A lot has happened since our March 1, 2018, legislative agenda announcement. Here are a few updates
Language to update MNCDHH’s statute
Our bill to update MNCDHH’s statute, describing the role and responsibilities of MNCDHH, HF3290 and SF2777 has passed in several committees. HF3290 passed out of the Health and Human Services Reform committee and State Government Operations committee with minor changes. It was referred to the General Register. We asked our House author, Representative Pugh, to request that the Rules and Legislative Administration Committee put it on the Calendar for the Day for its third reading and final passage. Thanks to board members Lloyd Ballinger, Rosanne Kath, and Michele Isham for testifying. SF2777 passed in the Health and Human Services Policy committee and the Government Policy Finance and Elections committee. Thanks to board member Lloyd Ballinger and Executive Director Mary Hartnett for testifying.
The Minnesota Historical Society selected Thompson Hall to be one of a few selected out of 2200+ grantees to present about the success of the Legacy Fund, which was passed by the 2008 Legislature. Herman Fuechtmann, president of the Thompson Hall Board of Trustees, presented to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee on March 7, 2018. John Fechter, president of the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC) and Deaf Equity board member, presented to the House Legacy Committee on March 26, 2018. Thompson Hall hopes to be awarded another grant from the Legacy Fund to renovate the building and make it fully accessible. Mary Hartnett is helping in the search for other sources of funding.
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
The board voted to support the Academies’ bonding requests. Mary has attended one hearing and MNCDHH plans to send our consultants and board members to meet with the Chairs of the House and Senate bonding committees to encourage the committees to include the Academies’ (4) requests in the bonding bill. Superintendent Wilding is a gifted testifier, and he has been doing a great job.
Rulemaking for Tiered Licensure
MNCDHH submitted public comments on the new tiered license law to the Professional Educators Licensure and Standards Board for the consideration of Rulemaking. Ann Mayes, a teacher, testified in front of the board and did a brilliant job. David and Gloria Nathanson testified on concerns for ASL teachers.
MNCDHH is meeting with AARP and the Chairs of the HHS Committees from both Senate and House. We are trying to get our optional training on Age-Related Hearing Loss for care-providers to become mandatory.
We are trying to get visual signaling added to the school-safety infrastructure improvements grants.
Accessibility for Public Buildings
The Commission voted to support the State Council on Disabilities’ accessibility for public buildings bill (SF2064 / HF2013). It passed unanimously in the Senate and had an additional committee to pass in the House. If passed, it means that the building code for public buildings constructed or remodeled after July 1, 1963, must be accessible for people with disabilities.
New information – Fairview Chemical Dependency Program
At the January board meeting, the Commission board voted to support Fairview’s Chemical Dependency Program and their need for funding. Changes on a national level to Medicare and Medicaid have resulted in other states not paying to send their clients here. In March, Fairview notified us that the financial issue has become worse. We are actively reaching out to legislators to find funding to allow the program to continue. We will share more information in a future update.
For More Information and Updates
For more information and to sign up for alerts, visit our website www.mncdhh.org.
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