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HHS conference committee adopts noncontroversial policy proposals, but no final agreement

The omnibus health and human services conference committee has adopted a series of noncontroversial policy proposals, but conferees have yet to reach agreements on funding as they prepare for a special session.

On Friday, in their last scheduled meeting, conferees on HF2128*/SF2360, sponsored by Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester) and Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), adopted over 60 policy proposals. Most had been included in both the House and Senate versions of the bill.

While acknowledging that "we've got a lot of hard work ahead of us," Liebling said conferees have done a "tremendous amount of the people's work," despite the lack of budget targets.

The House version of the bill would increase General Fund spending by $348 million during the 2022-23 biennium for a total budget of $16.7 billion. The Senate bill would spend $16.25 billion next biennium.

Among the provisions adopted Friday were ones that would remove race from information collected from marriage licenses and establish a new home-visiting program for pregnant women and families.

Other provisions would:

  • exempt food served at fundraisers, community events or fellowship meals conducted in the building or on the grounds of a faith-based organization from certain state rules, provided conditions related to worker or volunteer training are met;
  • modify provisions related to the parent-education program;
  • modify provisions related to child care support obligations, child-support guidelines, deductions and calculations, adjustments due to increased income and reporting arrears to consumer reporting agencies;
  • extend and clarify the work of the Governor's Council on Age-Friendly Minnesota; and
  • adjust Department of Human Services’ budget forecasts.

Another set of approved provisions would modify the state's medical cannabis program, allowing manufacturers to acquire hemp productions, modifying pharmacist consultation requirements and allowing distribution to people in cars.

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