MNCDHH Legislative Update – May 15, 2017

Last week, legislative leaders and the Governor were negotiating back and forth about the budget bills. Then they got frustrated and the legislature stopped negotiating. Instead, they decided just to pass the budget bills they had written, even though the Governor had said that he would veto them.

Legislators and the Governor will be negotiating more this week and the legislature will need to pass another version of all of the budget bills. According to the State Constitution, the legislature is required to adjourn by next Monday, May 22nd. If the governor and the legislators have not agreed on a budget bill by then, they will need to hold a special session to work on it.

Follow-up to Action Alerts
Thank you to everyone who made calls or sent emails in response to the action alerts!

One action alert was about the Accommodation Fund for state employees. Your calls and emails convinced legislators to continue putting $200,000 in the fund per year. Yay! Unfortunately, the bill continues to require agencies cover at least half the cost of accommodations. We are still hoping that we and the Governor can convince the legislators to eliminate this bad policy.

Another action alert was about funding for the Minnesota State Academies. You succeeded at convincing legislators to give the State Academies some of the extra funding that they requested. Legislators gave them an additional $400,000 per year. There is a chance that this number could still go higher if the Governor can convince them to add more funding.

The third action alert was about funding for Vocational Rehabilitation Services. We do not have news about this to report yet.

Bill for training staff who work with seniors about age-related hearing loss
On Wednesday, the Senate passed, HF 952, the bill to ensure that staff of assisted living facilities and home care agencies can take training about age-related hearing loss and have it count towards their annual training requirements, on the Senate floor. Senator Karin Housley did a great job explaining the bill and it passed unanimously. Now it will be sent to the Governor to sign it into law.

For More Information and Updates
For more information and to sign up for alerts, visit our website. www.mncdhh.org

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