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Protections for newborn information (new law)

Published (5/25/2012)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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Parents of newborns will have the chance to more clearly understand a medical facility’s newborn screening program and what happens with the blood samples and testing results it collects.

A new law, primarily crafted to align appropriations contained in the February Economic Forecast, also lays out the newborn screening provision.

Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville), who sponsors the law with Sen. Clare Robling (R-Jordan), said the provision begins to address her concern that privacy laws are not keeping pace with the changes to medical technology.

Parents would clearly have the ability to opt out of the testing prior to it taking place. The law also details how long samples and test results can be kept and how parents can revoke their consent for storage and use. While most of the law is effective Aug. 1, 2012, the newborn screening provisions takes effect May 11, 2012.

One-time appropriations made in the law include:

• $472,000 in fiscal year 2012 to the commissioner of public safety for soft body armor reimbursements;

• $457,000 in fiscal year 2013 for equipment updates needed by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system;

• $235,000 in fiscal year 2012 to provide a match for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance;

• $200,000 in fiscal year 2013 for Minnesota County Veteran Service Officers to help eligible veterans discern the availability of benefits they have earned and especially those relating to post-traumatic stress disorder; and

• $100,000 in fiscal year 2013 to compensate honor guards at the funerals of veterans.

The new law also makes forecast adjustments for K-12 education programs and human services programming.

HF2967*/ SF2558/CH292

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