March Legislative Update

By ARRM Admin posted 03-28-2021 23:00


Overview: Where are we today?

  • Second Committee Deadline and Halfway Point: The second committee deadline was Friday, March 19th. This is the deadline where policy bills must have been heard and acted upon in both the House and Senate. The Session is half over.
  • Budget Targets: The Senate has released their budget targets with the Health and Human Service target being set at 0. The House has also released their initial budget targets and their budget included a $323 million increase to HHS' budget.
  • Legislative Break: The legislature will be on break beginning next Friday, March 26th, coming back Tuesday, April 5th.
  • Omnibus Bills: We anticipate that initial omnibus bills will be released the week that legislators return from break.

ARRM’s Legislative Priorities

  • ARRM’s Policy Bill (HF 976/ SF 492): ARRM’s Policy Bill has received a hearing in both the House and Senate and has been laid over for possible inclusion in the Health and Human Service Omnibus bill. We are anticipating a fiscal cost to be put on the bill, specifically for the creation of a workgroup that would review 245D and make recommended changes when services are provided outside of a provider-controlled setting.
  • ICF Rate Increase, Variable Rate Changes and Services During the Day Rate Change (HF 740/SF 562): ARRM’s ICF bill has received a hearing in both the House and Senate and has bee laid over for possible inclusion in the Health and Human Service Omnibus bill. There will be a fiscal impact for each of the three components of the legislation.
  • Enhanced FMAP Legislation (SF 1319): Within the American Recovery Act that was signed into law in early March by President Biden there is a one year enhanced FMAP of 10% for Home and Community-Based Services. ARRM has been working with MOHR and the Best Life Alliance to move legislation that would capture those dollars and disburse them back to HCBS providers in the form of quarterly payments through retention grants. These payments would begin in July of 2021 and run through July of 2022 and would be based on the providers previous quarter Medicaid billing. Here are a few things to know about the legislation:
    • Senate: We used ARRM’s grant bill SF 1319 as a vehicle for the FMAP legislation and added the new language as a Delete Everything Amendment. The bill was heard on March 16th in committee and laid over for possible inclusion in the Health and Human Service Omnibus bill with a lot of support from Senators.
    • House: We have met with Chair Schultz and she would like to wait for further guidance from CMS before moving on any kind of legislation. Additionally, she shared that her priorities with the dollars were with keeping seniors in their home and the PCA program.
    • DHS: We have met with DHS and they are waiting on further guidance from CMS on appropriate use of the dollars, scope of who qualifies as a HCBS provider and total dollar amount that will be coming to Minnesota.
  • Remote Rate Framework (HF 2152/ SF 1247): ARRM worked with MOHR on a remote support rate framework that would maintain the same rate for services that are provided remotely as services that are provided in person. Our bill was heard in the Senate and laid over for possible inclusion in the Health and Human Service Omnibus bill. The bill is still awaiting a hearing in the House. In a recent meeting with DHS they could not share whether or not their initial remote support rate framework would be removed from the Governor’s Supplemental Budget given the updated guidance from CMS but did share that if it still remained in the budget it is not something they would be actively lobbying on to try and get in the final budget agreement.
  • Waiver Re-Imagine: ARRM has had three meetings with DHS about our concerns with the Service Menu changes for un-licensed settings. DHS shared preliminary guidance with ARRM that we still had concerns over, specifically the approach of using Unit Based Services in these type of settings for individuals that previously utilized shared service or have a high level of support needs. ARRM is pursuing legislative language that would increase the number of hours for the daily rate for IHS with Training and allow the daily rate to be a shared service.
  • Background Studies (HF 1564/ SF 496): Legislative language continues to move forward in the Senate to increase the off ramp for being in compliance with background studies when the Peacetime Emergency Order ends. Our current legislation increases that period to 180 days, however, DHS has shared that they feel like it will take 365 days to get fully caught up. We continue to engage with DHS on other potential solutions and will work to get those solutions included in the final omnibus bill.
  • Technology First (HF 1347/ SF 1092): ARRM’s Technology First language was included in the broader System Transformation bill that is being led by the Arc MN and the Disability Law Center. This bill has had a hearing in the Senate and laid over for possible inclusion the Health and Human Service Omnibus bill. DHS did provided quite a bit of technical assistance that coalition members will be meeting with them about. The House would like to wait until all issues with the bill are worked out before a hearing is scheduled for the legislation.

Other Legislations We are Tracking

  • Paid Sick Leave (HF 41/ SF 331): We have been approached by the PCA coalition to join a coalition letter along with MOHR on the impact this legislation will have on Disability Service providers. We will continue to work with these groups on what that letter may look like.
  • DD/CADI Waiver Caps: Senator Abeler is bringing forward a proposal that would cap waiver growth through 2024 for the DD and CADI waiver. This proposal has not been formally introduced but will be discussed in his committee on Thursday, March 18th.
  • Family First Prevention Act (HF 1340/ SF 1063): We continue to work with other organizations, including Aspire MN, to understand the impact that the loss of Title IV-E funds will have on corporate child foster care providers and to find a solution to replace those dollars and make providers whole. Our next outreach will be to the counties’ association.