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The legislature adjourned at midnight Sine Die. The last few hours of the session were chaotic, with the majority rushing to meet the midnight deadline to pass their legislative priorities. In the end, multiple omnibus bills were wrapped into one large omnibus tax bill (HF 5247), including the Human Services appropriations provisions. The bill passed through both the House and Senate before the deadline and will be presented to the Governor for his signature. ARRM will have a full overview of the provisions that passed in the coming weeks. Today, however, we wanted to make sure members had an update on the fate of ARRM’s legislative priorities. Policy Provisions ...
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This week marks the last week of the 2024 legislative session. The legislature must adjourn by Monday, May 20 th , but they cannot pass bills on the last day of the session, so the real deadline is midnight on Sunday, May 19 th . Going into this week there is still a lot on the list of things to get done. The most high-profile items include a bonding bill and some solution for the Uber and Lyft issue. For ARRM members, we are still awaiting a final agreement between the House and Senate on the Human Services Appropriations Omnibus bill. The Human Services conference committee met last Friday to walk through the bill and hear public testimony. ARRM submitted ...
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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 ...
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As I posted in the Open Forum last week, CMS has released a number of final rules that impact many aspects of the Medicaid program, including Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). One of the rules we had been anxiously awaiting was the Access Rule. When the proposed rule was released last year for public comment, it included a minimum 80% threshold of total reimbursement to be applied to direct care staff compensation in three categories of service: homemaker, home health aide, and personal care services. CMS also requested feedback and comment on whether such a threshold should also apply to habilitative services. ARRM, as well as many other providers ...
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This last week we did not see much action on any of the Human Services Omnibus bills. Although the conference committee has been announced for the Human Services Omnibus Policy bill, no meetings were held. The Human Services Omnibus Appropriations bill was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Friday and will now move to the floor. In the House, the bill will be heard in the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, May 1 st before being sent to the floor for a full vote. Not surprisingly, much of the attention this last week was surrounding the arrest of Senator Nicole Mitchell for felony first-degree burglary . On Wednesday, April 24, the Senate Republicans ...
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Last Friday marked the 3 rd committee deadline. This means that much of the legislature’s committee work has been completed and attention will now turn to floor sessions and the passage of omnibus bills. With this final deadline now behind us, I thought it would be helpful to provide a rundown of the current status of ARRM’s legislative priorities. · Best Life Alliance : We were informed by Senate staff that this proposal would not be heard in this session. A fiscal note was requested and received that outlines the total cost of increasing the CWF to 16.7% and modifying the SOC code used to set Supervisor wages. For the remainder of ...
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Last Monday, the Human Services Omnibus Policy bill went in front of the House Ways and Means Committee where an amendment was offered to remove ARRM’s Out of Home Respite provisions from the bill. The language was removed not because of opposition to the bill, but because of a cost that has been attached to the provision. We are now working to get the language included in the Human Services Omnibus spending bill. Also on Monday, the House Human Services Policy Committee held its last hearing of the session. The hearing was focused on the out-of-state placement of children. ARRM submitted this letter , outlining some of the challenges that 245D providers ...
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The legislature returned from Easter break on Wednesday and continued both committee and floor work. For ARRM members, we saw the Human Services Omnibus bill pass off the Senate floor and the Governor’s Human Services budget bill introduced. Below, please find a quick summary of what happened last week and some things to look for in the coming week. Human Services Policy Omnibus Bill The Senate passed the Human Services Omnibus Policy bill off the Senate floor on Thursday. All ARRM’s provisions that were included in the bill when it left committee, remain intact as it was passed off the Senate floor with a 58-9 vote. In the House, the bill is scheduled ...
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Last week was a short week for the MN Legislature, but ARRM staff were tracking issues from the local level up to the Federal Government. Below is a quick recap on what happened and what you can expect this coming week. State Legislature The Minnesota Legislature went on break beginning at 5:00 pm Wednesday, returning at noon on Tuesday, April 2 nd . Before break began, ARRM did have one bill heard in the Senate Human Services Committee. Our proposal to create grants for providers supporting people moving from a congregate living setting to their own home was heard and laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus spending bill. I provided an overview ...
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Last week marked the first and second committee deadlines in the legislature. This means that policy-only bills must be passed out of all appropriate policy committees to be considered further in the session. This includes policy omnibus bills, which were released and passed out of committee this past week. Bills that have a fiscal impact have until the third committee deadline to move out of committee, which is set for April 19 th . For ARRM, we had a final hearing for our city licensing bill in the Senate State and Local Government and testified in support of the Human Services omnibus policy bills which contained some of our priorities. This last week ...
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Another week, another hearing for one of ARRM’s bills! As we move closer to the first and second committee deadline next Friday, March 22 nd ARRM staff continue to work with Legislative staff behind the scenes to ensure that our priorities are still in consideration. This coming week we have an additional hearing in the Senate for our City Licensing bill and the Human Service Omnibus Policy bills will be released. We will have a full rundown of everything included in those bills next week. Keep reading for a recap of our hearing, news coming out of the White House on disability services, and our biggest event of the year! Recap of House Hearing: ...
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It was another busy week of committee action for ARRM’s legislative priorities. As we move closer to the first and second committee deadlines (important legislative benchmarks that play a roll in whether bills will receive further consideration), ARRM staff continue to work with legislative staff to ensure that our priorities are making their way through the relevant committees. Below, find a brief recap of what happened last week, and what to expect in this coming week. Recap of House Hearings: · ARRM’s language to modify provider requirements in 245D was heard in the Human Service Policy Committee on Monday. Along with ARRM staff, ARRM ...
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This last week was a busy one for the ARRM team. In total, we presented at a total of ten bill hearings, both in the Senate and the House, and continue to make positive movement on our legislative priorities. In addition to the hearings, the other big news of the week was the February forecast being released. Here’s a quick summary of all those things, and what to expect this week. February Forecast The February forecast was released on Thursday, February 29 th . This is the forecast that the Governor and legislature will use to set spending targets for any supplemental spending they pass this session. The overall surplus grew from $2.4 billion to $3.7 ...
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Week two of the legislative session saw ARRM’s priorities start to get acted upon. On Wednesday, February 21, the Senate Human Service Committee heard testimony on Senate File 3736, ARRM’s legislation that would require a uniform set of standards across the state for approval or denial of assistive technology and the inclusion of technology costs in the direct care compensation thresholds. ARRM staff Sara Grafstrom and Alaina Gallagher presented the bill and answered questions from committee members. In the end, the bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the Human Service Omnibus bill. The Department has indicated possible adjustments they would like ...
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The 2024 legislative session began last week and ARRM staff have wasted no time making sure that ARRM’s priorities get officially introduced. This session is a "short session" and with the state budget set for the biennium, much of the focus will be on capital infrastructure/bonding projects and passing policy-only legislation. ARRM is entering this legislative session with a robust agenda, you can go to the public policy page on the ARRM website to review our full list of priorities and download our two separate one-page documents that outline the nine different bills we will be bringing forward. This week, all nine Senate bills and three of our nine ...
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ARRM’s members have undoubtedly been frustrated with the apparent delay in obtaining federal approval, and the lack of information regarding the rate increases in the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) that were expected to go into effect on January 1. We know this is true because we heard from many of you! We at ARRM were frustrated too, and have been trying to get reliable information to pass along since before the end of last year. Many of you were pleased to hear from DHS staff on the monthly Q&A call on January 17 that CMS approval had finally been received. While that was great news, many questions remained as far as what providers and lead agencies ...
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Along with the many changes that were passed in the Human Service related bills, there were many changes passed during the 2023 legislative session that impact businesses and employers. ARRM has compiled a list of some of the changes members should be aware of that either went into effect January 1, 2024, or earlier. For a full list of new laws passed by the legislature click here , and please reach out with any questions. · Noncompete Agreements Banned: The new law makes noncompete agreements void and unenforceable. · Carbon-free 2040: A new standard has been set for Minnesota to be carbon-free by 2040. This new ...
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You may have seen the bulletin from DHS, dated October 17, that announced the release of the DWRS component values that go into effect on January 1, 2024. DHS will include the new component values in the December updates of the MnCHOICES Support Plan and revised MnCHOICES applications. These systems will start using the new values on a rolling basis as service authorizations change or renew. As background, the 2023 Legislature required DHS to update some cost factors in the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS), effective January 1, 2024 or upon federal approval*. See Minn. Stat. §256B.4914, subd. 5 . The component value changes for services include: ...
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As you are hopefully aware at this point, the 2023 legislative session outcomes included some pretty significant changes to the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) component values and the schedule of updates, which will result in rate increases beginning in 2024. That's good news! Following is a digest of those changes. Read to the end to learn about new tools available to help you see the impacts for your organization. The wage component values in the DWRS rate frameworks are set in statute, and are based on Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, which are published annually by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While specific SOC ...
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As you may be aware, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking early last month that broadly seeks to improve access to care and better address health equity issues in the Medicaid program. Entitled Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services , many provisions of the proposed rule apply to home and community-based services. ANCOR, our national association, has been taking the lead on evaluating the proposed rule, communicating its content to member organizations, gathering feedback, and developing resources to facilitate the submission of comments during the public comment period, which closes on July 3. ANCOR’s ...
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