The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.

 


Special session comes to an end



Toby Pearson
By Toby Pearson  |  July 2, 2021  |  All members



The legislature completed its work on omnibus budget bills this week, with the House and Senate pushing right to the brink of shutdown and passing the final bills on the June 30 deadline. There were many long hours to the sessions, and lots of theatrics on the House and Senate floors. The final days saw the passage of a hotly debated public safety bill, which included the ending of Governor Walz peacetime emergency powers. The details of unwinding of the executive orders will be worked out in the coming days as orders included how many days after the peacetime emergency the orders would last, and many of the later finishing budget bills included statutory language that would be the law as the State transitions away from the executive orders.

One spot of good news, on what we had termed our “hero pay” $250 million in federal ARP funds on bonuses for essential workers was included in the final tax bill that passed on the last day. As previously reported, details will be crafted by a nine-member group with three appointed by governor, three by House and three by Senate and then the legislature is to reconvene in a special session in September to approve the work of the nine member group. 

On Thursday, June 24, the House and Senate released and later passed the omnibus health and human services budget bill language and financial spreadsheet. In this article, I have added the links to the House versions, as the final revisor copy is not available at the time of the writing of this article. 

The details to the HHS Omnibus bill can be found at the following links: 

The following is a quick summary of some of the results for the issues that Care Providers of Minnesota worked on: 
  • Article 2 background studies—extends timeframe for fingerprinting current employees to 365 days  
  • Article 3 health department—there are some technical changes to the case mix  
  • Article 6 telehealth—there are provisions that extend many of the telehealth practices that were allowed under executive orders 
  • Article 13 continuing care article includes:
    • Resident assessment changes 
    • Nursing facility moratorium money 
    • Elderly Waiver increases 
    • Elderly Waiver disproportionate share rate floor established for facilities serving 80% or more elderly waiver clients
    • Customized living payment for assisted living exemption 10 facilities, as well as a study on the continued payment to these facilities 
    • Consumer protections for exempt facilities (negotiated language from housing with services protections moved over) 

Also included in the final language was the age-friendly Minnesota language and some money as well as language and money to continue work on “Own Your Future.”

As the dust settled and final passage took place, it is thanks to your grassroots efforts and engagement that our session was as a success. Your messages and contacts with legislators and the Governor’s office pushed our “Hero Pay” and the much-needed investments in nursing facility moratorium money and Elderly Waiver increases into the final bill. A HUGE thanks for all your efforts this year.  


Toby Pearson  |  Vice President of Advocacy  |   tpearson@careproviders.org  |  952-851-2480



 


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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.


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