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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

256.016 PLAIN LANGUAGE IN WRITTEN MATERIALS.
(a) To the extent reasonable and consistent with the goals of providing easily understandable
and readable materials and complying with federal and state laws governing the programs, all
written materials relating to services and determinations of eligibility for or amounts of benefits
that will be given to applicants for or recipients of assistance under a program administered or
supervised by the commissioner of human services must be understandable to a person who
reads at the seventh-grade level, using the Flesch scale analysis readability score as determined
under section 72C.09.
(b) All written materials relating to determinations of eligibility for or amounts of benefits
that will be given to applicants for or recipients of assistance under programs administered
or supervised by the commissioner of human services must be developed to satisfy the plain
language requirements of the Plain Language Contract Act under sections 325G.29 to 325G.36.
Materials may be submitted to the attorney general for review and certification. Notwithstanding
section 325G.35, subdivision 1, the attorney general shall review submitted materials to determine
whether they comply with the requirements of section 325G.31. The remedies available pursuant
to sections 8.31 and 325G.33 to 325G.36 do not apply to these materials. Failure to comply with
this section does not provide a basis for suspending the implementation or operation of other laws
governing programs administered by the commissioner.
(c) The requirements of this section apply to all materials modified or developed by the
commissioner on or after July 1, 1988. The requirements of this section do not apply to materials
that must be submitted to a federal agency for approval, to the extent that application of the
requirements prevents federal approval.
(d) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit a lawsuit brought to require the
commissioner to comply with this section or to affect individual appeal rights granted pursuant to
section 256.045.
History: 1988 c 689 art 2 s 123; 1997 c 7 art 2 s 41