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256.031 Minnesota family investment plan.

Subdivision 1. Citation. Sections 256.031 to 256.0361 may be cited as the Minnesota family investment plan.

Subd. 1a. Use of federal authority. Federal authority as cited in sections 256.031 to 256.0361 and 256.047 is reference to United States Code, title 42, chapter 7, subchapter II, section 402, and subchapter IV, sections 601 and 602, and Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, as constructed on the day prior to their federal repeal.

Subd. 2. Legislative findings. The legislature recognizes the need to fundamentally change the way government supports families. The legislature finds that many features of the current system of public assistance do not help families carry out their two basic functions: the economic support of the family unit and the care and nurturing of children. The legislature recognizes that the Minnesota family investment plan is an investment strategy that will support and strengthen the family's social and financial functions. This investment in families will provide long-term benefits through stronger and more independent families.

Subd. 3. Authorization for the demonstration. (a) The commissioner of human services, in consultation with the commissioners of children, families, and learning, finance, economic security, health, and planning, and the director of the higher education services office, is authorized to proceed with the planning and designing of the Minnesota family investment plan and to implement the plan to test policies, methods, and cost impact on an experimental basis by using field trials. The commissioner, under the authority in section 256.01, subdivision 2, shall implement the plan according to sections 256.031 to 256.0361 and Public Law Numbers 101-202 and 101-239, section 8015, as amended. If major and unpredicted costs to the program occur, the commissioner may take corrective action consistent with Public Law Numbers 101-202 and 101-239, which may include termination of the program. Before taking such corrective action, the commissioner shall consult with the chairs of the senate family services committee, the house health and human services committee, the health care and family services division of the senate family services and health care committees and the human services division of the house health and human services committee, or, if the legislature is not in session, consult with the legislative advisory commission.

(b) The field trials shall be conducted as permitted under federal law, for as many years as necessary, and in different geographical settings, to provide reliable instruction about the desirability of expanding the program statewide.

(c) The commissioner shall select the counties which shall serve as field trial or comparison sites based on criteria which ensure reliable evaluation of the program.

(d) The commissioner is authorized to determine the number of families and characteristics of subgroups to be included in the evaluation.

(i) A family that applies for or is currently receiving financial assistance from aid to families with dependent children; family general assistance or work readiness; or food stamps may be tested for eligibility for aid to families with dependent children or family general assistance and may be assigned by the commissioner to a test or a comparison group for the purposes of evaluating the family investment plan. A family found not eligible for aid to families with dependent children or family general assistance will be tested for eligibility for the food stamp program. If found eligible for the food stamp program, the commissioner may randomly assign the family to a test group, comparison group, or neither group. Families assigned to a test group receive benefits and services through the family investment plan. Families assigned to a comparison group receive benefits and services through existing programs. A family may not select the group to which it is assigned. Once assigned to a group, an eligible family must remain in that group for the duration of the project.

(ii) To evaluate the effectiveness of the family investment plan, the commissioner may designate a subgroup of families from the test group who shall be exempt from section 256.035, subdivision 1, and shall not receive case management services under section 256.035, subdivision 6a. Families are eligible for services under section 256.736 to the same extent as families receiving AFDC.

Subd. 4. Goals of the Minnesota family investment plan. The commissioner shall design the program to meet the following goals:

(1) to support families' transition to financial independence by emphasizing options, removing barriers to work and education, providing necessary support services, and building a supportive network of education, employment and training, health, social, counseling, and family-based services;

(2) to allow resources to be more effectively and efficiently focused on investing in families by removing the complexity of current rules and procedures and consolidating public assistance programs;

(3) to prevent long-term dependence on public assistance through paternity establishment, child support enforcement, emphasis on education and training, and early intervention with minor parents; and

(4) to provide families with an opportunity to increase their living standard by rewarding efforts aimed at transition to employment and by allowing families to keep a greater portion of earnings when they become employed.

Subd. 5. Federal waivers. According to sections 256.031 to 256.0361 and federal laws authorizing the program, the commissioner shall seek waivers of federal requirements of: United States Code, title 42, section 601 et seq., and United States Code, title 7, section 2011 et seq., needed to implement the Minnesota family investment plan in a manner consistent with the goals and objectives of the program. The commissioner shall seek terms from the federal government that are consistent with the goals of the Minnesota family investment plan. The commissioner shall also seek terms from the federal government that will maximize federal financial participation so that the extra costs to the state of implementing the program are minimized, to the extent that those terms are consistent with the goals of the Minnesota family investment plan. An agreement with the federal government under this section shall provide that the agreements may be canceled by the state or federal government upon 180 days' notice or immediately upon mutual agreement. If the agreement is canceled, families which cease receiving assistance under the Minnesota family investment plan who are eligible for the aid to families with dependent children, Minnesota family investment program-statewide, general assistance, medical assistance, general assistance medical care, or the food stamp program must be placed with their consent on the programs for which they are eligible.

Subd. 6. End of field trials. Upon agreement with the federal government, the field trials of the Minnesota family investment plan will end June 30, 1998. Families in the comparison group under subdivision 3, paragraph (d), clause (i), receiving aid to families with dependent children under sections 256.72 to 256.87, and STRIDE services under section 256.736 will continue in those programs until June 30, 1998. After June 30, 1998, families who cease receiving assistance under the Minnesota family investment plan and comparison group families who cease receiving assistance under AFDC and STRIDE who are eligible for the Minnesota family investment program-statewide (MFIP-S), medical assistance, general assistance medical care, or the food stamp program shall be placed with their consent on the programs for which they are eligible.

HIST: 1989 c 282 art 5 s 6; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 12; 1992 c 513 art 8 s 2; 1993 c 4 s 25; 1994 c 483 s 1; 1995 c 212 art 3 s 59; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1996 c 465 art 3 s 2; 1997 c 85 art 3 s 1; art 4 s 11