner shall provide lists of participating medical assistance providers on a quarterly basis to the commissioner of employee relations, the commissioner of labor and industry, and the commissioner of commerce. Each of the commissioners shall develop and implement procedures to exclude as participating providers in the program or programs under their jurisdiction those providers who do not participate in the medical assistance program. The commissioner of employee relations shall implement this section through contracts with participating health and dental carriers.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.199, is amended to read:

256B.199 PAYMENTS REPORTED BY GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES.

(a) Effective July 1, 2007, the commissioner shall apply for federal matching funds for the expenditures in paragraphs (b) and (c).

(b) The commissioner shall apply for federal matching funds for certified public expenditures as follows:

(1) Hennepin County, Hennepin County Medical Center, Ramsey County, Regions Hospital, the University of Minnesota, and Fairview-University Medical Center shall report quarterly to the commissioner beginning June 1, 2007, payments made during the second previous quarter that may qualify for reimbursement under federal law.;

(b) (2) based on these reports, the commissioner shall apply for federal matching funds. These funds are appropriated to the commissioner for the payments under section 256.969, subdivision 27.; and

(c) (3) by May 1 of each year, beginning May 1, 2007, the commissioner shall inform the nonstate entities listed in paragraph (a) of the amount of federal disproportionate share hospital payment money expected to be available in the current federal fiscal year.

(c) The commissioner shall apply for federal matching funds for general assistance medical care expenditures as follows:

(1) for hospital services occurring on or after July 1, 2007, general assistance medical care expenditures for fee-for-service inpatient and outpatient hospital payments made by the department shall be used to apply for federal matching funds, except as limited below:

(i) only those general assistance medical care expenditures made to an individual hospital that would not cause the hospital to exceed its individual hospital limits under section 1923 of the Social Security Act may be considered; and

(ii) general assistance medical care expenditures may be considered only to the extent of Minnesota's aggregate allotment under section 1923 of the Social Security Act; and

(2) all hospitals must provide any necessary expenditure, cost, and revenue information required by the commissioner as necessary for purposes of obtaining federal Medicaid matching funds for general assistance medical care expenditures.

(d) This section sunsets on June 30, 2009. The commissioner shall report to the legislature by December 15, 2008, with recommendations for maximizing federal disproportionate share hospital payments after June 30, 2009.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.76, is amended to read:

256B.76 PHYSICIAN AND DENTAL REIMBURSEMENT.

(a) Effective for services rendered on or after October 1, 1992, the commissioner shall make payments for physician services as follows:

(1) payment for level one Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' common procedural coding system codes titled "office and other outpatient services," "preventive medicine new and established patient," "delivery, antepartum, and postpartum care," "critical care," cesarean delivery and pharmacologic management provided to psychiatric patients, and level three codes for enhanced services for prenatal high risk, shall be paid at the lower of (i) submitted charges, or (ii) 25 percent above the rate in effect on June 30, 1992. If the rate on any procedure code within these categories is different than the rate that would have been paid under the methodology in section 256B.74, subdivision 2, then the larger rate shall be paid;

(2) payments for all other services shall be paid at the lower of (i) submitted charges, or (ii) 15.4 percent above the rate in effect on June 30, 1992;

(3) all physician rates shall be converted from the 50th percentile of 1982 to the 50th percentile of 1989, less the percent in aggregate necessary to equal the above increases except that payment rates for home health agency services shall be the rates in effect on September 30, 1992;

(4) effective for services rendered on or after January 1, 2000, payment rates for physician and professional services shall be increased by three percent over the rates in effect on December 31, 1999, except for home health agency and family planning agency services; and

(5) the increases in clause (4) shall be implemented January 1, 2000, for managed care.

(b) Effective for services rendered on or after October 1, 1992, the commissioner shall make payments for dental services as follows:

(1) dental services shall be paid at the lower of (i) submitted charges, or (ii) 25 percent above the rate in effect on June 30, 1992;

(2) dental rates shall be converted from the 50th percentile of 1982 to the 50th percentile of 1989, less the percent in aggregate necessary to equal the above increases;

(3) effective for services rendered on or after January 1, 2000, payment rates for dental services shall be increased by three percent over the rates in effect on December 31, 1999;

(4) the commissioner shall award grants to community clinics or other nonprofit community organizations, political subdivisions, professional associations, or other organizations that demonstrate the ability to provide dental services effectively to public program recipients. Grants may be used to fund the costs related to coordinating access for recipients, developing and implementing patient care criteria, upgrading or establishing new facilities, acquiring furnishings or equipment, recruiting new providers, or other development costs that will improve access to dental care in a region. In awarding grants, the commissioner shall give priority to applicants that plan to serve areas of the state in which the number of dental providers is not currently sufficient to meet the needs of recipients of public programs or uninsured individuals. The commissioner shall consider the following in awarding the grants:

(i) potential to successfully increase access to an underserved population;

(ii) the ability to raise matching funds;

(iii) the long-term viability of the project to improve access beyond the period of initial funding;

(iv) the efficiency in the use of the funding; and

(v) the experience of the proposers in providing services to the target population.

The commissioner shall monitor the grants and may terminate a grant if the grantee does not increase dental access for public program recipients. The commissioner shall consider grants for the following:

(i) implementation of new programs or continued expansion of current access programs that have demonstrated success in providing dental services in underserved areas;

(ii) a pilot program for utilizing hygienists outside of a traditional dental office to provide dental hygiene services; and

(iii) a program that organizes a network of volunteer dentists, establishes a system to refer eligible individuals to volunteer dentists, and through that network provides donated dental care services to public program recipients or uninsured individuals;

(5) beginning October 1, 1999, the payment for tooth sealants and fluoride treatments shall be the lower of (i) submitted charge, or (ii) 80 percent of median 1997 charges;

(6) the increases listed in clauses (3) and (5) shall be implemented January 1, 2000, for managed care; and

(7) effective for services provided on or after January 1, 2002, payment for diagnostic examinations and dental x-rays provided to children under age 21 shall be the lower of (i) the submitted charge, or (ii) 85 percent of median 1999 charges.

(c) Effective for dental services rendered on or after January 1, 2002, the commissioner may, within the limits of available appropriation, shall increase reimbursements to dentists and dental clinics deemed by the commissioner to be critical access dental providers. Reimbursement to a critical access dental provider may be increased by not more than 50 percent above the reimbursement rate that would otherwise be paid to the provider. Payments to health plan companies shall be adjusted to For dental services rendered on or after July 1, 2007, the commissioner shall increase reimbursement by 30 percent above the reimbursement rate that would otherwise be paid to the critical access dental provider. The commissioner shall pay the health plan companies in amounts sufficient to reflect increased reimbursements to critical access dental providers as approved by the commissioner. In determining which dentists and dental clinics shall be deemed critical access dental providers, the commissioner shall review:

(1) the utilization rate in the service area in which the dentist or dental clinic operates for dental services to patients covered by medical assistance, general assistance medical care, or MinnesotaCare as their primary source of coverage;

(2) the level of services provided by the dentist or dental clinic to patients covered by medical assistance, general assistance medical care, or MinnesotaCare as their primary source of coverage; and

(3) whether the level of services provided by the dentist or dental clinic is critical to maintaining adequate levels of patient access within the service area.

In the absence of a critical access dental provider in a service area, the commissioner may designate a dentist or dental clinic as a critical access dental provider if the dentist or dental clinic is willing to provide care to patients covered by medical assistance, general assistance medical care, or MinnesotaCare at a level which significantly increases access to dental care in the service area.

The commissioner shall annually establish a reimbursement schedule for critical access dental providers and provider-specific limits on total reimbursement received under the reimbursement schedule, and shall notify each critical access dental provider of the schedule and limit.

(d) An entity that operates both a Medicare certified comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility and a facility which was certified prior to January 1, 1993, that is licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9570.2000 to 9570.3600, and for whom at least 33 percent of the clients receiving rehabilitation services in the most recent calendar year are medical assistance recipients, shall be reimbursed by the commissioner for rehabilitation services at rates that are 38 percent greater than the maximum reimbursement rate allowed under paragraph (a), clause (2), when those services are (1) provided within the comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility and (2) provided to residents of nursing facilities owned by the entity.

(e) Effective for services rendered on or after January 1, 2007, the commissioner shall make payments for physician and professional services based on the Medicare relative value units (RVU's). This change shall be budget neutral and the cost of implementing RVU's will be incorporated in the established conversion factor.

Sec. 15.

[256B.764] REIMBURSEMENT FOR FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES.

Effective for services rendered on or after July 1, 2007, payment rates for family planning services shall be increased by 25 percent over the rates in effect June 30, 2007, when these services are provided by a community clinic as defined in section 145.9268, subdivision 1.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256D.03, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

General assistance medical care; eligibility.

(a) General assistance medical care may be paid for any person who is not eligible for medical assistance under chapter 256B, including eligibility for medical assistance based on a spenddown of excess income according to section 256B.056, subdivision 5, or MinnesotaCare as defined in paragraph (b), except as provided in paragraph (c), and:

(1) who is receiving assistance under section 256D.05, except for families with children who are eligible under Minnesota family investment program (MFIP), or who is having a payment made on the person's behalf under sections 256I.01 to 256I.06; or

(2) who is a resident of Minnesota; and

(i) who has gross countable income not in excess of 75 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for the family size, using a six-month budget period and whose equity in assets is not in excess of $1,000 per assistance unit. General assistance medical care is not available for applicants or enrollees who are otherwise eligible for medical assistance but fail to verify their assets. Enrollees who become eligible for medical assistance shall be terminated and transferred to medical assistance. Exempt assets, the reduction of excess assets, and the waiver of excess assets must conform to the medical assistance program in section 256B.056, subdivision 3, with the following exception: the maximum amount of undistributed funds in a trust that could be distributed to or on behalf of the beneficiary by the trustee, assuming the full exercise of the trustee's discretion under the terms of the trust, must be applied toward the asset maximum;

(ii) who has gross countable income above 75 percent of the federal poverty guidelines but not in excess of 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for the family size, using a six-month budget period, whose equity in assets is not in excess of the limits in section 256B.056, subdivision 3c, and who applies during an inpatient hospitalization; or

(iii) the commissioner shall adjust the income standards under this section each July 1 by the annual update of the federal poverty guidelines following publication by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

(b) Effective for applications and renewals processed on or after September 1, 2006, general assistance medical care may not be paid for applicants or recipients who are adults with dependent children under 21 whose gross family income is equal to or less than 275 percent of the federal poverty guidelines who are not described in paragraph (e).

(c) Effective for applications and renewals processed on or after September 1, 2006, general assistance medical care may be paid for applicants and recipients who meet all eligibility requirements of paragraph (a), clause (2), item (i), for a temporary period beginning the date of application. Immediately following approval of general assistance medical care, enrollees shall be enrolled in MinnesotaCare under section 256L.04, subdivision 7, with covered services as provided in section 256L.03 for the rest of the six-month general assistance medical care eligibility period, until their six-month renewal.

(d) To be eligible for general assistance medical care following enrollment in MinnesotaCare as required by paragraph (c), an individual must complete a new application.

(e) Applicants and recipients eligible under paragraph (a), clause (1); who have applied for and are awaiting a determination of blindness or disability by the state medical review team or a determination of eligibility for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance by the Social Security Administration; who fail to meet the requirements of section 256L.09, subdivision 2; who are homeless as defined by United States Code, title 42, section 11301, et seq.; who are classified as end-stage renal disease beneficiaries in the Medicare program; who are enrolled in private health care coverage as defined in section 256B.02, subdivision 9; who are eligible under paragraph (j); or who receive treatment funded pursuant to section 254B.02 are exempt from the MinnesotaCare enrollment requirements of this subdivision.

(f) For applications received on or after October 1, 2003, eligibility may begin no earlier than the date of application. For individuals eligible under paragraph (a), clause (2), item (i), a redetermination of eligibility must occur every 12 months. Individuals are eligible under paragraph (a), clause (2), item (ii), only during inpatient hospitalization but may reapply if there is a subsequent period of inpatient hospitalization.

(g) Beginning September 1, 2006, Minnesota health care program applications and renewals completed by recipients and applicants who are persons described in paragraph (c) and submitted to the county agency shall be determined for MinnesotaCare eligibility by the county agency. If all other eligibility requirements of this subdivision are met, eligibility for general assistance medical care shall be available in any month during which MinnesotaCare enrollment is pending. Upon notification of eligibility for MinnesotaCare, notice of termination for eligibility for general assistance medical care shall be sent to an applicant or recipient. If all other eligibility requirements of this subdivision are met, eligibility for general assistance medical care shall be available until enrollment in MinnesotaCare subject to the provisions of paragraphs (c), (e), and (f).

(h) The date of an initial Minnesota health care program application necessary to begin a determination of eligibility shall be the date the applicant has provided a name, address, and Social Security number, signed and dated, to the county agency or the Department of Human Services. If the applicant is unable to provide a name, address, Social Security number, and signature when health care is delivered due to a medical condition or disability, a health care provider may act on an applicant's behalf to establish the date of an initial Minnesota health care program application by providing the county agency or Department of Human Services with provider identification and a temporary unique identifier for the applicant. The applicant must complete the remainder of the application and provide necessary verification before eligibility can be determined. The county agency must assist the applicant in obtaining verification if necessary.

(i) County agencies are authorized to use all automated databases containing information regarding recipients' or applicants' income in order to determine eligibility for general assistance medical care or MinnesotaCare. Such use shall be considered sufficient in order to determine eligibility and premium payments by the county agency.

(j) General assistance medical care is not available for a person in a correctional facility unless the person is detained by law for less than one year in a county correctional or detention facility as a person accused or convicted of a crime, or admitted as an inpatient to a hospital on a criminal hold order, and the person is a recipient of general assistance medical care at the time the person is detained by law or admitted on a criminal hold order and as long as the person continues to meet other eligibility requirements of this subdivision.

(k) General assistance medical care is not available for applicants or recipients who do not cooperate with the county agency to meet the requirements of medical assistance.

(l) In determining the amount of assets of an individual eligible under paragraph (a), clause (2), item (i), there shall be included any asset or interest in an asset, including an asset excluded under paragraph (a), that was given away, sold, or disposed of for less than fair market value within the 60 months preceding application for general assistance medical care or during the period of eligibility. Any transfer described in this paragraph shall be presumed to have been for the purpose of establishing eligibility for general assistance medical care, unless the individual furnishes convincing evidence to establish that the transaction was exclusively for another purpose. For purposes of this paragraph, the value of the asset or interest shall be the fair market value at the time it was given away, sold, or disposed of, less the amount of compensation received. For any uncompensated transfer, the number of months of ineligibility, including partial months, shall be calculated by dividing the uncompensated transfer amount by the average monthly per person payment made by the medical assistance program to skilled nursing facilities for the previous calendar year. The individual shall remain ineligible until this fixed period has expired. The period of ineligibility may exceed 30 months, and a reapplication for benefits after 30 months from the date of the transfer shall not result in eligibility unless and until the period of ineligibility has expired. The period of ineligibility begins in the month the transfer was reported to the county agency, or if the transfer was not reported, the month in which the county agency discovered the transfer, whichever comes first. For applicants, the period of ineligibility begins on the date of the first approved application.

(m) When determining eligibility for any state benefits under this subdivision, the income and resources of all noncitizens shall be deemed to include their sponsor's income and resources as defined in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, title IV, Public Law 104-193, sections 421 and 422, and subsequently set out in federal rules.

(n) Undocumented noncitizens and nonimmigrants are ineligible for general assistance medical care. For purposes of this subdivision, a nonimmigrant is an individual in one or more of the classes listed in United States Code, title 8, section 1101(a)(15), and an undocumented noncitizen is an individual who resides in the United States without the approval or acquiescence of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

(o) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a noncitizen who is ineligible for medical assistance due to the deeming of a sponsor's income and resources, is ineligible for general assistance medical care.

(p) Effective July 1, 2003, general assistance medical care emergency services end.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256D.03, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

General assistance medical care; services.

(a)(i) For a person who is eligible under subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (2), item (i), general assistance medical care covers, except as provided in paragraph (c):

(1) inpatient hospital services;

(2) outpatient hospital services;

(3) services provided by Medicare certified rehabilitation agencies;

(4) prescription drugs and other products recommended through the process established in section 256B.0625, subdivision 13;

(5) equipment necessary to administer insulin and diagnostic supplies and equipment for diabetics to monitor blood sugar level;

(6) eyeglasses and eye examinations provided by a physician or optometrist;

(7) hearing aids;

(8) prosthetic devices;

(9) laboratory and X-ray services;

(10) physician's services;

(11) medical transportation except special transportation;

(12) chiropractic services as covered under the medical assistance program;

(13) podiatric services;

(14) dental services as covered under the medical assistance program;

(15) outpatient services provided by a mental health center or clinic that is under contract with the county board and is established under section 245.62;

(16) day treatment services for mental illness provided under contract with the county board;

(17) prescribed medications for persons who have been diagnosed as mentally ill as necessary to prevent more restrictive institutionalization;

(18) psychological services, medical supplies and equipment, and Medicare premiums, coinsurance and deductible payments;

(19) medical equipment not specifically listed in this paragraph when the use of the equipment will prevent the need for costlier services that are reimbursable under this subdivision;

(20) services performed by a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, a certified family nurse practitioner, a certified adult nurse practitioner, a certified obstetric/gynecological nurse practitioner, a certified neonatal nurse practitioner, or a certified geriatric nurse practitioner in independent practice, if (1) the service is otherwise covered under this chapter as a physician service, (2) the service provided on an inpatient basis is not included as part of the cost for inpatient services included in the operating payment rate, and (3) the service is within the scope of practice of the nurse practitioner's license as a registered nurse, as defined in section 148.171;

(21) services of a certified public health nurse or a registered nurse practicing in a public health nursing clinic that is a department of, or that operates under the direct authority of, a unit of government, if the service is within the scope of practice of the public health nurse's license as a registered nurse, as defined in section 148.171;

(22) telemedicine consultations, to the extent they are covered under section 256B.0625, subdivision 3b; and

(23) mental health telemedicine and psychiatric consultation as covered under section 256B.0625, subdivisions 46 and 48.;

(24) care coordination and patient education services provided by a community health worker according to section 256B.0625, subdivision 49; and

(25) regardless of the number of employees that an enrolled health care provider may have, sign language interpreter services when provided by an enrolled health care provider during the course of providing a direct, person-to-person covered health care service to an enrolled recipient who has a hearing loss and uses interpreting services.

(ii) Effective October 1, 2003, for a person who is eligible under subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (2), item (ii), general assistance medical care coverage is limited to inpatient hospital services, including physician services provided during the inpatient hospital stay. A $1,000 deductible is required for each inpatient hospitalization.

(b) Effective August 1, 2005, sex reassignment surgery is not covered under this subdivision.

(c) In order to contain costs, the commissioner of human services shall select vendors of medical care who can provide the most economical care consistent with high medical standards and shall where possible contract with organizations on a prepaid capitation basis to provide these services. The commissioner shall consider proposals by counties and vendors for prepaid health plans, competitive bidding programs, block grants, or other vendor payment mechanisms designed to provide services in an economical manner or to control utilization, with safeguards to ensure that necessary services are provided. Before implementing prepaid programs in counties with a county operated or affiliated public teaching hospital or a hospital or clinic operated by the University of Minnesota, the commissioner shall consider the risks the prepaid program creates for the hospital and allow the county or hospital the opportunity to participate in the program in a manner that reflects the risk of adverse selection and the nature of the patients served by the hospital, provided the terms of participation in the program are competitive with the terms of other participants considering the nature of the population served. Payment for services provided pursuant to this subdivision shall be as provided to medical assistance vendors of these services under sections 256B.02, subdivision 8, and 256B.0625. For payments made during fiscal year 1990 and later years, the commissioner shall consult with an independent actuary in establishing prepayment rates, but shall retain final control over the rate methodology.

(d) Effective January 1, 2008, drug coverage under general assistance medical care is limited to prescription drugs that:

(i) are covered under the medical assistance program as described in section 256B.0625, subdivisions 13 and 13d; and

(ii) are provided by manufacturers that have fully executed general assistance medical care rebate agreements with the commissioner and comply with the agreements. Prescription drug coverage under general assistance medical care must conform to coverage under the medical assistance program according to section 256B.0625, subdivisions 13 to 13g.

(d) (e) Recipients eligible under subdivision 3, paragraph (a), shall pay the following co-payments for services provided on or after October 1, 2003, and before January 1, 2009:

(1) $25 for eyeglasses;

(2) $25 for nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room;

(3) $3 per brand-name drug prescription and $1 per generic drug prescription, subject to a $12 per month maximum for prescription drug co-payments. No co-payments shall apply to antipsychotic drugs when used for the treatment of mental illness; and

(4) 50 percent coinsurance on restorative dental services.

(e) (f) Recipients eligible under subdivision 3, paragraph (a), shall include the following co-payments for services provided on or after January 1, 2009:

(1) $25 for nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room; and

(2) $3 per brand-name drug prescription and $1 per generic drug prescription, subject to a $7 per month maximum for prescription drug co-payments. No co-payments shall apply to antipsychotic drugs when used for the treatment of mental illness.

(g) Co-payments shall be limited to one per day per provider for nonpreventive visits, eyeglasses, and nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room. Recipients of general assistance medical care are responsible for all co-payments in this subdivision. The general assistance medical care reimbursement to the provider shall be reduced by the amount of the co-payment, except that reimbursement for prescription drugs shall not be reduced once a recipient has reached the $12 per month maximum for prescription drug co-payments. The provider collects the co-payment from the recipient. Providers may not deny services to recipients who are unable to pay the co-payment, except as provided in paragraph (f). This paragraph expires January 1, 2009.

(f) If it is the routine business practice of a provider to refuse service to an individual with uncollected debt, the provider may include uncollected co-payments under this section. A provider must give advance notice to a recipient with uncollected debt before services can be denied.

(h) Effective January 1, 2009, co-payments shall be limited to one per day per provider for nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room. Recipients of general assistance medical care are responsible for all co-payments in this subdivision. The general assistance medical care reimbursement to the provider shall be reduced by the amount of the co-payment, except that reimbursement for prescription drugs shall not be reduced once a recipient has reached the $7 per month maximum for prescription drug co-payments. The provider collects the co-payment from the recipient. Providers may not deny services to recipients who are unable to pay the co-payment.

(i) General assistance medical care reimbursement to fee-for-service providers and payments to managed care plans shall not be increased as a result of the removal of the co-payments effective January 1, 2009.

(g) (j) Any county may, from its own resources, provide medical payments for which state payments are not made.

(h) (k) Chemical dependency services that are reimbursed under chapter 254B must not be reimbursed under general assistance medical care.

(i) (l) The maximum payment for new vendors enrolled in the general assistance medical care program after the base year shall be determined from the average usual and customary charge of the same vendor type enrolled in the base year.

(j) (m) The conditions of payment for services under this subdivision are the same as the conditions specified in rules adopted under chapter 256B governing the medical assistance program, unless otherwise provided by statute or rule.

(k) (n) Inpatient and outpatient payments shall be reduced by five percent, effective July 1, 2003. This reduction is in addition to the five percent reduction effective July 1, 2003, and incorporated by reference in paragraph (i) (l).

(l) (o) Payments for all other health services except inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy services shall be reduced by five percent, effective July 1, 2003.

(m) (p) Payments to managed care plans shall be reduced by five percent for services provided on or after October 1, 2003.

(n) (q) A hospital receiving a reduced payment as a result of this section may apply the unpaid balance toward satisfaction of the hospital's bad debts.

(o) (r) Fee-for-service payments for nonpreventive visits shall be reduced by $3 for services provided on or after January 1, 2006. For purposes of this subdivision, a visit means an episode of service which is required because of a recipient's symptoms, diagnosis, or established illness, and which is delivered in an ambulatory setting by a physician or physician ancillary, chiropractor, podiatrist, advance practice nurse, audiologist, optician, or optometrist.

(p) (s) Payments to managed care plans shall not be increased as a result of the removal of the $3 nonpreventive visit co-payment effective January 1, 2006.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007, unless another effective date is explicit.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.01, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Scope.

For purposes of sections 256L.01 to 256L.18 this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings given them.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.01, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Gross individual or gross family income.

(a) "Gross individual or gross family income" for nonfarm self-employed means income calculated for the six-month 12-month period of eligibility using the net profit or loss reported on the applicant's federal income tax form for the previous year and using the medical assistance families with children methodology for determining allowable and nonallowable self-employment expenses and countable income.

(b) "Gross individual or gross family income" for farm self-employed means income calculated for the six-month 12-month period of eligibility using as the baseline the adjusted gross income reported on the applicant's federal income tax form for the previous year and adding back in reported depreciation amounts that apply to the business in which the family is currently engaged.

(c) "Gross individual or gross family income" means the total income for all family members, calculated for the six-month 12-month period of eligibility.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007, or upon federal approval, whichever is later.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Covered health services.

For individuals under section 256L.04, subdivision 7, with income no greater than 75 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or for families with children under section 256L.04, subdivision 1, all subdivisions of this section apply. "Covered health services" means the health services reimbursed under chapter 256B, with the exception of inpatient hospital services, special education services, private duty nursing services, adult dental care services other than services covered under section 256B.0625, subdivision 9, orthodontic services, nonemergency medical transportation services, personal care assistant and case management services, nursing home or intermediate care facilities services, inpatient mental health services, and chemical dependency services. Outpatient mental health services covered under the MinnesotaCare program are limited to diagnostic assessments, psychological testing, explanation of findings, mental health telemedicine, psychiatric consultation, medication management by a physician, day treatment, partial hospitalization, and individual, family, and group psychotherapy.

No public funds shall be used for coverage of abortion under MinnesotaCare except where the life of the female would be endangered or substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function would result if the fetus were carried to term; or where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Covered health services shall be expanded as provided in this section.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.03, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Inpatient hospital services.

(a) Covered health services shall include inpatient hospital services, including inpatient hospital mental health services and inpatient hospital and residential chemical dependency treatment, subject to those limitations necessary to coordinate the provision of these services with eligibility under the medical assistance spenddown. Prior to July 1, 1997, the inpatient hospital benefit for adult enrollees is subject to an annual benefit limit of $10,000. The inpatient hospital benefit for adult enrollees who qualify under section 256L.04, subdivision 7, or who qualify under section 256L.04, subdivisions 1 and 2, with family gross income that exceeds 175 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or 215 percent of the federal poverty guidelines on or after July 1, 2009, and who are not pregnant, is subject to an annual limit of $10,000.

(b) Admissions for inpatient hospital services paid for under section 256L.11, subdivision 3, must be certified as medically necessary in accordance with Minnesota Rules, parts 9505.0500 to 9505.0540, except as provided in clauses (1) and (2):

(1) all admissions must be certified, except those authorized under rules established under section 254A.03, subdivision 3, or approved under Medicare; and

(2) payment under section 256L.11, subdivision 3, shall be reduced by five percent for admissions for which certification is requested more than 30 days after the day of admission. The hospital may not seek payment from the enrollee for the amount of the payment reduction under this clause.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.03, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Co-payments and coinsurance.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), the MinnesotaCare benefit plan shall include the following co-payments and coinsurance requirements for all enrollees:

(1) ten percent of the paid charges for inpatient hospital services for adult enrollees, subject to an annual inpatient out-of-pocket maximum of $1,000 per individual and $3,000 per family;

(2) $3 per prescription for adult enrollees;

(3) $25 for eyeglasses for adult enrollees;

(4) $3 per nonpreventive visit. For purposes of this subdivision, a "visit" means an episode of service which is required because of a recipient's symptoms, diagnosis, or established illness, and which is delivered in an ambulatory setting by a physician or physician ancillary, chiropractor, podiatrist, nurse midwife, advanced practice nurse, audiologist, optician, or optometrist; and

(5) $6 for nonemergency visits to a hospital-based emergency room.

(b) Paragraph (a), clause (1), does not apply to parents and relative caretakers of children under the age of 21 in households with family income equal to or less than 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Paragraph (a), clause (1), does not apply to parents and relative caretakers of children under the age of 21 in households with family income greater than 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for inpatient hospital admissions occurring on or after January 1, 2001.

(c) Paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (4), do does not apply to pregnant women and children under the age of 21.

(d) Adult enrollees with family gross income that exceeds 175 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or 215 percent of the federal poverty guidelines on or after July 1, 2009, and who are not pregnant shall be financially responsible for the coinsurance amount, if applicable, and amounts which exceed the $10,000 inpatient hospital benefit limit.

(e) When a MinnesotaCare enrollee becomes a member of a prepaid health plan, or changes from one prepaid health plan to another during a calendar year, any charges submitted towards the $10,000 annual inpatient benefit limit, and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the enrollee for inpatient services, that were submitted or incurred prior to enrollment, or prior to the change in health plans, shall be disregarded.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.04, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Single adults and households with no children.

The definition of eligible persons includes all individuals and households with no children who have gross family incomes that are equal to or less than 175 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Effective July 1, 2009, the definition of eligible persons includes all individuals and households with no children who have gross family incomes that are equal to or less than 215 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2008.

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Application and information availability.

Applications and other information application assistance must be made available to at provider offices, local human services agencies, school districts, public and private elementary schools in which 25 percent or more of the students receive free or reduced price lunches, community health offices, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program sites, Head Start program sites, public housing councils, crisis nurseries, child care centers, early childhood education and preschool program sites, legal aid offices, and libraries. These sites may accept applications and forward the forms to the commissioner or local county human services agencies that choose to participate as an enrollment site. Otherwise, applicants may apply directly to the commissioner or to participating local county human services agencies. Beginning January 1, 2000, MinnesotaCare enrollment sites will be expanded to include local county human services agencies which choose to participate.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.05, subdivision 1b, is amended to read:

Subd. 1b.

MinnesotaCare enrollment by county agencies.

Beginning September 1, 2006, county agencies shall enroll single adults and households with no children formerly enrolled in general assistance medical care in MinnesotaCare according to section 256D.03, subdivision 3. County agencies shall perform all duties necessary to administer the MinnesotaCare program ongoing for these enrollees, including the redetermination of MinnesotaCare eligibility at six-month renewal.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.05, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Commissioner's duties.

(a) The commissioner or county agency shall use electronic verification as the primary method of income verification. If there is a discrepancy between reported income and electronically verified income, an individual may be required to submit additional verification. In addition, the commissioner shall perform random audits to verify reported income and eligibility. The commissioner may execute data sharing arrangements with the Department of Revenue and any other governmental agency in order to perform income verification related to eligibility and premium payment under the MinnesotaCare program.

(b) In determining eligibility for MinnesotaCare, the commissioner shall require applicants and enrollees seeking renewal of eligibility to verify both earned and unearned income. The commissioner shall also require applicants and enrollees to submit the names of their employers and a contact name with a telephone number for each employer for purposes of verifying whether the applicant or enrollee, and any dependents, are eligible for employer-subsidized coverage. Data collected is nonpublic data as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 9.

Sec. 27.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.05, subdivision 3a, is amended to read:

Subd. 3a.

Renewal of eligibility.

(a) Beginning January 1, 1999 July 1, 2007, an enrollee's eligibility must be renewed every 12 months. The 12-month period begins in the month after the month the application is approved.

(b) Beginning October 1, 2004, an enrollee's eligibility must be renewed every six months. The first six-month period of eligibility begins the month the application is received by the commissioner. The effective date of coverage within the first six-month period of eligibility is as provided in subdivision 3. Each new period of eligibility must take into account any changes in circumstances that impact eligibility and premium amount. An enrollee must provide all the information needed to redetermine eligibility by the first day of the month that ends the eligibility period. The premium for the new period of eligibility must be received as provided in section 256L.06 in order for eligibility to continue.

(c) For single adults and households with no children formerly enrolled in general assistance medical care and enrolled in MinnesotaCare according to section 256D.03, subdivision 3, the first six-month period of eligibility begins the month the enrollee submitted the application or renewal for general assistance medical care.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007, or upon federal approval, whichever is later.

Sec. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.07, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

General requirements.

(a) Children enrolled in the original children's health plan as of September 30, 1992, children who enrolled in the MinnesotaCare program after September 30, 1992, pursuant to Laws 1992, chapter 549, article 4, section 17, and children who have family gross incomes that are equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible without meeting the requirements of subdivision 2 and the four-month requirement in subdivision 3, as long as they maintain continuous coverage in the MinnesotaCare program or medical assistance. Children who apply for MinnesotaCare on or after the implementation date of the employer-subsidized health coverage program as described in Laws 1998, chapter 407, article 5, section 45, who have family gross incomes that are equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, must meet the requirements of subdivision 2 to be eligible for MinnesotaCare.

(b) Families enrolled in MinnesotaCare under section 256L.04, subdivision 1, whose income increases above 275 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, are no longer eligible for the program and shall be disenrolled by the commissioner. Beginning January 1, 2008, individuals enrolled in MinnesotaCare under section 256L.04, subdivision 7, whose income increases above 175 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or 215 percent of the federal poverty guidelines on or after July 1, 2009, are no longer eligible for the program and shall be disenrolled by the commissioner. For persons disenrolled under this subdivision, MinnesotaCare coverage terminates the last day of the calendar month following the month in which the commissioner determines that the income of a family or individual exceeds program income limits.

(c) (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) (a), children may remain enrolled in MinnesotaCare if ten percent of their gross individual or gross family income as defined in section 256L.01, subdivision 4, is less than the annual premium for a six-month policy with a $500 deductible available through the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association. Children who are no longer eligible for MinnesotaCare under this clause shall be given a 12-month notice period from the date that ineligibility is determined before disenrollment. The premium for children remaining eligible under this clause shall be the maximum premium determined under section 256L.15, subdivision 2, paragraph (b).

(d) (c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b) (a) and (c) (b), parents are not eligible for MinnesotaCare if gross household income exceeds $25,000 for the six-month $50,000 for the twelve-month period of eligibility.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007, or upon federal approval, whichever is later.

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.07, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

Subd. 6.

Exception for certain adults.

Single adults and households with no children formerly enrolled in general assistance medical care and enrolled in MinnesotaCare according to section 256D.03, subdivision 3, are eligible without meeting the requirements of this section until six-month renewal.

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.09, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Eligibility as Minnesota resident.

(a) For purposes of this section, a permanent Minnesota resident is a person who has demonstrated, through persuasive and objective evidence, that the person is domiciled in the state and intends to live in the state permanently.

(b) To be eligible as a permanent resident, an applicant must demonstrate the requisite intent to live in the state permanently by:

(1) showing that the applicant maintains a residence at a verified address other than a place of public accommodation, through the use of evidence of residence described in section 256D.02, subdivision 12a, paragraph (b), clause (1) (2);

(2) demonstrating that the applicant has been continuously domiciled in the state for no less than 180 days immediately before the application; and

(3) signing an affidavit declaring that (A) the applicant currently resides in the state and intends to reside in the state permanently; and (B) the applicant did not come to the state for the primary purpose of obtaining medical coverage or treatment.

(c) A person who is temporarily absent from the state does not lose eligibility for MinnesotaCare. "Temporarily absent from the state" means the person is out of the state for a temporary purpose and intends to return when the purpose of the absence has been accomplished. A person is not temporarily absent from the state if another state has determined that the person is a resident for any purpose. If temporarily absent from the state, the person must follow the requirements of the health plan in which the person is enrolled to receive services.

Sec. 31.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.11, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Critical access dental providers.

Effective for dental services provided to MinnesotaCare enrollees on or after January 1, 2007, the commissioner shall increase payment rates to dentists and dental clinics deemed by the commissioner to be critical access providers under section 256B.76, paragraph (c), by 50 percent above the payment rate that would otherwise be paid to the provider. The commissioner shall adjust the rates paid on or after January 1, 2007, to pay the prepaid health plans under contract with the commissioner amounts sufficient to reflect this rate increase. The prepaid health plan must pass this rate increase to providers who have been identified by the commissioner as critical access dental providers under section 256B.76, paragraph (c).

Sec. 32.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.15, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Premium determination.

(a) Families with children and individuals shall pay a premium determined according to subdivision 2.

(b) Pregnant women and children under age two are exempt from the provisions of section 256L.06, subdivision 3, paragraph (b), clause (3), requiring disenrollment for failure to pay premiums. For pregnant women, this exemption continues until the first day of the month following the 60th day postpartum. Women who remain enrolled during pregnancy or the postpartum period, despite nonpayment of premiums, shall be disenrolled on the first of the month following the 60th day postpartum for the penalty period that otherwise applies under section 256L.06, unless they begin paying premiums.

(c) Members of the military and their families who meet the eligibility criteria for MinnesotaCare upon eligibility approval made within 24 months following the end of the member's tour of active duty shall have their premiums paid by the commissioner. The effective date of coverage for an individual or family who meets the criteria of this paragraph shall be the first day of the month following the month in which eligibility is approved. This exemption applies for 12 months. This paragraph expires June 30, 2010.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007, or upon federal approval, whichever is later. The commissioner of human services shall notify the Office of the Revisor of Statutes when federal approval is obtained.

Sec. 33.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.15, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Sliding fee scale; monthly gross individual or family income.

(a) The commissioner shall establish a sliding fee scale to determine the percentage of monthly gross individual or family income that households at different income levels must pay to obtain coverage through the MinnesotaCare program. The sliding fee scale must be based on the enrollee's monthly gross individual or family income. The sliding fee scale must contain separate tables based on enrollment of one, two, or three or more persons. The sliding fee scale begins with a premium of 1.5 percent of monthly gross individual or family income for individuals or families with incomes below the limits for the medical assistance program for families and children in effect on January 1, 1999, and proceeds through the following evenly spaced steps: 1.8, 2.3, 3.1, 3.8, 4.8, 5.9, 7.4, and 8.8 percent. These percentages are matched to evenly spaced income steps ranging from the medical assistance income limit for families and children in effect on January 1, 1999, to 275 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for the applicable family size, up to a family size of five. The sliding fee scale for a family of five must be used for families of more than five. Effective October 1, 2003, the commissioner shall increase each percentage by 0.5 percentage points for enrollees with income greater than 100 percent but not exceeding 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and shall increase each percentage by 1.0 percentage points for families and children with incomes greater than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The sliding fee scale and percentages are not subject to the provisions of chapter 14. If a family or individual reports increased income after enrollment, premiums shall be adjusted at the time the change in income is reported.

(b) Children in Families whose gross income is above 275 percent of the federal poverty guidelines shall pay the maximum premium. The maximum premium is defined as a base charge for one, two, or three or more enrollees so that if all MinnesotaCare cases paid the maximum premium, the total revenue would equal the total cost of MinnesotaCare medical coverage and administration. In this calculation, administrative costs shall be assumed to equal ten percent of the total. The costs of medical coverage for pregnant women and children under age two and the enrollees in these groups shall be excluded from the total. The maximum premium for two enrollees shall be twice the maximum premium for one, and the maximum premium for three or more enrollees shall be three times the maximum premium for one.

(c) After calculating the percentage of premium each enrollee shall pay under paragraph (a), eight percent shall be added to the premium.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007, or upon federal approval, whichever is later.

Sec. 34.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.15, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Exception for transitioned adults.

County agencies shall pay premiums for single adults and households with no children formerly enrolled in general assistance medical care and enrolled in MinnesotaCare according to section 256D.03, subdivision 3, until six-month renewal. The county agency has the option of continuing to pay premiums for these enrollees past the first six-month renewal period.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007.

Sec. 35.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.17, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Limit on total assets.

(a) Effective July 1, 2002, or upon federal approval, whichever is later, in order to be eligible for the MinnesotaCare program, a household of two or more persons must not own more than $20,000 in total net assets, and a household of one person must not own more than $10,000 in total net assets.

(b) For purposes of this subdivision, assets are determined according to section 256B.056, subdivision 3c, except that workers' compensation settlements received due to a work-related injury shall not be considered.

(c) State-funded MinnesotaCare is not available for applicants or enrollees who are otherwise eligible for medical assistance but fail to verify assets. Enrollees who become eligible for federally funded medical assistance shall be terminated from state-funded MinnesotaCare and transferred to medical assistance.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007, or upon federal approval, whichever is later.

Sec. 36.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.17, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Exception for certain adults.

Single adults and households with no children formerly enrolled in general assistance medical care and enrolled in MinnesotaCare according to section 256D.03, subdivision 3, are exempt from the requirements of this section until six-month renewal.

Sec. 37.

HENNEPIN COUNTY PILOT PROJECT.

The commissioner of human services shall support a pilot project in Hennepin County to demonstrate the effectiveness of alternative strategies to redetermine eligibility for certain recipient populations in the medical assistance program. The target populations for the demonstration are persons who are eligible based upon disability or age, who have chronic medical conditions, and who are expected to experience minimal change in income or assets from month to month. The commissioner and the county shall analyze the issues and strategies employed and the outcomes to determine reasonable efforts to streamline eligibility statewide. The duration of the pilot project shall be no more than two years. The commissioner shall apply for any federal waivers needed to implement this section.

Sec. 38.

PHARMACY REPORT ON DRA IMPACT.

Subdivision 1.

Fiscal impact of deficit reduction act.

The commissioner of human services shall report to the legislature by January 15, 2008, on the fiscal impact of Deficit Reduction Act reforms on the Minnesota Medicaid pharmacy program, including but not limited to:

(1) overall cost reductions to the Minnesota Medicaid pharmacy program as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005;

(2) the impact of reforms on the federal upper limit on pharmacy reimbursement, and the amount that the dispensing fee for multiple-source generic drugs would have to be adjusted to offset any reductions resulting from federal upper limits implemented as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005;

(3) the change in federal rebates received from pharmaceutical manufacturers as a result of Deficit Reduction Act reforms, and strategies that could be employed in administering the Medicaid drug formulary to compensate for lost manufacturer rebates;

(4) a comparison of published federal upper limits and state maximum allowable cost (MAC) prices prior to and following implementation of the Deficit Reduction Act federal upper limit reforms;

(5) the number of participating pharmacies in the program as of January 1, 2007, July 1, 2007, and November 1, 2007; and

(6) the Minnesota Medicaid fee-for-service pharmacy program rate of generic dispensing before and after state implementation of Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 generic reimbursement reform.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 39.

CHIROPRACTIC COVERAGE.

The commissioner of human services, through the Health Services Policy Committee established under Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.0625, subdivision 3c, and using existing funding, shall study whether medical assistance coverage for chiropractic services should be expanded to include initial and progress exams, and shall report recommendations to the legislature by January 15, 2008.

Sec. 40.

IMPLEMENTATION.

The commissioner of human services shall implement the amendments to Minnesota Statutes, sections 256.969, subdivision 9; 256.969, subdivision 27; and 256B.199, on the earliest date for which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services grants approval. The commissioner may alter the reporting date for Hennepin County and Hennepin County Medical Center in Minnesota Statutes, section 256.969, subdivision 9, paragraph (f), clause (2), to reflect the approved effective date.

Sec. 41.

REPEALER.

(a) Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 256B.0625, subdivisions 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e, 5f, 5g, 5h, 5i, 5j, and 5k; and 256L.07, subdivision 2a, are repealed effective July 1, 2007.

(b) Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 256.956, is repealed effective September 1, 2007.

(c) Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256L.035, is repealed effective January 1, 2008.

(d) Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0631, subdivision 4, is repealed effective January 1, 2009.

ARTICLE 6

CONTINUING CARE POLICY

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 144A.351, is amended to read:

144A.351 BALANCING LONG-TERM CARE: REPORT REQUIRED.

The commissioners of health and human services, with the cooperation of counties and regional entities, shall prepare a report to the legislature by January August 15, 2004, and biennially thereafter, regarding the status of the full range of long-term care services for the elderly in Minnesota. The report shall address:

(1) demographics and need for long-term care in Minnesota;

(2) summary of county and regional reports on long-term care gaps, surpluses, imbalances, and corrective action plans;

(3) status of long-term care services by county and region including:

(i) changes in availability of the range of long-term care services and housing options;

(ii) access problems regarding long-term care; and

(iii) comparative measures of long-term care availability and progress over time; and

(4) recommendations regarding goals for the future of long-term care services, policy changes, and resource needs.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 252.32, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Amount of support grant; use.

Support grant amounts shall be determined by the county social service agency. Services and items purchased with a support grant must:

(1) be over and above the normal costs of caring for the dependent if the dependent did not have a disability;

(2) be directly attributable to the dependent's disabling condition; and

(3) enable the family to delay or prevent the out-of-home placement of the dependent.

The design and delivery of services and items purchased under this section must suit the dependent's chronological age and be provided in the least restrictive environment possible, consistent with the needs identified in the individual service plan.

Items and services purchased with support grants must be those for which there are no other public or private funds available to the family. Fees assessed to parents for health or human services that are funded by federal, state, or county dollars are not reimbursable through this program.

In approving or denying applications, the county shall consider the following factors:

(1) the extent and areas of the functional limitations of the disabled child;

(2) the degree of need in the home environment for additional support; and

(3) the potential effectiveness of the grant to maintain and support the person in the family environment.

The maximum monthly grant amount shall be $250 per eligible dependent, or $3,000 per eligible dependent per state fiscal year, within the limits of available funds and as adjusted by any legislatively authorized cost of living adjustment. The county social service agency may consider the dependent's supplemental security income in determining the amount of the support grant.

Any adjustments to their monthly grant amount must be based on the needs of the family and funding availability.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.476, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Purpose and goals.

The commissioner of human services shall establish a consumer support grant program for individuals with functional limitations and their families who wish to purchase and secure their own supports. The commissioner and local agencies shall jointly develop an implementation plan which must include a way to resolve the issues related to county liability. The program shall:

(1) make support grants available to individuals or families as an effective alternative to the developmental disability family support program, personal care attendant services, home health aide services, and private duty nursing services;

(2) provide consumers more control, flexibility, and responsibility over their services and supports;

(3) promote local program management and decision making; and

(4) encourage the use of informal and typical community supports.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.476, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them:

(a) "County board" means the county board of commissioners for the county of financial responsibility as defined in section 256G.02, subdivision 4, or its designated representative. When a human services board has been established under sections 402.01 to 402.10, it shall be considered the county board for the purposes of this section.

(b) "Family" means the person's birth parents, adoptive parents or stepparents, siblings or stepsiblings, children or stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, or spouse. For the purposes of this section, a family member is at least 18 years of age.

(c) "Functional limitations" means the long-term inability to perform an activity or task in one or more areas of major life activity, including self-care, understanding and use of language, learning, mobility, self-direction, and capacity for independent living. For the purpose of this section, the inability to perform an activity or task results from a mental, emotional, psychological, sensory, or physical disability, condition, or illness.

(d) "Informed choice" means a voluntary decision made by the person or, the person's legal representative, or other authorized representative after becoming familiarized with the alternatives to:

(1) select a preferred alternative from a number of feasible alternatives;

(2) select an alternative which may be developed in the future; and

(3) refuse any or all alternatives.

(e) "Local agency" means the local agency authorized by the county board or, for counties not participating in the consumer grant program by July 1, 2002, the commissioner, to carry out the provisions of this section.

(f) "Person" or "persons" means a person or persons meeting the eligibility criteria in subdivision 3.

(g) "Authorized representative" means an individual designated by the person or their legal representative to act on their behalf. This individual may be a family member, guardian, representative payee, or other individual designated by the person or their legal representative, if any, to assist in purchasing and arranging for supports. For the purposes of this section, an authorized representative is at least 18 years of age.

(h) "Screening" means the screening of a person's service needs under sections 256B.0911 and 256B.092.

(i) "Supports" means services, care, aids, environmental modifications, or assistance purchased by the person or the person's family, the person's legal representative, or other authorized representative. Examples of supports include respite care, assistance with daily living, and assistive technology. For the purpose of this section, notwithstanding the provisions of section 144A.43, supports purchased under the consumer support program are not considered home care services.

(j) "Program of origination" means the program the individual transferred from when approved for the consumer support grant program.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.476, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Eligibility to apply for grants.

(a) A person is eligible to apply for a consumer support grant if the person meets all of the following criteria:

(1) the person is eligible for and has been approved to receive services under medical assistance as determined under sections 256B.055 and 256B.056 or the person has been approved to receive a grant under the developmental disability family support program under section 252.32;

(2) the person is able to direct and purchase the person's own care and supports, or the person has a family member, legal representative, or other authorized representative who can purchase and arrange supports on the person's behalf;

(3) the person has functional limitations, requires ongoing supports to live in the community, and is at risk of or would continue institutionalization without such supports; and

(4) the person will live in a home. For the purpose of this section, "home" means the person's own home or home of a person's family member. These homes are natural home settings and are not licensed by the Department of Health or Human Services.

(b) Persons may not concurrently receive a consumer support grant if they are:

(1) receiving personal care attendant and home health aide services, or private duty nursing under section 256B.0625; a developmental disability family support grant; or alternative care services under section 256B.0913; or

(2) residing in an institutional or congregate care setting.

(c) A person or person's family receiving a consumer support grant shall not be charged a fee or premium by a local agency for participating in the program.

(d) Individuals receiving home and community-based waivers under United States Code, title 42, section 1396h(c), are not eligible for the consumer support grant, except for individuals receiving consumer support grants before July 1, 2003, as long as other eligibility criteria are met.

(e) The commissioner shall establish a budgeted appropriation each fiscal year for the consumer support grant program. The number of individuals participating in the program will be adjusted so the total amount allocated to counties does not exceed the amount of the budgeted appropriation. The budgeted appropriation will be adjusted annually to accommodate changes in demand for the consumer support grants.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.476, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Support grants; criteria and limitations.

(a) A county board may choose to participate in the consumer support grant program. If a county has not chosen to participate by July 1, 2002, the commissioner shall contract with another county or other entity to provide access to residents of the nonparticipating county who choose the consumer support grant option. The commissioner shall notify the county board in a county that has declined to participate of the commissioner's intent to enter into a contract with another county or other entity at least 30 days in advance of entering into the contract. The local agency shall establish written procedures and criteria to determine the amount and use of support grants. These procedures must include, at least, the availability of respite care, assistance with daily living, and adaptive aids. The local agency may establish monthly or annual maximum amounts for grants and procedures where exceptional resources may be required to meet the health and safety needs of the person on a time-limited basis, however, the total amount awarded to each individual may not exceed the limits established in subdivision 11.

(b) Support grants to a person or a person's family, a person's legal representative, or other authorized representative will be provided through a monthly subsidy payment and be in the form of cash, voucher, or direct county payment to vendor. Support grant amounts must be determined by the local agency. Each service and item purchased with a support grant must meet all of the following criteria:

(1) it must be over and above the normal cost of caring for the person if the person did not have functional limitations;

(2) it must be directly attributable to the person's functional limitations;

(3) it must enable the person or the person's family, a person's legal representative, or other authorized representative to delay or prevent out-of-home placement of the person; and

(4) it must be consistent with the needs identified in the service agreement, when applicable.

(c) Items and services purchased with support grants must be those for which there are no other public or private funds available to the person or the person's family, a person's legal representative, or other authorized representative. Fees assessed to the person or the person's family for health and human services are not reimbursable through the grant.

(d) In approving or denying applications, the local agency shall consider the following factors:

(1) the extent and areas of the person's functional limitations;

(2) the degree of need in the home environment for additional support; and

(3) the potential effectiveness of the grant to maintain and support the person in the family environment or the person's own home.

(e) At the time of application to the program or screening for other services, the person or the person's family, a person's legal representative, or other authorized representative shall be provided sufficient information to ensure an informed choice of alternatives by the person, the person's legal representative, or other authorized representative, if any, or the person's family. The application shall be made to the local agency and shall specify the needs of the person and family, the form and amount of grant requested, the items and services to be reimbursed, and evidence of eligibility for medical assistance.

(f) Upon approval of an application by the local agency and agreement on a support plan for the person or person's family, the local agency shall make grants to the person or the person's family. The grant shall be in an amount for the direct costs of the services or supports outlined in the service agreement.

(g) Reimbursable costs shall not include costs for resources already available, such as special education classes, day training and habilitation, case management, other services to which the person is entitled, medical costs covered by insurance or other health programs, or other resources usually available at no cost to the person or the person's family.

(h) The state of Minnesota, the county boards participating in the consumer support grant program, or the agencies acting on behalf of the county boards in the implementation and administration of the consumer support grant program shall not be liable for damages, injuries, or liabilities sustained through the purchase of support by the individual, the individual's family, or the authorized representative under this section with funds received through the consumer support grant program. Liabilities include but are not limited to: workers' compensation liability, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), or the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA). For purposes of this section, participating county boards and agencies acting on behalf of county boards are exempt from the provisions of section 268.04.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.476, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Reimbursement, allocations, and reporting.

(a) For the purpose of transferring persons to the consumer support grant program from the developmental disability family support program and personal care assistant services, home health aide services, or private duty nursing services, the amount of funds transferred by the commissioner between the developmental disability family support program account, the medical assistance account, or the consumer support grant account shall be based on each county's participation in transferring persons to the consumer support grant program from those programs and services.

(b) At the beginning of each fiscal year, county allocations for consumer support grants shall be based on:

(1) the number of persons to whom the county board expects to provide consumer supports grants;

(2) their eligibility for current program and services;

(3) the amount of nonfederal dollars allowed under subdivision 11; and

(4) projected dates when persons will start receiving grants. County allocations shall be adjusted periodically by the commissioner based on the actual transfer of persons or service openings, and the nonfederal dollars associated with those persons or service openings, to the consumer support grant program.

(c) The amount of funds transferred by the commissioner from the medical assistance account for an individual may be changed if it is determined by the county or its agent that the individual's need for support has changed.

(d) The authority to utilize funds transferred to the consumer support grant account for the purposes of implementing and administering the consumer support grant program will not be limited or constrained by the spending authority provided to the program of origination.

(e) The commissioner may use up to five percent of each county's allocation, as adjusted, for payments for administrative expenses, to be paid as a proportionate addition to reported direct service expenditures.

(f) The county allocation for each individual or individual's family cannot exceed the amount allowed under subdivision 11.

(g) The commissioner may recover, suspend, or withhold payments if the county board, local agency, or grantee does not comply with the requirements of this section.

(h) Grant funds unexpended by consumers shall return to the state once a year. The annual return of unexpended grant funds shall occur in the quarter following the end of the state fiscal year.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.476, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

Subd. 10.

Consumer responsibilities.

Persons receiving grants under this section shall:

(1) spend the grant money in a manner consistent with their agreement with the local agency;

(2) notify the local agency of any necessary changes in the grant or the items on which it is spent;

(3) notify the local agency of any decision made by the person, the a person's legal representative, or the person's family or other authorized representative that would change their eligibility for consumer support grants;

(4) arrange and pay for supports; and

(5) inform the local agency of areas where they have experienced difficulty securing or maintaining supports.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.974, is amended to read:

256.974 OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN FOR OLDER MINNESOTANS LONG-TERM CARE; LOCAL PROGRAMS.

The ombudsman for older Minnesotans long-term care serves in the classified service under section 256.01, subdivision 7, in an office within the Minnesota Board on Aging that incorporates the long-term care ombudsman program required by the Older Americans Act, Public Law 100-75 as amended, United States Code, title 42, section 3027(a)(12) (9) and 3058g (a), and established within the Minnesota Board on Aging. The Minnesota Board on Aging may make grants to and designate local programs for the provision of ombudsman services to clients in county or multicounty areas. The local program may not be an agency engaged in the provision of nursing home care, hospital care, or home care services either directly or by contract, or have the responsibility for planning, coordinating, funding, or administering nursing home care, hospital care, or home care services.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.9741, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Long-term care facility.

"Long-term care facility" means a nursing home licensed under sections 144A.02 to 144A.10 or; a boarding care home licensed under sections 144.50 to 144.56; or a licensed or registered residential setting that provides or arranges for the provision of home care services.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.9741, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Client.

"Client" means an individual who requests, or on whose behalf a request is made for, ombudsman services and is (a) a resident of a long-term care facility or (b) a Medicare beneficiary who requests assistance relating to access, discharge, or denial of inpatient or outpatient services, or (c) an individual reserving, receiving, or requesting a home care service.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.9742, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Posting.

Every long-term care facility and acute care facility shall post in a conspicuous place the address and telephone number of the office. A home care service provider shall provide all recipients, including those in elderly housing with services under chapter 144D, with the address and telephone number of the office. Counties shall provide clients receiving a consumer support grant or a service allowance long-term care consultation services under section 256B.0911 or home and community-based services through a state or federally funded program with the name, address, and telephone number of the office. The posting or notice is subject to approval by the ombudsman.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.9742, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Access to long-term care and acute care facilities and clients.

The ombudsman or designee may:

(1) enter any long-term care facility without notice at any time;

(2) enter any acute care facility without notice during normal business hours;

(3) enter any acute care facility without notice at any time to interview a patient or observe services being provided to the patient as part of an investigation of a matter that is within the scope of the ombudsman's authority, but only if the ombudsman's or designee's presence does not intrude upon the privacy of another patient or interfere with routine hospital services provided to any patient in the facility;

(4) communicate privately and without restriction with any client in accordance with section 144.651, as long as the ombudsman has the client's consent for such communication;

(5) inspect records of a long-term care facility, home care service provider, or acute care facility that pertain to the care of the client according to sections section 144.335 and 144.651; and

(6) with the consent of a client or client's legal guardian, the ombudsman or designated staff shall have access to review records pertaining to the care of the client according to sections section 144.335 and 144.651. If a client cannot consent and has no legal guardian, access to the records is authorized by this section.

A person who denies access to the ombudsman or designee in violation of this subdivision or aids, abets, invites, compels, or coerces another to do so is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.9742, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

Subd. 6.

Prohibition against discrimination or retaliation.

(a) No entity shall take discriminatory, disciplinary, or retaliatory action against an employee or volunteer, or a patient, resident, or guardian or family member of a patient, resident, or guardian for filing in good faith a complaint with or providing information to the ombudsman or designee including volunteers. A person who violates this subdivision or who aids, abets, invites, compels, or coerces another to do so is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any adverse action, as defined below, within 90 days of report, is discriminatory, disciplinary, or retaliatory. For the purpose of this clause, the term "adverse action" refers to action taken by the entity involved in a report against the person making the report or the person with respect to whom the report was made because of the report, and includes, but is not limited to:

(1) discharge or transfer from a facility;

(2) termination of service;

(3) restriction or prohibition of access to the facility or its residents;

(4) discharge from or termination of employment;

(5) demotion or reduction in remuneration for services; and

(6) any restriction of rights set forth in section 144.651 or, 144A.44, or 144A.751.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.9744, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Classification.

Except as provided in this section, data maintained by the office under sections 256.974 to 256.9744 are private data on individuals or nonpublic data as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 9 or 12, and must be maintained in accordance with the requirements of Public Law 100-75 the Older Americans Act, as amended, United States Code, title 42, section 3027(a)(12)(D) 3058g(d).

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.975, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 2a.

Electronic meetings.

(a) Notwithstanding section 13D.01, the Minnesota Board on Aging may conduct a meeting of its members by telephone or other electronic means so long as the following conditions are met:

(1) all members of the board participating in the meeting, wherever their physical location, can hear one another and can hear all discussion and testimony;

(2) members of the public present at the regular meeting location of the board can hear all discussion and testimony and all votes of members of the board;

(3) at least one member of the board is physically present at the regular meeting location; and

(4) all votes are conducted by roll call, so that each member's vote on each issue can be identified and recorded.

(b) Each member of the board participating in a meeting by telephone or other electronic means is considered present at the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum and participating in all proceedings.

(c) If telephone or other electronic means is used to conduct a meeting, the board, to the extent practical, shall allow a person to monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location. The board may require the person making a connection to pay for documented marginal costs that the board incurs as a result of the additional connection.

(d) If telephone or other electronic means is used to conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting, the board shall provide notice of the regular meeting location, of the fact that some members may participate by telephone or other electronic means, and of the provisions of paragraph (c). The timing and method of providing notice is governed by section 13D.04.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0621, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

Subd. 11.

Data use agreement; Notice of relocation assistance.

The commissioner shall execute a data use agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to obtain the long-term care minimum data set data to assist residents of nursing facilities who have establish a process with the Centers for Independent Living that allows a person residing in a Minnesota nursing facility to receive needed information, consultation, and assistance from one of the centers about the available community support options that may enable the person to relocate to the community, if the person: (1) is under the age of 65, (2) has indicated a desire to live in the community. The commissioner shall in turn enter into agreements with the Centers for Independent Living to provide information about assistance for persons who want to move to the community. The commissioner shall work with the Centers for Independent Living on both the content of the information to be provided and privacy protections for the individual residents, and (3) has signed a release of information authorized by the person or the person's appointed legal representative. The process established under this subdivision shall be coordinated with the long-term care consultation service activities established in section 256B.0911.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0625, subdivision 23, is amended to read:

Subd. 23.

Day treatment services.

Medical assistance covers day treatment services as specified in sections 245.462, subdivision 8, and 245.4871, subdivision 10, that are provided under contract with the county board. Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 9505.0323, subpart 15, the commissioner may set authorization thresholds for day treatment for adults according to section 256B.0625, subdivision 25. Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 9505.0323, subpart 15, effective July 1, 2004, medical assistance covers day treatment services for children as specified under section 256B.0943.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0655, subdivision 1f, is amended to read:

Subd. 1f.

Personal care assistant.

(a) "Personal care assistant" means a person who:

(1) is at least 18 years old, except for persons 16 to 18 years of age who participated in a related school-based job training program or have completed a certified home health aide competency evaluation;

(2) is able to effectively communicate with the recipient and personal care provider organization;

(3) effective July 1, 1996, has completed one of the training requirements as specified in Minnesota Rules, part 9505.0335, subpart 3, items A to E paragraph (b);

(4) has the ability to, and provides covered personal care assistant services according to the recipient's care plan, responds appropriately to recipient needs, and reports changes in the recipient's condition to the supervising qualified professional or physician;

(5) is not a consumer of personal care assistant services;

(6) maintains daily written records detailing:

(i) the actual services provided to the recipient; and

(ii) the amount of time spent providing the services; and

(7) is subject to criminal background checks and procedures specified in chapter 245C.

(b) Personal care assistant training must include successful completion of one or more training requirements in:

(1) a nursing assistant training program or its equivalent for which competency as a nursing assistant is determined according to a test administered by the Minnesota State Board of Technical Colleges;

(2) a homemaker home health aide preservice training program using a curriculum recommended by the Department of Health;

(3) an accredited educational program for registered nurses or licensed practical nurses;

(4) a training program that provides the assistant with skills required to perform personal care assistant services specified in subdivision 2; or

(5) a determination by the personal care provider that the assistant has, through training or experience, the skills required to perform the personal care services specified in subdivision 2.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0655, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 11.

Personal care provider responsibilities.

The personal care provider shall:

(1) employ or contract with services staff to provide personal care services and to train services staff as necessary;

(2) supervise the personal care services as provided in subdivision 2, paragraph (f);

(3) employ a personal care assistant that a qualified recipient brings to the personal care provider as the recipient's choice of assistant and who meets the employment qualifications of the provider, except that a personal care provider who must comply with the requirements of a governmental personnel administration system is exempt from this clause;

(4) bill the medical assistance program for a personal care service by the personal care assistant and a visit by the qualified professional supervising the personal care assistant;

(5) establish a grievance mechanism to resolve consumer complaints about personal care services, including the personal care provider's decision whether to employ the qualified recipient's choice of a personal care assistant;

(6) keep records as required in Minnesota Rules, parts 9505.2160 to 9505.2195;

(7) perform functions and provide services specified in the personal care provider's contract;

(8) comply with applicable rules and statutes; and

(9) perform other functions as necessary to carry out the responsibilities in clauses (1) to (8).

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0655, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 12.

Personal care provider; employment prohibition.

A personal care provider shall not employ a person to provide personal care service for a qualified recipient if the person:

(1) refuses to provide full disclosure of criminal history records as specified in subdivision 1g, clause (1);

(2) has been convicted of a crime that directly relates to the occupation of providing personal care services to a qualified recipient;

(3) has jeopardized the health or welfare of a vulnerable adult through physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect as defined in section 626.557; or

(4) is misusing or is dependent on mood-altering chemicals, including alcohol, to the extent that the personal care provider knows or has reason to believe that the use of chemicals has a negative effect on the person's ability to provide personal care services or the use of chemicals is apparent during the hours the person is providing personal care services.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0655, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 13.

Supervision of personal care services.

A personal care service to a qualified recipient as described in subdivision 4 shall be under the supervision of a qualified professional who shall have the following duties:

(1) ensure that the personal care assistant is capable of providing the required personal care services through direct observation of the assistant's work or through consultation with the qualified recipient;

(2) ensure that the personal care assistant is knowledgeable about the plan of personal care services before the personal care assistant performs personal care services;

(3) ensure that the personal care assistant is knowledgeable about essential observations of the recipient's health, and about any conditions that should be immediately brought to the attention of either the qualified professional or the attending physician;

(4) evaluate the personal care services of a recipient through direct observation of the personal care assistant's work or through consultation with the qualified recipient. Evaluation shall be made:

(i) within 14 days after the placement of a personal care assistant with the qualified recipient;

(ii) at least once every 30 days during the first 90 days after the qualified recipient first receives personal care services according to the plan of personal care service; and

(iii) at least once every 120 days following the period of evaluations in item (ii). The qualified professional shall record in writing the results of the evaluation and actions taken to correct any deficiencies in the work of the personal care assistant;

(5) review, together with the recipient, and revise, as necessary, the plan of personal care services at least once every 120 days after a plan of personal care services is developed;

(6) ensure that the personal care assistant and recipient are knowledgeable about a change in the plan of personal care services;

(7) ensure that records are kept, showing the services provided to the recipient by the personal care assistant as described in subdivision 2, paragraph (f), and the time spent providing the services;

(8) determine that a qualified recipient is still capable of directing the recipient's own care or has a responsible party; and

(9) determine with a physician that a recipient is a qualified recipient.

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0911, subdivision 3b, is amended to read:

Subd. 3b.

Transition assistance.

(a) A long-term care consultation team shall provide assistance to persons residing in a nursing facility, hospital, regional treatment center, or intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities who request or are referred for assistance. Transition assistance must include assessment, community support plan development, referrals to Minnesota health care programs, and referrals to programs that provide assistance with housing. Transition assistance must also include information about the Centers for Independent Living and about other organizations that can provide assistance with relocation efforts, and information about contacting these organizations to obtain their assistance and support.

(b) The county shall develop transition processes with institutional social workers and discharge planners to ensure that:

(1) persons admitted to facilities receive information about transition assistance that is available;

(2) the assessment is completed for persons within ten working days of the date of request or recommendation for assessment; and

(3) there is a plan for transition and follow-up for the individual's return to the community. The plan must require notification of other local agencies when a person who may require assistance is screened by one county for admission to a facility located in another county.

(c) If a person who is eligible for a Minnesota health care program is admitted to a nursing facility, the nursing facility must include a consultation team member or the case manager in the discharge planning process.

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0911, subdivision 4b, is amended to read:

Subd. 4b.

Exemptions and emergency admissions.

(a) Exemptions from the federal screening requirements outlined in subdivision 4a, paragraphs (b) and (c), are limited to:

(1) a person who, having entered an acute care facility from a certified nursing facility, is returning to a certified nursing facility;

(2) a person transferring from one certified nursing facility in Minnesota to another certified nursing facility in Minnesota; and

(3) a person, 21 years of age or older, who satisfies the following criteria, as specified in Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 483.106(b)(2):

(i) the person is admitted to a nursing facility directly from a hospital after receiving acute inpatient care at the hospital;

(ii) the person requires nursing facility services for the same condition for which care was provided in the hospital; and

(iii) the attending physician has certified before the nursing facility admission that the person is likely to receive less than 30 days of nursing facility services.

(b) Persons who are exempt from preadmission screening for purposes of level of care determination include:

(1) persons described in paragraph (a);

(2) an individual who has a contractual right to have nursing facility care paid for indefinitely by the veterans' administration;

(3) an individual enrolled in a demonstration project under section 256B.69, subdivision 8, at the time of application to a nursing facility; and

(4) an individual currently being served under the alternative care program or under a home and community-based services waiver authorized under section 1915(c) of the federal Social Security Act; and.

(5) individuals admitted to a certified nursing facility for a short-term stay, which is expected to be 14 days or less in duration based upon a physician's certification, and who have been assessed and approved for nursing facility admission within the previous six months. This exemption applies only if the consultation team member determines at the time of the initial assessment of the six-month period that it is appropriate to use the nursing facility for short-term stays and that there is an adequate plan of care for return to the home or community-based setting. If a stay exceeds 14 days, the individual must be referred no later than the first county working day following the 14th resident day for a screening, which must be completed within five working days of the referral. The payment limitations in subdivision 7 apply to an individual found at screening to not meet the level of care criteria for admission to a certified nursing facility.

(c) Persons admitted to a Medicaid-certified nursing facility from the community on an emergency basis as described in paragraph (d) or from an acute care facility on a nonworking day must be screened the first working day after admission.

(d) Emergency admission to a nursing facility prior to screening is permitted when all of the following conditions are met:

(1) a person is admitted from the community to a certified nursing or certified boarding care facility during county nonworking hours;

(2) a physician has determined that delaying admission until preadmission screening is completed would adversely affect the person's health and safety;

(3) there is a recent precipitating event that precludes the client from living safely in the community, such as sustaining an injury, sudden onset of acute illness, or a caregiver's inability to continue to provide care;

(4) the attending physician has authorized the emergency placement and has documented the reason that the emergency placement is recommended; and

(5) the county is contacted on the first working day following the emergency admission.

Transfer of a patient from an acute care hospital to a nursing facility is not considered an emergency except for a person who has received hospital services in the following situations: hospital admission for observation, care in an emergency room without hospital admission, or following hospital 24-hour bed care.

(e) A nursing facility must provide a written notice to persons who satisfy the criteria in paragraph (a), clause (3), information to all persons admitted regarding the person's right to request and receive long-term care consultation services as defined in subdivision 1a. The notice information must be provided prior to the person's discharge from the facility and in a format specified by the commissioner.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0911, subdivision 4c, is amended to read:

Subd. 4c.

Screening requirements.

(a) A person may be screened for nursing facility admission by telephone or in a face-to-face screening interview. Consultation team members shall identify each individual's needs using the following categories:

(1) the person needs no face-to-face screening interview to determine the need for nursing facility level of care based on information obtained from other health care professionals;

(2) the person needs an immediate face-to-face screening interview to determine the need for nursing facility level of care and complete activities required under subdivision 4a; or

(3) the person may be exempt from screening requirements as outlined in subdivision 4b, but will need transitional assistance after admission or in-person follow-along after a return home.

(b) Persons admitted on a nonemergency basis to a Medicaid-certified nursing facility must be screened prior to admission.

(c) The long-term care consultation team shall recommend a case mix classification for persons admitted to a certified nursing facility when sufficient information is received to make that classification. The nursing facility is authorized to conduct all case mix assessments for persons who have been screened prior to admission for whom the county did not recommend a case mix classification. The nursing facility is authorized to conduct all case mix assessments for persons admitted to the facility prior to a preadmission screening. The county retains the responsibility of distributing appropriate case mix forms to the nursing facility.

(d) (c) The county screening or intake activity must include processes to identify persons who may require transition assistance as described in subdivision 3b.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0911, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

Subd. 6.

Payment for long-term care consultation services.

(a) The total payment for each county must be paid monthly by certified nursing facilities in the county. The monthly amount to be paid by each nursing facility for each fiscal year must be determined by dividing the county's annual allocation for long-term care consultation services by 12 to determine the monthly payment and allocating the monthly payment to each nursing facility based on the number of licensed beds in the nursing facility. Payments to counties in which there is no certified nursing facility must be made by increasing the payment rate of the two facilities located nearest to the county seat.

(b) The commissioner shall include the total annual payment determined under paragraph (a) for each nursing facility reimbursed under section 256B.431 or 256B.434 according to section 256B.431, subdivision 2b, paragraph (g), or 256B.435.

(c) In the event of the layaway, delicensure and decertification, or removal from layaway of 25 percent or more of the beds in a facility, the commissioner may adjust the per diem payment amount in paragraph (b) and may adjust the monthly payment amount in paragraph (a). The effective date of an adjustment made under this paragraph shall be on or after the first day of the month following the effective date of the layaway, delicensure and decertification, or removal from layaway.

(d) Payments for long-term care consultation services are available to the county or counties to cover staff salaries and expenses to provide the services described in subdivision 1a. The county shall employ, or contract with other agencies to employ, within the limits of available funding, sufficient personnel to provide long-term care consultation services while meeting the state's long-term care outcomes and objectives as defined in section 256B.0917, subdivision 1. The county shall be accountable for meeting local objectives as approved by the commissioner in the biennial home and community-based services quality assurance plan on a form provided by the commissioner.

(e) Notwithstanding section 256B.0641, overpayments attributable to payment of the screening costs under the medical assistance program may not be recovered from a facility.

(f) The commissioner of human services shall amend the Minnesota medical assistance plan to include reimbursement for the local consultation teams.

(g) The county may bill, as case management services, assessments, support planning, and follow-along provided to persons determined to be eligible for case management under Minnesota health care programs. No individual or family member shall be charged for an initial assessment or initial support plan development provided under subdivision 3a or 3b.

Sec. 27.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0911, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 6a.

Withholding.

If any provider obligated to pay the long-term care consultation amount as described in subdivision 6 is more than two months delinquent in the timely payment of the monthly installment, the commissioner may withhold payments, penalties, and interest in accordance with the methods outlined in section 256.9657, subdivision 7a. Any amount withheld under this provision must be returned to the county to whom the delinquent payments were due.

Sec. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0911, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Reimbursement for certified nursing facilities.

(a) Medical assistance reimbursement for nursing facilities shall be authorized for a medical assistance recipient only if a preadmission screening has been conducted prior to admission or the county has authorized an exemption. Medical assistance reimbursement for nursing facilities shall not be provided for any recipient who the local screener has determined does not meet the level of care criteria for nursing facility placement or, if indicated, has not had a level II OBRA evaluation as required under the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 completed unless an admission for a recipient with mental illness is approved by the local mental health authority or an admission for a recipient with developmental disability is approved by the state developmental disability authority.

(b) The nursing facility must not bill a person who is not a medical assistance recipient for resident days that preceded the date of completion of screening activities as required under subdivisions 4a, 4b, and 4c. The nursing facility must include unreimbursed resident days in the nursing facility resident day totals reported to the commissioner.

(c) The commissioner shall make a request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a waiver allowing team approval of Medicaid payments for certified nursing facility care. An individual has a choice and makes the final decision between nursing facility placement and community placement after the screening team's recommendation, except as provided in subdivision 4a, paragraph (c).

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Eligibility for funding for services for nonmedical assistance recipients.

(a) Funding for services under the alternative care program is available to persons who meet the following criteria:

(1) the person has been determined by a community assessment under section 256B.0911 to be a person who would require the level of care provided in a nursing facility, but for the provision of services under the alternative care program;

(2) the person is age 65 or older;

(3) the person would be eligible for medical assistance within 135 days of admission to a nursing facility;

(4) the person is not ineligible for the payment of long-term care services by the medical assistance program due to an asset transfer penalty under section 256B.0595 or equity interest in the home exceeding $500,000 as stated in section 256B.056;

(5) the person needs long-term care services that are not funded through other state or federal funding;

(6) the monthly cost of the alternative care services funded by the program for this person does not exceed 75 percent of the monthly limit described under section 256B.0915, subdivision 3a. This monthly limit does not prohibit the alternative care client from payment for additional services, but in no case may the cost of additional services purchased under this section exceed the difference between the client's monthly service limit defined under section 256B.0915, subdivision 3, and the alternative care program monthly service limit defined in this paragraph. If medical care-related supplies and equipment or environmental modifications and adaptations are or will be purchased for an alternative care services recipient, the costs may be prorated on a monthly basis for up to 12 consecutive months beginning with the month of purchase. If the monthly cost of a recipient's other alternative care services exceeds the monthly limit established in this paragraph, the annual cost of the alternative care services shall be determined. In this event, the annual cost of alternative care services shall not exceed 12 times the monthly limit described in this paragraph; and

(7) the person is making timely payments of the assessed monthly fee.

A person is ineligible if payment of the fee is over 60 days past due, unless the person agrees to:

(i) the appointment of a representative payee;

(ii) automatic payment from a financial account;

(iii) the establishment of greater family involvement in the financial management of payments; or

(iv) another method acceptable to the county lead agency to ensure prompt fee payments.

The county shall lead agency may extend the client's eligibility as necessary while making arrangements to facilitate payment of past-due amounts and future premium payments. Following disenrollment due to nonpayment of a monthly fee, eligibility shall not be reinstated for a period of 30 days.

(b) Alternative care funding under this subdivision is not available for a person who is a medical assistance recipient or who would be eligible for medical assistance without a spenddown or waiver obligation. A person whose initial application for medical assistance and the elderly waiver program is being processed may be served under the alternative care program for a period up to 60 days. If the individual is found to be eligible for medical assistance, medical assistance must be billed for services payable under the federally approved elderly waiver plan and delivered from the date the individual was found eligible for the federally approved elderly waiver plan. Notwithstanding this provision, alternative care funds may not be used to pay for any service the cost of which: (i) is payable by medical assistance; (ii) is used by a recipient to meet a waiver obligation; or (iii) is used to pay a medical assistance income spenddown for a person who is eligible to participate in the federally approved elderly waiver program under the special income standard provision.

(c) Alternative care funding is not available for a person who resides in a licensed nursing home, certified boarding care home, hospital, or intermediate care facility, except for case management services which are provided in support of the discharge planning process for a nursing home resident or certified boarding care home resident to assist with a relocation process to a community-based setting.

(d) Alternative care funding is not available for a person whose income is greater than the maintenance needs allowance under section 256B.0915, subdivision 1d, but equal to or less than 120 percent of the federal poverty guideline effective July 1 in the fiscal year for which alternative care eligibility is determined, who would be eligible for the elderly waiver with a waiver obligation.

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Services covered under alternative care.

Alternative care funding may be used for payment of costs of:

(1) adult day care;

(2) home health aide;

(3) homemaker services;

(4) personal care;

(5) case management;

(6) respite care;

(7) care-related supplies and equipment;

(8) meals delivered to the home;

(9) nonmedical transportation;

(10) nursing services;

(11) chore services;

(12) companion services;

(13) nutrition services;

(14) training for direct informal caregivers;

(15) telehome care to provide services in their own homes in conjunction with in-home visits;

(16) discretionary services, for which counties may make payment from their alternative care program allocation or services not otherwise defined in this section or section 256B.0625, following approval by the commissioner consumer-directed community services under the alternative care programs which are available statewide and limited to the average monthly expenditures representative of all alternative care program participants for the same case mix resident class assigned in the most recent fiscal year for which complete expenditure data is available;

(17) environmental modifications and adaptations; and

(18) direct cash payments for which counties may make payment from their alternative care program allocation to clients for the purpose of purchasing services, following approval by the commissioner, and subject to the provisions of subdivision 5h, until approval and implementation of consumer-directed services through the federally approved elderly waiver plan. Upon implementation, consumer-directed services under the alternative care program are available statewide and limited to the average monthly expenditures representative of all alternative care program participants for the same case mix resident class assigned in the most recent fiscal year for which complete expenditure data is available discretionary services, for which lead agencies may make payment from their alternative care program allocation for services not otherwise defined in this section or section 256B.0625, following approval by the commissioner.

Total annual payments for discretionary services and direct cash payments, until the federally approved consumer-directed service option is implemented statewide, for all clients within a county may served by a lead agency must not exceed 25 percent of that county's lead agency's annual alternative care program base allocation. Thereafter, discretionary services are limited to 25 percent of the county's annual alternative care program base allocation.

Sec. 31.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 5a, is amended to read:

Subd. 5a.

Services; service definitions; service standards.

(a) Unless specified in statute, the services, service definitions, and standards for alternative care services shall be the same as the services, service definitions, and standards specified in the federally approved elderly waiver plan, except for alternative care does not cover transitional support services, assisted living services, adult foster care services, and residential care services and benefits defined under section 256B.0625 that meet primary and acute health care needs.

(b) The county lead agency must ensure that the funds are not used to supplant or supplement services available through other public assistance or services programs., including supplementation of client co-pays, deductibles, premiums, or other cost-sharing arrangements for health-related benefits and services or entitlement programs and services that are available to the person, but in which they have elected not to enroll. For a provider of supplies and equipment when the monthly cost of the supplies and equipment is less than $250, persons or agencies must be employed by or under a contract with the county lead agency or the public health nursing agency of the local board of health in order to receive funding under the alternative care program. Supplies and equipment may be purchased from a vendor not certified to participate in the Medicaid program if the cost for the item is less than that of a Medicaid vendor.

(c) Personal care services must meet the service standards defined in the federally approved elderly waiver plan, except that a county lead agency may contract with a client's relative who meets the relative hardship waiver requirements or a relative who meets the criteria and is also the responsible party under an individual service plan that ensures the client's health and safety and supervision of the personal care services by a qualified professional as defined in section 256B.0625, subdivision 19c. Relative hardship is established by the county lead agency when the client's care causes a relative caregiver to do any of the following: resign from a paying job, reduce work hours resulting in lost wages, obtain a leave of absence resulting in lost wages, incur substantial client-related expenses, provide services to address authorized, unstaffed direct care time, or meet special needs of the client unmet in the formal service plan.

Sec. 32.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

Subd. 8.

Requirements for individual care plan.

(a) The case manager shall implement the plan of care for each alternative care client and ensure that a client's service needs and eligibility are reassessed at least every 12 months. The plan shall include any services prescribed by the individual's attending physician as necessary to allow the individual to remain in a community setting. In developing the individual's care plan, the case manager should include the use of volunteers from families and neighbors, religious organizations, social clubs, and civic and service organizations to support the formal home care services. The county lead agency shall be held harmless for damages or injuries sustained through the use of volunteers under this subdivision including workers' compensation liability. The county of service case manager shall provide documentation in each individual's plan of care and, if requested, to the commissioner that the most cost-effective alternatives available have been offered to the individual and that the individual was free to choose among available qualified providers, both public and private, including qualified case management or service coordination providers other than those employed by any county; however, the county or tribe maintains responsibility for prior authorizing services in accordance with statutory and administrative requirements. The case manager must give the individual a ten-day written notice of any denial, termination, or reduction of alternative care services.

(b) The county of service or tribe must provide access to and arrange for case management services, including assuring implementation of the plan. "County of service" has the meaning given it in Minnesota Rules, part 9505.0015, subpart 11. The county of service must notify the county of financial responsibility of the approved care plan and the amount of encumbered funds.

Sec. 33.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

Subd. 9.

Contracting provisions for providers.

Alternative care funds paid to service providers are subject to audit by the commissioner for fiscal and utilization control.

The lead agency must select providers for contracts or agreements using the following criteria and other criteria established by the county lead agency:

(1) the need for the particular services offered by the provider;

(2) the population to be served, including the number of clients, the length of time services will be provided, and the medical condition of clients;

(3) the geographic area to be served;

(4) quality assurance methods, including appropriate licensure, certification, or standards, and supervision of employees when needed;

(5) rates for each service and unit of service exclusive of county lead agency administrative costs;

(6) evaluation of services previously delivered by the provider; and

(7) contract or agreement conditions, including billing requirements, cancellation, and indemnification.

The county lead agency must evaluate its own agency services under the criteria established for other providers.

Sec. 34.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

Subd. 10.

Allocation formula.

(a) The alternative care appropriation for fiscal years 1992 and beyond shall cover only alternative care eligible clients. By July 1 15 of each year, the commissioner shall allocate to county agencies the state funds available for alternative care for persons eligible under subdivision 2.

(b) The adjusted base for each county lead agency is the county's lead agency's current fiscal year base allocation plus any targeted funds approved during the current fiscal year. Calculations for paragraphs (c) and (d) are to be made as follows: for each county lead agency, the determination of alternative care program expenditures shall be based on payments for services rendered from April 1 through March 31 in the base year, to the extent that claims have been submitted and paid by June 1 of that year.

(c) If the alternative care program expenditures as defined in paragraph (b) are 95 percent or more of the county's lead agency's adjusted base allocation, the allocation for the next fiscal year is 100 percent of the adjusted base, plus inflation to the extent that inflation is included in the state budget.

(d) If the alternative care program expenditures as defined in paragraph (b) are less than 95 percent of the county's lead agency's adjusted base allocation, the allocation for the next fiscal year is the adjusted base allocation less the amount of unspent funds below the 95 percent level.

(e) If the annual legislative appropriation for the alternative care program is inadequate to fund the combined county lead agency allocations for a biennium, the commissioner shall distribute to each county lead agency the entire annual appropriation as that county's lead agency's percentage of the computed base as calculated in paragraphs (c) and (d).

(f) On agreement between the commissioner and the lead agency, the commissioner may have discretion to reallocate alternative care base allocations distributed to lead agencies in which the base amount exceeds program expenditures.

Sec. 35.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

Subd. 11.

Targeted funding.

(a) The purpose of targeted funding is to make additional money available to counties lead agencies with the greatest need. Targeted funds are not intended to be distributed equitably among all counties lead agencies, but rather, allocated to those with long-term care strategies that meet state goals.

(b) The funds available for targeted funding shall be the total appropriation for each fiscal year minus county lead agency allocations determined under subdivision 10 as adjusted for any inflation increases provided in appropriations for the biennium.

(c) The commissioner shall allocate targeted funds to counties lead agencies that demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commissioner that they have developed feasible plans to increase alternative care spending. In making targeted funding allocations, the commissioner shall use the following priorities:

(1) counties lead agencies that received a lower allocation in fiscal year 1991 than in fiscal year 1990. Counties remain in this priority until they have been restored to their fiscal year 1990 level plus inflation;

(2) counties lead agencies that sustain a base allocation reduction for failure to spend 95 percent of the allocation if they demonstrate that the base reduction should be restored;

(3) counties lead agencies that propose projects to divert community residents from nursing home placement or convert nursing home residents to community living; and

(4) counties lead agencies that can otherwise justify program growth by demonstrating the existence of waiting lists, demographically justified needs, or other unmet needs.

(d) Counties Lead agencies that would receive targeted funds according to paragraph (c) must demonstrate to the commissioner's satisfaction that the funds would be appropriately spent by showing how the funds would be used to further the state's alternative care goals as described in subdivision 1, and that the county has the administrative and service delivery capability to use them.

(e) The commissioner shall request applications make applications available for targeted funds by November 1 of each year. The counties lead agencies selected for targeted funds shall be notified of the amount of their additional funding. Targeted funds allocated to a county lead agency in one year shall be treated as part of the county's lead agency's base allocation for that year in determining allocations for subsequent years. No reallocations between counties lead agencies shall be made.

Sec. 36.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 12, is amended to read:

Subd. 12.

Client fees.

(a) A fee is required for all alternative care eligible clients to help pay for the cost of participating in the program. The amount of the fee for the alternative care client shall be determined as follows:

(1) when the alternative care client's income less recurring and predictable medical expenses is less than 100 percent of the federal poverty guideline effective on July 1 of the state fiscal year in which the fee is being computed, and total assets are less than $10,000, the fee is zero;

(2) when the alternative care client's income less recurring and predictable medical expenses is equal to or greater than 100 percent but less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline effective on July 1 of the state fiscal year in which the fee is being computed, and total assets are less than $10,000, the fee is five percent of the cost of alternative care services;

(3) when the alternative care client's income less recurring and predictable medical expenses is equal to or greater than 150 percent but less than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines effective on July 1 of the state fiscal year in which the fee is being computed and assets are less than $10,000, the fee is 15 percent of the cost of alternative care services;

(4) when the alternative care client's income less recurring and predictable medical expenses is equal to or greater than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines effective on July 1 of the state fiscal year in which the fee is being computed and assets are less than $10,000, the fee is 30 percent of the cost of alternative care services; and

(5) when the alternative care client's assets are equal to or greater than $10,000, the fee is 30 percent of the cost of alternative care services.

For married persons, total assets are defined as the total marital assets less the estimated community spouse asset allowance, under section 256B.059, if applicable. For married persons, total income is defined as the client's income less the monthly spousal allotment, under section 256B.058.

All alternative care services shall be included in the estimated costs for the purpose of determining the fee.

Fees are due and payable each month alternative care services are received unless the actual cost of the services is less than the fee, in which case the fee is the lesser amount.

(b) The fee shall be waived by the commissioner when:

(1) a person who is residing in a nursing facility is receiving case management only;

(2) a married couple is requesting an asset assessment under the spousal impoverishment provisions;

(3) a person is found eligible for alternative care, but is not yet receiving alternative care services including case management services; or

(4) a person has chosen to participate in a consumer-directed service plan for which the cost is no greater than the total cost of the person's alternative care service plan less the monthly fee amount that would otherwise be assessed.

(c) The county agency must record in the state's receivable system the client's assessed fee amount or the reason the fee has been waived. The commissioner will bill and collect the fee from the client. Money collected must be deposited in the general fund and is appropriated to the commissioner for the alternative care program. The client must supply the county lead agency with the client's Social Security number at the time of application. The county lead agency shall supply the commissioner with the client's Social Security number and other information the commissioner requires to collect the fee from the client. The commissioner shall collect unpaid fees using the Revenue Recapture Act in chapter 270A and other methods available to the commissioner. The commissioner may require counties lead agencies to inform clients of the collection procedures that may be used by the state if a fee is not paid. This paragraph does not apply to alternative care pilot projects authorized in Laws 1993, First Special Session chapter 1, article 5, section 133, if a county operating under the pilot project reports the following dollar amounts to the commissioner quarterly:

(1) total fees billed to clients;

(2) total collections of fees billed; and

(3) balance of fees owed by clients.

If a county lead agency does not adhere to these reporting requirements, the commissioner may terminate the billing, collecting, and remitting portions of the pilot project and require the county lead agency involved to operate under the procedures set forth in this paragraph.

Sec. 37.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 13, is amended to read:

Subd. 13.

County Lead agency biennial plan.

The county lead agency biennial plan for long-term care consultation services under section 256B.0911, the alternative care program under this section, and waivers for the elderly under section 256B.0915, shall be submitted by the lead agency as the home and community-based services quality assurance plan on a form provided by the commissioner.

Sec. 38.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0913, subdivision 14, is amended to read:

Subd. 14.

Provider requirements, payment, and rate adjustments.

(a) Unless otherwise specified in statute, providers must be enrolled as Minnesota health care program providers and abide by the requirements for provider participation according to Minnesota Rules, part 9505.0195.

(b) Payment for provided alternative care services as approved by the client's case manager shall occur through the invoice processing procedures of the department's Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS). To receive payment, the county lead agency or vendor must submit invoices within 12 months following the date of service. The county lead agency and its vendors under contract shall not be reimbursed for services which exceed the county allocation.

(c) The county lead agency shall negotiate individual rates with vendors and may authorize service payment for actual costs up to the county's current approved rate. Notwithstanding any other rule or statutory provision to the contrary, the commissioner shall not be authorized to increase rates by an annual inflation factor, unless so authorized by the legislature. To improve access to community services and eliminate payment disparities between the alternative care program and the elderly waiver program, the commissioner shall establish statewide maximum service rate limits and eliminate county-specific service rate limits.

(1) Effective July 1, 2001, for service rate limits, except those in subdivision 5, paragraphs (d) and (i), the rate limit for each service shall be the greater of the alternative care statewide maximum rate or the elderly waiver statewide maximum rate.

(2) Counties Lead agencies may negotiate individual service rates with vendors for actual costs up to the statewide maximum service rate limit.

Sec. 39.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0919, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

County certification of persons providing adult foster care to related persons.

A person exempt from licensure under section 245A.03, subdivision 2, who provides adult foster care to a related individual age 65 and older, and who meets the requirements in Minnesota Rules, parts 9555.5105 to 9555.6265, may be certified by the county to provide adult foster care. A person certified by the county to provide adult foster care may be reimbursed for services provided and eligible for funding under sections 256B.0913 and section 256B.0915, if the relative would suffer a financial hardship as a result of providing care. For purposes of this subdivision, financial hardship refers to a situation in which a relative incurs a substantial reduction in income as a result of resigning from a full-time job or taking a leave of absence without pay from a full-time job to care for the client.

Sec. 40.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.27, subdivision 2a, is amended to read:

Subd. 2a.

On-site Cost and statistical data audits.

Each year The commissioner shall provide for the on-site an audit of the cost reports and statistical data of nursing homes facilities participating as vendors of medical assistance. The commissioner shall select for audit at least 15 percent of these the nursing homes facilities' data reported at random or using factors including, but not limited to: data reported to the public as criteria for rating nursing facilities; data used to set limits for other medical assistance programs or vendors of services to nursing facilities; change in ownership; frequent changes in administration in excess of normal turnover rates; complaints to the commissioner of health about care, safety, or rights; where previous inspections or reinspections under section 144A.10 have resulted in correction orders related to care, safety, or rights; or where persons involved in ownership or administration of the facility have been indicted for alleged criminal activity.

The commissioner shall meet the 15 percent requirement by either conducting an audit focused on an individual nursing facility, a group of facilities, or targeting specific data categories in multiple nursing facilities. These audits may be conducted on site at the nursing facility, at office space used by a nursing facility or a nursing facility's parent organization, or at the commissioner's office. Data being audited may be collected electronically, in person, or by any other means the commissioner finds acceptable.

Sec. 41.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.431, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

In general.

The commissioner shall determine prospective payment rates for resident care costs. For rates established on or after July 1, 1985, the commissioner shall develop procedures for determining operating cost payment rates that take into account the mix of resident needs, geographic location, and other factors as determined by the commissioner. The commissioner shall consider whether the fact that a facility is attached to a hospital or has an average length of stay of 180 days or less should be taken into account in determining rates. The commissioner shall consider the use of the standard metropolitan statistical areas when developing groups by geographic location. The commissioner shall provide notice to each nursing facility on or before May 1 August 15 of the rates effective for the following rate year except that if legislation is pending on May 1 August 15 that may affect rates for nursing facilities, the commissioner shall set the rates after the legislation is enacted and provide notice to each facility as soon as possible.

Compensation for top management personnel shall continue to be categorized as a general and administrative cost and is subject to any limits imposed on that cost category.

Sec. 42.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.431, subdivision 3f, is amended to read:

Subd. 3f.

Property costs after July 1, 1988.

(a) Investment per bed limit. For the rate year beginning July 1, 1988, the replacement-cost-new per bed limit must be $32,571 per licensed bed in multiple bedrooms and $48,857 per licensed bed in a single bedroom. For the rate year beginning July 1, 1989, the replacement-cost-new per bed limit for a single bedroom must be $49,907 adjusted according to Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 4, item A, subitem (1). Beginning January 1, 1990, the replacement-cost-new per bed limits must be adjusted annually as specified in Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 4, item A, subitem (1). Beginning January 1, 1991, the replacement-cost-new per bed limits will be adjusted annually as specified in Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 4, item A, subitem (1), except that the index utilized will be the Bureau of the Census: Composite fixed-weighted price index as published in the C30 Report, Value of New Construction Put in Place Economic Analysis: Price Indexes for Private Fixed Investments in Structures; Special Care.

(b) Rental factor. For the rate year beginning July 1, 1988, the commissioner shall increase the rental factor as established in Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 8, item A, by 6.2 percent rounded to the nearest 100th percent for the purpose of reimbursing nursing facilities for soft costs and entrepreneurial profits not included in the cost valuation services used by the state's contracted appraisers. For rate years beginning on or after July 1, 1989, the rental factor is the amount determined under this paragraph for the rate year beginning July 1, 1988.

(c) Occupancy factor. For rate years beginning on or after July 1, 1988, in order to determine property-related payment rates under Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, for all nursing facilities except those whose average length of stay in a skilled level of care within a nursing facility is 180 days or less, the commissioner shall use 95 percent of capacity days. For a nursing facility whose average length of stay in a skilled level of care within a nursing facility is 180 days or less, the commissioner shall use the greater of resident days or 80 percent of capacity days but in no event shall the divisor exceed 95 percent of capacity days.

(d) Equipment allowance. For rate years beginning on July 1, 1988, and July 1, 1989, the commissioner shall add ten cents per resident per day to each nursing facility's property-related payment rate. The ten-cent property-related payment rate increase is not cumulative from rate year to rate year. For the rate year beginning July 1, 1990, the commissioner shall increase each nursing facility's equipment allowance as established in Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 10, by ten cents per resident per day. For rate years beginning on or after July 1, 1991, the adjusted equipment allowance must be adjusted annually for inflation as in Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 10, item E. For the rate period beginning October 1, 1992, the equipment allowance for each nursing facility shall be increased by 28 percent. For rate years beginning after June 30, 1993, the allowance must be adjusted annually for inflation.

(e) Post chapter 199 related-organization debts and interest expense. For rate years beginning on or after July 1, 1990, Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 5, item E, shall not apply to outstanding related organization debt incurred prior to May 23, 1983, provided that the debt was an allowable debt under Minnesota Rules, parts 9510.0010 to 9510.0480, the debt is subject to repayment through annual principal payments, and the nursing facility demonstrates to the commissioner's satisfaction that the interest rate on the debt was less than market interest rates for similar arm's-length transactions at the time the debt was incurred. If the debt was incurred due to a sale between family members, the nursing facility must also demonstrate that the seller no longer participates in the management or operation of the nursing facility. Debts meeting the conditions of this paragraph are subject to all other provisions of Minnesota Rules, parts 9549.0010 to 9549.0080.

(f) Building capital allowance for nursing facilities with operating leases. For rate years beginning on or after July 1, 1990, a nursing facility with operating lease costs incurred for the nursing facility's buildings shall receive its building capital allowance computed in accordance with Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 8. If an operating lease provides that the lessee's rent is adjusted to recognize improvements made by the lessor and related debt, the costs for capital improvements and related debt shall be allowed in the computation of the lessee's building capital allowance, provided that reimbursement for these costs under an operating lease shall not exceed the rate otherwise paid.

Sec. 43.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.431, subdivision 17e, is amended to read:

Subd. 17e.

Replacement-costs-new per bed limit effective July October 1, 2001 2007.

Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 11, item C, subitem (2), for a total replacement, as defined in paragraph (f) subdivision 17d, authorized under section 144A.071 or 144A.073 after July 1, 1999, or any building project that is a relocation, renovation, upgrading, or conversion completed on or after July 1, 2001, or any building project eligible for reimbursement under section 256B.434, subdivision 4f, the replacement-costs-new per bed limit shall be $74,280 per licensed bed in multiple-bed rooms, $92,850 per licensed bed in semiprivate rooms with a fixed partition separating the resident beds, and $111,420 per licensed bed in single rooms. Minnesota Rules, part 9549.0060, subpart 11, item C, subitem (2), does not apply. These amounts must be adjusted annually as specified in subdivision 3f, paragraph (a), beginning January 1, 2000.

Sec. 44.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.431, subdivision 41, is amended to read:

Subd. 41.

Rate increases for October 1, 2005, and October 1, 2006.

(a) For the rate period beginning October 1, 2005, the commissioner shall make available to each nursing facility reimbursed under this section or section 256B.434 an adjustment equal to 2.2553 percent of the total operating payment rate, and for the rate year beginning October 1, 2006, the commissioner shall make available to each nursing facility reimbursed under this section or section 256B.434 an adjustment equal to 1.2553 percent of the total operating payment rate.

(b) 75 percent of the money resulting from the rate adjustment under paragraph (a) must be used to increase wages and benefits and pay associated costs for all employees, except management fees, the administrator, and central office staff. Except as provided in paragraph (c), 75 percent of the money received by a facility as a result of the rate adjustment provided in paragraph (a) must be used only for wage, benefit, and staff increases implemented on or after the effective date of the rate increase each year, and must not be used for increases implemented prior to that date.

(c) With respect only to the October 1, 2005, rate increase, a nursing facility that incurred costs for salary and employee benefit increases first provided after July 1, 2003, may count those costs towards the amount required to be spent on salaries and benefits under paragraph (b). These costs must be reported to the commissioner in the form and manner specified by the commissioner.

(d) Nursing facilities may apply for the portion of the rate adjustment under paragraph (a) for employee wages and benefits and associated costs. The application must be made to the commissioner and contain a plan by which the nursing facility will distribute the funds according to paragraph (b). For nursing facilities in which the employees are represented by an exclusive bargaining representative, an agreement negotiated and agreed to by the employer and the exclusive bargaining representative constitutes the plan. A negotiated agreement may constitute the plan only if the agreement is finalized after the date of enactment of all increases for the rate year and signed by both parties prior to submission to the commissioner. The commissioner shall review the plan to ensure that the rate adjustments are used as provided in paragraph (b). To be eligible, a facility must submit its distribution plan by March 31, 2006, and March 31, 2007, respectively. The commissioner may approve distribution plans on or before June 30, 2006, and June 30, 2007, respectively. The commissioner may waive the deadlines in this paragraph under extraordinary circumstances, either retroactively or prospectively, to be determined at the sole discretion of the commissioner. If a facility's distribution plan is effective after the first day of the applicable rate period that the funds are available, the rate adjustments are effective the same date as the facility's plan.

(e) A copy of the approved distribution plan must be made available to all employees by giving each employee a copy or by posting a copy in an area of the nursing facility to which all employees have access. If an employee does not receive the wage and benefit adjustment described in the facility's approved plan and is unable to resolve the problem with the facility's management or through the employee's union representative, the employee may contact the commissioner at an address or telephone number provided by the commissioner and included in the approved plan.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective upon enactment and is retroactive from October 1, 2005.

Sec. 45.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.49, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

Subd. 11.

Authority.

(a) The commissioner is authorized to apply for home and community-based service waivers, as authorized under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act to serve persons under the age of 65 who are determined to require the level of care provided in a nursing home and persons who require the level of care provided in a hospital. The commissioner shall apply for the home and community-based waivers in order to:

(i) promote the support of persons with disabilities in the most integrated settings;

(ii) expand the availability of services for persons who are eligible for medical assistance;

(iii) promote cost-effective options to institutional care; and

(iv) obtain federal financial participation.

(b) The provision of waivered services to medical assistance recipients with disabilities shall comply with the requirements outlined in the federally approved applications for home and community-based services and subsequent amendments, including provision of services according to a service plan designed to meet the needs of the individual. For purposes of this section, the approved home and community-based application is considered the necessary federal requirement.

(c) The commissioner shall provide interested persons serving on agency advisory committees and, task forces, the Centers for Independent Living, and others upon who request, with to be on a list to receive, notice of, and an opportunity to comment on, at least 30 days before any effective dates, (1) any substantive changes to the state's disability services program manual, or (2) changes or amendments to the federally approved applications for home and community-based waivers, prior to their submission to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

(d) The commissioner shall seek approval, as authorized under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act, to allow medical assistance eligibility under this section for children under age 21 without deeming of parental income or assets.

(e) The commissioner shall seek approval, as authorized under section 1915(c) of the Social Act, to allow medical assistance eligibility under this section for individuals under age 65 without deeming the spouse's income or assets.

Sec. 46.

Laws 2000, chapter 340, section 19, is amended to read:

Sec. 19.

ALTERNATIVE CARE PILOT PROJECTS.

(a) Expenditures for housing with services and adult foster care shall be excluded when determining average monthly expenditures per client for alternative care pilot projects authorized in Laws 1993, First Special Session chapter 1, article 5, section 133.

(b) Alternative care pilot projects shall not expire on June 30, 2001, but shall continue until June 30, 2005 2007.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective retroactively from June 29, 2005, for activities related to discontinuing pilot projects under this section.

Sec. 47.

LICENSURE; SERVICES FOR YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES.

(a) Notwithstanding the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 245A, upon the recommendation of a county agency, the commissioner of human services shall grant a license with any necessary variances to a nonresidential program for youth that provides services to youth with disabilities under age 21 during nonschool hours established to ensure health and safety, prevent out-of-home placement, and increase community inclusion of youth with disabilities. The nonresidential youth program is subject to the conditions of any variances granted and to consumer rights standards under Minnesota Statutes, section 245B.04; consumer protection standards under Minnesota Statutes, section 245B.05; service standards under Minnesota Statutes, section 245B.06; management standards under Minnesota Statutes, section 245B.07; and fire marshal inspections under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.151, until the commissioner develops other licensure requirements for this type of program.

(b) By February 1, 2008, the commissioner shall recommend amendments to licensure requirements in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 245A, to allow licensure of appropriate services for school-age youth with disabilities under age 21 who need supervision and services to develop skills necessary to maintain personal safety and increase their independence, productivity, and participation in their communities during nonschool hours. As part of developing the recommendations, the commissioner shall survey county agencies to determine how the needs of youth with disabilities under age 21 who require supervision and support services are being met and the funding sources used. The recommendations must be provided to the house and senate chairs of the committees with jurisdiction over licensing of programs for youth with disabilities.

ARTICLE 7

CONTINUING CARE

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 144A.073, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Criteria for review.

The following criteria shall be used in a consistent manner to compare, evaluate, and rank all proposals submitted. Except for the criteria specified in clause (3), the application of criteria listed under this subdivision shall not reflect any distinction based on the geographic location of the proposed project:

(1) the extent to which the proposal furthers state long-term care goals, including the goal of enhancing the availability and use of alternative care services and the goal of reducing the number of long-term care resident rooms with more than two beds;

(2) the proposal's long-term effects on state costs including the cost estimate of the project according to section 144A.071, subdivision 5a;

(3) the extent to which the proposal promotes equitable access to long-term care services in nursing homes through redistribution of the nursing home bed supply, as measured by the number of beds relative to the population 85 or older, projected to the year 2000 by the state demographer, and according to items (i) to (iv):

(i) reduce beds in counties where the supply is high, relative to the statewide mean, and increase beds in counties where the supply is low, relative to the statewide mean;

(ii) adjust the bed supply so as to create the greatest benefits in improving the distribution of beds;

(iii) adjust the existing bed supply in counties so that the bed supply in a county moves toward the statewide mean; and

(iv) adjust the existing bed supply so that the distribution of beds as projected for the year 2020 would be consistent with projected need, based on the methodology outlined in the Interagency Long-Term Care Committee's nursing home bed distribution study;

(4) the extent to which the project improves conditions that affect the health or safety of residents, such as narrow corridors, narrow door frames, unenclosed fire exits, and wood frame construction, and similar provisions contained in fire and life safety codes and licensure and certification rules;

(5) the extent to which the project improves conditions that affect the comfort or quality of life of residents in a facility or the ability of the facility to provide efficient care, such as a relatively high number of residents in a room; inadequate lighting or ventilation; poor access to bathing or toilet facilities; a lack of available ancillary space for dining rooms, day rooms, or rooms used for other activities; problems relating to heating, cooling, or energy efficiency; inefficient location of nursing stations; narrow corridors; or other provisions contained in the licensure and certification rules;

(6) the extent to which the applicant demonstrates the delivery of quality care, as defined in state and federal statutes and rules, to residents as evidenced by the two most recent state agency certification surveys and the applicants' response to those surveys;

(7) the extent to which the project removes the need for waivers or variances previously granted by either the licensing agency, certifying agency, fire marshal, or local government entity;

(8) the extent to which the project increases the number of private or single bed rooms; and

(9) the extent to which the applicant demonstrates the continuing need for nursing facility care in the community and adjacent communities; and

(10) other factors that may be developed in permanent rule by the commissioner of health that evaluate and assess how the proposed project will further promote or protect the health, safety, comfort, treatment, or well-being of the facility's residents.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 252.27, subdivision 2a, is amended to read:

Subd. 2a.

Contribution amount.

(a) The natural or adoptive parents of a minor child, including a child determined eligible for medical assistance without consideration of parental income, must contribute to the cost of services used by making monthly payments on a sliding scale based on income, unless the child is married or has been married, parental rights have been terminated, or the child's adoption is subsidized according to section 259.67 or through title IV-E of the Social Security Act. The parental contribution is a partial or full payment for medical services provided for diagnostic, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitation, maintenance, and personal care services as defined in United States Code, title 26, section 213, needed by the child with a chronic illness or disability.

(b) For households with adjusted gross income equal to or greater than 100 percent of federal poverty guidelines, the parental contribution shall be computed by applying the following schedule of rates to the adjusted gross income of the natural or adoptive parents:

(1) if the adjusted gross income is equal to or greater than 100 percent of federal poverty guidelines and less than 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines, the parental contribution is $4 per month;

(2) if the adjusted gross income is equal to or greater than 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines and less than or equal to 545 percent of federal poverty guidelines, the parental contribution shall be determined using a sliding fee scale established by the commissioner of human services which begins at one percent of adjusted gross income at 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines and increases to 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income for those with adjusted gross income up to 545 percent of federal poverty guidelines;

(3) if the adjusted gross income is greater than 545 percent of federal poverty guidelines and less than 675 percent of federal poverty guidelines, the parental contribution shall be 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income;

(4) if the adjusted gross income is equal to or greater than 675 percent of federal poverty guidelines and less than 975 percent of federal poverty guidelines, the parental contribution shall be determined using a sliding fee scale established by the commissioner of human services which begins at 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income at 675 percent of federal poverty guidelines and increases to ten percent of adjusted gross income for those with adjusted gross income up to 975 percent of federal poverty guidelines; and

(5) if the adjusted gross income is equal to or greater than 975 percent of federal poverty guidelines, the parental contribution shall be 12.5 percent of adjusted gross income.

If the child lives with the parent, the annual adjusted gross income is reduced by $2,400 prior to calculating the parental contribution. If the child resides in an institution specified in section 256B.35, the parent is responsible for the personal needs allowance specified under that section in addition to the parental contribution determined under this section. The parental contribution is reduced by any amount required to be paid directly to the child pursuant to a court order, but only if actually paid.

(c) The household size to be used in determining the amount of contribution under paragraph (b) includes natural and adoptive parents and their dependents, including the child receiving services. Adjustments in the contribution amount due to annual changes in the federal poverty guidelines shall be implemented on the first day of July following publication of the changes.

(d) For purposes of paragraph (b), "income" means the adjusted gross income of the natural or adoptive parents determined according to the previous year's federal tax form, except, effective retroactive to July 1, 2003, taxable capital gains to the extent the funds have been used to purchase a home shall not be counted as income.

(e) The contribution shall be explained in writing to the parents at the time eligibility for services is being determined. The contribution shall be made on a monthly basis effective with the first month in which the child receives services. Annually upon redetermination or at termination of eligibility, if the contribution exceeded the cost of services provided, the local agency or the state shall reimburse that excess amount to the parents, either by direct reimbursement if the parent is no longer required to pay a contribution, or by a reduction in or waiver of parental fees until the excess amount is exhausted.

(f) The monthly contribution amount must be reviewed at least every 12 months; when there is a change in household size; and when there is a loss of or gain in income from one month to another in excess of ten percent. The local agency shall mail a written notice 30 days in advance of the effective date of a change in the contribution amount. A decrease in the contribution amount is effective in the month that the parent verifies a reduction in income or change in household size.

(g) Parents of a minor child who do not live with each other shall each pay the contribution required under paragraph (a). An amount equal to the annual court-ordered child support payment actually paid on behalf of the child receiving services shall be deducted from the adjusted gross income of the parent making the payment prior to calculating the parental contribution under paragraph (b).

(h) The contribution under paragraph (b) shall be increased by an additional five percent if the local agency determines that insurance coverage is available but not obtained for the child. For purposes of this section, "available" means the insurance is a benefit of employment for a family member at an annual cost of no more than five percent of the family's annual income. For purposes of this section, "insurance" means health and accident insurance coverage, enrollment in a nonprofit health service plan, health maintenance organization, self-insured plan, or preferred provider organization.

Parents who have more than one child receiving services shall not be required to pay more than the amount for the child with the highest expenditures. There shall be no resource contribution from the parents. The parent shall not be required to pay a contribution in excess of the cost of the services provided to the child, not counting payments made to school districts for education-related services. Notice of an increase in fee payment must be given at least 30 days before the increased fee is due.

(i) The contribution under paragraph (b) shall be reduced by $300 per fiscal year if, in the 12 months prior to July 1:

(1) the parent applied for insurance for the child;

(2) the insurer denied insurance;

(3) the parents submitted a complaint or appeal, in writing to the insurer, submitted a complaint or appeal, in writing, to the commissioner of health or the commissioner of commerce, or litigated the complaint or appeal; and

(4) as a result of the dispute, the insurer reversed its decision and granted insurance.

For purposes of this section, "insurance" has the meaning given in paragraph (h).

A parent who has requested a reduction in the contribution amount under this paragraph shall submit proof in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioner or county agency, including, but not limited to, the insurer's denial of insurance, the written letter or complaint of the parents, court documents, and the written response of the insurer approving insurance. The determinations of the commissioner or county agency under this paragraph are not rules subject to chapter 14.

Sec. 3.

[252.295] LICENSING EXCEPTION.

(a) Notwithstanding section 252.294, the commissioner may license two six-bed, level B intermediate care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities (ICF's/MR) to replace a 15-bed level A facility in Minneapolis that is not accessible to persons with disabilities. The new facilities must be accessible to persons with disabilities and must be located on a different site or sites in Hennepin County. Notwithstanding section 256B.5012, the payment rate at the new facilities is $200.47 plus any rate adjustments for ICF's/MR effective on or after July 1, 2007.

(b) Notwithstanding section 252.294, the commissioner may license one six-bed level B intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities to replace a downsized 21-bed facility attached to a day training and habilitation program in Chisholm. Notwithstanding section 256B.5012, the facility must serve persons who require substantial nursing care and are able to leave the facility to receive day training and habilitation services. The payment rate at this facility is $274.50.

(c) Notwithstanding section 256B.5012, the payment rate of a six-bed level B intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities in Hibbing, with a per diem rate of $164.13 as of March 1, 2007, for persons who require substantial nursing care and are able to leave the facility to receive day training and habilitation services shall be increased to $250.84.

(d) The payment rates in paragraphs (b) and (c) are effective October 1, 2009.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.01, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 24.

Disability linkage line.

The commissioner shall establish the disability linkage line, a statewide consumer information, referral, and assistance system for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses that:

(1) provides information about state and federal eligibility requirements, benefits, and service options;

(2) makes referrals to appropriate support entities;

(3) delivers information and assistance based on national and state standards;

(4) assists people to make well-informed decisions; and

(5) supports the timely resolution of service access and benefit issues.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256.975, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Consumer information and assistance; senior linkage.

(a) The Minnesota Board on Aging shall operate a statewide information and assistance service to aid older Minnesotans and their families in making informed choices about long-term care options and health care benefits. Language services to persons with limited English language skills may be made available. The service, known as Senior LinkAge Line, must be available during business hours through a statewide toll-free number and must also be available through the Internet.

(b) The service must assist older adults, caregivers, and providers in accessing information about choices in long-term care services that are purchased through private providers or available through public options. The service must:

(1) develop a comprehensive database that includes detailed listings in both consumer- and provider-oriented formats;

(2) make the database accessible on the Internet and through other telecommunication and media-related tools;

(3) link callers to interactive long-term care screening tools and make these tools available through the Internet by integrating the tools with the database;

(4) develop community education materials with a focus on planning for long-term care and evaluating independent living, housing, and service options;

(5) conduct an outreach campaign to assist older adults and their caregivers in finding information on the Internet and through other means of communication;

(6) implement a messaging system for overflow callers and respond to these callers by the next business day;

(7) link callers with county human services and other providers to receive more in-depth assistance and consultation related to long-term care options; and

(8) link callers with quality profiles for nursing facilities and other providers developed by the commissioner of health.; and

(9) incorporate information about housing with services and consumer rights within the MinnesotaHelp.info network long-term care database to facilitate consumer comparison of services and costs among housing with services establishments and with other in-home services and to support financial self-sufficiency as long as possible. Housing with services establishments and their arranged home care providers shall provide information to the commissioner of human services that is consistent with information required by the commissioner of health under section 144G.06, the Uniform Consumer Information Guide. The commissioner of human services shall provide the data to the Minnesota Board on Aging for inclusion in the MinnesotaHelp.info network long-term care database.

(c) The Minnesota Board on Aging shall conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the statewide information and assistance, and submit this evaluation to the legislature by December 1, 2002. The evaluation must include an analysis of funding adequacy, gaps in service delivery, continuity in information between the service and identified linkages, and potential use of private funding to enhance the service.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0625, subdivision 18a, is amended to read:

Subd. 18a.

Access to medical services.

(a) Medical assistance reimbursement for meals for persons traveling to receive medical care may not exceed $5.50 for breakfast, $6.50 for lunch, or $8 for dinner.

(b) Medical assistance reimbursement for lodging for persons traveling to receive medical care may not exceed $50 per day unless prior authorized by the local agency.

(c) Medical assistance direct mileage reimbursement to the eligible person or the eligible person's driver may not exceed 20 cents per mile.

(d) Regardless of the number of employees that an enrolled health care provider may have, medical assistance covers sign and oral language interpreter services when provided by an enrolled health care provider during the course of providing a direct, person-to-person covered health care service to an enrolled recipient with limited English proficiency or who has a hearing loss and uses interpreting services.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0625, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 50.

Self-directed supports option.

Upon federal approval, medical assistance covers the self-directed supports option as defined under section 256B.0657 and section 6087 of the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Public Law 109-171.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective upon federal approval of the state Medicaid plan amendment. The commissioner of human services shall inform the Office of the Revisor of Statutes when approval is obtained.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0651, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Prior authorization; time limits.

The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall determine the time period for which a prior authorization shall be effective and, if flexible use has been requested, whether to allow the flexible use option. If the recipient continues to require home care services beyond the duration of the prior authorization, the home care provider must request a new prior authorization. A personal care provider agency must request a new personal care assistant services assessment, or service update if allowed, at least 60 days prior to the end of the current prior authorization time period. The request for the assessment must be made on a form approved by the commissioner. Under no circumstances, other than the exceptions in subdivision 4, shall a prior authorization be valid prior to the date the commissioner receives the request or for more than 12 months. A recipient who appeals a reduction in previously authorized home care services may continue previously authorized services, other than temporary services under subdivision 8, pending an appeal under section 256.045. The commissioner must provide a detailed explanation of why the authorized services are reduced in amount from those requested by the home care provider.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0655, subdivision 1b, is amended to read:

Subd. 1b.

Assessment.

"Assessment" means a review and evaluation of a recipient's need for home care services conducted in person. Assessments for personal care assistant services shall be conducted by the county public health nurse or a certified public health nurse under contract with the county. A face-to-face assessment must include: documentation of health status, determination of need, evaluation of service effectiveness, identification of appropriate services, service plan development or modification, coordination of services, referrals and follow-up to appropriate payers and community resources, completion of required reports, recommendation of service authorization, and consumer education. Once the need for personal care assistant services is determined under this section or sections 256B.0651, 256B.0653, 256B.0654, and 256B.0656, the county public health nurse or certified public health nurse under contract with the county is responsible for communicating this recommendation to the commissioner and the recipient. A face-to-face assessment for personal care assistant services is conducted on those recipients who have never had a county public health nurse assessment. A face-to-face assessment must occur at least annually or when there is a significant change in the recipient's condition or when there is a change in the need for personal care assistant services. A service update may substitute for the annual face-to-face assessment when there is not a significant change in recipient condition or a change in the need for personal care assistant service. A service update may be completed by telephone, used when there is no need for an increase in personal care assistant services, and used for two consecutive assessments if followed by a face-to-face assessment. A service update must be completed on a form approved by the commissioner. A service update or review for temporary increase includes a review of initial baseline data, evaluation of service effectiveness, redetermination of service need, modification of service plan and appropriate referrals, update of initial forms, obtaining service authorization, and on going consumer education. Assessments must be completed on forms provided by the commissioner within 30 days of a request for home care services by a recipient or responsible party or personal care provider agency.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0655, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Assessment and service plan.

Assessments under subdivision 1b and sections 256B.0651, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), and 256B.0654, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), shall be conducted initially, and at least annually thereafter, in person with the recipient and result in a completed service plan using forms specified by the commissioner. A personal care provider agency must use a form approved by the commissioner to request a county public health nurse to conduct a personal care assistant services assessment. When requesting a reassessment, the personal care provider agency must notify the county and the recipient at least 60 days prior to the end of the current prior authorization for personal care assistant services. The recipient notice shall include information on the recipient's appeal rights. Within 30 days of recipient or responsible party or personal care assistant provider agency request for home care services, the assessment, the service plan, and other information necessary to determine medical necessity such as diagnostic or testing information, social or medical histories, and hospital or facility discharge summaries shall be submitted to the commissioner. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 8, the commissioner shall maximize federal financial participation to pay for public health nurse assessments for personal care services. For personal care assistant services:

(1) The amount and type of service authorized based upon the assessment and service plan will follow the recipient if the recipient chooses to change providers.

(2) If the recipient's need changes, the recipient's provider may assess the need for a change in service authorization and request the change from the county public health nurse. The request must be made on a form approved by the commissioner. Within 30 days of the request, the public health nurse will determine whether to request the change in services based upon the provider assessment, or conduct a home visit to assess the need and determine whether the change is appropriate. If the change in service need is due to a change in medical condition, a new physician's statement of need required by section 256B.0625, subdivision 19c, must be obtained.

(3) To continue to receive personal care assistant services after the first year, the recipient or the responsible party, in conjunction with the public health nurse, may complete a service update on forms developed by the commissioner according to criteria and procedures in subdivisions 1a to 1i and sections 256B.0651, subdivision 1; 256B.0653, subdivision 1; and 256B.0654, subdivision 1.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 256B.0655, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

Subd. 8.

Public health nurse assessment rate.

(a) The reimbursement rates for public health nurse visits that relate to the provision of personal care services under this section and section 256B.0625, subdivision 19a, are:

(i) $210.50 for a face-to-face assessment visit;

(ii) $105.25 for each service update; and

(iii) $105.25 for each request for a temporary service increase.

(b) The rates specified in paragraph (a) must be adjusted to reflect provider rate increases for personal care assistant services that are approved by the legislature for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000, and subsequent fiscal years. Any requirements applied by the legislature to provider rate increases for personal care assistant services also apply to adjustments under this paragraph.

(c) Effective July 1, 2008, the payment rate for an assessment under this section and section 256B.0651 shall be reduced by 25 percent when the assessment is not completed on time or the service agreement documentation is not submitted in time to continue services. The commissioner shall recoup these amounts on a retroactive basis.

Sec. 12.

[256B.0657] SELF-DIRECTED SUPPORTS OPTION.

Subdivision 1.

Definition.

"Self-directed supports option" means personal assistance, supports, items, and related services purchased under an approved budget plan and budget by a recipient.

Subd. 2.

Eligibility.

(a) The self-directed supports option is available to a person who:

(1) is a recipient of medical assistance as determined under sections 256B.055, 256B.056, and 256B.057, subdivision 9;

(2) is eligible for personal care assistant services under section 256B.0655;

(3) lives in the person's own apartment or home, which is not owned, operated, or controlled by a provider of services not related by blood or marriage;

(4) has the ability to hire, fire, supervise, establish staff compensation for, and manage the individuals providing services, and to choose and obtain items, related services, and supports as described in the participant's plan. If the recipient is not able to carry out these functions but has a legal guardian or parent to carry them out, the guardian or parent may fulfill these functions on behalf of the recipient; and

(5) has not been excluded or disenrolled by the commissioner.

(b) The commissioner may disenroll or exclude recipients, including guardians and parents, under the following circumstances:

(1) recipients who have been restricted by the Primary Care Utilization Review Committee may be excluded for a specified time period;

(2) recipients who exit the self-directed supports option during the recipient's service plan year shall not access the self-directed supports option for the remainder of that service plan year; and

(3) when the department determines that the recipient cannot manage recipient responsibilities under the program.

Subd. 3.

Eligibility for other services.

Selection of the self-directed supports option by a recipient shall not restrict access to other medically necessary care and services furnished under the state plan medical assistance benefit, including home care targeted case management, except that a person receiving home and community-based waiver services, a family support grant or a consumer support grant is not eligible for funding under the self-directed supports option.

Subd. 4.

Assessment requirements.

(a) The self-directed supports option assessment must meet the following requirements:

(1) it shall be conducted by the county public health nurse or a certified public health nurse under contract with the county;

(2) it shall be conducted face-to-face in the recipient's home initially, and at least annually thereafter; when there is a significant change in the recipient's condition; and when there is a change in the need for personal care assistant services. A recipient who is residing in a facility may be assessed for the self-directed support option for the purpose of returning to the community using this option; and

(3) it shall be completed using the format established by the commissioner.