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2007 Minnesota Statutes

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256.01 COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN SERVICES; POWERS, DUTIES.
    Subdivision 1. Powers transferred. All the powers and duties now vested in or imposed
upon the State Board of Control by the laws of this state or by any law of the United States are
hereby transferred to, vested in, and imposed upon the commissioner of human services, except
the powers and duties otherwise specifically transferred by Laws 1939, chapter 431, to other
agencies. The commissioner of human services is hereby constituted the "state agency" as defined
by the Social Security Act of the United States and the laws of this state.
    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.
    Subd. 2a. Authorization for test sites for health care programs. In coordination with
the development and implementation of HealthMatch, an automated eligibility system for
medical assistance, general assistance medical care, and MinnesotaCare, the commissioner, in
cooperation with county agencies, is authorized to test and compare a variety of administrative
models to demonstrate and evaluate outcomes of integrating health care program business
processes and points of access. The models will be evaluated for ease of enrollment for health
care program applicants and recipients and administrative efficiencies. Test sites will combine the
administration of all three programs and will include both local county and centralized statewide
customer assistance. The duration of each approved test site shall be no more than one year.
Based on the evaluation, the commissioner shall recommend the most efficient and effective
administrative model for statewide implementation.
    Subd. 2b. Performance payments. (a) The commissioner shall develop and implement a
pay-for-performance system to provide performance payments to eligible medical groups and
clinics that demonstrate optimum care in serving individuals with chronic diseases who are
enrolled in health care programs administered by the commissioner under chapters 256B, 256D,
and 256L. The commissioner may receive any federal matching money that is made available
through the medical assistance program for managed care oversight contracted through vendors,
including consumer surveys, studies, and external quality reviews as required by the federal
Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, part 438-managed care,
subpart E-external quality review. Any federal money received for managed care oversight is
appropriated to the commissioner for this purpose. The commissioner may expend the federal
money received in either year of the biennium.
    (b) Effective July 1, 2009, or upon federal approval, whichever is later, the commissioner
shall develop and implement a patient incentive health program to provide incentives and rewards
to patients who are enrolled in health care programs administered by the commissioner under
chapters 256B, 256D, and 256L, and who have agreed to and have met personal health goals
established with the patients' primary care providers to manage a chronic disease or condition,
including but not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.
    Subd. 3. Executive council, powers transferred. All the powers and duties now vested in
or imposed upon the executive council, or any other agency which may have succeeded to its
authority, relating to the administration and distribution of direct relief to the indigent or destitute,
including war veterans and their families and dependents, are hereby transferred to, vested in, and
imposed upon the commissioner of human services.
    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) 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;
    (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;
    (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;
    (5) on or before October 1 in each even-numbered year make a biennial report to the
governor concerning the activities of the agency;
    (6) enter into agreements with other departments of the state as necessary to meet all
requirements of the federal government; and
    (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.
    Subd. 4a. Technical assistance for immunization reminders. The state agency shall provide
appropriate technical assistance to county agencies to develop methods to have county financial
workers remind and encourage recipients of aid to families with dependent children, Minnesota
family investment program, the Minnesota family investment plan, medical assistance, family
general assistance, or food stamps or food support whose assistance unit includes at least one
child under the age of five to have each young child immunized against childhood diseases. The
state agency must examine the feasibility of utilizing the capacity of a statewide computer system
to assist county agency financial workers in performing this function at appropriate intervals.
    Subd. 5. Gifts, contributions, pensions and benefits; acceptance. The commissioner shall
have the power and authority to accept in behalf of the state contributions and gifts for the use and
benefit of children under the guardianship or custody of the commissioner; the commissioner
may also receive and accept on behalf of such children, and on behalf of patients and residents at
the several state hospitals for persons with mental illness or developmental disabilities during
the period of their hospitalization and while on provisional discharge therefrom, money due and
payable to them as old age and survivors insurance benefits, veterans benefits, pensions or other
such monetary benefits. Such gifts, contributions, pensions and benefits shall be deposited in and
disbursed from the social welfare fund provided for in sections 256.88 to 256.92.
    Subd. 6. Advisory task forces. The commissioner may appoint advisory task forces to
provide consultation on any of the programs under the commissioner's administration and
supervision. A task force shall expire and the compensation, terms of office and removal
of members shall be as provided in section 15.059. Notwithstanding section 15.059, the
commissioner may pay a per diem of $35 to consumers and family members whose participation
is needed in legislatively authorized state-level task forces, and whose participation on the task
force is not as a paid representative of any agency, organization, or association.
    Subd. 7. Special consultant on aging. The commissioner of human services may appoint a
special consultant on aging in the classified service. Within the limits of appropriations available
therefor, the commissioner may appoint such other employees in the classified service as the
commissioner deems necessary to carry out the purposes of Laws 1961, Chapter 466. Such
special consultant and staff shall encourage cooperation among agencies, both public and private,
including the departments of the state government, in providing services for the aging. They
shall provide consultation to local social services agencies in developing local services for the
aging, shall promote volunteer services programs and stimulate public interest in the problem of
the aging.
    Subd. 8. County services coordinators. Any county or group of counties acting through
its or their local social services agency or agencies may designate a county services coordinator
who shall coordinate services and activities, both public and private, that may further the well
being of the aging and meet their social, psychological, physical and economic needs. The
coordinator shall perform such other duties as the agency may direct to stimulate, demonstrate,
initiate, and coordinate local public, private, and voluntary services within the county dedicated
to providing the maximum opportunities for self help, independence, and productivity of
individuals concerned. The agency may appoint a citizens advisory committee which shall advise
the coordinator and the agency on the development of services and perform such other functions
at the county level as are prescribed for the Minnesota Board on Aging at the state level. The
members shall serve without compensation. Members of citizens advisory committees required
by federal law for programs for the aging who receive federal money in payment for a portion of
their actual expenses incurred in performance of their duties may receive the remaining portion
from state money appropriated for programs for the aging.
    Subd. 9. Staff assistance to the Minnesota Board on Aging. The board shall be provided
staff assistance from the Department of Human Services through the special consultant on aging,
who shall serve as the executive secretary to the board and its committees.
    Subd. 10. Authority to accept and disburse funds. The Minnesota Board on Aging is
authorized to accept through the Department of Human Services grants, gifts, and bequests from
public or private sources for implementing programs and services on behalf of the aging, and
to disburse funds to public and private agencies for the purpose of research, demonstration,
planning, training, and service projects pertaining to the state's aging citizens.
    Subd. 11. Centralized disbursement system. The state agency may establish a system for
the centralized disbursement of food coupons, assistance payments, and related documents.
Benefits shall be issued by the state or county subject to section 256.017.
    Subd. 11a. Contracting with financial institutions. The state agency may contract with
banks or other financial institutions to provide services associated with the processing of public
assistance checks and may pay a service fee for these services, provided the fee charged does not
exceed the fee charged to other customers of the institution for similar services.
    Subd. 12. Child mortality review panel. (a) The commissioner shall establish a child
mortality review panel to review deaths of children in Minnesota, including deaths attributed to
maltreatment or in which maltreatment may be a contributing cause and to review near fatalities as
defined in section 626.556, subdivision 11d. The commissioners of health, education, and public
safety and the attorney general shall each designate a representative to the child mortality review
panel. Other panel members shall be appointed by the commissioner, including a board-certified
pathologist and a physician who is a coroner or a medical examiner. The purpose of the panel
shall be to make recommendations to the state and to county agencies for improving the child
protection system, including modifications in statute, rule, policy, and procedure.
(b) The commissioner may require a county agency to establish a local child mortality
review panel. The commissioner may establish procedures for conducting local reviews and
may require that all professionals with knowledge of a child mortality case participate in the
local review. In this section, "professional" means a person licensed to perform or a person
performing a specific service in the child protective service system. "Professional" includes law
enforcement personnel, social service agency attorneys, educators, and social service, health care,
and mental health care providers.
(c) If the commissioner of human services has reason to believe that a child's death was
caused by maltreatment or that maltreatment was a contributing cause, the commissioner has
access to not public data under chapter 13 maintained by state agencies, statewide systems, or
political subdivisions that are related to the child's death or circumstances surrounding the care of
the child. The commissioner shall also have access to records of private hospitals as necessary to
carry out the duties prescribed by this section. Access to data under this paragraph is limited to
police investigative data; autopsy records and coroner or medical examiner investigative data;
hospital, public health, or other medical records of the child; hospital and other medical records of
the child's parent that relate to prenatal care; and records created by social service agencies that
provided services to the child or family within three years preceding the child's death. A state
agency, statewide system, or political subdivision shall provide the data upon request of the
commissioner. Not public data may be shared with members of the state or local child mortality
review panel in connection with an individual case.
(d) Notwithstanding the data's classification in the possession of any other agency, data
acquired by a local or state child mortality review panel in the exercise of its duties is protected
nonpublic or confidential data as defined in section 13.02, but may be disclosed as necessary to
carry out the purposes of the review panel. The data is not subject to subpoena or discovery. The
commissioner may disclose conclusions of the review panel, but shall not disclose data that was
classified as confidential or private data on decedents, under section 13.10, or private, confidential,
or protected nonpublic data in the disseminating agency, except that the commissioner may
disclose local social service agency data as provided in section 626.556, subdivision 11d, on
individual cases involving a fatality or near fatality of a person served by the local social service
agency prior to the date of death.
(e) A person attending a child mortality review panel meeting shall not disclose what
transpired at the meeting, except to carry out the purposes of the mortality review panel. The
proceedings and records of the mortality review panel are protected nonpublic data as defined in
section 13.02, subdivision 13, and are not subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in
a civil or criminal action against a professional, the state or a county agency, arising out of the
matters the panel is reviewing. Information, documents, and records otherwise available from
other sources are not immune from discovery or use in a civil or criminal action solely because
they were presented during proceedings of the review panel. A person who presented information
before the review panel or who is a member of the panel shall not be prevented from testifying
about matters within the person's knowledge. However, in a civil or criminal proceeding a person
shall not be questioned about the person's presentation of information to the review panel or
opinions formed by the person as a result of the review meetings.
    Subd. 13. Pilot project; protocols for persons lacking proficiency in English. The
commissioner of human services shall establish pilot projects in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties
to provide language assistance to clients applying for or receiving aid through the county social
service agency. The projects shall be designed to provide translation, in the five foreign languages
that are most common to applicants and recipients in the pilot counties, to individuals lacking
proficiency in English, who are applying for or receiving assistance under any program supervised
by the commissioner of human services. As part of the project, the commissioner shall ensure
that the Combined Application Form (CAF) is available in these five languages. The projects
shall also provide language assistance to individuals applying for or receiving aid under programs
which the department of human services operates jointly with other executive branch agencies,
including all work and training programs operated under this chapter and chapter 256D. The
purpose of the pilot projects is to ensure that information regarding a program is presented in
translation to applicants for and recipients of assistance who lack proficiency in English. In
preparing the protocols to be used in the pilot programs, the commissioner shall seek input from
the following groups: advocacy organizations that represent non-English-speaking clients, county
social service agencies, legal advocacy groups, employment and training providers, and other
affected groups. The commissioner shall develop the protocols by October 1, 1995, and shall
implement them as soon as feasible in the pilot counties. The commissioner shall report to the
legislature by February 1, 1996, on the protocols developed, on the status of their implementation
in the pilot counties, and shall include recommendations for statewide implementation.
    Subd. 14. Child welfare reform pilots. The commissioner of human services shall
encourage local reforms in the delivery of child welfare services and is authorized to approve
local pilot programs which focus on reforming the child protection and child welfare systems in
Minnesota. Authority to approve pilots includes authority to waive existing state rules as needed
to accomplish reform efforts. Notwithstanding section 626.556, subdivision 10, 10b, or 10d, the
commissioner may authorize programs to use alternative methods of investigating and assessing
reports of child maltreatment, provided that the programs comply with the provisions of section
626.556 dealing with the rights of individuals who are subjects of reports or investigations,
including notice and appeal rights and data practices requirements. Pilot programs must be
required to address responsibility for safety and protection of children, be time limited, and
include evaluation of the pilot program.
    Subd. 14a. Single benefit demonstration. The commissioner may conduct a demonstration
program under a federal Title IV-E waiver to demonstrate the impact of a single benefit level on
the rate of permanency for children in long-term foster care through transfer of permanent legal
custody or adoption. The commissioner of human services is authorized to waive enforcement
of related statutory program requirements, rules, and standards in one or more counties for the
purpose of this demonstration. The demonstration must comply with the requirements of the
secretary of health and human services under federal waiver and be cost neutral to the state.
The commissioner may measure cost neutrality to the state by the same mechanism
approved by the secretary of health and human services to measure federal cost neutrality. The
commissioner is authorized to accept and administer county funds and to transfer state and federal
funds among the affected programs as necessary for the conduct of the demonstration.
    Subd. 14b. American Indian child welfare projects. (a) The commissioner of human
services may authorize projects to test tribal delivery of child welfare services to American
Indian children and their parents and custodians living on the reservation. The commissioner has
authority to solicit and determine which tribes may participate in a project. Grants may be issued
to Minnesota Indian tribes to support the projects. The commissioner may waive existing state
rules as needed to accomplish the projects. Notwithstanding section 626.556, the commissioner
may authorize projects to use alternative methods of investigating and assessing reports of child
maltreatment, provided that the projects comply with the provisions of section 626.556 dealing
with the rights of individuals who are subjects of reports or investigations, including notice
and appeal rights and data practices requirements. The commissioner may seek any federal
approvals necessary to carry out the projects as well as seek and use any funds available to
the commissioner, including use of federal funds, foundation funds, existing grant funds, and
other funds. The commissioner is authorized to advance state funds as necessary to operate the
projects. Federal reimbursement applicable to the projects is appropriated to the commissioner for
the purposes of the projects. The projects must be required to address responsibility for safety,
permanency, and well-being of children.
(b) For the purposes of this section, "American Indian child" means a person under 18 years
of age who is a tribal member or eligible for membership in one of the tribes chosen for a project
under this subdivision and who is residing on the reservation of that tribe.
(c) In order to qualify for an American Indian child welfare project, a tribe must:
(1) be one of the existing tribes with reservation land in Minnesota;
(2) have a tribal court with jurisdiction over child custody proceedings;
(3) have a substantial number of children for whom determinations of maltreatment have
occurred;
(4) have capacity to respond to reports of abuse and neglect under section 626.556;
(5) provide a wide range of services to families in need of child welfare services; and
(6) have a tribal-state title IV-E agreement in effect.
(d) Grants awarded under this section may be used for the nonfederal costs of providing
child welfare services to American Indian children on the tribe's reservation, including costs
associated with:
(1) assessment and prevention of child abuse and neglect;
(2) family preservation;
(3) facilitative, supportive, and reunification services;
(4) out-of-home placement for children removed from the home for child protective
purposes; and
(5) other activities and services approved by the commissioner that further the goals of
providing safety, permanency, and well-being of American Indian children.
(e) When a tribe has initiated a project and has been approved by the commissioner to
assume child welfare responsibilities for American Indian children of that tribe under this section,
the affected county social service agency is relieved of responsibility for responding to reports
of abuse and neglect under section 626.556 for those children during the time within which the
tribal project is in effect and funded. The commissioner shall work with tribes and affected
counties to develop procedures for data collection, evaluation, and clarification of ongoing role
and financial responsibilities of the county and tribe for child welfare services prior to initiation of
the project. Children who have not been identified by the tribe as participating in the project shall
remain the responsibility of the county. Nothing in this section shall alter responsibilities of the
county for law enforcement or court services.
(f) The commissioner shall collect information on outcomes relating to child safety,
permanency, and well-being of American Indian children who are served in the projects.
Participating tribes must provide information to the state in a format and completeness deemed
acceptable by the state to meet state and federal reporting requirements.
    Subd. 15. Citizen review panels. (a) The commissioner shall establish a minimum of three
citizen review panels to examine the policies and procedures of state and local welfare agencies
to evaluate the extent to which the agencies are effectively discharging their child protection
responsibilities. Local social service agencies shall cooperate and work with the citizen review
panels. Where appropriate, the panels may examine specific cases to evaluate the effectiveness
of child protection activities. The panels must examine the extent to which the state and local
agencies are meeting the requirements of the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
and the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act. The commissioner may authorize mortality
review panels or child protection teams to carry out the duties of a citizen review panel if
membership meets or is expanded to meet the requirements of this section.
(b) The panel membership must include volunteers who broadly represent the community
in which the panel is established, including members who have expertise in the prevention and
treatment of child abuse and neglect, child protection advocates, and representatives of the
councils of color and ombudsperson for families.
(c) A citizen review panel has access to the following data for specific case review under
this paragraph: police investigative data; autopsy records and coroner or medical examiner
investigative data; hospital, public health, or other medical records of the child; hospital and
other medical records of the child's parent that relate to prenatal care; records created by social
service agencies that provided services to the child or family; and personnel data related to an
employee's performance in discharging child protection responsibilities. A state agency, statewide
system, or political subdivision shall provide the data upon request of the commissioner. Not
public data may be shared with members of the state or local citizen review panel in connection
with an individual case.
(d) Notwithstanding the data's classification in the possession of any other agency, data
acquired by a local or state citizen review panel in the exercise of its duties are protected
nonpublic or confidential data as defined in section 13.02, but may be disclosed as necessary to
carry out the purposes of the review panel. The data are not subject to subpoena or discovery.
The commissioner may disclose conclusions of the review panel, but may not disclose data on
individuals that were classified as confidential or private data on individuals in the possession of
the state agency, statewide system, or political subdivision from which the data were received,
except that the commissioner may disclose local social service agency data as provided in section
626.556, subdivision 11d, on individual cases involving a fatality or near fatality of a person
served by the local social service agency prior to the date of death.
(e) A person attending a citizen review panel meeting may not disclose what transpired at the
meeting, except to carry out the purposes of the review panel. The proceedings and records of
the review panel are protected nonpublic data as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 13, and
are not subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in a civil or criminal action against
a professional, the state, or county agency arising out of the matters the panel is reviewing.
Information, documents, and records otherwise available from other sources are not immune
from discovery or use in a civil or criminal action solely because they were presented during
proceedings of the review panel. A person who presented information before the review panel or
who is a member of the panel is not prevented from testifying about matters within the person's
knowledge. However, in a civil or criminal proceeding, a person must not be questioned about the
person's presentation of information to the review panel or opinions formed by the person as a
result of the review panel meetings.
    Subd. 16. Information for persons with limited English-language proficiency. By July
1, 1998, the commissioner shall implement a procedure for public assistance applicants and
recipients to identify a language preference other than English in order to receive information
pertaining to the public assistance programs in that preferred language.
    Subd. 17. Appropriation transfers to be reported. When the commissioner transfers
operational money between programs under section 16A.285, in addition to the requirements of
that section the commissioner must provide the chairs of the legislative committees that have
jurisdiction over the agency's budget with sufficient detail to identify the account to which the
money was originally appropriated, and the account to which the money is being transferred.
    Subd. 18. Immigration status verifications. (a) Notwithstanding any waiver of this
requirement by the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services,
effective July 1, 2001, the commissioner shall utilize the Systematic Alien Verification for
Entitlements (SAVE) program to conduct immigration status verifications:
(1) as required under United States Code, title 8, section 1642;
(2) for all applicants for food assistance benefits, whether under the federal food stamp
program, the MFIP or work first program, or the Minnesota food assistance program;
(3) for all applicants for general assistance medical care, except assistance for an emergency
medical condition, for immunization with respect to an immunizable disease, or for testing and
treatment of symptoms of a communicable disease; and
(4) for all applicants for general assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid, MinnesotaCare, or
group residential housing, when the benefits provided by these programs would fall under the
definition of "federal public benefit" under United States Code, title 8, section 1642, if federal
funds were used to pay for all or part of the benefits.
(b) The commissioner shall comply with the reporting requirements under United States
Code, title 42, section 611a, and any federal regulation or guidance adopted under that law.
    Subd. 19. Grants for case management services to persons with HIV or AIDS. The
commissioner may award grants to eligible vendors for the development, implementation,
and evaluation of case management services for individuals infected with the human
immunodeficiency virus. HIV/AIDS case management services will be provided to increase
access to cost effective health care services, to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, to ensure that
basic client needs are met, and to increase client access to needed community supports or services.
    Subd. 20. Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act. (a) The
commissioner shall act as the designated state agent for carrying out responsibilities required
under Title II of the federal Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE)
Act. These responsibilities include:
(1) coordinating statewide HIV/AIDS needs assessment activities;
(2) developing the state's plan to meet identified health and support service needs of people
living with HIV/AIDS;
(3) administering federal funds designed to provide comprehensive health and support
services to persons living with HIV/AIDS;
(4) administering federal funds designated for the AIDS drug assistance program (ADAP);
(5) collecting rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers on drugs purchased with federal
ADAP funds; and
(6) utilizing ADAP rebate funds in accordance with guidelines of the federal Health
Resources and Services Administration.
(b) Rebates collected under this subdivision shall be deposited into the ADAP account in the
special revenue fund and are appropriated to the commissioner for purposes of this subdivision.
    Subd. 21. Interagency agreement with Department of Health. The commissioner of
human services shall amend the interagency agreement with the commissioner of health to certify
nursing facilities for participation in the medical assistance program, to require the commissioner
of health, as a condition of the agreement, to comply beginning July 1, 2005, with action plans
included in the annual survey and certification quality improvement report required under section
144A.10, subdivision 17.
    Subd. 22. Homeless services. The commissioner of human services may contract directly
with nonprofit organizations providing homeless services in two or more counties.
    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.
    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.
    Subd. 25. Nonstate funding for program costs. Notwithstanding sections 16A.013 to
16A.016, the commissioner may accept, on behalf of the state, additional funding from sources
other than state funds for the purpose of financing the cost of assistance program grants or
nongrant administration. All additional funding is appropriated to the commissioner for use as
designated by the grantor of funding.
    Subd. 26. Systems continuity. In the event of disruption of technical systems or computer
operations, the commissioner may use available grant appropriations to ensure continuity of
payments for maintaining the health, safety, and well-being of clients served by programs
administered by the Department of Human Services. Grant funds must be used in a manner
consistent with the original intent of the appropriation.
History: (3199-102, 8688-4) 1937 c 438 s 2; 1939 c 431 art 7 s 2(a)(c); 1943 c 7 s 1; 1943 c
177 s 1; 1943 c 570 s 1; 1943 c 612 s 1,2; 1949 c 40 s 1; 1949 c 512 s 5,6; 1949 c 618 s 1; 1949 c
704 s 1; 1951 c 330 s 1; 1951 c 403 s 1; 1951 c 713 s 27; 1953 c 30 s 1; 1953 c 593 s 2; 1955 c
534 s 1; 1955 c 627 s 1; 1955 c 847 s 21; 1957 c 287 s 3; 1957 c 641 s 1; 1957 c 762 s 1,2; 1957 c
791 s 1; 1959 c 43 s 1; 1959 c 609 s 1; 1961 c 466 s 3-6; 1963 c 794 s 1; 1967 c 122 s 1; 1967 c
148 s 2; 1969 c 365 s 1; 1969 c 493 s 2; 1969 c 703 s 1; 1969 c 1157 s 1; 1971 c 24 s 26; 1973 c
540 s 4; 1973 c 717 s 12; 1974 c 536 s 2; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1975 c 437 art 2 s 1; 1976 c 2 s 89; 1976
c 107 s 1; 1976 c 149 s 52; 1976 c 163 s 55; 1977 c 400 s 1; 1980 c 357 s 21; 1980 c 618 s 8; 1983
c 7 s 3; 1983 c 10 s 1; 1983 c 243 s 5 subd 3; 1983 c 312 art 5 s 3; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 21,58; 1985 c
21 s 48,49; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 15; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 270 s 1; 1987 c 343 s 1;
1987 c 403 art 2 s 60; art 3 s 2; 1988 c 689 art 2 s 121; 1988 c 719 art 8 s 1; 1989 c 89 s 5; 1989 c
209 art 1 s 22; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 111,112; 1990 c 568 art 4 s 84; 1991 c 292 art 3 s 6; art 5 s 6,7;
1994 c 631 s 31; 1995 c 178 art 2 s 1,2; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1997 c 7 art 2 s 40; 1997 c 85
art 4 s 8; art 5 s 2; 1997 c 203 art 5 s 4,5; 1997 c 225 art 4 s 1; 1998 c 406 art 1 s 8,9,37; 1998 c
407 art 4 s 5; art 6 s 7; art 9 s 8,9; 1999 c 159 s 33,34; 1999 c 205 art 1 s 48; 1999 c 216 art 6 s 7;
1999 c 245 art 1 s 16,17; art 5 s 19; 2000 c 488 art 9 s 6; art 10 s 2; 2001 c 178 art 1 s 2; 1Sp2001
c 9 art 2 s 6; art 3 s 8; art 10 s 1,66; 2002 c 220 art 15 s 4; 2002 c 277 s 5; 2002 c 375 art 2 s
10,11; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2003 c 130 s 12; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 106; art 12 s 2; 2004 c 247 s
4; 2004 c 288 art 3 s 19,20; art 6 s 17; 2005 c 56 s 1; 1Sp2005 c 4 art 3 s 8; art 5 s 12; art 8 s 5,6;
2006 c 282 art 16 s 5; 2007 c 147 art 1 s 1; art 2 s 15,16; art 7 s 4; art 15 s 15; art 19 s 15,16

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