Legislative Update: Two weeks remain, Human Services Policy Conference Committee Completes its Work

By Sara Grafstrom posted 12 days ago


With only two weeks remaining in the legislative session, last week saw continued action on legislation important to ARRM members. See below for a brief run-down of what happened and what we can expect this coming week.

Human Services Policy Omnibus Conference Committee

The Human Services Policy Omnibus bill conference committee met Thursday and Friday. Along with written testimony, ARRM’s Policy and Engagement Manager, Johnny Tvedt, testified in support of provisions in both the House and Senate bills. The Conference Committee finalized its work on Friday, paving the way for the House and Senate to pass the final Conference Committee Report and send the language to the Governor for approval. ARRM’s provisions that were included in the final language include:

·       Exempting 245D Community Residential Settings and 144G Assisted Living homes from local city rental licensing ordinances.

·       Changes to the qualification requirements for the Designated Coordinator and Designated Manager positions

·       Allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to pass medications

·       Requiring Lead Agencies to approve or deny assistive technology within 30 business days

Human Services Appropriations Omnibus Bill

The Human Services Appropriations Omnibus bill was passed off the Senate floor on Tuesday and the bill is on the calendar in the House for this coming Monday. Following passage on the House floor, a conference committee will be announced and will begin their work on a final agreement between the House and Senate. ARRM continues to support the Senate proposal, which contains many of our spending priorities this session. You can review my past blog post here for a full overview of what is included in each bill.

What’s coming up this week?

The legislature continues to deal with the fallout from the arrest of Senator Mitchell for first-degree felony burglary. Senator Mitchell returned to the Senate last week and was on the floor every day casting votes, despite various Republican Senators bringing forward motions that would restrict her ability to vote. This coming Tuesday, May 7th, the Senate Ethics Committee will hold its first hearing on an ethics complaint filed by the Senate Republicans against Senator Mitchell.

Both the House and Senate have a lot of work left to do, please watch for further information from ARRM regarding our priorities and how you can take action to support our legislative agenda in getting across the finish line this session.

--Sara Grafstrom, Senior Director of State and Federal Policy