Journal of the House - 36th Day - Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - Top of Page 2315

STATE OF MINNESOTA

 

Journal of the House

 

NINETY-FIRST SESSION - 2019

 

_____________________

 

THIRTY-SIXTH DAY

 

Saint Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

 

 

      The House of Representatives convened at 9:00 a.m. and was called to order by Liz Olson, Speaker pro tempore.

 

      Prayer was offered by Jon Ellefson, Retired Lutheran Minister, Rosemount, Minnesota.

 

      The members of the House gave the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

 

      The roll was called and the following members were present:

 


Acomb

Albright

Anderson

Backer

Bahner

Bahr

Baker

Bennett

Bernardy

Bierman

Boe

Brand

Cantrell

Carlson, A.

Carlson, L.

Christensen

Considine

Daniels

Davids

Davnie

Dehn

Demuth

Dettmer

Drazkowski

Ecklund

Edelson

Elkins

Fabian

Fischer

Franson

Freiberg

Garofalo

Gomez

Green

Gruenhagen

Gunther

Haley

Halverson

Hamilton

Hansen

Hausman

Heinrich

Heintzeman

Her

Hornstein

Howard

Huot

Johnson

Jurgens

Kiel

Klevorn

Koegel

Kotyza-Witthuhn

Koznick

Kresha

Kunesh-Podein

Layman

Lee

Lesch

Liebling

Lien

Lillie

Lippert

Lislegard

Loeffler

Long

Lucero

Lueck

Mahoney

Mann

Mariani

Marquart

Masin

McDonald

Mekeland

Miller

Moller

Moran

Morrison

Munson

Murphy

Nash

Nelson, M.

Nelson, N.

Neu

Noor

Nornes

O'Driscoll

Olson

O'Neill

Persell

Petersburg

Pierson

Pinto

Poppe

Poston

Pryor

Quam

Richardson

Robbins

Runbeck

Sandell

Sandstede

Sauke

Schomacker

Schultz

Scott

Sundin

Swedzinski

Tabke

Theis

Torkelson

Urdahl

Vang

Vogel

Wagenius

Wazlawik

West

Winkler

Wolgamott

Xiong, J.

Xiong, T.

Youakim

Zerwas

Spk. Hortman


 

      A quorum was present.

 

      Becker-Finn, Claflin, Daudt, Erickson, Grossell, Hassan, Hertaus, Pelowski and Stephenson were excused.

 

      The Chief Clerk proceeded to read the Journal of the preceding day.  There being no objection, further reading of the Journal was dispensed with and the Journal was approved as corrected by the Chief Clerk.


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REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES AND DIVISIONS

 

 

Carlson, L., from the Committee on Ways and Means to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 5, A bill for an act relating to employment; providing for paid family, pregnancy, bonding, and applicant's serious medical condition benefits; regulating and requiring certain employment leaves; classifying certain data; authorizing rulemaking; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 13.719, by adding a subdivision; 177.27, subdivision 4; 181.032; 256J.561, by adding a subdivision; 256J.95, subdivisions 3, 11; 256P.01, subdivision 3; 268.19, subdivision 1; 290.0132, by adding a subdivision; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 268B.

 

Reported the same back with the following amendments:

 

Delete everything after the enacting clause and insert:

 

"ARTICLE 1

FAMILY AND MEDICAL BENEFITS

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 13.719, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Family and medical insurance data.  (a) For the purposes of this subdivision, the terms used have the meanings given them in section 268B.01.

 

(b) Data on applicants, family members, or employers under chapter 268B are private or nonpublic data, provided that the department may share data collected from applicants with employers or health care providers to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of chapter 268B or other applicable law.

 

(c) The department and the Department of Labor and Industry may share data classified under paragraph (b) to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of chapter 268B or the Department of Labor and Industry's enforcement authority over chapter 268B, as provided in section 177.27.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 177.27, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 4.  Compliance orders.  The commissioner may issue an order requiring an employer to comply with sections 177.21 to 177.435, 181.02, 181.03, 181.031, 181.032, 181.101, 181.11, 181.13, 181.14, 181.145, 181.15, 181.172, paragraph (a) or (d), 181.275, subdivision 2a, 181.722, 181.79, and 181.939 to 181.943, 268B.09, subdivisions 1 to 6, and 268B.12, subdivision 2, or with any rule promulgated under section 177.28.  The commissioner shall issue an order requiring an employer to comply with sections 177.41 to 177.435 if the violation is repeated.  For purposes of this subdivision only, a violation is repeated if at any time during the two years that preceded the date of violation, the commissioner issued an order to the employer for violation of sections 177.41 to 177.435 and the order is final or the commissioner and the employer have entered into a settlement agreement that required the employer to pay back wages that were required by sections 177.41 to 177.435.  The department shall serve the order upon the employer or the employer's authorized representative in person or by certified mail at the employer's place of business.  An employer who wishes to contest the order must file written notice of objection to the order with the commissioner within 15 calendar days after being served with the order.  A contested case proceeding must then be held in accordance with sections 14.57 to 14.69.  If, within 15 calendar days after being served with the order, the employer fails to file a written notice of objection with the commissioner, the order becomes a final order of the commissioner.


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Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 181.032, is amended to read:

 

181.032 REQUIRED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS BY EMPLOYER.

 

(a) At the end of each pay period, the employer shall provide each employee an earnings statement, either in writing or by electronic means, covering that pay period.  An employer who chooses to provide an earnings statement by electronic means must provide employee access to an employer-owned computer during an employee's regular working hours to review and print earnings statements, and must make statements available for review or printing for a period of at least 12 months.

 

(b) The earnings statement may be in any form determined by the employer but must include:

 

(1) the name of the employee;

 

(2) the hourly rate of pay (if applicable);

 

(3) the total number of hours worked by the employee unless exempt from chapter 177;

 

(4) the total amount of gross pay earned by the employee during that period;

 

(5) a list of deductions made from the employee's pay;

 

(6) any amount deducted by the employer under section 268B.12, subdivision 2, and the amount paid by the employer based on the employee's wages under section 268B.12, subdivision 1;

 

(6) (7) the net amount of pay after all deductions are made;

 

(7) (8) the date on which the pay period ends; and

 

(8) (9) the legal name of the employer and the operating name of the employer if different from the legal name.

 

(c) An employer must provide earnings statements to an employee in writing, rather than by electronic means, if the employer has received at least 24 hours notice from an employee that the employee would like to receive earnings statements in written form.  Once an employer has received notice from an employee that the employee would like to receive earnings statements in written form, the employer must comply with that request on an ongoing basis.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 268.19, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Use of data.  (a) Except as provided by this section, data gathered from any person under the administration of the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law are private data on individuals or nonpublic data not on individuals as defined in section 13.02, subdivisions 9 and 12, and may not be disclosed except according to a district court order or section 13.05.  A subpoena is not considered a district court order.  These data may be disseminated to and used by the following agencies without the consent of the subject of the data:

 

(1) state and federal agencies specifically authorized access to the data by state or federal law;

 

(2) any agency of any other state or any federal agency charged with the administration of an unemployment insurance program;


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(3) any agency responsible for the maintenance of a system of public employment offices for the purpose of assisting individuals in obtaining employment;

 

(4) the public authority responsible for child support in Minnesota or any other state in accordance with section 256.978;

 

(5) human rights agencies within Minnesota that have enforcement powers;

 

(6) the Department of Revenue to the extent necessary for its duties under Minnesota laws;

 

(7) public and private agencies responsible for administering publicly financed assistance programs for the purpose of monitoring the eligibility of the program's recipients;

 

(8) the Department of Labor and Industry and the Commerce Fraud Bureau in the Department of Commerce for uses consistent with the administration of their duties under Minnesota law;

 

(9) the Department of Human Services and the Office of Inspector General and its agents within the Department of Human Services, including county fraud investigators, for investigations related to recipient or provider fraud and employees of providers when the provider is suspected of committing public assistance fraud;

 

(10) local and state welfare agencies for monitoring the eligibility of the data subject for assistance programs, or for any employment or training program administered by those agencies, whether alone, in combination with another welfare agency, or in conjunction with the department or to monitor and evaluate the statewide Minnesota family investment program by providing data on recipients and former recipients of food stamps or food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B or 256L or formerly codified under chapter 256D;

 

(11) local and state welfare agencies for the purpose of identifying employment, wages, and other information to assist in the collection of an overpayment debt in an assistance program;

 

(12) local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for the purpose of ascertaining the last known address and employment location of an individual who is the subject of a criminal investigation;

 

(13) the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has access to data on specific individuals and specific employers provided the specific individual or specific employer is the subject of an investigation by that agency;

 

(14) the Department of Health for the purposes of epidemiologic investigations;

 

(15) the Department of Corrections for the purposes of case planning and internal research for preprobation, probation, and postprobation employment tracking of offenders sentenced to probation and preconfinement and postconfinement employment tracking of committed offenders;

 

(16) the state auditor to the extent necessary to conduct audits of job opportunity building zones as required under section 469.3201; and

 

(17) the Office of Higher Education for purposes of supporting program improvement, system evaluation, and research initiatives including the Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System.; and

 

(18) the Family and Medical Benefits Division of the Department of Employment and Economic Development to be used as necessary to administer chapter 268B.


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(b) Data on individuals and employers that are collected, maintained, or used by the department in an investigation under section 268.182 are confidential as to data on individuals and protected nonpublic data not on individuals as defined in section 13.02, subdivisions 3 and 13, and must not be disclosed except under statute or district court order or to a party named in a criminal proceeding, administrative or judicial, for preparation of a defense.

 

(c) Data gathered by the department in the administration of the Minnesota unemployment insurance program must not be made the subject or the basis for any suit in any civil proceedings, administrative or judicial, unless the action is initiated by the department.

 

Sec. 5.  [268B.01] DEFINITIONS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Scope.  For the purposes of this chapter, the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them.

 

Subd. 2.  Account.  "Account" means the family and medical benefit insurance account in the special revenue fund in the state treasury under section 268B.02.

 

Subd. 3.  Applicant.  "Applicant" means an individual applying for leave with benefits under this chapter.

 

Subd. 4.  Applicant's average weekly wage.  "Applicant's average weekly wage" means an amount equal to the applicant's high quarter wage credits divided by 13.

 

Subd. 5.  Benefit.  "Benefit" or "benefits" mean monetary payments under this chapter associated with qualifying bonding, family care, pregnancy, serious health condition, qualifying exigency, or safety leave events, unless otherwise indicated by context.

 

Subd. 6.  Benefit year.  "Benefit year" means a period of 52 consecutive calendar weeks beginning on the first day of a leave approved for benefits under this chapter.

 

Subd. 7.  Bonding.  "Bonding" means time spent by an applicant who is a biological, adoptive, or foster parent with a biological, adopted, or foster child in conjunction with the child's birth, adoption, or placement.

 

Subd. 8.  Calendar day.  "Calendar day" or "day" means a fixed 24-hour period corresponding to a single calendar date.

 

Subd. 9.  Calendar week.  "Calendar week" means a period of seven consecutive calendar days.

 

Subd. 10.  Commissioner.  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of employment and economic development, unless otherwise indicated by context.

 

Subd. 11.  Continuing treatment.  A serious health condition involving continuing treatment by a health care provider includes any one or more of the following:

 

(1) a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days, and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition, that also involves:

 

(i) treatment two or more times within 30 calendar days of the first day of incapacity, unless extenuating circumstances exist, by a health care provider; or


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(ii) treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion that results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider;

 

(2) any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition.  A chronic serious health condition is one that:

 

(i) requires periodic visits, defined as at least twice per year, for treatment for the incapacity by a health care provider;

 

(ii) continues over an extended period of time, including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition; and

 

(iii) may cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity;

 

(3) a period of incapacity that is long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective, with the employee or family member under the supervision of, but not necessarily receiving active treatment by a health care provider; and

 

(4) any period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a health care provider, including any period of recovery therefrom, for:

 

(i) restorative surgery after an accident or other injury; or

 

(ii) a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than seven consecutive, calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment, such as cancer, severe arthritis, or kidney disease.

 

Subd. 12.  Covered employment.  "Covered employment" has the meaning given in section 268.035, subdivision 12.

 

Subd. 13.  Day.  "Day" means an eight-hour period.

 

Subd. 14.  Department.  "Department" means the Department of Employment and Economic Development, unless otherwise indicated by context.

 

Subd. 15.  Employee.  "Employee" means an individual for whom premiums are paid on wages under this chapter.

 

Subd. 16.  Employer.  "Employer" means a person or entity, other than an employee, required to pay premiums under this chapter, except that a self-employed individual who has elected and been approved for coverage under section 268B.11 is not considered an employer with regard to the self-employed individual's own coverage and benefits.

 

Subd. 17.  Estimated self-employment income.  "Estimated self-employment income" means a self-employed individual's average net earnings from self-employment in the two most recent taxable years.  For a self-employed individual who had net earnings from self-employment in only one of the years, the individual's estimated self‑employment income equals the individual's net earnings from self-employment in the year in which the individual had net earnings from self-employment.

 

Subd. 18.  Family benefit program.  "Family benefit program" means the program administered under this chapter for the collection of premiums and payment of benefits related to family care, bonding, safety leave, and leave related to a qualifying exigency.


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Subd. 19.  Family care.  "Family care" means an applicant caring for a family member with a serious health condition or caring for a family member who is a covered service member.

 

Subd. 20.  Family member.  (a) "Family member" means an employee's child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, stepparent, member of the employee's household, or an individual described in paragraph (e).

 

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, a child includes a stepchild, biological, adopted, or foster child of the employee.

 

(c) For the purposes of this chapter, a grandchild includes a step-grandchild, biological, adopted, or foster grandchild of the employee.

 

(d) For the purposes of this chapter, an individual is a member of the employee's household if the individual has resided at the same address as the employee for at least one year as of the first day of a leave under this chapter.

 

(e) For the purposes of this chapter, an individual with a serious health condition is deemed a family member of the employee if (1) a health care provider certifies in writing that the individual requires care relating to the serious health condition, and (2) the employee and the care recipient certify in writing that the employee will be providing the required care.

 

Subd. 21.  Health care provider.  "Health care provider" means an individual who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized under law to practice in the individual's scope of practice as a physician, osteopath, physician assistant, chiropractor, advanced practice registered nurse, licensed psychologist, licensed independent clinical social worker, or dentist.  "Chiropractor" means only a chiropractor who provides manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation demonstrated to exist by an x-ray.

 

Subd. 22.  High quarter.  "High quarter" has the meaning given in section 268.035, subdivision 19.

 

Subd. 23.  Independent contractor.  (a) If there is an existing specific test or definition for independent contractor in Minnesota statute or rule applicable to an occupation or sector as of the date of enactment of this chapter, that test or definition will apply to that occupation or sector for purposes of this chapter.  If there is not an existing test or definition as described, the definition for independent contractor shall be as provided in this subdivision.

 

(b) An individual is an independent contractor and not an employee of the person for whom the individual is performing services in the course of the person's trade, business, profession, or occupation only if:

 

(1) the individual maintains a separate business with the individual's own office, equipment, materials, and other facilities;

 

(2) the individual:

 

(i) holds or has applied for a federal employer identification number; or

 

(ii) has filed business or self-employment income tax returns with the federal Internal Revenue Service if the individual has performed services in the previous year;

 

(3) the individual is operating under contract to perform the specific services for the person for specific amounts of money and under which the individual controls the means of performing the services;


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(4) the individual is incurring the main expenses related to the services that the individual is performing for the person under the contract;

 

(5) the individual is responsible for the satisfactory completion of the services that the individual has contracted to perform for the person and is liable for a failure to complete the services;

 

(6) the individual receives compensation from the person for the services performed under the contract on a commission or per-job or competitive bid basis and not on any other basis;

 

(7) the individual may realize a profit or suffer a loss under the contract to perform services for the person;

 

(8) the individual has continuing or recurring business liabilities or obligations; and

 

(9) the success or failure of the individual's business depends on the relationship of business receipts to expenditures.

 

(c) For the purposes of this chapter, an insurance producer, as defined in section 60K.31, subdivision 6, is an independent contractor of an insurance company, as defined in section 60A.02, subdivision 4, unless the insurance producer and insurance company agree otherwise.

 

Subd. 24.  Inpatient care.  "Inpatient care" means an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity defined under subdivision 33, paragraph (b), or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care.

 

Subd. 25.  Maximum weekly benefit amount.  "Maximum weekly benefit amount" means the state's average weekly wage as calculated under section 268.035, subdivision 23.

 

Subd. 26.  Medical benefit program.  "Medical benefit program" means the program administered under this chapter for the collection of premiums and payment of benefits related to an applicant's serious health condition or pregnancy.

 

Subd. 27.  Net earnings from self-employment.  "Net earnings from self-employment" has the meaning given in section 1402 of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in section 290.01, subdivision 31.

 

Subd. 28.  Noncovered employment.  "Noncovered employment" has the meaning given in section 268.035, subdivision 20.

 

Subd. 29.  Pregnancy.  "Pregnancy" means prenatal care or incapacity due to pregnancy, or recovery from childbirth, still birth, miscarriage, or related health conditions.

 

Subd. 30.  Qualifying exigency.  (a) "Qualifying exigency" means a need arising out of a military member's active duty service or notice of an impending call or order to active duty in the United States armed forces, including providing for the care or other needs of the family member's child or other dependent, making financial or legal arrangements for the family member, attending counseling, attending military events or ceremonies, spending time with the family member during a rest and recuperation leave or following return from deployment, or making arrangements following the death of the military member.

 

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, a "military member" means a current or former member of the United States armed forces, including a member of the National Guard or reserves, who, except for a deceased military member, is a resident of the state and is a family member of the employee taking leave related to the qualifying exigency.


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Subd. 31.  Safety leave.  "Safety leave" means leave from work because of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or employee's family member, provided the leave is to:

 

(1) seek medical attention related to the physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking;

 

(2) obtain services from a victim services organization;

 

(3) obtain psychological or other counseling;

 

(4) seek relocation due to the domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; or

 

(5) seek legal advice or take legal action, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to, or resulting from, the domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

 

Subd. 32.  Self-employed individual.  "Self-employed individual" means a resident of the state who, in one of the two taxable years preceding the current calendar year, derived at least $10,000 in net earnings from self‑employment from an entity other than an S corporation for the performance of services in this state.

 

Subd. 33.  Self-employment premium base.  "Self-employment premium base" means the lesser of:

 

(1) a self-employed individual's estimated self-employment income for the calendar year plus the individual's self-employment wages in the calendar year; or

 

(2) the maximum earnings subject to the FICA Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance tax in the taxable year.

 

Subd. 34.  Self-employment wages.  "Self-employment wages" means the amount of wages that a self‑employed individual earned in the calendar year from an entity from which the individual also received net earnings from self-employment.

 

Subd. 35.  Serious health condition.  (a) "Serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care as defined in subdivision 24 or continuing treatment by a health care provider as defined in subdivision 11.

 

(b) "Incapacity" means inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities due to the serious health condition, treatment therefore, or recovery therefrom.

 

(c) Treatment includes but is not limited to examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists and evaluations of the condition.  Treatment does not include routine physical examinations, eye examinations, or dental examinations.  A regimen of continuing treatment includes, for example, a course of prescription medication or therapy requiring special equipment to resolve or alleviate the health condition.

 

Subd. 36.  State's average weekly wage.  "State's average weekly wage" means the weekly wage calculated under section 268.035, subdivision 23.

 

Subd. 37.  Taxable year.  "Taxable year" has the meaning given in section 290.01, subdivision 9.

 

Subd. 38.  Wage credits.  "Wage credits" has the meaning given in section 268.035, subdivision 27.


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Sec. 6.  [268B.02] FAMILY AND MEDICAL BENEFIT INSURANCE PROGRAM CREATION.

 

Subdivision 1.  Creation.  A family and medical benefit insurance program is created to be administered by the commissioner according to the terms of this chapter.

 

Subd. 2.  Creation of division.  A Family and Medical Benefit Insurance Division is created within the department under the authority of the commissioner.  The commissioner shall appoint a director of the division.  The division shall administer and operate the benefit program under this chapter.

 

Subd. 3.  Rulemaking.  The commissioner may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.

 

Subd. 4.  Account creation; appropriation.  The family and medical benefit insurance account is created in the special revenue fund in the state treasury.  Money in this account is appropriated to the commissioner to pay benefits under and to administer this chapter, including outreach required under section 268B.15.

 

Subd. 5.  Information technology services and equipment.  The department is exempt from the provisions of section 16E.016 for the purposes of this chapter.

 

Sec. 7.  [268B.03] ELIGIBILITY.

 

Subdivision 1.  Applicant.  An applicant who has a serious health condition, has a qualifying exigency, is taking safety leave, is providing family care, is bonding, or is pregnant or recovering from pregnancy, and who satisfies the conditions of this section is eligible to receive benefits subject to the provisions of this chapter.

 

Subd. 2.  Wage credits.  An applicant must have sufficient wage credits from an employer or employers as defined in section 268B.01, subdivision 16, to establish a benefit account under section 268.07, subdivision 2.

 

Subd. 3.  Seven-day qualifying event.  (a) The period for which an applicant is seeking benefits must be or have been based on a single event of at least seven calendar days' duration related to pregnancy, recovery from pregnancy, family care, a qualifying exigency, safety leave, or the applicant's serious health condition.  The days need not be consecutive.

 

(b) Benefits related to bonding need not meet the seven-day qualifying event requirement.

 

(c) The commissioner must use the rulemaking authority under section 268B.02, subdivision 3, to adopt rules regarding what serious health conditions and other events are prospectively presumed to constitute seven-day qualifying events under this chapter.

 

Subd. 4.  Ineligible.  (a) An applicant is not eligible for benefits for any portion of a day for which the applicant worked for pay.

 

(b) An applicant is not eligible for benefits for any day for which the applicant received benefits under chapter 176 or 268.

 

Subd. 5.  Certification.  An applicant for benefits under this chapter must fulfill the certification requirements under section 268B.04, subdivision 2.

 

Subd. 6.  Records release.  An individual whose medical records are necessary to determine eligibility for benefits under this chapter must sign and date a legally effective waiver authorizing release of medical or other records, to the limited extent necessary to administer or enforce this chapter, to the department and the Department of Labor and Industry.


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Subd. 7.  Self-employed individual applicant.  To fulfill the requirements of this section, a self-employed individual or independent contractor who has elected and been approved for coverage under section 268B.011 must fulfill only the requirements of subdivisions 3, 4, 5, and 6.

 

Sec. 8.  [268B.04] APPLICATIONS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Process; deadline.  Applicants must file a benefit claim pursuant to rules promulgated by the commissioner within 90 calendar days of the related qualifying event.  If a claim is filed more than 90 calendar days after the start of leave, the covered individual may receive reduced benefits.  All claims shall include a certification supporting a request for leave under this chapter.  The commissioner must establish good cause exemptions from the certification requirement deadline in the event that a serious health condition of the applicant prevents the applicant from providing the required certification within the 90 calendar days.

 

Subd. 2.  Certification.  (a) Certification for an applicant taking leave related to the applicant's serious health condition shall be sufficient if the certification states the date on which the serious health condition began, the probable duration of the condition, and the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider as required by the commissioner.

 

(b) Certification for an applicant taking leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition shall be sufficient if the certification states the date on which the serious health condition commenced, the probable duration of the condition, the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider as required by the commissioner, a statement that the family member requires care, and an estimate of the amount of time that the family member will require care.

 

(c) Certification for an applicant taking leave related to pregnancy shall be sufficient if the certification states the expected due date and recovery period based on appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider.

 

(d) Certification for an applicant taking bonding leave because of the birth of the applicant's child shall be sufficient if the certification includes either the child's birth certificate or a document issued by the health care provider of the child or the health care provider of the person who gave birth, stating the child's birth date.

 

(e) Certification for an applicant taking bonding leave because of the placement of a child with the applicant for adoption or foster care shall be sufficient if the applicant provides a document issued by the health care provider of the child, an adoption or foster care agency involved in the placement, or by other individuals as determined by the commissioner that confirms the placement and the date of placement.  To the extent that the status of an applicant as an adoptive or foster parent changes while an application for benefits is pending, or while the covered individual is receiving benefits, the applicant must notify the department of such change in status in writing.

 

(f) Certification for an applicant taking leave because of a qualifying exigency shall be sufficient if the certification includes:

 

(1) a copy of the family member's active-duty orders;

 

(2) other documentation issued by the United States armed forces; or

 

(3) other documentation permitted by the commissioner.


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(g) Certification for an applicant taking safety leave is sufficient if the certification includes a court record or documentation signed by a volunteer or employee of a victim's services organization, an attorney, a police officer, or an antiviolence counselor.  The commissioner must not require disclosure of details relating to an applicant's or applicant's family member's domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

 

(h) Certifications under paragraphs (a) to (e) must be reviewed and signed by a health care provider with knowledge of the qualifying event associated with the leave.

 

(i) For a leave taken on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis, based on a serious health condition of an applicant or applicant's family member, the certification under this subdivision must include an explanation of how such leave would be medically beneficial to the individual with the serious health condition.

 

Sec. 9.  [268B.05] DETERMINATION OF APPLICATION.

 

Upon the filing of a complete application for benefits, the commissioner shall examine the application and on the basis of facts found by the commissioner and records maintained by the department, the applicant shall be determined to be eligible or ineligible within two weeks.  If the application is determined to be valid, the commissioner shall promptly notify the applicant and any other interested party as to the week when benefits commence, the weekly benefit amount payable, and the maximum duration of those benefits.  If the application is determined to be invalid, the commissioner shall notify the applicant and any other interested party of that determination and the reasons for it.  If the processing of the application is delayed for any reason, the commissioner shall notify the applicant, in writing, within two weeks of the date the application for benefits is filed of the reason for the delay.  Unless the applicant or any other interested party, within 30 calendar days, requests a hearing before a benefit judge, the determination is final.  For good cause shown, the 30-day period may be extended.  At any time within one year from the date of a monetary determination, the commissioner, upon request of the applicant or on the commissioner's own initiative, may reconsider the determination if it is found that an error in computation or identity has occurred in connection with the determination or that additional wages pertinent to the applicant's status have become available, or if that determination has been made as a result of a nondisclosure or misrepresentation of a material fact.

 

Sec. 10.  [268B.06] EMPLOYER NOTIFICATION.

 

(a) Upon a determination under section 268B.05 that an applicant is entitled to benefits, the commissioner must promptly send a notification to each current employer of the applicant, if any, in accordance with paragraph (b).

 

(b) The notification under paragraph (a) must include, at a minimum:

 

(1) the name of the applicant;

 

(2) that the applicant has applied for and received benefits;

 

(3) the week the benefits commence;

 

(4) the weekly benefit amount payable;

 

(5) the maximum duration of benefits; and

 

(6) descriptions of the employer's right to participate in a hearing under section 268B.05, and appeal process under section 268B.07.


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Sec. 11.  [268B.07] APPEAL PROCESS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Hearing.  (a) The commissioner shall designate a chief benefit judge.

 

(b) Upon a timely appeal to a determination having been filed or upon a referral for direct hearing, the chief benefit judge must set a time and date for a de novo due-process hearing and send notice to an applicant and an employer, by mail or electronic transmission, not less than ten calendar days before the date of the hearing.

 

(c) The commissioner may adopt rules on procedures for hearings.  The rules need not conform to common law or statutory rules of evidence and other technical rules of procedure.

 

(d) The chief benefit judge has discretion regarding the method by which the hearing is conducted.

 

Subd. 2.  Decision.  (a) After the conclusion of the hearing, upon the evidence obtained, the benefit judge must serve by mail or electronic transmission to all parties, the decision, reasons for the decision, and written findings of fact.

 

(b) Decisions of a benefit judge are not precedential.

 

Subd. 3.  Request for reconsideration.  Any party, or the commissioner, may, within 30 calendar days after service of the benefit judge's decision, file a request for reconsideration asking the judge to reconsider that decision.

 

Subd. 4.  Appeal to court of appeals.  Any final determination on a request for reconsideration may be appealed by any party directly to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

 

Subd. 5.  Benefit judges.  (a) Only employees of the department who are attorneys licensed to practice law in Minnesota may serve as a chief benefit judge, senior benefit judges who are supervisors, or benefit judges.

 

(b) The chief benefit judge must assign a benefit judge to conduct a hearing and may transfer to another benefit judge any proceedings pending before another benefit judge.

 

Sec. 12.  [268B.08] BENEFITS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Weekly benefit amount.  (a) Subject to the maximum weekly benefit amount, an applicant's weekly benefit is calculated by adding the amounts obtained by applying the following percentage to an applicant's average weekly wage:

 

(1) 90 percent of wages that do not exceed 50 percent of the state's average weekly wage; plus

 

(2) 66 percent of wages that exceed 50 percent of the state's average weekly wage but not 100 percent; plus

 

(3) 55 percent of wages that exceed 100 percent of the state's average weekly wage.

 

(b) The state's average weekly wage is the average wage as calculated under section 268.035, subdivision 23, at the time a benefit amount is first determined.

 

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, weekly benefits must not exceed the maximum weekly benefit amount applicable at the time benefit payments commence.


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Subd. 2.  Timing of payment.  Except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, benefits must be paid weekly.

 

Subd. 3.  Maximum length of benefits.  (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), in a single benefit year, an applicant may receive up to 12 weeks of benefits under this chapter related to the applicant's serious health condition or pregnancy and up to 12 weeks of benefits under this chapter for bonding, safety leave, or family care.

 

(b) An applicant may receive up to 12 weeks of benefits in a single benefit year for leave related to one or more qualifying exigencies.

 

Subd. 4.  Minimum period for which benefits payable.  Except for a claim for benefits for bonding leave, any claim for benefits must be based on a single-qualifying event of at least seven calendar days.  Benefits may be paid for a minimum increment of one day.  The minimum increment of one day may consist of multiple, nonconsecutive portions of a day totaling eight hours.

 

Subd. 5.  Withholding of federal tax.  If the Internal Revenue Service determines that benefits are subject to federal income tax, and an applicant elects to have federal income tax deducted and withheld from the applicant's benefits, the commissioner must deduct and withhold the amount specified in the Internal Revenue Code in a manner consistent with state law.

 

Sec. 13.  [268B.085] LEAVE.

 

Subdivision 1.  Right to leave.  Ninety calendar days from the date of hire, an employee has a right to leave from employment for any day, or portion of a day, for which the employee would be eligible for benefits under this chapter, regardless of whether the employee actually applied for benefits and regardless of whether the employee is covered under a private plan or the public program under this chapter.

 

Subd. 2.  Notice to employer.  (a) If the need for leave is foreseeable, an employee must provide the employer at least 30 days' advance notice before leave under this chapter is to begin.  If 30 days' notice is not practicable because of a lack of knowledge of approximately when leave will be required to begin, a change in circumstances, or a medical emergency, notice must be given as soon as practicable.  Whether leave is to be continuous or is to be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis, notice need only be given one time, but the employee must advise the employer as soon as practicable if dates of scheduled leave change or are extended, or were initially unknown.  In those cases where the employee is required to provide at least 30 days' notice of foreseeable leave and does not do so, the employee must explain the reasons why such notice was not practicable upon a request from the employer for such information.

 

(b) "As soon as practicable" means as soon as both possible and practical, taking into account all of the facts and circumstances in the individual case.  When an employee becomes aware of a need for leave under this chapter less than 30 days in advance, it should be practicable for the employee to provide notice of the need for leave either the same day or the next day, unless the need for leave is based on a medical emergency.  In all cases, however, the determination of when an employee could practicably provide notice must take into account the individual facts and circumstances.

 

(c) An employee shall provide at least verbal notice sufficient to make the employer aware that the employee needs leave allowed under this chapter and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave.  An employer may require an employee giving notice of leave to include a certification for the leave as described in section 268B.04, subdivision 2.  Such certification, if required by an employer, is timely when the employee delivers it as soon as practicable given the circumstances requiring the need for leave, and the required contents of the certification.


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(d) An employer may require an employee to comply with the employer's usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave, absent unusual circumstances or other circumstances caused by the reason for the employee's need for leave.  Leave under this chapter must not be delayed or denied where an employer's usual and customary notice or procedural requirements require notice to be given sooner than set forth in this subdivision.

 

(e) If an employer has failed to provide notice to the employee as required under section 268B.22, paragraph (a), (b), or (e), the employee is not required to comply with the notice requirements of this subdivision.

 

Subd. 3.  Bonding leave.  Bonding leave taken under this chapter begins at a time requested by the employee.  Bonding leave must begin within 12 months of the birth, adoption, or placement of a foster child, except that, in the case where the child must remain in the hospital longer than the mother, the leave must begin within 12 months after the child leaves the hospital.

 

Subd. 4.  Intermittent or reduced leave schedule.  (a) Leave under this chapter, based on a serious health condition, may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule if such leave would be medically beneficial to the individual with the serious health condition.  For all other leaves under this chapter, leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule.  Intermittent leave is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single, seven-day qualifying event.  A reduced leave schedule is a leave schedule that reduces an employee's usual number of working hours per workweek or hours per workday.

 

(b) Leave taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis counts toward the maximums described in section 268B.08, subdivision 3.

 

Sec. 14.  [268B.09] EMPLOYMENT PROTECTIONS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Retaliation prohibited.  An employer must not retaliate against an employee for requesting or obtaining benefits, or for exercising any other right under this chapter.

 

Subd. 2.  Interference prohibited.  An employer must not obstruct or impede an application for leave or benefits or the exercise of any other right under this chapter.

 

Subd. 3.  Waiver of rights void.  Any agreement to waive, release, or commute rights to benefits or any other right under this chapter is void.

 

Subd. 4.  No assignment of benefits.  Any assignment, pledge, or encumbrance of benefits is void.  Benefits are exempt from levy, execution, attachment, or any other remedy provided for the collection of debt.  Any waiver of this subdivision is void.

 

Subd. 5.  Continued insurance.  During any leave for which an employee is entitled to benefits under this chapter, the employer must maintain coverage under any group insurance policy, group subscriber contract, or health care plan for the employee and any dependents as if the employee was not on leave, provided, however, that the employee must continue to pay any employee share of the cost of such benefits.

 

Subd. 6.  Employee right to reinstatement.  (a) On return from leave under this chapter, an employee is entitled to be returned to the same position the employee held when leave commenced or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.  An employee is entitled to such reinstatement even if the employee has been replaced or the employee's position has been restructured to accommodate the employee's absence.


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(b)(1) An equivalent position is one that is virtually identical to the employee's former position in terms of pay, benefits, and working conditions, including privileges, prerequisites, and status.  It must involve the same or substantially similar duties and responsibilities, which must entail substantially equivalent skill, effort, responsibility, and authority.

 

(2) If an employee is no longer qualified for the position because of the employee's inability to attend a necessary course, renew a license, fly a minimum number of hours, or the like, as a result of the leave, the employee must be given a reasonable opportunity to fulfill those conditions upon return from leave.

 

(c)(1) An employee is entitled to any unconditional pay increases which may have occurred during the leave period, such as cost of living increases.  Pay increases conditioned upon seniority, length of service, or work performed must be granted in accordance with the employer's policy or practice with respect to other employees on an equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify for leave under this chapter.  An employee is entitled to be restored to a position with the same or equivalent pay premiums, such as a shift differential.  If an employee departed from a position averaging ten hours of overtime, and corresponding overtime pay, each week an employee is ordinarily entitled to such a position on return from leave under this chapter.

 

(2) Equivalent pay includes any bonus or payment, whether it is discretionary or nondiscretionary, made to employees consistent with the provisions of clause (1).  However, if a bonus or other payment is based on the achievement of a specified goal such as hours worked, products sold, or perfect attendance, and the employee has not met the goal due to leave under this chapter, the payment may be denied, unless otherwise paid to employees on an equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify for leave under this chapter.

 

(d) Benefits under this section include all benefits provided or made available to employees by an employer, including group life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, annual leave, educational benefits, and pensions, regardless of whether such benefits are provided by a practice or written policy of an employer through an employee benefit plan as defined in section 3(3) of United States Code, title 29, section 1002(3).

 

(1) At the end of an employee's leave under this chapter, benefits must be resumed in the same manner and at the same levels as provided when the leave began, and subject to any changes in benefit levels that may have taken place during the period of leave affecting the entire workforce, unless otherwise elected by the employee.  Upon return from a leave under this chapter, an employee cannot be required to requalify for any benefits the employee enjoyed before leave began, including family or dependent coverages.

 

(2) An employee may, but is not entitled to, accrue any additional benefits or seniority during a leave under this chapter.  Benefits accrued at the time leave began, however, must be available to an employee upon return from leave.

 

(3) With respect to pension and other retirement plans, leave under this chapter must not be treated as or counted toward a break in service for purposes of vesting and eligibility to participate.  Also, if the plan requires an employee to be employed on a specific date in order to be credited with a year of service for vesting, contributions, or participation purposes, an employee on leave under this chapter must be treated as employed on that date.  However, periods of leave under this chapter need not be treated as credited service for purposes of benefit accrual, vesting, and eligibility to participate.

 

(4) Employees on leave under this chapter must be treated as if they continued to work for purposes of changes to benefit plans.  Employees on leave under this chapter are entitled to changes in benefit plans, except those which may be dependent upon seniority or accrual during the leave period, immediately upon return from leave or to the same extent they would have qualified if no leave had been taken.


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(e) An equivalent position must have substantially similar duties, conditions, responsibilities, privileges, and status as the employee's original position.

 

(1) The employee must be reinstated to the same or a geographically proximate worksite from where the employee had previously been employed.  If the employee's original worksite has been closed, the employee is entitled to the same rights as if the employee had not been on leave when the worksite closed.

 

(2) The employee is ordinarily entitled to return to the same shift or the same or an equivalent work schedule.

 

(3) The employee must have the same or an equivalent opportunity for bonuses, profit-sharing, and other similar discretionary and nondiscretionary payments.

 

(4) This chapter does not prohibit an employer from accommodating an employee's request to be restored to a different shift, schedule, or position which better suits the employee's personal needs on return from leave, or to offer a promotion to a better position.  However, an employee must not be induced by the employer to accept a different position against the employee's wishes.

 

(f) The requirement that an employee be restored to the same or equivalent job with the same or equivalent pay, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment does not extend to de minimis, intangible, or unmeasurable aspects of the job.

 

Subd. 7.  Limitations on an employee's right to reinstatement.  An employee has no greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee had been continuously employed during the period of leave under this chapter.  An employer must be able to show that an employee would not otherwise have been employed at the time reinstatement is requested in order to deny restoration to employment.

 

(1) If an employee is laid off during the course of taking a leave under this chapter and employment is terminated, the employer's responsibility to continue the leave, maintain group health plan benefits, and restore the employee cease at the time the employee is laid off, provided the employer has no continuing obligations under a collective bargaining agreement or otherwise.  An employer would have the burden of proving that an employee would have been laid off during the period of leave under this chapter and, therefore, would not be entitled to restoration.  Restoration to a job slated for layoff when the employee's original position would not meet the requirements of an equivalent position.

 

(2) If a shift has been eliminated or overtime has been decreased, an employee would not be entitled to return to work that shift or the original overtime hours upon restoration.  However, if a position on, for example, a night shift has been filled by another employee, the employee is entitled to return to the same shift on which employed before taking leave under this chapter.

 

(3) If an employee was hired for a specific term or only to perform work on a discrete project, the employer has no obligation to restore the employee if the employment term or project is over and the employer would not otherwise have continued to employ the employee.

 

Subd. 8.  Remedies.  (a) In addition to any other remedies available to an employee in law or equity, an employer who violates the provisions of this section is liable to any employee affected for:

 

(1) damages equal to the amount of:

 

(i) any wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation denied or lost to such employee by reason of the violation, or, in a cases in which wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation have not been denied or lost to the employee, any actual monetary losses sustained by the employee as a direct result of the violation; and


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(ii) reasonable interest on the amount described in item (i); and

 

(2) such equitable relief as may be appropriate, including employment, reinstatement, and promotion.

 

(b) An action to recover damages or equitable relief prescribed in paragraph (a) may be maintained against any employer in any federal or state court of competent jurisdiction by any one or more employees for and on behalf of:

 

(1) the employees; or

 

(2) the employees and other employees similarly situated.

 

(c) The court in an action under this section must, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow reasonable attorney fees, reasonable expert witness fees, and other costs of the action to be paid by the defendant.

 

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow an employee to recover damages from an employer for the denial of benefits under this chapter by the department, unless the employer unlawfully interfered with the application for benefits under subdivision 2.

 

Sec. 15.  [268B.10] SUBSTITUTION OF A PRIVATE PLAN.

 

Subdivision 1.  Application for substitution.  Employers may apply to the commissioner for approval to meet their obligations under this chapter through the substitution of a private plan that provides paid family, paid medical, or paid family and medical benefits.  In order to be approved as meeting an employer's obligations under this chapter, a private plan must confer all of the same rights, protections, and benefits provided to employees under this chapter, including but not limited to benefits under section 268B.08 and employment protections under section 268B.09.  An employee covered by a private plan under this section retains all applicable rights and remedies under section 268B.09.

 

Subd. 2.  Private plan requirements; medical benefit program.  The commissioner must approve an application for private provision of the medical benefit program if the commissioner determines:

 

(1) all of the employees of the employer are to be covered under the provisions of the employer plan;

 

(2) eligibility requirements for benefits and leave are no more restrictive than as provided under this chapter;

 

(3) the weekly benefits payable under the private plan for any week are at least equal to the weekly benefit amount payable under this chapter, taking into consideration any coverage with respect to concurrent employment by another employer;

 

(4) the total number of weeks for which benefits are payable under the private plan is at least equal to the total number of weeks for which benefits would have been payable under this chapter;

 

(5) no greater amount is required to be paid by employees toward the cost of benefits under the employer plan than by this chapter;

 

(6) wage replacement benefits are stated in the plan separately and distinctly from other benefits;

 

(7) the private plan will provide benefits and leave for any serious health condition or pregnancy for which benefits are payable, and leave provided, under this chapter;


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(8) the private plan will impose no additional condition or restriction on the use of medical benefits beyond those explicitly authorized by this chapter or regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter;

 

(9) the private plan will allow any employee covered under the private plan who is eligible to receive medical benefits under this chapter to receive medical benefits under the employer plan; and

 

(10) coverage will be continued under the private plan while an employee remains employed by the employer.

 

Subd. 3.  Private plan requirements; family benefit program.  (a) The commissioner must approve an application for private provision of the family benefit program if the commissioner determines:

 

(1) all of the employees of the employer are to be covered under the provisions of the employer plan;

 

(2) eligibility requirements for benefits and leave are no more restrictive than as provided under this chapter;

 

(3) the weekly benefits payable under the private plan for any week are at least equal to the weekly benefit amount payable under this chapter, taking into consideration any coverage with respect to concurrent employment by another employer;

 

(4) the total number of weeks for which benefits are payable under the private plan is at least equal to the total number of weeks for which benefits would have been payable under this chapter;

 

(5) no greater amount is required to be paid by employees toward the cost of benefits under the employer plan than by this chapter;

 

(6) wage replacement benefits are stated in the plan separately and distinctly from other benefits;

 

(7) the private plan will provide benefits and leave for any care for a family member with a serious health condition, bonding with a child, qualifying exigency, or safety leave event for which benefits are payable, and leave provided, under this chapter;

 

(8) the private plan will impose no additional condition or restriction on the use of family benefits beyond those explicitly authorized by this chapter or regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter;

 

(9) the private plan will allow any employee covered under the private plan who is eligible to receive medical benefits under this chapter to receive medical benefits under the employer plan; and

 

(10) coverage will be continued under the private plan while an employee remains employed by the employer.

 

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a private plan may provide shorter durations of leave and benefit eligibility if the total dollar value of wage replacement benefits under the private plan for an employee for any particular qualifying event meets or exceeds what the total dollar value would be under the public family and medical benefit program.

 

Subd. 4.  Use of private insurance products.  Nothing in this section prohibits an employer from meeting the requirements of a private plan through a private insurance product.  If the employer plan involves a private insurance product, that insurance product must conform to any applicable law or rule.

 

Subd. 5.  Private plan approval and oversight fee.  An employer with an approved private plan will not be required to pay premiums established under section 268B.12.  An employer with an approved private plan will be responsible for a private plan approval and oversight fee equal to $250 for employers with fewer than 50 employees,


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$500 for employers with 50 to 499 employees, and $1,000 for employers with 500 or more employees.  The employer must pay this fee (1) upon initial application for private plan approval and (2) any time the employer applies to amend the private plan.  The commissioner will review and report on the adequacy of this fee to cover private plan administrative costs annually beginning in 2020 as part of the annual report established in section 268B.21.

 

Subd. 6.  Plan duration.  A private plan under this section must be in effect for a period of at least one year and, thereafter, continuously unless the commissioner finds that the employer has given notice of withdrawal from the plan in a manner specified by the commissioner in this section or rule.  The plan may be withdrawn by the employer within 30 days of the effective date of any law increasing the benefit amounts or within 30 days of the date of any change in the rate of premiums.  If the plan is not withdrawn, it must be amended to conform to provide the increased benefit amount or change in the rate of the employee's premium on the date of the increase or change.

 

Subd. 7.  Appeals.  An employer may appeal any adverse action regarding that employer's private plan to the commissioner, in a manner specified by the commissioner.

 

Subd. 8.  Employees no longer covered.  (a) An employee is no longer covered by an approved private plan if a leave under this chapter occurs after the employment relationship with the private plan employer ends, or if the commissioner revokes the approval of the private plan.

 

(b) An employee no longer covered by an approved private plan is, if otherwise eligible, immediately entitled to benefits under this chapter to the same extent as though there had been no approval of the private plan.

 

Subd. 9.  Posting of notice regarding private plan.  An employer with a private plan must provide a notice prepared by or approved by the commissioner regarding the private plan consistent with the provisions of section 268B.22.

 

Subd. 10.  Amendment.  (a) The commissioner must approve any amendment to a private plan adjusting the provisions thereof, if the commissioner determines:

 

(1) that the plan, as amended, will conform to the standards set forth in this chapter; and

 

(2) that notice of the amendment has been delivered to all affected employees at least ten days before the submission of the amendment.

 

(b) Any amendments approved under this subdivision are effective on the date of the commissioner's approval, unless the commissioner and the employer agree on a later date.

 

Subd. 11.  Successor employer.  A private plan in effect at the time a successor acquires the employer organization, trade, or business, or substantially all the assets thereof, or a distinct and severable portion of the organization, trade, or business, and continues its operation without substantial reduction of personnel resulting from the acquisition, must continue the approved private plan and must not withdraw the plan without a specific request for withdrawal in a manner and at a time specified by the commissioner.  A successor may terminate a private plan with notice to the commissioner and within 90 days from the date of the acquisition.

 

Subd. 12.  Revocation of approval by commissioner.  (a) The commissioner may terminate any private plan if the commissioner determines the employer:

 

(1) failed to pay benefits;

 

(2) failed to pay benefits in a timely manner, consistent with the requirements of this chapter;


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(3) failed to submit reports as required by this chapter or rule adopted under this chapter; or

 

(4) otherwise failed to comply with this chapter or rule adopted under this chapter.

 

(b) The commissioner must give notice of the intention to terminate a plan to the employer at least ten days before taking any final action.  The notice must state the effective date and the reason for the termination.

 

(c) The employer may, within ten days from mailing or personal service of the notice, file an appeal to the commissioner in the time, manner, method, and procedure provided by the commissioner under subdivision 7.

 

(d) The payment of benefits must not be delayed during an employer's appeal of the revocation of approval of a private plan.

 

(e) If the commissioner revokes approval of an employer's private plan, that employer is ineligible to apply for approval of another private plan for a period of three years, beginning on the date of revocation.

 

Subd. 13.  Employer penalties.  (a) The commissioner may assess the following monetary penalties against an employer with an approved private plan found to have violated this chapter:

 

(1) $1,000 for the first violation; and

 

(2) $2,000 for the second, and each successive violation.

 

(b) The commissioner must waive collection of any penalty if the employer corrects the violation within 30 days of receiving a notice of the violation and the notice is for a first violation.

 

(c) The commissioner may waive collection of any penalty if the commissioner determines the violation to be an inadvertent error by the employer.

 

(d) Monetary penalties collected under this section shall be deposited in the account.

 

(e) Assessment of penalties under this subdivision may be appealed as provided by the commissioner under subdivision 7.

 

Subd. 14.  Reports, information, and records.  Employers with an approved private plan must maintain all reports, information, and records as relating to the private plan and claims for a period of six years from creation and provide to the commissioner upon request.

 

Subd. 15.  Audit and investigation.  The commissioner may investigate and audit plans approved under this section both before and after the plans are approved.

 

Sec. 16.  [268B.11] SELF-EMPLOYED AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR ELECTION OF COVERAGE.

 

Subdivision 1.  Election of coverage.  (a) A self-employed individual or independent contractor may file with the commissioner by electronic transmission in a format prescribed by the commissioner an application to be entitled to benefits under this chapter for a period not less than 104 consecutive calendar weeks.  Upon the approval of the commissioner, sent by United States mail or electronic transmission, the individual is entitled to benefits under this chapter beginning the calendar quarter after the date of approval or beginning in a later calendar quarter if requested by the self-employed individual or independent contractor.  The individual ceases to be entitled to benefits as of the first day of January of any calendar year only if, at least 30 calendar days before the first day of January, the individual has filed with the commissioner by electronic transmission in a format prescribed by the commissioner a notice to that effect.


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(b) The commissioner may terminate any application approved under this section with 30 calendar days' notice sent by United States mail or electronic transmission if the self-employed individual is delinquent on any premiums due under this chapter an election agreement.  If an approved application is terminated in this manner during the first 104 consecutive calendar weeks of election, the self-employed individual remains obligated to pay the premium under subdivision 3 for the remainder of that 104-week period.

 

Subd. 2.  Application A self-employed individual who applies for coverage under this section must provide the commissioner with (1) the amount of the individual's net earnings from self-employment, if any, from the two most recent taxable years and all tax documents necessary to prove the accuracy of the amounts reported and (2) any other documentation the commissioner requires.  A self-employed individual who is covered under this chapter must annually provide the commissioner with the amount of the individual's net earnings from self-employment within 30 days of filing a federal income tax return.

 

Subd. 3.  Premium.  A self-employed individual who elects to receive coverage under this chapter must annually pay a premium equal to one-half the percentage in section 268B.12, subdivision 4, clause (1), times the lesser of:

 

(1) the individual's self-employment premium base; or

 

(2) the maximum earnings subject to the FICA Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance tax.

 

Subd. 4.  Benefits.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, a self-employed individual who has applied to and been approved for coverage by the commissioner under this section is entitled to benefits on the same basis as an employee under this chapter, except that a self-employed individual's weekly benefit amount under section 268B.08, subdivision 1, must calculated as a percentage of the self-employed individual's self-employment premium base, rather than wages.

 

Sec. 17.  [268B.12] PREMIUMS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Employer.  (a) Each person or entity required, or who elected, to register for a tax account under sections 268.042, 268.045, and 268.046 must pay a premium on the wages paid to employees in covered employment for each calendar year.  The premium must be paid on all wages up to the maximum specified by this section.

 

(b) Each person or entity required, or who elected, to register for a reimbursable account under sections 268.042, 268.045, and 268.046 must pay a premium on the wages paid to employees in covered employment in the same amount and manner as provided by paragraph (a).

 

Subd. 2.  Employee charge back.  Notwithstanding section 177.24, subdivision 4, or 181.06, subdivision 1, employers and covered business entities may deduct up to 50 percent of annual premiums paid under this section from employee wages.  Such deductions for any given employee must be in equal proportion to the premiums paid based on the wages of that employee, and all employees of an employer must be subject to the same percentage deduction.  Deductions under this section must not cause an employee's wage, after the deduction, to fall below the rate required to be paid to the worker by law, including any applicable statute, regulation, rule, ordinance, government resolution or policy, contract, or other legal authority, whichever rate of pay is greater. 

 

Subd. 3.  Wages and payments subject to premium.  (a) The maximum wages subject to premium in a calendar year is equal to the maximum earnings in that year subject to the FICA Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance tax.


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(b) The maximum payment amount subject to premium in a calendar year, under subdivision 1, paragraph (c), is equal to the maximum earnings in that year subject to the FICA Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance tax.

 

Subd. 4.  Annual premium rates.  The employer premium rates for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2021, shall be as follows:

 

(1) for employers participating in both family and medical benefit programs, 0.6 percent;

 

(2) for an employer participating in only the medical benefit program and with an approved private plan for the family benefit program, 0.486 percent; and

 

(3) for an employer participating in only the family benefit program and with an approved private plan for the medical benefit program, 0.114 percent.

 

Subd. 5.  Premium rate adjustments.  (a) Each calendar year following the calendar year beginning January 1, 2023, the commissioner must adjust the annual premium rates using the formula in paragraph (b).

 

(b) To calculate the employer rates for a calendar year, the commissioner must:

 

(1) multiply 1.45 times the amount disbursed from the account for the 52-week period ending September 30 of the prior year;

 

(2) subtract the amount in the account on that September 30 from the resulting figure;

 

(3) divide the resulting figure by twice the total wages in covered employment of employees of employers without approved private plans under section 268B.10 for either the family or medical benefit program.  For employers with an approved private plan for either the medical benefit program or the family benefit program, but not both, count only the proportion of wages in covered employment associated with the program for which the employer does not have an approved private plan; and

 

(4) round the resulting figure down to the nearest one-hundredth of one percent.

 

(c) The commissioner must apportion the premium rate between the family and medical benefit programs based on the relative proportion of expenditures for each program during the preceding year.

 

Subd. 6.  Deposit of premiums.  All premiums collected under this section must be deposited into the account.

 

Subd. 7.  Nonpayment of premiums by employer.  The failure of an employer to pay premiums does not impact the right of an employee to benefits, or any other right, under this chapter.

 

Sec. 18.  [268B.13] COLLECTION OF PREMIUMS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Amount computed presumed correct.  Any amount due from an employer, as computed by the commissioner, is presumed to be correctly determined and assessed, and the burden is upon the employer to show any error.  A statement by the commissioner of the amount due is admissible in evidence in any court or administrative proceeding and is prima facie evidence of the facts in the statement.

 

Subd. 2.  Priority of payments.  (a) Any payment received from an employer must be applied in the following order:

 

(1) premiums due under this chapter; then


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(2) interest on past due premiums; then

 

(3) penalties, late fees, administrative service fees, and costs.

 

(b) Paragraph (a) is the priority used for all payments received from an employer, regardless of how the employer may designate the payment to be applied, except when:

 

(1) there is an outstanding lien and the employer designates that the payment made should be applied to satisfy the lien;

 

(2) a court or administrative order directs that the payment be applied to a specific obligation;

 

(3) a preexisting payment plan provides for the application of payment; or

 

(4) the commissioner agrees to apply the payment to a different priority.

 

Subd. 3.  Costs.  (a) Any employer that fails to pay any amount when due under this chapter is liable for any filing fees, recording fees, sheriff fees, costs incurred by referral to any public or private collection agency, or litigation costs, including attorney fees, incurred in the collection of the amounts due.

 

(b) If any tendered payment of any amount due is not honored when presented to a financial institution for payment, any costs assessed to the department by the financial institution and a fee of $25 must be assessed to the person.

 

(c) Costs and fees collected under this subdivision are credited to the account.

 

Subd. 4.  Interest on amounts past due.  If any amounts due from an employer under this chapter, except late fees, are not received on the date due, the unpaid balance bears interest at the rate of one percent per month or any part of a month.  Interest collected under this subdivision is payable to the account.

 

Subd. 5.  Interest on judgments.  Regardless of section 549.09, if judgment is entered upon any past due amounts from an employer under this chapter, the unpaid judgment bears interest at the rate specified in subdivision 4 until the date of payment.

 

Subd. 6.  Credit adjustments; refunds.  (a) If an employer makes an application for a credit adjustment of any amount paid under this chapter within four years of the date that the payment was due, in a manner and format prescribed by the commissioner, and the commissioner determines that the payment or any portion thereof was erroneous, the commissioner must make an adjustment and issue a credit without interest.  If a credit cannot be used, the commissioner must refund, without interest, the amount erroneously paid.  The commissioner, on the commissioner's own motion, may make a credit adjustment or refund under this subdivision.

 

(b) Any refund returned to the commissioner is considered unclaimed property under chapter 345.

 

(c) If a credit adjustment or refund is denied in whole or in part, a determination of denial must be sent to the employer by United States mail or electronic transmission.  The determination of denial is final unless an employer files an appeal within 20 calendar days after receipt of the determination.

 

(d) If an employer receives a credit adjustment or refund under this section, the employer must determine the amount of any overpayment attributable to a deduction from employee wages under section 268B.12, subdivision 2, and return any amount erroneously deducted to each affected employee.


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Subd. 7.  Priorities under legal dissolutions or distributions.  In the event of any distribution of an employer's assets according to an order of any court, including any receivership, assignment for benefit of creditors, adjudicated insolvency, or similar proceeding, premiums then or thereafter due must be paid in full before all other claims except claims for wages of not more than $1,000 per former employee that are earned within six months of the commencement of the proceedings.  In the event of an employer's adjudication in bankruptcy under federal law, premiums then or thereafter due are entitled to the priority provided in that law for taxes due.

 

Sec. 19.  [268B.14] ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS.

 

From July 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, the commissioner may spend up to seven percent of premiums collected under section 268B.13 for administration of this chapter.  Beginning January 1, 2022, and each calendar year thereafter, the commissioner may spend up to seven percent of projected benefit payments for that calendar year for the administration of this chapter.  The department may enter into interagency agreements with the Department of Labor and Industry, including agreements to transfer funds, subject to the limit in this section, for the Department of Labor and Industry to fulfill its enforcement authority of this chapter.

 

Sec. 20.  [268B.15] PUBLIC OUTREACH.

 

Beginning in fiscal year 2022, the commissioner must use at least 0.5 percent of revenue collected under this chapter for the purpose of outreach, education, and technical assistance for employees, employers, and self‑employed individuals eligible to elect coverage under section 268B.11.  The department may enter into interagency agreements with the Department of Labor and Industry, including agreements to transfer funds, subject to the limit in section 268B.14, to accomplish the requirements of this section.  At least one-half of the amount spent under this section must be used for grants to community-based groups.

 

Sec. 21.  [268B.16] APPLICANT'S FALSE REPRESENTATIONS; CONCEALMENT OF FACTS; PENALTY.

 

(a) Any applicant who knowingly makes a false statement or representation, knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, or makes a false statement or representation without a good-faith belief as to the correctness of the statement or representation in order to obtain or in an attempt to obtain benefits may be assessed, in addition to any other penalties, an administrative penalty of ineligibility of benefits for 13 to 104 weeks.

 

(b) A determination of ineligibility setting out the weeks the applicant is ineligible must be sent to the applicant by United States mail or electronic transmission.  The determination is final unless an appeal is filed within 30 calendar days after receipt of the determination.

 

Sec. 22.  [268B.17] EMPLOYER MISCONDUCT; PENALTY.

 

(a) The commissioner must penalize an employer if that employer or any employee, officer, or agent of that employer is in collusion with any applicant for the purpose of assisting the applicant in receiving benefits fraudulently.  The penalty is $500 or the amount of benefits determined to be overpaid, whichever is greater.

 

(b) The commissioner must penalize an employer if that employer or any employee, officer, or agent of that employer:

 

(1) made a false statement or representation knowing it to be false;

 

(2) made a false statement or representation without a good-faith belief as to the correctness of the statement or representation; or


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(3) knowingly failed to disclose a material fact.

 

(c) The penalty is the greater of $500 or 50 percent of the following resulting from the employer's action:

 

(1) the amount of any overpaid benefits to an applicant;

 

(2) the amount of benefits not paid to an applicant that would otherwise have been paid; or

 

(3) the amount of any payment required from the employer under this chapter that was not paid.

 

(d) Penalties must be paid within 30 calendar days of issuance of the determination of penalty and credited to the account.

 

(e) The determination of penalty is final unless the employer files an appeal within 30 calendar days after the sending of the determination of penalty to the employer by United States mail or electronic transmission.

 

Sec. 23.  [268B.18] RECORDS; AUDITS.

 

(a) Each employer must keep true and accurate records on individuals performing services for the employer, containing the information the commissioner may require under this chapter.  The records must be kept for a period of not less than four years in addition to the current calendar year.

 

(b) For the purpose of administering this chapter, the commissioner has the power to investigate, audit, examine, or cause to be supplied or copied, any books, correspondence, papers, records, or memoranda that are the property of, or in the possession of, an employer or any other person at any reasonable time and as often as may be necessary.

 

(c) An employer or other person that refuses to allow an audit of its records by the department or that fails to make all necessary records available for audit in the state upon request of the commissioner may be assessed an administrative penalty of $500.  The penalty collected is credited to the account.

 

Sec. 24.  [268B.19] SUBPOENAS; OATHS.

 

(a) The commissioner or benefit judge has authority to administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, certify to official acts, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of individuals and the production of documents and other personal property necessary in connection with the administration of this chapter.

 

(b) Individuals subpoenaed, other than applicants or officers and employees of an employer that is the subject of the inquiry, must be paid witness fees the same as witness fees in civil actions in district court.  The fees need not be paid in advance.

 

(c) The subpoena is enforceable through the district court in Ramsey County.

 

Sec. 25.  [268B.20] CONCILIATION SERVICES.

 

The Department of Labor and Industry may offer conciliation services to employers and employees to resolve disputes concerning alleged violations of employment protections identified in section 268B.09.

 

Sec. 26.  [268B.21] ANNUAL REPORTS.

 

(a) Annually, beginning on or before December 1, 2021, the commissioner must report to the Department of Management and Budget and the house of representatives and senate committee chairs with jurisdiction over this chapter on program administrative expenditures and revenue collection for the prior fiscal year, including but not limited to:


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(1) total revenue raised through premium collection;

 

(2) the number of self-employed individuals or independent contractors electing coverage under section 268B.11 and amount of associated revenue;

 

(3) the number of covered business entities paying premiums under this chapter and associated revenue;

 

(4) administrative expenditures including transfers to other state agencies expended in the administration of the chapter;

 

(5) summary of contracted services expended in the administration of this chapter;

 

(6) grant amounts and recipients under section 268B.15;

 

(7) an accounting of required outreach expenditures;

 

(8) summary of private plan approvals including the number of employers and employees covered under private plans; and

 

(9) adequacy and use of the private plan approval and oversight fee.

 

(b) Annually, beginning on or before December 1, 2022, the commissioner must publish a publicly available report providing the following information for the previous fiscal year:

 

(1) total eligible claims;

 

(2) the number and percentage of claims attributable to each category of benefit;

 

(3) claimant demographics by age, gender, average weekly wage, occupation, and the type of leave taken;

 

(4) the percentage of claims denied and the reasons therefor, including, but not limited to insufficient information and ineligibility and the reason therefor;

 

(5) average weekly benefit amount paid for all claims and by category of benefit;

 

(6) changes in the benefits paid compared to previous fiscal years;

 

(7) processing times for initial claims processing, initial determinations, and final decisions;

 

(8) average duration for cases completed; and

 

(9) the number of cases remaining open at the close of such year.

 

Sec. 27.  [268B.22] NOTICE REQUIREMENTS.

 

(a) Each employer must post in a conspicuous place on each of its premises a workplace notice prepared or approved by the commissioner providing notice of benefits available under this chapter.  The required workplace notice must be in English and each language other than English which is the primary language of five or more employees or independent contractors of that workplace, if such notice is available from the department.


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(b) Each employer must issue to each employee not more than 30 days from the beginning date of the employee's employment, or 30 days before premium collection begins, which ever is later, the following written information provided or approved by the department in the primary language of the employee:

 

(1) an explanation of the availability of family and medical leave benefits provided under this chapter, including rights to reinstatement and continuation of health insurance;

 

(2) the amount of premium deductions made by the employer under this chapter;

 

(3) the employer's premium amount and obligations under this chapter;

 

(4) the name and mailing address of the employer;

 

(5) the identification number assigned to the employer by the department;

 

(6) instructions on how to file a claim for family and medical leave benefits;

 

(7) the mailing address, e­mail address, and telephone number of the department; and

 

(8) any other information required by the department.

 

Delivery is made when an employee provides written acknowledgment of receipt of the information, or signs a statement indicating the employee's refusal to sign such acknowledgment.

 

(c) Each employer shall provide to each independent contractor with whom it contracts, at the time such contract is made or, for existing contracts, within 30 days of the effective date of this section, the following written information provided or approved by the department in the self-employed individual's primary language:

 

(1) the address and telephone number of the department; and

 

(2) any other information required by the department.

 

(d) An employer that fails to comply with this subsection may be issued, for a first violation, a civil penalty of $50 per employee and per independent contractor with whom it has contracted, and for each subsequent violation, a civil penalty of $300 per employee or self-employed individual with whom it has contracted.  The employer shall have the burden of demonstrating compliance with this section.

 

(e) Employer notice to an employee under this section may be provided in paper or electronic format.  For notice provided in electronic format only, the employer must provide employee access to an employer-owner computer during an employee's regular working hours to review and print required notices.

 

Sec. 28.  [268B.23] RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LEAVE; CONSTRUCTION.

 

Subdivision 1.  Concurrent leave.  An employer may require leave taken under this chapter to run concurrently with leave taken for the same purpose under section 181.941 or the Family and Medical Leave Act, United States Code, title 29, sections 2601 to 2654, as amended.

 

Subd. 2.  Construction.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to:

 

(1) allow an employer to compel an employee to exhaust accumulated sick, vacation, or personal time before or while taking leave under this chapter;


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(2) prohibit an employer from providing additional benefits, including, but not limited to, covering the portion of earnings not provided under this chapter during periods of leave covered under this chapter; or

 

(3) limit the parties to a collective bargaining agreement from bargaining and agreeing with respect to leave benefits and related procedures and employee protections that meet or exceed, and do not otherwise conflict with, the minimum standards and requirements in this chapter.

 

Sec. 29.  [268B.24] SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANTS.

 

(a) Employers with 50 or fewer employees may apply to the department for grants under this section.

 

(b) The commissioner may approve a grant of up to $3,000 if the employer hires a temporary worker to replace an employee on family or medical leave for a period of seven days or more.

 

(c) For an employee's family or medical leave, the commissioner may approve a grant of up to $1,000 as reimbursement for significant additional wage-related costs due to the employee's leave.

 

(d) To be eligible for consideration for a grant under this section, the employer must provide the department written documentation showing the temporary worker hired or significant wage-related costs incurred are due to an employee's use of leave under this chapter.

 

(e) The grants under this section may be funded from the account.

 

(f) For the purposes of this section, the commissioner shall average the number of employees reported by an employer over the last four completed calendar quarters to determine the size of the employer.

 

(g) An employer who has an approved private plan is not eligible to receive a grant under this section.

 

(h) The commissioner may award grants under this section only up to a maximum of $5,000,000 per calendar year.

 

Sec. 30.  EFFECTIVE DATES.

 

(a) Benefits under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 268B, shall not be applied for or paid until January 1, 2022, and thereafter.

 

(b) Sections 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are effective July 1, 2019.

 

(c) Section 15 is effective July 1, 2020.

 

(d) Sections 3, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, and 26 are effective January 1, 2021.

 

(e) Sections 19 and 20 are effective July 1, 2021.

 

(f) Sections 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 25, 27, 28, 29, and 30 are effective January 1, 2022.

 

ARTICLE 2

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE BENEFIT AS EARNINGS

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256J.561, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:


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Subd. 4.  Parents receiving family and medical leave benefits.  A parent who meets the criteria under subdivision 2 and who receives benefits under chapter 268B is not required to participate in employment services.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256J.95, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Eligibility for diversionary work program.  (a) Except for the categories of family units listed in clauses (1) to (8), all family units who apply for cash benefits and who meet MFIP eligibility as required in sections 256J.11 to 256J.15 are eligible and must participate in the diversionary work program.  Family units or individuals that are not eligible for the diversionary work program include:

 

(1) child only cases;

 

(2) single-parent family units that include a child under 12 months of age.  A parent is eligible for this exception once in a parent's lifetime;

 

(3) family units with a minor parent without a high school diploma or its equivalent;

 

(4) family units with an 18- or 19-year-old caregiver without a high school diploma or its equivalent who chooses to have an employment plan with an education option;

 

(5) family units with a caregiver who received DWP benefits within the 12 months prior to the month the family applied for DWP, except as provided in paragraph (c);

 

(6) family units with a caregiver who received MFIP within the 12 months prior to the month the family applied for DWP;

 

(7) family units with a caregiver who received 60 or more months of TANF assistance; and

 

(8) family units with a caregiver who is disqualified from the work participation cash benefit program, DWP, or MFIP due to fraud.; and

 

(9) single-parent family units where a parent is receiving family and medical leave benefits under chapter 268B.

 

(b) A two-parent family must participate in DWP unless both caregivers meet the criteria for an exception under paragraph (a), clauses (1) through (5), or the family unit includes a parent who meets the criteria in paragraph (a), clause (6), (7), or (8).

 

(c) Once DWP eligibility is determined, the four months run consecutively.  If a participant leaves the program for any reason and reapplies during the four-month period, the county must redetermine eligibility for DWP.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256J.95, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 11.  Universal participation required.  (a) All DWP caregivers, except caregivers who meet the criteria in paragraph (d), are required to participate in DWP employment services.  Except as specified in paragraphs (b) and (c), employment plans under DWP must, at a minimum, meet the requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1.

 

(b) A caregiver who is a member of a two-parent family that is required to participate in DWP who would otherwise be ineligible for DWP under subdivision 3 may be allowed to develop an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 2, that may contain alternate activities and reduced hours.


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(c) A participant who is a victim of family violence shall be allowed to develop an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3.  A claim of family violence must be documented by the applicant or participant by providing a sworn statement which is supported by collateral documentation in section 256J.545, paragraph (b).

 

(d) One parent in a two-parent family unit that has a natural born child under 12 months of age is not required to have an employment plan until the child reaches 12 months of age unless the family unit has already used the exclusion under section 256J.561, subdivision 3, or the previously allowed child under age one exemption under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (5). if that parent:

 

(1) receives family and medical leave benefits under chapter 268B; or

 

(2) has a natural born child under 12 months of age until the child reaches 12 months of age unless the family unit has already used the exclusion under section 256J.561, subdivision 3, or the previously allowed child under age one exemption under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (5).

 

(e) The provision in paragraph (d) ends the first full month after the child reaches 12 months of age.  This provision is allowable only once in a caregiver's lifetime.  In a two-parent household, only one parent shall be allowed to use this category.

 

(f) The participant and job counselor must meet in the month after the month the child reaches 12 months of age to revise the participant's employment plan.  The employment plan for a family unit that has a child under 12 months of age that has already used the exclusion in section 256J.561 must be tailored to recognize the caregiving needs of the parent.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256P.01, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Earned income.  "Earned income" means cash or in-kind income earned through the receipt of wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, tips, gratuities, profit from employment activities, net profit from self-employment activities, payments made by an employer for regularly accrued vacation or sick leave, severance pay based on accrued leave time, benefits paid under chapter 268B, payments from training programs at a rate at or greater than the state's minimum wage, royalties, honoraria, or other profit from activity that results from the client's work, service, effort, or labor.  The income must be in return for, or as a result of, legal activity.

 

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATES.

 

Sections 1 to 4 are effective January 1, 2022."

 

Delete the title and insert:

 

"A bill for an act relating to employment; providing for paid family, pregnancy, bonding, and applicant's serious medical condition benefits; regulating and requiring certain employment leaves; classifying certain data; authorizing rulemaking; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 13.719, by adding a subdivision; 177.27, subdivision 4; 181.032; 256J.561, by adding a subdivision; 256J.95, subdivisions 3, 11; 256P.01, subdivision 3; 268.19, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 268B."

 

 

With the recommendation that when so amended the bill be placed on the General Register.

 

      The report was adopted.

 

      Pursuant to Joint Rule 2.03 and in accordance with House Concurrent Resolution No. 1, H. F. No. 5 was re‑referred to the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration.


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Winkler from the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 810, A bill for an act relating to veterans; authorizing the placement of a plaque in the court of honor on the Capitol grounds to honor all Minnesota veterans who served in the United States armed forces, both at home and abroad, during World War I.

 

Reported the same back with the recommendation that the bill be placed on the General Register.

 

      The report was adopted.

 

 

Winkler from the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 2051, A bill for an act relating to insurance; making changes to conform with certain model regulations; making federally conforming changes to supplemental Medicare coverage; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 60A.1291, subdivisions 1, 15, by adding a subdivision; 60A.51, by adding a subdivision; 60A.52, subdivision 1; 60D.15, by adding subdivisions; 62A.3099, by adding a subdivision; 62A.31, subdivision 1, by adding a subdivision; 62A.315; 62A.316; 62A.3161; 62A.3162; 62A.3163; 62A.3164; 62A.3165; 62A.318, subdivision 17; 62E.07; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 60A; 60D.

 

Reported the same back with the recommendation that the bill be placed on the General Register.

 

      The report was adopted.

 

 

Marquart from the Committee on Taxes to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 2208, A bill for an act relating to state government; establishing a budget for economic development, telecommunications, and energy; appropriating money to the broadband grant program; establishing a budget to finance energy-related activities; creating renewable energy grant programs; modifying and establishing various provisions governing energy policy and finance; strengthening requirements for clean energy and energy conservation in Minnesota; appropriating money for jobs and economic development; establishing paid family leave insurance; modifying economic development programs; establishing wage theft prevention; providing for earned sick and safe time; modifying labor and industry policy provisions; modifying commerce policy provisions; adopting Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council provisions; modifying unemployment insurance policy; modifying Bureau of Mediation Services policy; establishing guidelines relating to unclaimed property; modifying fees; increasing civil and criminal penalties; authorizing rulemaking; requiring reports; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 13.43, subdivision 6; 13.685; 13.719, by adding a subdivision; 15.72, subdivision 2; 16C.285, subdivision 3; 47.59, subdivision 2; 47.60, subdivision 2; 47.601, subdivisions 2, 6; 53.04, subdivision 3a; 56.131, subdivision 1; 116C.7792; 116J.8731, subdivision 5; 116J.8748, subdivisions 4, 6; 175.46, subdivisions 3, 13; 176.1812, subdivision 2; 176.231, subdivision 1; 177.27, subdivisions 2, 4, 7, by adding subdivisions; 177.30; 177.32, subdivision 1; 179.86, subdivisions 1, 3; 179A.041, by adding a subdivision; 181.03, subdivision 1, by adding subdivisions; 181.032; 181.101; 181.635, subdivision 2; 181.942, subdivision 1; 182.659, subdivision 8; 182.666, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, by adding a subdivision; 216B.16, subdivision 13, by adding a subdivision; 216B.1641; 216B.1645, subdivisions 1, 2; 216B.1691, subdivisions 1, 2b, 9, by adding a subdivision; 216B.2401; 216B.241, subdivisions 1a, 1c, 1d, 1f, 2, 2b, 3, 5, 7, 9, by adding a subdivision; 216B.2422, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, by adding subdivisions; 216B.243, subdivisions 3, 3a; 216B.62, subdivision 3b; 216C.435, subdivisions 3a, 8; 216C.436, subdivision 4, by adding a subdivision; 216F.04; 216F.08; 256J.561, by adding a subdivision; 256J.95, subdivisions 3, 11; 256P.01, subdivision 3; 268.035, subdivisions 4, 12, 15, 20; 268.044, subdivisions 2, 3; 268.046, subdivision 1; 268.047, subdivision 3; 268.051, subdivision 2a; 268.057, subdivision 5; 268.069, subdivision 1; 268.07, subdivision 1; 268.085, subdivisions 3, 3a, 8, 13a, by adding subdivisions; 268.095,


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subdivisions 6, 6a; 268.105, subdivision 6; 268.145, subdivision 1; 268.18, subdivisions 2b, 5; 268.19, subdivision 1; 290.0132, by adding a subdivision; 326B.082, subdivisions 6, 8, 12; 326B.103, subdivision 11; 326B.106, subdivision 9, by adding a subdivision; 326B.46, by adding a subdivision; 326B.475, subdivision 4; 326B.802, subdivision 15; 326B.815, subdivision 1; 326B.821, subdivision 21; 326B.84; 327.31, by adding a subdivision; 327B.041; 327C.095, subdivision 6, by adding a subdivision; 337.10, subdivision 4; 341.30, subdivision 1; 341.32, subdivision 1; 341.321; 345.515; 345.53, by adding a subdivision; 609.52, subdivisions 1, 2, 3; Laws 2014, chapter 211, section 13, as amended; Laws 2017, chapter 94, article 1, section 2, subdivision 3; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 13; 16C; 116J; 116L; 177; 181; 216B; 216C; 325F; 327; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapters 58B; 268B; 345A; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 181.9413; 216B.241, subdivisions 1, 2c, 4; 325F.75.

 

Reported the same back with the following amendments:

 

Page 71, delete section 30

 

Renumber the sections in sequence and correct the internal references

 

Correct the title numbers accordingly

 

 

With the recommendation that when so amended the bill be re-referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

 

      The report was adopted.

 

 

Marquart from the Committee on Taxes to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 2400, A bill for an act relating to education finance; modifying provisions for prekindergarten through grade 12 including general education, education excellence, teachers, special education, health and safety, facilities, fund transfers, accounting, nutrition, libraries, early childhood, community education, lifelong learning, and state agencies; making technical changes; making forecast adjustments; requiring reports; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 5A.03, subdivision 2; 16A.152, subdivisions 1b, 2; 120A.20, subdivision 2; 120A.22, subdivisions 5, 6, 11; 120A.24, subdivision 1; 120A.35; 120A.40; 120B.11, subdivisions 2, 3; 120B.12, subdivision 2; 120B.122, subdivision 1; 120B.21; 120B.30, subdivisions 1, 1a; 120B.35, subdivision 3; 120B.36, subdivision 1; 121A.22, subdivision 1, by adding a subdivision; 121A.335, subdivisions 3, 5; 121A.41, by adding subdivisions; 121A.45, subdivisions 1, 2; 121A.46, by adding subdivisions; 121A.47, subdivisions 2, 14; 121A.53, subdivision 1; 121A.55; 122A.06, subdivisions 2, 5, 7, 8; 122A.07, subdivisions 1, 2, 4a, by adding a subdivision; 122A.09, subdivision 9; 122A.091, subdivision 1; 122A.092, subdivisions 5, 6; 122A.14, subdivision 9; 122A.17; 122A.175, subdivisions 1, 2; 122A.18, subdivisions 7c, 8, 10; 122A.181, subdivisions 3, 4, 5; 122A.182, subdivisions 1, 3, 4; 122A.183, subdivisions 2, 4; 122A.184, subdivisions 1, 3; 122A.185, subdivision 1; 122A.187, subdivision 3, by adding subdivisions; 122A.19, subdivision 4; 122A.20, subdivisions 1, 2; 122A.21; 122A.22; 122A.26, subdivision 2; 122A.40, subdivision 8; 122A.41, subdivision 5; 122A.63, subdivisions 1, 4, 5, 6, by adding a subdivision; 122A.70; 123A.64; 123B.143, subdivision 1; 123B.41, subdivisions 2, 5; 123B.42, subdivision 3; 123B.49, subdivision 4; 123B.52, subdivision 6; 123B.571; 123B.595; 123B.61; 124D.02, subdivision 1; 124D.09, subdivisions 3, 7, 9, 10; 124D.091; 124D.111; 124D.1158; 124D.151, subdivisions 2, 4, 5, 6; 124D.165, subdivisions 2, 3, 4, by adding a subdivision; 124D.2211; 124D.231; 124D.34, subdivisions 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12; 124D.4531; 124D.531, subdivision 1; 124D.55; 124D.59, subdivision 2a; 124D.65, subdivision 5; 124D.68, subdivision 2; 124D.78, subdivision 2; 124D.83, subdivision 2; 124D.861, subdivision 2; 124D.862, subdivisions 1, 4, 5, by adding a subdivision; 124D.957, subdivision 1, by adding a subdivision; 124D.98, by adding a subdivision; 124D.99, subdivision 3; 124E.03, subdivision 2; 124E.11; 124E.13, subdivision 3; 124E.20, subdivision 1; 124E.21, subdivision 1; 125A.08; 125A.091, subdivisions 3a, 7; 125A.11, subdivision 1; 125A.50, subdivision 1; 125A.76,


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subdivisions 1, 2a, 2c, by adding a subdivision; 126C.05, subdivision 1; 126C.10, subdivisions 2, 2d, 2e, 3, 13a, 24; 126C.126; 126C.17, subdivisions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 7a, 9, by adding subdivisions; 126C.40, subdivision 1; 126C.44; 127A.052; 127A.45, subdivision 13; 127A.47, subdivision 7; 127A.49, subdivision 2; 134.355, subdivisions 5, 6, 7, 8; 136D.01; 136D.49; 214.01, subdivision 3; 245C.12; 257.0725; 471.59, subdivision 1; 626.556, subdivisions 2, 3b, 10, 11; 631.40, subdivision 4; Laws 2016, chapter 189, article 25, sections 56, subdivisions 2, 3; 61; 62, subdivisions 4, 15; Laws 2017, First Special Session chapter 5, article 1, section 19, subdivisions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9; article 2, section 57, subdivisions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 21, 26, 37; article 4, section 12, subdivisions 2, as amended, 3, 4, 5; article 5, section 14, subdivisions 2, 3; article 6, section 3, subdivisions 2, 3, 4; article 8, sections 8; 10, subdivisions 3, 4, 5a, 6, 12; article 9, section 2, subdivision 2; article 10, section 6, subdivision 2; article 11, section 9, subdivision 2; Laws 2018, chapter 211, article 21, section 4; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 120A; 120B; 121A; 122A; 123B; 125A; 127A; 245C; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 120B.299; 122A.09, subdivision 1; 122A.182, subdivision 2; 122A.63, subdivisions 7, 8; 126C.17, subdivision 9a; 127A.051, subdivision 7; 127A.14; 136D.93; Laws 2017, First Special Session chapter 5, article 11, section 6; Minnesota Rules, part 8710.2100, subparts 1, 2.

 

Reported the same back with the recommendation that the bill be placed on the General Register.

 

      The report was adopted.

 

 

Carlson, L., from the Committee on Ways and Means to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 2414, A bill for an act relating to human services; adjusting appropriations for certain forecasted programs administered by the commissioner of human services.

 

Reported the same back with the following amendments:

 

Delete everything after the enacting clause and insert:

 

"ARTICLE 1

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.011, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 13b.  Homeless.  "Homeless" means a self-declared housing status as defined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and United States Code, title 42, section 11302, paragraph (a).

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 21, 2020.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.011, subdivision 19, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 19.  Provider.  "Provider" means: 

 

(1) an individual or child care center or facility, either licensed or unlicensed, providing legal child care services as defined licensed to provide child care under section 245A.03 chapter 245A when operating within the terms of the license; or

 

(2) a license exempt center required to be certified under chapter 245H;


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(3) an individual or child care center or facility holding that:  (i) holds a valid child care license issued by another state or a tribe and providing; (ii) provides child care services in the licensing state or in the area under the licensing tribe's jurisdiction; and (iii) is in compliance with federal health and safety requirements as certified by the licensing state or tribe, or as determined by receipt of child care development block grant funds in the licensing state; or

 

(4) a legal nonlicensed child care provider as defined under section 119B.011, subdivision 16, providing legal child care services.  A legally unlicensed family legal nonlicensed child care provider must be at least 18 years of age, and not a member of the MFIP assistance unit or a member of the family receiving child care assistance to be authorized under this chapter.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2019.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.011, subdivision 20, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 20.  Transition year families.  "Transition year families" means families who have received MFIP assistance, or who were eligible to receive MFIP assistance after choosing to discontinue receipt of the cash portion of MFIP assistance under section 256J.31, subdivision 12, or families who have received DWP assistance under section 256J.95 for at least three one of the last six months before losing eligibility for MFIP or DWP.  Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, parts 3400.0040, subpart 10, and 3400.0090, subpart 2, transition year child care may be used to support employment, approved education or training programs, or job search that meets the requirements of section 119B.10.  Transition year child care is not available to families who have been disqualified from MFIP or DWP due to fraud.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective March 23, 2020.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.02, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Supervision of counties and providers.  (a) The commissioner shall supervise child care programs administered by the counties through standard-setting, technical assistance to the counties, approval of county child care fund plans, and distribution of public money for services.  The commissioner shall provide training and other support services to assist counties in planning for and implementing child care assistance programs.  The commissioner shall adopt rules under chapter 14 that establish minimum administrative standards for the provision of child care services by county boards of commissioners.

 

(b) The commissioner shall:

 

(1) provide technical assistance and training to child care providers about proper billing and attendance record‑keeping procedures for reimbursement under this chapter; and

 

(2) ensure that the training and technical assistance provided to child care providers is linguistically and culturally accessible.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.02, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Child care market rate survey.  Biennially, The commissioner shall conduct the next survey of prices charged by child care providers in Minnesota in state fiscal year 2021 and every three years thereafter to determine the 75th percentile for like-care arrangements in county price clusters.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.


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Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.025, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Applications.  (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), clause (4), the county shall verify the following at all initial child care applications using the universal application:

 

(1) identity of adults;

 

(2) presence of the minor child in the home, if questionable;

 

(3) relationship of minor child to the parent, stepparent, legal guardian, eligible relative caretaker, or the spouses of any of the foregoing;

 

(4) age;

 

(5) immigration status, if related to eligibility;

 

(6) Social Security number, if given;

 

(7) counted income;

 

(8) spousal support and child support payments made to persons outside the household;

 

(9) residence; and

 

(10) inconsistent information, if related to eligibility.

 

(b) The county must mail a notice of approval or denial of assistance to the applicant within 30 calendar days after receiving the application.  The county may extend the response time by 15 calendar days if the applicant is informed of the extension.

 

(c) For an applicant who declares that the applicant is homeless and who meets the definition of homeless in section 119B.011, subdivision 13b, the county must:

 

(1) if information is needed to determine eligibility, send a request for information to the applicant within five working days after receiving the application;

 

(2) if the applicant is eligible, send a notice of approval of assistance within five working days after receiving the application;

 

(3) if the applicant is ineligible, send a notice of denial of assistance within 30 days after receiving the application.  The county may extend the response time by 15 calendar days if the applicant is informed of the extension;

 

(4) not require verifications required by paragraph (a) before issuing the notice of approval or denial; and

 

(5) follow limits set by the commissioner for how frequently expedited application processing may be used for an applicant under this paragraph.

 

(d) An applicant who declares that the applicant is homeless must submit proof of eligibility within three months of the date the application was received.  If proof of eligibility is not submitted within three months, eligibility ends.  A 15-day adverse action notice is required to end eligibility.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 21, 2020.


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Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.025, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Information to applicants; child care fraud.  At the time of initial application and at redetermination, the county must provide written notice to the applicant or participant listing the activities that constitute child care fraud and the consequences of committing child care fraud.  An applicant or participant shall acknowledge receipt of the child care fraud notice in writing.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 1, 2019.

 

Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.03, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 9.  Portability pool.  (a) The commissioner shall establish a pool of up to five percent of the annual appropriation for the basic sliding fee program to provide continuous child care assistance for eligible families who move between Minnesota counties.  At the end of each allocation period, any unspent funds in the portability pool must be used for assistance under the basic sliding fee program.  If expenditures from the portability pool exceed the amount of money available, the reallocation pool must be reduced to cover these shortages.

 

(b) To be eligible for portable basic sliding fee assistance, A family that has moved from a county in which it was receiving basic sliding fee assistance to a county with a waiting list for the basic sliding fee program must:

 

(1) meet the income and eligibility guidelines for the basic sliding fee program; and

 

(2) notify the new county of residence within 60 days of moving and submit information to the new county of residence to verify eligibility for the basic sliding fee program the family's previous county of residence of the family's move to a new county of residence.

 

(c) The receiving county must:

 

(1) accept administrative responsibility for applicants for portable basic sliding fee assistance at the end of the two months of assistance under the Unitary Residency Act;

 

(2) continue portability pool basic sliding fee assistance for the lesser of six months or until the family is able to receive assistance under the county's regular basic sliding program; and

 

(3) notify the commissioner through the quarterly reporting process of any family that meets the criteria of the portable basic sliding fee assistance pool.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective December 2, 2019.

 

Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.05, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Eligible participants.  Families eligible for child care assistance under the MFIP child care program are:

 

(1) MFIP participants who are employed or in job search and meet the requirements of section 119B.10;

 

(2) persons who are members of transition year families under section 119B.011, subdivision 20, and meet the requirements of section 119B.10;

 

(3) families who are participating in employment orientation or job search, or other employment or training activities that are included in an approved employability development plan under section 256J.95;


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(4) MFIP families who are participating in work job search, job support, employment, or training activities as required in their employment plan, or in appeals, hearings, assessments, or orientations according to chapter 256J;

 

(5) MFIP families who are participating in social services activities under chapter 256J as required in their employment plan approved according to chapter 256J;

 

(6) families who are participating in services or activities that are included in an approved family stabilization plan under section 256J.575;

 

(7) families who are participating in programs as required in tribal contracts under section 119B.02, subdivision 2, or 256.01, subdivision 2;

 

(8) families who are participating in the transition year extension under section 119B.011, subdivision 20a;

 

(9) student parents as defined under section 119B.011, subdivision 19b; and

 

(10) student parents who turn 21 years of age and who continue to meet the other requirements under section 119B.011, subdivision 19b.  A student parent continues to be eligible until the student parent is approved for basic sliding fee child care assistance or until the student parent's redetermination, whichever comes first.  At the student parent's redetermination, if the student parent was not approved for basic sliding fee child care assistance, a student parent's eligibility ends following a 15-day adverse action notice.; and

 

(11) MFIP child-only cases under section 256J.88, for up to 20 hours of child care per week for children six years of age and younger, as recommended by the treating mental health professional, when either the child's primary caregiver has a diagnosis of a mental illness and is in need of intensive treatment, or the child is in need of a consistent caregiver.

 

Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.09, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  General eligibility requirements.  (a) Child care services must be available to families who need child care to find or keep employment or to obtain the training or education necessary to find employment and who:

 

(1) have household income less than or equal to 67 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, at application and redetermination, and meet the requirements of section 119B.05; receive MFIP assistance; and are participating in employment and training services under chapter 256J; or

 

(2) have household income less than or equal to 47 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, at application and less than or equal to 67 percent of the state median income, adjusted for family size, at redetermination.

 

(b) Child care services must be made available as in-kind services.

 

(c) All applicants for child care assistance and families currently receiving child care assistance must be assisted and required to cooperate in establishment of paternity and enforcement of child support obligations for all children in the family at application and redetermination as a condition of program eligibility.  For purposes of this section, a family is considered to meet the requirement for cooperation when the family complies with the requirements of section 256.741.

 

(d) All applicants for child care assistance and families currently receiving child care assistance must pay the co‑payment fee under section 119B.12, subdivision 2, as a condition of eligibility.  The co-payment fee may include additional recoupment fees due to a child care assistance program overpayment.


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(e) If a family has one child with a child care authorization and the child reaches 13 years of age or the child has a disability and reaches 15 years of age, the family remains eligible until the redetermination.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective June 29, 2020.

 

Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.095, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Maintain steady child care authorizations.  (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, chapter 3400, the amount of child care authorized under section 119B.10 for employment, education, or an MFIP or DWP employment plan shall continue at the same number of hours or more hours until redetermination, including:

 

(1) when the other parent moves in and is employed or has an education plan under section 119B.10, subdivision 3, or has an MFIP or DWP employment plan; or

 

(2) when the participant's work hours are reduced or a participant temporarily stops working or attending an approved education program.  Temporary changes include, but are not limited to, a medical leave, seasonal employment fluctuations, or a school break between semesters.

 

(b) The county may increase the amount of child care authorized at any time if the participant verifies the need for increased hours for authorized activities.

 

(c) The county may reduce the amount of child care authorized if a parent requests a reduction or because of a change in:

 

(1) the child's school schedule;

 

(2) the custody schedule; or

 

(3) the provider's availability.

 

(d) The amount of child care authorized for a family subject to subdivision 1, paragraph (b), must change when the participant's activity schedule changes.  Paragraph (a) does not apply to a family subject to subdivision 1, paragraph (b).

 

(e) When a child reaches 13 years of age or a child with a disability reaches 15 years of age, the amount of child care authorized shall continue at the same number of hours or more hours until redetermination.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective June 29, 2020.

 

Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.095, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Assistance for persons who are homeless.  An applicant who is homeless and eligible for child care assistance is exempt from the activity participation requirements under this chapter for three months.  The applicant under this subdivision is eligible for 60 hours of child care assistance per service period for three months from the date the county receives the application.  Additional hours may be authorized as needed based on the applicant's participation in employment, education, or MFIP or DWP employment plan.  To continue receiving child care assistance after the initial three months, the applicant must verify that the applicant meets eligibility and activity requirements for child care assistance under this chapter.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 21, 2020.


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Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.13, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Subsidy restrictions.  (a) Beginning February 3, 2014, September 20, 2019, the maximum rate paid for child care assistance in any county or county price cluster under the child care fund shall be the greater of the 25th percentile of the 2011 2018 child care provider rate survey under section 119B.02, subdivision 7, or the maximum rate effective November 28, 2011 February 3, 2014.  For a child care provider located within the boundaries of a city located in two or more of the counties of Benton, Sherburne, and Stearns, the maximum rate paid for child care assistance shall be equal to the maximum rate paid in the county with the highest maximum reimbursement rates or the provider's charge, whichever is less.  The commissioner may:  (1) assign a county with no reported provider prices to a similar price cluster; and (2) consider county level access when determining final price clusters.

 

(b) A rate which includes a special needs rate paid under subdivision 3 may be in excess of the maximum rate allowed under this subdivision.

 

(c) The department shall monitor the effect of this paragraph on provider rates.  The county shall pay the provider's full charges for every child in care up to the maximum established.  The commissioner shall determine the maximum rate for each type of care on an hourly, full-day, and weekly basis, including special needs and disability care.

 

(d) If a child uses one provider, the maximum payment for one day of care must not exceed the daily rate.  The maximum payment for one week of care must not exceed the weekly rate.

 

(e) If a child uses two providers under section 119B.097, the maximum payment must not exceed:

 

(1) the daily rate for one day of care;

 

(2) the weekly rate for one week of care by the child's primary provider; and

 

(3) two daily rates during two weeks of care by a child's secondary provider.

 

(f) Child care providers receiving reimbursement under this chapter must not be paid activity fees or an additional amount above the maximum rates for care provided during nonstandard hours for families receiving assistance.

 

(g) If the provider charge is greater than the maximum provider rate allowed, the parent is responsible for payment of the difference in the rates in addition to any family co-payment fee.

 

(h) All maximum provider rates changes shall be implemented on the Monday following the effective date of the maximum provider rate.

 

(i) Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0130, subpart 7, maximum registration fees in effect on January 1, 2013, shall remain in effect.  The maximum registration fee paid for child care assistance in any county or county price cluster under the child care fund shall be the greater of the 25th percentile of the 2018 child care provider rate survey under section 119B.02, subdivision 7, or the registration fee in effect February 3, 2014.  Maximum registration fees must be set for licensed family child care and for child care centers.  For a child care provider located within the boundaries of a city located in two or more of the counties of Benton, Sherburne, and Stearns, the maximum registration fee paid for child care assistance shall be equal to the maximum registration fee paid in the county with the highest maximum registration fee or the provider's charge, whichever is less.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  Paragraph (a) is effective September 20, 2019.  Paragraph (i) is effective September 23, 2019.


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Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.16, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Fair hearing allowed for applicants and recipients.  (a) An applicant or recipient adversely affected by an action of a county agency action or the commissioner, for an action taken directly against the applicant or recipient, may request and receive a fair hearing in accordance with this subdivision and section 256.045.  An applicant or recipient does not have a right to a fair hearing if a county agency or the commissioner takes action against a provider.

 

(b) A county agency must offer an informal conference to an applicant or recipient who is entitled to a fair hearing under this section.  A county agency must advise an applicant or recipient that a request for a conference is optional and does not delay or replace the right to a fair hearing.

 

(c) If a provider's authorization is suspended, denied, or revoked, a county agency or the commissioner must mail notice to each child care assistance program recipient receiving care from the provider.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 26, 2021.

 

Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.16, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 1a.  Fair hearing allowed for providers.  (a) This subdivision applies to providers caring for children receiving child care assistance.

 

(b) A provider to whom a county agency has assigned responsibility for an overpayment may request a fair hearing in accordance with section 256.045 for the limited purpose of challenging the assignment of responsibility for the overpayment and the amount of the overpayment.  The scope of the fair hearing does not include the issues of whether the provider wrongfully obtained public assistance in violation of section 256.98 or was properly disqualified under section 256.98, subdivision 8, paragraph (c), unless the fair hearing has been combined with an administrative disqualification hearing brought against the provider under section 256.046.

 

(b) A provider may request a fair hearing according to sections 256.045 and 256.046 only if a county agency or the commissioner:

 

(1) denies or revokes a provider's authorization, unless the action entitles the provider to an administrative review under section 119B.161;

 

(2) assigns responsibility for an overpayment to a provider under section 119B.11, subdivision 2a;

 

(3) establishes an overpayment for failure to comply with section 119B.125, subdivision 6;

 

(4) seeks monetary recovery or recoupment under section 245E.02, subdivision 4, paragraph (c), clause (2);

 

(5) initiates an administrative fraud disqualification hearing; or

 

(6) issues a payment and the provider disagrees with the amount of the payment.

 

(c) A provider may request a fair hearing by submitting a written request to the Department of Human Services, Appeals Division.  A provider's request must be received by the Appeals Division no later than 30 days after the date a county or the commissioner mails the notice.


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(d) The provider's appeal request must contain the following:

 

(1) each disputed item, the reason for the dispute, and, if applicable, an estimate of the dollar amount involved for each disputed item;

 

(2) the computation the provider believes to be correct, if applicable;

 

(3) the statute or rule relied on for each disputed item; and

 

(4) the name, address, and telephone number of the person at the provider's place of business with whom contact may be made regarding the appeal.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 26, 2021.

 

Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.16, subdivision 1b, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 1b.  Joint fair hearings.  When a provider requests a fair hearing under subdivision 1a, the family in whose case the overpayment was created must be made a party to the fair hearing.  All other issues raised by the family must be resolved in the same proceeding.  When a family requests a fair hearing and claims that the county should have assigned responsibility for an overpayment to a provider, the provider must be made a party to the fair hearing.  The human services judge assigned to a fair hearing may join a family or a provider as a party to the fair hearing whenever joinder of that party is necessary to fully and fairly resolve overpayment issues raised in the appeal.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 26, 2021.

 

Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.16, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 1c.  Notice to providers.  (a) Before taking an action appealable under subdivision 1a, paragraph (b), a county agency or the commissioner must mail written notice to the provider against whom the action is being taken.  Unless otherwise specified under chapter 119B or 245E or Minnesota Rules, chapter 3400, a county agency or the commissioner must mail the written notice at least 15 calendar days before the adverse action's effective date.

 

(b) The notice shall state (1) the factual basis for the department's determination, (2) the action the department intends to take, (3) the dollar amount of the monetary recovery or recoupment, if known, and (4) the provider's right to appeal the department's proposed action.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 26, 2021.

 

Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.16, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Fair hearing stayed.  (a) If a county agency or the commissioner denies or revokes a provider's authorization based on a licensing action under section 245A.07, and the provider appeals, the provider's fair hearing must be stayed until the commissioner issues an order as required under section 245A.08, subdivision 5.

 

(b) If the commissioner denies or revokes a provider's authorization based on decertification under section 245H.07, and the provider appeals, the provider's fair hearing must be stayed until the commissioner issues a final order as required under section 245H.07.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 26, 2021.


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Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.16, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 4.  Final department action.  Unless the commissioner receives a timely and proper request for an appeal, a county agency's or the commissioner's action shall be considered a final department action.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 26, 2021.

 

Sec. 20.  [119B.161] ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW.

 

Subdivision 1.  Applicability.  A provider has the right to an administrative review under this section if (1) a payment was suspended under chapter 245E, or (2) the provider's authorization was denied or revoked under section 119B.13, subdivision 6, paragraph (d), clause (1) or (2).

 

Subd. 2.  Notice.  (a) A county agency or the commissioner must mail written notice to a provider within five days of suspending payment or denying or revoking the provider's authorization under subdivision 1.

 

(b) The notice must:

 

(1) state the provision under which a county agency or the commissioner is denying, revoking, or suspending the provider's authorization or suspending payment to the provider;

 

(2) set forth the general allegations leading to the denial, revocation, or suspension of the provider's authorization.  The notice need not disclose any specific information concerning an ongoing investigation;

 

(3) state that the denial, revocation, or suspension of the provider's authorization is for a temporary period and explain the circumstances under which the action expires; and

 

(4) inform the provider of the right to submit written evidence and argument for consideration by the commissioner.

 

(c) Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0185, if a county agency or the commissioner suspends payment to a provider under chapter 245E or denies or revokes a provider's authorization under section 119B.13, subdivision 6, paragraph (d), clause (1) or (2), a county agency or the commissioner must send notice of service authorization closure to each affected family.  The notice sent to an affected family is effective on the date the notice is created.

 

Subd. 3.  Duration.  If a provider's payment is suspended under chapter 245E or a provider's authorization is denied or revoked under section 119B.13, subdivision 6, paragraph (d), clause (1) or (2), the provider's denial, revocation, temporary suspension, or payment suspension remains in effect until:

 

(1) the commissioner or a law enforcement authority determines that there is insufficient evidence warranting the action and a county agency or the commissioner does not pursue an additional administrative remedy under chapter 245E or section 256.98; or

 

(2) all criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings related to the provider's alleged misconduct conclude and any appeal rights are exhausted.

 

Subd. 4.  Good cause exception.  The commissioner may find that good cause exists not to deny, revoke, or suspend a provider's authorization, or not to continue a denial, revocation, or suspension of a provider's authorization if any of the following are applicable:


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(1) a law enforcement authority specifically requested that a provider's authorization not be denied, revoked, or suspended because that action may compromise an ongoing investigation;

 

(2) the commissioner determines that the denial, revocation, or suspension should be removed based on the provider's written submission; or

 

(3) the commissioner determines that the denial, revocation, or suspension is not in the best interests of the program.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 26, 2021.

 

Sec. 21.  [119B.195] RETAINING EARLY EDUCATORS THROUGH ATTAINING INCENTIVES NOW (REETAIN) GRANT PROGRAM.

 

Subdivision 1.  Establishment; purpose.  The retaining early educators through attaining incentives now (REETAIN) grant program is established to provide competitive grants to incentivize well-trained child care professionals to stay in the workforce to create more consistent care for children over time.

 

Subd. 2.  Administration.  (a) The commissioner must administer the REETAIN grant program, and must provide a grant to a nonprofit organization with demonstrated ability to manage benefit programs for child care professionals.

 

(b) Up to ten percent of grant funds may be used for administration of the grant program.

 

Subd. 3.  Application.  Applicants must apply for the REETAIN grant program in the manner and according to the timelines established by the commissioner.

 

Subd. 4.  Eligibility.  (a) Applicants must:

 

(1) be licensed to provide child care or work for a licensed child care program;

 

(2) work directly with children at least 30 hours per week;

 

(3) be in their current position for at least 12 months;

 

(4) be willing to stay in their current position for at least 12 months after receiving a grant under this section;

 

(5) have a career lattice step of five or higher;

 

(6) have a current membership with the Minnesota quality improvement and registry tool; and

 

(7) meet any other requirements established by the commissioner.

 

(b) Grant recipients must sign a contract agreeing to remain in their current position for 12 months.

 

Subd. 5.  Grant awards.  (a) To the extent that funding is available, a child care professional's annual amount for the REETAIN grant must not exceed an amount determined by the commissioner.  A child care professional must apply each year to compete for an award, and may receive up to one award per year.

 

(b) Grant funds may be used for program supplies, training, or personal expenses.


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Subd. 6.  Report.  Annually by January 1, the commissioner must report to the legislative committees with jurisdiction over early childhood on the number of grants awarded and outcomes of the grant program.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICATION.  This section is effective July 1, 2019.  The first report under subdivision 6 is due by January 1, 2021.

 

Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245C.32, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Use.  (a) The commissioner may also use these systems and records to obtain and provide criminal history data from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, criminal history data held by the commissioner, and data about substantiated maltreatment under section 626.556 or 626.557, for other purposes, provided that:

 

(1) the background study is specifically authorized in statute; or

 

(2) the request is made with the informed consent of the subject of the study as provided in section 13.05, subdivision 4.

 

(b) An individual making a request under paragraph (a), clause (2), must agree in writing not to disclose the data to any other individual without the consent of the subject of the data.

 

(c) The commissioner may recover the cost of obtaining and providing background study data by charging the individual or entity requesting the study a fee of no more than $20 per study.  The fees collected under this paragraph are appropriated to the commissioner for the purpose of conducting background studies.

 

(d) The commissioner shall recover the cost of obtaining background study data required under section 524.5‑118 through a fee of $50 per study for an individual who has not lived outside Minnesota for the past ten years, and a fee of $100 for an individual who has resided outside of Minnesota for any period during the ten years preceding the background study.  The commissioner shall recover, from the individual, any additional fees charged by other states' licensing agencies that are associated with these data requests.  Fees under subdivision 3 also apply when criminal history data from the National Criminal Records Repository is required.

 

(e) According to paragraph (a), the commissioner shall use the systems and records described in this chapter to provide summary data about maltreatment under sections 626.556 or 626.557 to government entities seeking this data for the purposes of child protection.

 

Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256.01, subdivision 14b, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 14b.  American Indian child welfare projects.  (a) The commissioner of human services may authorize projects to test initiate tribal delivery of child welfare services to American Indian children and their parents and custodians living on the reservation.  The commissioner has authority to solicit and determine which tribes may participate in a project.  Grants may be issued to Minnesota Indian tribes to support the projects.  The commissioner may waive existing state rules as needed to accomplish the projects.  The commissioner may authorize projects to use alternative methods of (1) screening, investigating, and assessing reports of child maltreatment, and (2) administrative reconsideration, administrative appeal, and judicial appeal of maltreatment determinations, provided the alternative methods used by the projects comply with the provisions of sections 256.045 and 626.556 dealing that deal with the rights of individuals who are the subjects of reports or investigations, including notice and appeal rights and data practices requirements.  The commissioner shall only authorize alternative methods that comply with the public policy under section 626.556, subdivision 1.  The commissioner may seek any federal approvals necessary to carry out the projects as well as seek and use any funds available to the commissioner, including use of federal funds, foundation funds, existing grant funds, and other funds.  The commissioner is authorized to advance state funds as necessary to operate the projects.  Federal reimbursement applicable to the projects is appropriated to the commissioner for the purposes of the projects.  The projects must be required to address responsibility for safety, permanency, and well-being of children.


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(b) For the purposes of this section, "American Indian child" means a person under 21 years old and who is a tribal member or eligible for membership in one of the tribes chosen for a project under this subdivision and who is residing on the reservation of that tribe.

 

(c) In order to qualify for an American Indian child welfare project, a tribe must:

 

(1) be one of the existing tribes with reservation land in Minnesota;

 

(2) have a tribal court with jurisdiction over child custody proceedings;

 

(3) have a substantial number of children for whom determinations of maltreatment have occurred;

 

(4) (i) have capacity to respond to reports of abuse and neglect under section 626.556; or (ii) have codified the tribe's screening, investigation, and assessment of reports of child maltreatment procedures, if authorized to use an alternative method by the commissioner under paragraph (a);

 

(5) provide a wide range of services to families in need of child welfare services; and

 

(6) have a tribal-state title IV-E agreement in effect.

 

(d) Grants awarded under this section may be used for the nonfederal costs of providing child welfare services to American Indian children on the tribe's reservation, including costs associated with:

 

(1) assessment and prevention of child abuse and neglect;

 

(2) family preservation;

 

(3) facilitative, supportive, and reunification services;

 

(4) out-of-home placement for children removed from the home for child protective purposes; and

 

(5) other activities and services approved by the commissioner that further the goals of providing safety, permanency, and well-being of American Indian children.

 

(e) When a tribe has initiated a project and has been approved by the commissioner to assume child welfare responsibilities for American Indian children of that tribe under this section, the affected county social service agency is relieved of responsibility for responding to reports of abuse and neglect under section 626.556 for those children during the time within which the tribal project is in effect and funded.  The commissioner shall work with tribes and affected counties to develop procedures for data collection, evaluation, and clarification of ongoing role and financial responsibilities of the county and tribe for child welfare services prior to initiation of the project.  Children who have not been identified by the tribe as participating in the project shall remain the responsibility of the county.  Nothing in this section shall alter responsibilities of the county for law enforcement or court services.

 

(f) Participating tribes may conduct children's mental health screenings under section 245.4874, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (12), for children who are eligible for the initiative and living on the reservation and who meet one of the following criteria:

 

(1) the child must be receiving child protective services;

 

(2) the child must be in foster care; or


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(3) the child's parents must have had parental rights suspended or terminated.

 

Tribes may access reimbursement from available state funds for conducting the screenings.  Nothing in this section shall alter responsibilities of the county for providing services under section 245.487.

 

(g) Participating tribes may establish a local child mortality review panel.  In establishing a local child mortality review panel, the tribe agrees to conduct local child mortality reviews for child deaths or near-fatalities occurring on the reservation under subdivision 12.  Tribes with established child mortality review panels shall have access to nonpublic data and shall protect nonpublic data under subdivision 12, paragraphs (c) to (e).  The tribe shall provide written notice to the commissioner and affected counties when a local child mortality review panel has been established and shall provide data upon request of the commissioner for purposes of sharing nonpublic data with members of the state child mortality review panel in connection to an individual case.

 

(h) The commissioner shall collect information on outcomes relating to child safety, permanency, and well-being of American Indian children who are served in the projects.  Participating tribes must provide information to the state in a format and completeness deemed acceptable by the state to meet state and federal reporting requirements.

 

(i) In consultation with the White Earth Band, the commissioner shall develop and submit to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over health and human services a plan to transfer legal responsibility for providing child protective services to White Earth Band member children residing in Hennepin County to the White Earth Band.  The plan shall include a financing proposal, definitions of key terms, statutory amendments required, and other provisions required to implement the plan.  The commissioner shall submit the plan by January 15, 2012.

 

Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256J.24, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  MFIP transitional standard.  (a) The MFIP transitional standard is based on the number of persons in the assistance unit eligible for both food and cash assistance.  The amount of the transitional standard is published annually by the Department of Human Services.

 

(b) The amount of the MFIP cash assistance portion of the transitional standard is increased $100 per month per household.  This increase shall be reflected in the MFIP cash assistance portion of the transitional standard published annually by the commissioner.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective February 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256M.41, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Payments based on performance.  (a) The commissioner shall make payments under this section to each county board on a calendar year basis in an amount determined under paragraph (b) on or before July 10 of each year.

 

(b) Calendar year allocations under subdivision 1 shall be paid to counties in the following manner:

 

(1) 80 percent of the allocation as determined in subdivision 1 must be paid to counties on or before July 10 of each year;

 

(2) ten percent of the allocation shall be withheld until the commissioner determines if the county has met the performance outcome threshold of 90 percent based on face-to-face contact with alleged child victims.  In order to receive the performance allocation, the county child protection workers must have a timely face-to-face contact with at least 90 percent of all alleged child victims of screened-in maltreatment reports.  The standard requires that each


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initial face-to-face contact occur consistent with timelines defined in section 626.556, subdivision 10, paragraph (i).  The commissioner shall make threshold determinations in January of each year and payments to counties meeting the performance outcome threshold shall occur in February of each year.  Any withheld funds from this appropriation for counties that do not meet this requirement shall be reallocated by the commissioner to those counties meeting the requirement; and

 

(3) ten percent of the allocation shall be withheld until the commissioner determines that the county has met the performance outcome threshold of 90 percent based on face-to-face visits by the case manager.  In order to receive the performance allocation, the total number of visits made by caseworkers on a monthly basis to children in foster care and children receiving child protection services while residing in their home must be at least 90 percent of the total number of such visits that would occur if every child were visited once per month.  The commissioner shall make such determinations in January of each year and payments to counties meeting the performance outcome threshold shall occur in February of each year.  Any withheld funds from this appropriation for counties that do not meet this requirement shall be reallocated by the commissioner to those counties meeting the requirement.  For 2015, the commissioner shall only apply the standard for monthly foster care visits.

 

(c) The commissioner shall work with stakeholders and the Human Services Performance Council under section 402A.16 to develop recommendations for specific outcome measures that counties should meet in order to receive funds withheld under paragraph (b), and include in those recommendations a determination as to whether the performance measures under paragraph (b) should be modified or phased out.  The commissioner shall report the recommendations to the legislative committees having jurisdiction over child protection issues by January 1, 2018.

 

Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 256M.41, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 4.  County performance on child protection measures.  The commissioner shall set child protection measures and standards.  The commissioner shall require an underperforming county to demonstrate that the county designated sufficient funds and implemented a reasonable strategy to improve child protection performance, including the provision of a performance improvement plan and additional remedies identified by the commissioner.  The commissioner may redirect up to 20 percent of a county's funds under this section toward the performance improvement plan.  Sanctions under section 256M.20, subdivision 3, related to noncompliance with federal performance standards also apply.

 

Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.007, subdivision 18, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 18.  Foster care.  (a) "Foster care" means 24 hour 24-hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardian and a child for whom a responsible social services agency has placement and care responsibility.  "Foster care" includes, but is not limited to, placement and:

 

(1) who is placed away from the child's parent or guardian in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities not excluded in this subdivision, child care institutions, and preadoptive homes.; or

 

(2) who is colocated with the child's parent or guardian in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program as defined in subdivision 22a; or

 

(3) who is returned to the care of the child's parent or guardian from whom the child was removed under a trial home visit pursuant to section 260C.201, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (3).

 

(b) A child is in foster care under this definition regardless of whether the facility is licensed and payments are made for the cost of care.  Nothing in this definition creates any authority to place a child in a home or facility that is required to be licensed which is not licensed.  "Foster care" does not include placement in any of the following


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facilities:  hospitals, inpatient chemical dependency treatment facilities where the child is the recipient of the treatment, facilities that are primarily for delinquent children, any corrections facility or program within a particular correction's facility not meeting requirements for title IV-E facilities as determined by the commissioner, facilities to which a child is committed under the provision of chapter 253B, forestry camps, or jails.  Foster care is intended to provide for a child's safety or to access treatment.  Foster care must not be used as a punishment or consequence for a child's behavior.

 

Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.007, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 22a.  Licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program.  "Licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program" means a residential treatment facility that provides the parent or guardian with parenting skills training, parent education, or individual and family counseling, under an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma according to recognized principles of a trauma-informed approach and trauma‑specific interventions to address the consequences of trauma and facilitate healing.

 

Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.178, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Hearing and release requirements.  (a) If a child was taken into custody under section 260C.175, subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2), item (ii), the court shall hold a hearing within 72 hours of the time the child was taken into custody, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, to determine whether the child should continue in custody.

 

(b) Unless there is reason to believe that the child would endanger self or others or not return for a court hearing, or that the child's health or welfare would be immediately endangered, the child shall be released to the custody of a parent, guardian, custodian, or other suitable person, subject to reasonable conditions of release including, but not limited to, a requirement that the child undergo a chemical use assessment as provided in section 260C.157, subdivision 1.

 

(c) If the court determines there is reason to believe that the child would endanger self or others or not return for a court hearing, or that the child's health or welfare would be immediately endangered if returned to the care of the parent or guardian who has custody and from whom the child was removed, the court shall order the child into foster care as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 18, under the legal responsibility of the responsible social services agency or responsible probation or corrections agency for the purposes of protective care as that term is used in the juvenile court rules or into the home of a noncustodial parent and order the noncustodial parent to comply with any conditions the court determines to be appropriate to the safety and care of the child, including cooperating with paternity establishment proceedings in the case of a man who has not been adjudicated the child's father.  The court shall not give the responsible social services legal custody and order a trial home visit at any time prior to adjudication and disposition under section 260C.201, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (3), but may order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian who has custody and from whom the child was removed and order the parent or guardian to comply with any conditions the court determines to be appropriate to meet the safety, health, and welfare of the child.

 

(d) In determining whether the child's health or welfare would be immediately endangered, the court shall consider whether the child would reside with a perpetrator of domestic child abuse.

 

(e) The court, before determining whether a child should be placed in or continue in foster care under the protective care of the responsible agency, shall also make a determination, consistent with section 260.012 as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent placement or whether reasonable efforts to prevent placement are not required.  In the case of an Indian child, the court shall determine whether active efforts, according to section


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260.762 and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1912(d), were made to prevent placement.  The court shall enter a finding that the responsible social services agency has made reasonable efforts to prevent placement when the agency establishes either:

 

(1) that it has actually provided services or made efforts in an attempt to prevent the child's removal but that such services or efforts have not proven sufficient to permit the child to safely remain in the home; or

 

(2) that there are no services or other efforts that could be made at the time of the hearing that could safely permit the child to remain home or to return home.  When reasonable efforts to prevent placement are required and there are services or other efforts that could be ordered which would permit the child to safely return home, the court shall order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian and the services or efforts put in place to ensure the child's safety.  When the court makes a prima facie determination that one of the circumstances under paragraph (g) exists, the court shall determine that reasonable efforts to prevent placement and to return the child to the care of the parent or guardian are not required.

 

If the court finds the social services agency's preventive or reunification efforts have not been reasonable but further preventive or reunification efforts could not permit the child to safely remain at home, the court may nevertheless authorize or continue the removal of the child.

 

(f) The court may not order or continue the foster care placement of the child unless the court makes explicit, individualized findings that continued custody of the child by the parent or guardian would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that placement is in the best interest of the child.

 

(g) At the emergency removal hearing, or at any time during the course of the proceeding, and upon notice and request of the county attorney, the court shall determine whether a petition has been filed stating a prima facie case that:

 

(1) the parent has subjected a child to egregious harm as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14;

 

(2) the parental rights of the parent to another child have been involuntarily terminated;

 

(3) the child is an abandoned infant under section 260C.301, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (2);

 

(4) the parents' custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred to a relative under Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (e), clause (1); section 260C.515, subdivision 4; or a similar law of another jurisdiction;

 

(5) the parent has committed sexual abuse as defined in section 626.556, subdivision 2, against the child or another child of the parent;

 

(6) the parent has committed an offense that requires registration as a predatory offender under section 243.166, subdivision 1b, paragraph (a) or (b); or

 

(7) the provision of services or further services for the purpose of reunification is futile and therefore unreasonable.

 

(h) When a petition to terminate parental rights is required under section 260C.301, subdivision 4, or 260C.503, subdivision 2, but the county attorney has determined not to proceed with a termination of parental rights petition, and has instead filed a petition to transfer permanent legal and physical custody to a relative under section 260C.507, the court shall schedule a permanency hearing within 30 days of the filing of the petition.


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(i) If the county attorney has filed a petition under section 260C.307, the court shall schedule a trial under section 260C.163 within 90 days of the filing of the petition except when the county attorney determines that the criminal case shall proceed to trial first under section 260C.503, subdivision 2, paragraph (c).

 

(j) If the court determines the child should be ordered into foster care and the child's parent refuses to give information to the responsible social services agency regarding the child's father or relatives of the child, the court may order the parent to disclose the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other identifying information to the responsible social services agency for the purpose of complying with sections 260C.151, 260C.212, 260C.215, and 260C.221.

 

(k) If a child ordered into foster care has siblings, whether full, half, or step, who are also ordered into foster care, the court shall inquire of the responsible social services agency of the efforts to place the children together as required by section 260C.212, subdivision 2, paragraph (d), if placement together is in each child's best interests, unless a child is in placement for treatment or a child is placed with a previously noncustodial parent who is not a parent to all siblings.  If the children are not placed together at the time of the hearing, the court shall inquire at each subsequent hearing of the agency's reasonable efforts to place the siblings together, as required under section 260.012.  If any sibling is not placed with another sibling or siblings, the agency must develop a plan to facilitate visitation or ongoing contact among the siblings as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, unless it is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings to do so.

 

(l) When the court has ordered the child into foster care or into the home of a noncustodial parent, the court may order a chemical dependency evaluation, mental health evaluation, medical examination, and parenting assessment for the parent as necessary to support the development of a plan for reunification required under subdivision 7 and section 260C.212, subdivision 1, or the child protective services plan under section 626.556, subdivision 10, and Minnesota Rules, part 9560.0228.

 

Sec. 30.  [260C.190] FAMILY-FOCUSED RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT.

 

Subdivision 1.  Placement.  (a) An agency with legal responsibility for a child under section 260C.178, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), or legal custody of a child under section 260C.201, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (3), may colocate a child with a parent who is receiving services in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program for up to 12 months.

 

(b) During the child's placement under paragraph (a), the agency:  (1) may visit the child as the agency deems necessary and appropriate; (2) shall continue to have access to information under section 260C.208; and (3) shall continue to provide appropriate services to both the parent and the child.

 

(c) The agency may terminate the child's placement under paragraph (a) to protect the child's health, safety, or welfare and may remove the child to foster care without a prior court order or authorization.

 

Subd. 2.  Case plans.  (a) Before a child may be colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program, a recommendation that the child's placement with a parent is in the child's best interests must be documented in the child's case plan.  Each child must have a written case plan developed with the parent and the treatment program staff that describes the safety plan for the child and the treatment program's responsibilities if the parent leaves or is discharged without completing the program.  The treatment program must be provided with a copy of the case plan that includes the recommendations and safety plan at the time the child is colocated with the parent.

 

(b) An out-of-home placement plan under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, must be completed no later than 30 days from when a child is colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program.  The written plan developed with parent and treatment program staff in paragraph (a) may be updated and must be incorporated into the out-of-home placement plan.  The treatment program must be provided with a copy of the child's out-of-home placement plan.


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Subd. 3.  Required reviews and permanency proceedings.  (a) For a child colocated with a parent under subdivision 1, court reviews must occur according to section 260C.202.

 

(b) If a child has been in foster care for six months, a court review under section 260C.202 may be conducted in lieu of a permanency progress review hearing under section 260C.204 when the child is colocated with a parent consistent with section 260C.503, subdivision 3, paragraph (c), in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program.

 

(c) If the child is colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program 12 months after the child was placed in foster care, the agency must file a report with the court regarding the parent's progress in the treatment program and the agency's reasonable efforts to finalize the child's safe and permanent return to the care and custody of the parent consistent with section 260C.503, subdivision 3, paragraph (c), in lieu of filing a petition required under section 260C.505.

 

(d) The court shall make findings regarding the reasonable efforts of the agency to finalize the child's return home as the permanency disposition order in the child's best interests.  The court may continue the child's foster care placement colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program for up to 12 months.  When a child has been in foster care placement for 12 months, but the duration of the colocation with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program is less than 12 months, the court may continue the colocation with the total time spent in foster care not exceeding 15 out of the most recent 22 months.  If the court finds that the agency fails to make reasonable efforts to finalize the child's return home as the permanency disposition order in the child's best interests, the court may order additional efforts to support the child remaining in the care of the parent.

 

(e) If a parent leaves or is discharged from a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program without completing the program, the child's placement under this section is terminated and the agency may remove the child to foster care without a prior court order or authorization.  Within three days of any termination of a child's placement, the agency shall notify the court and each party.

 

(f) If a parent leaves or is discharged from a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program without completing the program and the child has been in foster care for less than six months, the court must hold a review hearing within ten days of receiving notice of a termination of a child's placement and must order an alternative disposition under section 260C.201.

 

(g) If a parent leaves or is discharged from a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program without completing the program and the child is colocated with a parent and the child has been in foster care for more than six months but less than 12 months, the court must conduct a permanency progress review hearing under section 260C.204 no later than 30 days after the day the parent leaves or is discharged.

 

(h) If a parent leaves or is discharged from a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program without completing the program and the child is colocated with a parent and the child has been in foster care for more than 12 months, the court shall begin permanency proceedings under sections 260C.503 to 260C.521.

 

Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.201, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Dispositions.  (a) If the court finds that the child is in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, it shall enter an order making any of the following dispositions of the case:

 

(1) place the child under the protective supervision of the responsible social services agency or child-placing agency in the home of a parent of the child under conditions prescribed by the court directed to the correction of the child's need for protection or services:


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(i) the court may order the child into the home of a parent who does not otherwise have legal custody of the child, however, an order under this section does not confer legal custody on that parent;

 

(ii) if the court orders the child into the home of a father who is not adjudicated, the father must cooperate with paternity establishment proceedings regarding the child in the appropriate jurisdiction as one of the conditions prescribed by the court for the child to continue in the father's home; and

 

(iii) the court may order the child into the home of a noncustodial parent with conditions and may also order both the noncustodial and the custodial parent to comply with the requirements of a case plan under subdivision 2; or

 

(2) transfer legal custody to one of the following:

 

(i) a child-placing agency; or

 

(ii) the responsible social services agency.  In making a foster care placement for a child whose custody has been transferred under this subdivision, the agency shall make an individualized determination of how the placement is in the child's best interests using the consideration for relatives and, the best interest factors in section 260C.212, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), and may include a child colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program under section 260C.190; or

 

(3) order a trial home visit without modifying the transfer of legal custody to the responsible social services agency under clause (2).  Trial home visit means the child is returned to the care of the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed for a period not to exceed six months.  During the period of the trial home visit, the responsible social services agency:

 

(i) shall continue to have legal custody of the child, which means the agency may see the child in the parent's home, at school, in a child care facility, or other setting as the agency deems necessary and appropriate;

 

(ii) shall continue to have the ability to access information under section 260C.208;

 

(iii) shall continue to provide appropriate services to both the parent and the child during the period of the trial home visit;

 

(iv) without previous court order or authorization, may terminate the trial home visit in order to protect the child's health, safety, or welfare and may remove the child to foster care;

 

(v) shall advise the court and parties within three days of the termination of the trial home visit when a visit is terminated by the responsible social services agency without a court order; and

 

(vi) shall prepare a report for the court when the trial home visit is terminated whether by the agency or court order which describes the child's circumstances during the trial home visit and recommends appropriate orders, if any, for the court to enter to provide for the child's safety and stability.  In the event a trial home visit is terminated by the agency by removing the child to foster care without prior court order or authorization, the court shall conduct a hearing within ten days of receiving notice of the termination of the trial home visit by the agency and shall order disposition under this subdivision or conduct a permanency hearing under subdivision 11 or 11a commence permanency proceedings under sections 260C.503 to 260C.515.  The time period for the hearing may be extended by the court for good cause shown and if it is in the best interests of the child as long as the total time the child spends in foster care without a permanency hearing does not exceed 12 months;

 

(4) if the child has been adjudicated as a child in need of protection or services because the child is in need of special services or care to treat or ameliorate a physical or mental disability or emotional disturbance as defined in section 245.4871, subdivision 15, the court may order the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to provide it.  The


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court may order the child's health plan company to provide mental health services to the child.  Section 62Q.535 applies to an order for mental health services directed to the child's health plan company.  If the health plan, parent, guardian, or custodian fails or is unable to provide this treatment or care, the court may order it provided.  Absent specific written findings by the court that the child's disability is the result of abuse or neglect by the child's parent or guardian, the court shall not transfer legal custody of the child for the purpose of obtaining special treatment or care solely because the parent is unable to provide the treatment or care.  If the court's order for mental health treatment is based on a diagnosis made by a treatment professional, the court may order that the diagnosing professional not provide the treatment to the child if it finds that such an order is in the child's best interests; or

 

(5) if the court believes that the child has sufficient maturity and judgment and that it is in the best interests of the child, the court may order a child 16 years old or older to be allowed to live independently, either alone or with others as approved by the court under supervision the court considers appropriate, if the county board, after consultation with the court, has specifically authorized this dispositional alternative for a child.

 

(b) If the child was adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child is a runaway or habitual truant, the court may order any of the following dispositions in addition to or as alternatives to the dispositions authorized under paragraph (a):

 

(1) counsel the child or the child's parents, guardian, or custodian;

 

(2) place the child under the supervision of a probation officer or other suitable person in the child's own home under conditions prescribed by the court, including reasonable rules for the child's conduct and the conduct of the parents, guardian, or custodian, designed for the physical, mental, and moral well-being and behavior of the child;

 

(3) subject to the court's supervision, transfer legal custody of the child to one of the following:

 

(i) a reputable person of good moral character.  No person may receive custody of two or more unrelated children unless licensed to operate a residential program under sections 245A.01 to 245A.16; or

 

(ii) a county probation officer for placement in a group foster home established under the direction of the juvenile court and licensed pursuant to section 241.021;

 

(4) require the child to pay a fine of up to $100.  The court shall order payment of the fine in a manner that will not impose undue financial hardship upon the child;

 

(5) require the child to participate in a community service project;

 

(6) order the child to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and, if warranted by the evaluation, order participation by the child in a drug awareness program or an inpatient or outpatient chemical dependency treatment program;

 

(7) if the court believes that it is in the best interests of the child or of public safety that the child's driver's license or instruction permit be canceled, the court may order the commissioner of public safety to cancel the child's license or permit for any period up to the child's 18th birthday.  If the child does not have a driver's license or permit, the court may order a denial of driving privileges for any period up to the child's 18th birthday.  The court shall forward an order issued under this clause to the commissioner, who shall cancel the license or permit or deny driving privileges without a hearing for the period specified by the court.  At any time before the expiration of the period of cancellation or denial, the court may, for good cause, order the commissioner of public safety to allow the child to apply for a license or permit, and the commissioner shall so authorize;


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(8) order that the child's parent or legal guardian deliver the child to school at the beginning of each school day for a period of time specified by the court; or

 

(9) require the child to perform any other activities or participate in any other treatment programs deemed appropriate by the court.

 

To the extent practicable, the court shall enter a disposition order the same day it makes a finding that a child is in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, but in no event more than 15 days after the finding unless the court finds that the best interests of the child will be served by granting a delay.  If the child was under eight years of age at the time the petition was filed, the disposition order must be entered within ten days of the finding and the court may not grant a delay unless good cause is shown and the court finds the best interests of the child will be served by the delay.

 

(c) If a child who is 14 years of age or older is adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child is a habitual truant and truancy procedures involving the child were previously dealt with by a school attendance review board or county attorney mediation program under section 260A.06 or 260A.07, the court shall order a cancellation or denial of driving privileges under paragraph (b), clause (7), for any period up to the child's 18th birthday.

 

(d) In the case of a child adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child has committed domestic abuse and been ordered excluded from the child's parent's home, the court shall dismiss jurisdiction if the court, at any time, finds the parent is able or willing to provide an alternative safe living arrangement for the child, as defined in Laws 1997, chapter 239, article 10, section 2.

 

(e) When a parent has complied with a case plan ordered under subdivision 6 and the child is in the care of the parent, the court may order the responsible social services agency to monitor the parent's continued ability to maintain the child safely in the home under such terms and conditions as the court determines appropriate under the circumstances.

 

Sec. 32.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.201, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Written findings.  (a) Any order for a disposition authorized under this section shall contain written findings of fact to support the disposition and case plan ordered and shall also set forth in writing the following information:

 

(1) why the best interests and safety of the child are served by the disposition and case plan ordered;

 

(2) what alternative dispositions or services under the case plan were considered by the court and why such dispositions or services were not appropriate in the instant case;

 

(3) when legal custody of the child is transferred, the appropriateness of the particular placement made or to be made by the placing agency using the factors in section 260C.212, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), or the appropriateness of a child colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program under section 260C.190;

 

(4) whether reasonable efforts to finalize the permanent plan for the child consistent with section 260.012 were made including reasonable efforts:

 

(i) to prevent the child's placement and to reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed at the earliest time consistent with the child's safety.  The court's findings must include a brief description of what preventive and reunification efforts were made and why further efforts could not have prevented or eliminated the necessity of removal or that reasonable efforts were not required under section 260.012 or 260C.178, subdivision 1;


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(ii) to identify and locate any noncustodial or nonresident parent of the child and to assess such parent's ability to provide day-to-day care of the child, and, where appropriate, provide services necessary to enable the noncustodial or nonresident parent to safely provide day-to-day care of the child as required under section 260C.219, unless such services are not required under section 260.012 or 260C.178, subdivision 1;

 

(iii) to make the diligent search for relatives and provide the notices required under section 260C.221; a finding made pursuant to a hearing under section 260C.202 that the agency has made diligent efforts to conduct a relative search and has appropriately engaged relatives who responded to the notice under section 260C.221 and other relatives, who came to the attention of the agency after notice under section 260C.221 was sent, in placement and case planning decisions fulfills the requirement of this item;

 

(iv) to identify and make a foster care placement in the home of an unlicensed relative, according to the requirements of section 245A.035, a licensed relative, or other licensed foster care provider who will commit to being the permanent legal parent or custodian for the child in the event reunification cannot occur, but who will actively support the reunification plan for the child; and

 

(v) to place siblings together in the same home or to ensure visitation is occurring when siblings are separated in foster care placement and visitation is in the siblings' best interests under section 260C.212, subdivision 2, paragraph (d); and

 

(5) if the child has been adjudicated as a child in need of protection or services because the child is in need of special services or care to treat or ameliorate a mental disability or emotional disturbance as defined in section 245.4871, subdivision 15, the written findings shall also set forth:

 

(i) whether the child has mental health needs that must be addressed by the case plan;

 

(ii) what consideration was given to the diagnostic and functional assessments performed by the child's mental health professional and to health and mental health care professionals' treatment recommendations;

 

(iii) what consideration was given to the requests or preferences of the child's parent or guardian with regard to the child's interventions, services, or treatment; and

 

(iv) what consideration was given to the cultural appropriateness of the child's treatment or services.

 

(b) If the court finds that the social services agency's preventive or reunification efforts have not been reasonable but that further preventive or reunification efforts could not permit the child to safely remain at home, the court may nevertheless authorize or continue the removal of the child.

 

(c) If the child has been identified by the responsible social services agency as the subject of concurrent permanency planning, the court shall review the reasonable efforts of the agency to develop a permanency plan for the child that includes a primary plan which is for reunification with the child's parent or guardian and a secondary plan which is for an alternative, legally permanent home for the child in the event reunification cannot be achieved in a timely manner.

 

Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.201, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Case plan.  (a) For each disposition ordered where the child is placed away from a parent or guardian, the court shall order the responsible social services agency to prepare a written out-of-home placement plan according to the requirements of section 260C.212, subdivision 1.  When a foster child is colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program under section 260C.190, the case plan must specify the recommendation for the colocation before the child is colocated with the parent.


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(b) In cases where the child is not placed out of the home or is ordered into the home of a noncustodial parent, the responsible social services agency shall prepare a plan for delivery of social services to the child and custodial parent under section 626.556, subdivision 10, or any other case plan required to meet the needs of the child.  The plan shall be designed to safely maintain the child in the home or to reunite the child with the custodial parent.

 

(c) The court may approve the case plan as presented or modify it after hearing from the parties.  Once the plan is approved, the court shall order all parties to comply with it.  A copy of the approved case plan shall be attached to the court's order and incorporated into it by reference.

 

(d) A party has a right to request a court review of the reasonableness of the case plan upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances.

 

Sec. 34.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.212, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Placement decisions based on best interests of the child.  (a) The policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the child's best interests are met by requiring an individualized determination of the needs of the child and of how the selected placement will serve the needs of the child being placed.  The authorized child-placing agency shall place a child, released by court order or by voluntary release by the parent or parents, in a family foster home selected by considering placement with relatives and important friends in the following order:

 

(1) with an individual who is related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption; or

 

(2) with an individual who is an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact.

 

For an Indian child, the agency shall follow the order of placement preferences in the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1915.

 

(b) Among the factors the agency shall consider in determining the needs of the child are the following:

 

(1) the child's current functioning and behaviors;

 

(2) the medical needs of the child;

 

(3) the educational needs of the child;

 

(4) the developmental needs of the child;

 

(5) the child's history and past experience;

 

(6) the child's religious and cultural needs;

 

(7) the child's connection with a community, school, and faith community;

 

(8) the child's interests and talents;

 

(9) the child's relationship to current caretakers, parents, siblings, and relatives;

 

(10) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court, or the child-placing agency in the case of a voluntary placement, deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preferences; and

 

(11) for an Indian child, the best interests of an Indian child as defined in section 260.755, subdivision 2a.


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(c) Placement of a child cannot be delayed or denied based on race, color, or national origin of the foster parent or the child.

 

(d) Siblings should be placed together for foster care and adoption at the earliest possible time unless it is documented that a joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings or unless it is not possible after reasonable efforts by the responsible social services agency.  In cases where siblings cannot be placed together, the agency is required to provide frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between siblings unless the agency documents that the interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings.

 

(e) Except for emergency placement as provided for in section 245A.035, the following requirements must be satisfied before the approval of a foster or adoptive placement in a related or unrelated home:  (1) a completed background study under section 245C.08; and (2) a completed review of the written home study required under section 260C.215, subdivision 4, clause (5), or 260C.611, to assess the capacity of the prospective foster or adoptive parent to ensure the placement will meet the needs of the individual child.

 

(f) The agency must determine whether colocation with a parent who is receiving services in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program is in the child's best interests according to paragraph (b) and include that determination in the child's case plan.  The agency may consider additional factors not identified in paragraph (b).  The agency's determination must be documented in the child's case plan before the child is colocated with a parent.

 

Sec. 35.  [260C.228] VOLUNTARY FOSTER CARE; CHILD IS COLOCATED WITH PARENT IN TREATMENT PROGRAM.

 

Subdivision 1.  Generally.  When a parent requests assistance from an agency and both the parent and agency agree that a child's placement in foster care and colocation with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use treatment facility as defined by section 260C.007, subdivision 22a, is in the child's best interests, the agency must specify the recommendation for the placement in the child's case plan.  After the child's case plan includes the recommendation, the agency and the parent may enter into a written voluntary placement agreement on a form approved by the commissioner.

 

Subd. 2.  Judicial review.  (a) A judicial review of a child's voluntary placement is required within 165 days of the date the voluntary agreement was signed.  The agency responsible for the child's placement in foster care shall request the judicial review.

 

(b) The agency must forward a written report to the court at least five business days prior to the judicial review in paragraph (a).  The report must contain:

 

(i) a statement regarding whether the colocation of the child with a parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program meets the child's needs and continues to be in the child's best interests;

 

(ii) the child's name, dates of birth, race, gender, and current address;

 

(iii) the names, race, dates of birth, residences, and post office addresses of the child's parents or custodian;

 

(iv) a statement regarding the child's eligibility for membership or enrollment in an Indian tribe and the agency's compliance with applicable provisions of sections 260.751 to 260.835;

 

(v) the name and address of the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program where the child and parent or custodian are colocated;


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(vi) a copy of the out-of-home placement plan under section 260C.212, subdivisions 1 and 3;

 

(vii) a written summary of the proceedings of any administrative review required under section 260C.203; and

 

(viii) any other information the agency, parent or custodian, child, or licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program wants the court to consider.

 

(c) The agency must inform a child, if the child is 12 years of age or older; the child's parent; and the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program of the reporting and court review requirements of this section and of their rights to submit information to the court as follows:

 

(1) if the child, the child's parent, or the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program wants to send information to the court, the agency shall advise those persons of the reporting date and the date by which the agency must receive the information to submit to the court with the agency's report; and

 

(2) the agency must inform the child, the child's parent, and the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program that they have the right to be heard in person by the court.  An in-person hearing must be held if requested by the child, parent or legal guardian, or licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program.

 

(d) If, at the time required for the agency's report under this section, a child 12 years of age or older disagrees about the placement colocating the child with the parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program or services provided under the out-of-home placement plan under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, the agency shall include information regarding the child's disagreement and to the extent possible the basis for the child's disagreement in the report.

 

(e) Regardless of whether an in-person hearing is requested within ten days of receiving the agency's report, the court has jurisdiction to and must determine:

 

(i) whether the voluntary foster care arrangement is in the child's best interests;

 

(ii) whether the parent and agency are appropriately planning for the child; and

 

(iii) if a child 12 years of age or older disagrees with the foster care placement colocating the child with the parent in a licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program or services provided under the out-of-home placement plan, whether to appoint counsel and a guardian ad litem for the child according to section 260C.163.

 

(f) Unless requested by the parent, representative of the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program, or child, an in-person hearing is not required for the court to make findings and issue an order.

 

(g) If the court finds the voluntary foster care arrangement is in the child's best interests and that the agency and parent are appropriately planning for the child, the court shall issue an order containing explicit individualized findings to support the court's determination.  The individual findings shall be based on the agency's written report and other materials submitted to the court.  The court may make this determination notwithstanding the child's disagreement, if any, reported to the court under paragraph (d).

 

(h) The court shall send a copy of the order to the county attorney, the agency, the parent, a child 12 years of age or older, and the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program.


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(i) If the court finds continuing the voluntary foster care arrangement is not in the child's best interests or that the agency or the parent is not appropriately planning for the child, the court shall notify the agency, the parent, the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program, a child 12 years of age or older, and the county attorney of the court's determination and the basis for the court's determination.  The court shall set the matter for hearing and appoint a guardian ad litem for the child under section 260C.163, subdivision 5.

 

Subd. 3.  Termination.  The voluntary placement agreement terminates at the parent's discharge from the licensed residential family-based substance use disorder treatment program, or upon receipt of a written and dated request from the parent, unless the request specifies a later date.  If the child's voluntary foster care placement meets the calculated time to require a permanency proceeding under section 260C.503, subdivision 3, paragraph (a), and the child is not returned home, the agency must file a petition according to section 260C.141 or 260C.505.

 

Sec. 36.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.452, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 4.  Administrative or court review of placements.  (a) When the child is 14 years of age or older, the court, in consultation with the child, shall review the independent living plan according to section 260C.203, paragraph (d).

 

(b) The responsible social services agency shall file a copy of the notification required in subdivision 3 with the court.  If the responsible social services agency does not file the notice by the time the child is 17-1/2 years of age, the court shall require the responsible social services agency to file the notice.

 

(c) The court shall ensure that the responsible social services agency assists the child in obtaining the following documents before the child leaves foster care:  a Social Security card; an official or certified copy of the child's birth certificate; a state identification card or driver's license, tribal enrollment identification card, green card, or school visa; health insurance information; the child's school, medical, and dental records; a contact list of the child's medical, dental, and mental health providers; and contact information for the child's siblings, if the siblings are in foster care.

 

(d) For a child who will be discharged from foster care at 18 years of age or older, the responsible social services agency must develop a personalized transition plan as directed by the child during the 90-day period immediately prior to the expected date of discharge.  The transition plan must be as detailed as the child elects and include specific options, including but not limited to:

 

(1) affordable housing with necessary supports that does not include a homeless shelter;

 

(2) health insurance, including eligibility for medical assistance as defined in section 256B.055, subdivision 17;

 

(3) education, including application to the Education and Training Voucher Program;

 

(4) local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, including the Healthy Transitions and Homeless Prevention program, if available;

 

(5) workforce supports and employment services;

 

(6) a copy of the child's consumer credit report as defined in section 13C.001 and assistance in interpreting and resolving any inaccuracies in the report, at no cost to the child;

 

(7) information on executing a health care directive under chapter 145C and on the importance of designating another individual to make health care decisions on behalf of the child if the child becomes unable to participate in decisions; and


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(8) appropriate contact information through 21 years of age if the child needs information or help dealing with a crisis situation.; and

 

(9) official documentation that the youth was previously in foster care.

 

Sec. 37.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.503, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Required permanency proceedings.  (a) Except for children in foster care pursuant to chapter 260D, where the child is in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial or nonresident parent, the court shall commence proceedings to determine the permanent status of a child by holding the admit-deny hearing required under section 260C.507 not later than 12 months after the child is placed in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial or nonresident parent.  Permanency proceedings for children in foster care pursuant to chapter 260D shall be according to section 260D.07.

 

(b) Permanency proceedings for a foster child who is colocated with a parent in a licensed residential family‑based substance use disorder treatment program shall be conducted according to section 260C.190.

 

Sec. 38.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 518A.32, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Parent not considered voluntarily unemployed, underemployed, or employed on a less than full‑time basis.  A parent is not considered voluntarily unemployed, underemployed, or employed on a less than full-time basis upon a showing by the parent that:

 

(1) the unemployment, underemployment, or employment on a less than full-time basis is temporary and will ultimately lead to an increase in income;

 

(2) the unemployment, underemployment, or employment on a less than full-time basis represents a bona fide career change that outweighs the adverse effect of that parent's diminished income on the child; or

 

(3) the unemployment, underemployment, or employment on a less than full-time basis is because a parent is physically or mentally incapacitated or due to incarceration, except where the reason for incarceration is the parent's nonpayment of support.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 39.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 626.556, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 10.  Duties of local welfare agency and local law enforcement agency upon receipt of report; mandatory notification between police or sheriff and agency.  (a) The police department or the county sheriff shall immediately notify the local welfare agency or agency responsible for child protection reports under this section orally and in writing when a report is received.  The local welfare agency or agency responsible for child protection reports shall immediately notify the local police department or the county sheriff orally and in writing when a report is received.  The county sheriff and the head of every local welfare agency, agency responsible for child protection reports, and police department shall each designate a person within their agency, department, or office who is responsible for ensuring that the notification duties of this paragraph are carried out.  When the alleged maltreatment occurred on tribal land, the local welfare agency or agency responsible for child protection reports and the local police department or the county sheriff shall immediately notify the tribe's social services agency and tribal law enforcement orally and in writing when a report is received.

 

(b) Upon receipt of a report, the local welfare agency shall determine whether to conduct a family assessment or an investigation as appropriate to prevent or provide a remedy for child maltreatment.  The local welfare agency:


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(1) shall conduct an investigation on reports involving sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment;

 

(2) shall begin an immediate investigation if, at any time when it is using a family assessment response, it determines that there is reason to believe that sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment or a serious threat to the child's safety exists;

 

(3) may conduct a family assessment for reports that do not allege sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment.  In determining that a family assessment is appropriate, the local welfare agency may consider issues of child safety, parental cooperation, and the need for an immediate response;

 

(4) may conduct a family assessment on a report that was initially screened and assigned for an investigation.  In determining that a complete investigation is not required, the local welfare agency must document the reason for terminating the investigation and notify the local law enforcement agency if the local law enforcement agency is conducting a joint investigation; and

 

(5) shall provide immediate notice, according to section 260.761, subdivision 2, to an Indian child's tribe when the agency has reason to believe the family assessment or investigation may involve an Indian child.  For purposes of this clause, "immediate notice" means notice provided within 24 hours.

 

If the report alleges neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, or individual functioning within the family unit as a person responsible for the child's care, or sexual abuse by a person with a significant relationship to the child when that person resides in the child's household or by a sibling, the local welfare agency shall immediately conduct a family assessment or investigation as identified in clauses (1) to (4).  In conducting a family assessment or investigation, the local welfare agency shall gather information on the existence of substance abuse and domestic violence and offer services for purposes of preventing future child maltreatment, safeguarding and enhancing the welfare of the abused or neglected minor, and supporting and preserving family life whenever possible.  If the report alleges a violation of a criminal statute involving sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect or endangerment, under section 609.378, the local law enforcement agency and local welfare agency shall coordinate the planning and execution of their respective investigation and assessment efforts to avoid a duplication of fact‑finding efforts and multiple interviews.  Each agency shall prepare a separate report of the results of its investigation or assessment.  In cases of alleged child maltreatment resulting in death, the local agency may rely on the fact-finding efforts of a law enforcement investigation to make a determination of whether or not maltreatment occurred.  When necessary the local welfare agency shall seek authority to remove the child from the custody of a parent, guardian, or adult with whom the child is living.  In performing any of these duties, the local welfare agency shall maintain appropriate records.

 

If the family assessment or investigation indicates there is a potential for abuse of alcohol or other drugs by the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the child's care, the local welfare agency shall conduct a chemical use assessment pursuant to Minnesota Rules, part 9530.6615.

 

(c) When a local agency receives a report or otherwise has information indicating that a child who is a client, as defined in section 245.91, has been the subject of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect at an agency, facility, or program as defined in section 245.91, it shall, in addition to its other duties under this section, immediately inform the ombudsman established under sections 245.91 to 245.97.  The commissioner of education shall inform the ombudsman established under sections 245.91 to 245.97 of reports regarding a child defined as a client in section 245.91 that maltreatment occurred at a school as defined in section 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, and 13, and chapter 124E.

 

(d) Authority of the local welfare agency responsible for assessing or investigating the child abuse or neglect report, the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report, and of the local law enforcement agency for investigating the alleged abuse or neglect includes, but is not limited to, authority to interview, without parental consent, the alleged victim and any other minors who currently reside with or who have resided with the alleged


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offender.  The interview may take place at school or at any facility or other place where the alleged victim or other minors might be found or the child may be transported to, and the interview conducted at, a place appropriate for the interview of a child designated by the local welfare agency or law enforcement agency.  The interview may take place outside the presence of the alleged offender or parent, legal custodian, guardian, or school official.  For family assessments, it is the preferred practice to request a parent or guardian's permission to interview the child prior to conducting the child interview, unless doing so would compromise the safety assessment.  Except as provided in this paragraph, the parent, legal custodian, or guardian shall be notified by the responsible local welfare or law enforcement agency no later than the conclusion of the investigation or assessment that this interview has occurred.  Notwithstanding rule 32 of the Minnesota Rules of Procedure for Juvenile Courts, the juvenile court may, after hearing on an ex parte motion by the local welfare agency, order that, where reasonable cause exists, the agency withhold notification of this interview from the parent, legal custodian, or guardian.  If the interview took place or is to take place on school property, the order shall specify that school officials may not disclose to the parent, legal custodian, or guardian the contents of the notification of intent to interview the child on school property, as provided under this paragraph, and any other related information regarding the interview that may be a part of the child's school record.  A copy of the order shall be sent by the local welfare or law enforcement agency to the appropriate school official.

 

(e) When the local welfare, local law enforcement agency, or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating a report of maltreatment determines that an interview should take place on school property, written notification of intent to interview the child on school property must be received by school officials prior to the interview.  The notification shall include the name of the child to be interviewed, the purpose of the interview, and a reference to the statutory authority to conduct an interview on school property.  For interviews conducted by the local welfare agency, the notification shall be signed by the chair of the local social services agency or the chair's designee.  The notification shall be private data on individuals subject to the provisions of this paragraph.  School officials may not disclose to the parent, legal custodian, or guardian the contents of the notification or any other related information regarding the interview until notified in writing by the local welfare or law enforcement agency that the investigation or assessment has been concluded, unless a school employee or agent is alleged to have maltreated the child.  Until that time, the local welfare or law enforcement agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating a report of maltreatment shall be solely responsible for any disclosures regarding the nature of the assessment or investigation.

 

Except where the alleged offender is believed to be a school official or employee, the time and place, and manner of the interview on school premises shall be within the discretion of school officials, but the local welfare or law enforcement agency shall have the exclusive authority to determine who may attend the interview.  The conditions as to time, place, and manner of the interview set by the school officials shall be reasonable and the interview shall be conducted not more than 24 hours after the receipt of the notification unless another time is considered necessary by agreement between the school officials and the local welfare or law enforcement agency.  Where the school fails to comply with the provisions of this paragraph, the juvenile court may order the school to comply.  Every effort must be made to reduce the disruption of the educational program of the child, other students, or school staff when an interview is conducted on school premises.

 

(f) Where the alleged offender or a person responsible for the care of the alleged victim or other minor prevents access to the victim or other minor by the local welfare agency, the juvenile court may order the parents, legal custodian, or guardian to produce the alleged victim or other minor for questioning by the local welfare agency or the local law enforcement agency outside the presence of the alleged offender or any person responsible for the child's care at reasonable places and times as specified by court order.

 

(g) Before making an order under paragraph (f), the court shall issue an order to show cause, either upon its own motion or upon a verified petition, specifying the basis for the requested interviews and fixing the time and place of the hearing.  The order to show cause shall be served personally and shall be heard in the same manner as provided in other cases in the juvenile court.  The court shall consider the need for appointment of a guardian ad litem to protect the best interests of the child.  If appointed, the guardian ad litem shall be present at the hearing on the order to show cause.


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(h) The commissioner of human services, the ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities, the local welfare agencies responsible for investigating reports, the commissioner of education, and the local law enforcement agencies have the right to enter facilities as defined in subdivision 2 and to inspect and copy the facility's records, including medical records, as part of the investigation.  Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 13, they also have the right to inform the facility under investigation that they are conducting an investigation, to disclose to the facility the names of the individuals under investigation for abusing or neglecting a child, and to provide the facility with a copy of the report and the investigative findings.

 

(i) The local welfare agency responsible for conducting a family assessment or investigation shall collect available and relevant information to determine child safety, risk of subsequent child maltreatment, and family strengths and needs and share not public information with an Indian's tribal social services agency without violating any law of the state that may otherwise impose duties of confidentiality on the local welfare agency in order to implement the tribal state agreement.  The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for investigating the report shall collect available and relevant information to ascertain whether maltreatment occurred and whether protective services are needed.  Information collected includes, when relevant, information with regard to the person reporting the alleged maltreatment, including the nature of the reporter's relationship to the child and to the alleged offender, and the basis of the reporter's knowledge for the report; the child allegedly being maltreated; the alleged offender; the child's caretaker; and other collateral sources having relevant information related to the alleged maltreatment.  As a part of determining whether child protective services are needed, the local welfare agency responsible for conducting the family assessment or investigation shall submit a request to the commissioner of human services to collect child abuse and neglect records maintained in each state other than Minnesota where the alleged offender has resided in the preceding five years.  The commissioner shall send out-of-state child abuse and neglect records inquiries to the relevant states within three business days of receiving the request from the local welfare agency.  The commissioner shall forward the results of these inquiries to the local welfare agency responsible for conducting the family assessment or investigation as they are received.  The commissioner shall inform the local welfare agency if the commissioner does not receive a response from all states with records required to be searched within 20 business days.  The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for investigating the report may make a determination of no maltreatment early in an investigation, and close the case and retain immunity, if the collected information shows no basis for a full investigation.

 

Information relevant to the assessment or investigation must be asked for, and may include:

 

(1) the child's sex and age; prior reports of maltreatment, including any maltreatment reports that were screened out and not accepted for assessment or investigation; information relating to developmental functioning; credibility of the child's statement; and whether the information provided under this clause is consistent with other information collected during the course of the assessment or investigation;

 

(2) the alleged offender's age, and a record check for prior reports of maltreatment, and criminal charges and convictions.  The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report must provide the alleged offender with an opportunity to make a statement.  The alleged offender may submit supporting documentation relevant to the assessment or investigation;

 

(3) collateral source information regarding the alleged maltreatment and care of the child.  Collateral information includes, when relevant:  (i) a medical examination of the child; (ii) prior medical records relating to the alleged maltreatment or the care of the child maintained by any facility, clinic, or health care professional and an interview with the treating professionals; and (iii) interviews with the child's caretakers, including the child's parent, guardian, foster parent, child care provider, teachers, counselors, family members, relatives, and other persons who may have knowledge regarding the alleged maltreatment and the care of the child; and

 

(4) information on the existence of domestic abuse and violence in the home of the child, and substance abuse.


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Nothing in this paragraph precludes the local welfare agency, the local law enforcement agency, or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report from collecting other relevant information necessary to conduct the assessment or investigation.  Notwithstanding sections 13.384 or 144.291 to 144.298, the local welfare agency has access to medical data and records for purposes of clause (3).  Notwithstanding the data's classification in the possession of any other agency, data acquired by the local welfare agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report during the course of the assessment or investigation are private data on individuals and must be maintained in accordance with subdivision 11.  Data of the commissioner of education collected or maintained during and for the purpose of an investigation of alleged maltreatment in a school are governed by this section, notwithstanding the data's classification as educational, licensing, or personnel data under chapter 13.

 

In conducting an assessment or investigation involving a school facility as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (c), the commissioner of education shall collect investigative reports and data that are relevant to a report of maltreatment and are from local law enforcement and the school facility.

 

(j) Upon receipt of a report, the local welfare agency shall conduct a face-to-face contact with the child reported to be maltreated and with the child's primary caregiver sufficient to complete a safety assessment and ensure the immediate safety of the child.  The face-to-face contact with the child and primary caregiver shall occur immediately if sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment is alleged and within five calendar days for all other reports.  If the alleged offender was not already interviewed as the primary caregiver, the local welfare agency shall also conduct a face-to-face interview with the alleged offender in the early stages of the assessment or investigation.  At the initial contact, the local child welfare agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report must inform the alleged offender of the complaints or allegations made against the individual in a manner consistent with laws protecting the rights of the person who made the report.  The interview with the alleged offender may be postponed if it would jeopardize an active law enforcement investigation.

 

(k) When conducting an investigation, the local welfare agency shall use a question and answer interviewing format with questioning as nondirective as possible to elicit spontaneous responses.  For investigations only, the following interviewing methods and procedures must be used whenever possible when collecting information:

 

(1) audio recordings of all interviews with witnesses and collateral sources; and

 

(2) in cases of alleged sexual abuse, audio-video recordings of each interview with the alleged victim and child witnesses.

 

(l) In conducting an assessment or investigation involving a school facility as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (c), the commissioner of education shall collect available and relevant information and use the procedures in paragraphs (j) and (k), and subdivision 3d, except that the requirement for face-to-face observation of the child and face-to-face interview of the alleged offender is to occur in the initial stages of the assessment or investigation provided that the commissioner may also base the assessment or investigation on investigative reports and data received from the school facility and local law enforcement, to the extent those investigations satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (j) and (k), and subdivision 3d.

 

Sec. 40.  TITLE.

 

Sections .... and .... shall be known as "Heaven's Law."

 

Sec. 41.  INTERSTATE TRANSFER OF CHILD PROTECTION DATA.

 

The commissioner of human services is directed to investigate and report to the legislature on potential improvements and advancements in the sharing of child maltreatment data between states, including consideration for interstate compacts or interstate agreements to improve access to child maltreatment investigative and


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determination data to protect the welfare of children in Minnesota and throughout the country.  The commissioner shall report to the legislature on challenges and solutions to the sharing of data on child maltreatment between states no later than February 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 42.  INSTRUCTION TO COMMISSIONER.

 

All individuals in connection with a licensed children's residential facility required to complete a background study under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 245C, must complete a new background study consistent with the obligations and requirements of this article.  The commissioner of human services shall establish a schedule for (1) individuals in connection with a licensed children's residential facility that serves children eligible to receive federal Title IV-E funding to complete the new background study by March 1, 2020, and (2) individuals in connection with a licensed children's residential facility that serves children not eligible to receive federal Title IV-E funding to complete the new background study by March 1, 2021.

 

Sec. 43.  CHILD WELFARE TRAINING ACADEMY.

 

Subdivision 1.  Establishment; purpose.  The commissioner of human services shall modify the Child Welfare Training System developed pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 626.5591, subdivision 2, according to this section.  The new training framework shall be known as the Child Welfare Training Academy.

 

Subd. 2.  Administration.  (a) The Child Welfare Training Academy must be administered through five regional hubs in northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast, and central Minnesota.  Each hub must deliver training targeted to the needs of the hub's particular region, taking into account varying demographics, resources, and practice outcomes.

 

(b) The Child Welfare Training Academy must use training methods best suited to the training content.  National best practices in adult learning must be used to the greatest extent possible, including online learning methodologies, coaching, mentoring, and simulated skill application.

 

(c) Content of training delivered by the Child Welfare Training Academy must be informed using multidisciplinary approaches and must include input from stakeholders, including but not limited to child welfare professionals, resource parents, biological parents and caregivers, and other community members with expertise in child welfare racial disparities and implicit bias.  Content must be structured to reflect the variety of communities served by the child welfare system in Minnesota and must be informed with attention to both child safety and the evidence-based understanding that maintaining family relationships and preventing out-of-home placement are essential to child well-being.  Training delivered by the Child Welfare Training Academy must emphasize racial disparities and disproportionate child welfare outcomes that exist in Minnesota and must include specific content on recognizing and addressing implicit bias.

 

(d) Each child welfare worker and supervisor must complete a certification, including a competency-based knowledge test and a skills demonstration, at the completion of the worker's or supervisor's initial training and biennially thereafter.  The commissioner shall develop ongoing training requirements and a method for tracking certifications.

 

(e) The Child Welfare Training Academy must serve the primary training audiences of (1) county and tribal child welfare workers, (2) county and tribal child welfare supervisors, and (3) staff at private agencies providing out‑of-home placement services for children involved in Minnesota's county and tribal child welfare system.

 

Subd. 3.  Partnerships.  The commissioner of human services shall enter into a partnership with the University of Minnesota to collaborate in the administration of workforce training.


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Subd. 4.  Rulemaking.  The commissioner of human services may adopt rules as necessary to establish the Child Welfare Training Academy.

 

Sec. 44.  CHILD WELFARE CASELOAD STUDY.

 

(a) The commissioner of human services shall conduct a child welfare caseload study to collect data on (1) the number of child welfare workers in Minnesota, and (2) the amount of time that child welfare workers spend on different components of child welfare work.  The study must be completed by October 1, 2020.

 

(b) The commissioner shall report the results of the child welfare caseload study to the governor and to the chairs and ranking minority members of the committees in the house of representatives and senate with jurisdiction over human services by December 1, 2020.

 

(c) After the child welfare caseload study is complete, the commissioner shall work with counties and other stakeholders to develop a process for ongoing monitoring of child welfare workers' caseloads.

 

Sec. 45.  FIRST CHILDREN'S FINANCE CHILD CARE SITE ASSISTANCE.

 

Subdivision 1.  Purposes.  Grants to First Children's Finance are for loans to improve child care or early childhood education sites, or loans to plan, design, and construct or expand licensed and legal nonlicensed sites to increase the availability of child care or early childhood education.

 

Subd. 2.  Financing program.  (a) First Children's Finance must use grant funds to:

 

(1) establish a revolving loan fund to make loans to existing, expanding, and newly licensed and legally unlicensed child care and early childhood education sites;

 

(2) establish a fund to guarantee private loans to improve or construct a child care or early childhood education site;

 

(3) establish a fund to provide forgivable loans or grants to match all or part of a loan made under this section;

 

(4) establish a fund as a reserve against bad debt; and

 

(5) establish a fund to provide business planning assistance for child care providers.

 

(b) First Children's Finance must establish the terms and conditions for loans and loan guarantees including interest rates, repayment agreements, private match requirements, and conditions for loan forgiveness.  A minimum interest rate for loans must be established to ensure that necessary loan administration costs are covered.  Interest earnings may be used for administrative expenses.

 

Subd. 3.  Reporting.  First Children's Finance must:

 

(1) by September 30, 2020, and September 30, 2021, report to the commissioner of human services the purposes for which the money was used during the past fiscal year, including a description of projects supported by the financing, an account of loans made during the calendar year, the financing program's assets and liabilities, and an explanation of administrative expenses; and

 

(2) submit to the commissioner of human services a copy of the report of an independent audit performed in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices and auditing standards, for each fiscal year in which grants are received.


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Sec. 46.  DIRECTION TO COMMISSIONER; HOMELESS YOUTH ACCESS TO BIRTH RECORDS AND MINNESOTA IDENTIFICATION CARDS.

 

No later than January 15, 2020, the commissioner of human services, in consultation with the commissioners of health and public safety, shall report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees and divisions with jurisdiction over the Homeless Youth Act with recommendations on providing homeless youth with access to birth records and Minnesota identification cards at no cost.

 

Sec. 47.  DIRECTION TO COMMISSIONER; FAMILY FIRST PREVENTION KINSHIP SERVICES.

 

The commissioner of human services shall review opportunities to implement kinship navigator models that support placement of children with relative foster parents in anticipation of reimbursement for eligible services under the Family First Prevention Services Act.  Kinship navigator models would assist relative foster parents with home studies and licensing requirements and provide ongoing support to the relative caregivers and children in out‑of-home placement with relatives.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 48.  DIRECTION TO COMMISSIONER; RELATIVE SEARCH.

 

The commissioner of human services shall develop and provide guidance to assist local social services agencies in conducting relative searches under Minnesota Statutes, section 260C.221.  The commissioner shall issue a bulletin containing relative search guidance by January 1, 2020.  Guidance from the commissioner shall relate to:

 

(1) easily understandable methods of relative notification;

 

(2) resources for local social services agency child welfare staff to improve engagement and communication with relatives and kin; and

 

(3) providing information to relatives and kin about all permanency options, sustaining relationships, visitation options, and supporting permanency.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 49.  REPEALER.

 

(a) Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 119B.16, subdivision 2; and 245E.06, subdivisions 2, 4, and 5, and Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0185, subpart 5, are repealed effective February 26, 2021.

 

(b) Minnesota Rules, part 2960.3030, subpart 3, is repealed.

 

 

ARTICLE 2

OPERATIONS

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 13.46, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  General.  (a) Data on individuals collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system are private data on individuals, and shall not be disclosed except:

 

(1) according to section 13.05;


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(2) according to court order;

 

(3) according to a statute specifically authorizing access to the private data;

 

(4) to an agent of the welfare system and an investigator acting on behalf of a county, the state, or the federal government, including a law enforcement person or attorney in the investigation or prosecution of a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding relating to the administration of a program;

 

(5) to personnel of the welfare system who require the data to verify an individual's identity; determine eligibility, amount of assistance, and the need to provide services to an individual or family across programs; coordinate services for an individual or family; evaluate the effectiveness of programs; assess parental contribution amounts; and investigate suspected fraud;

 

(6) to administer federal funds or programs;

 

(7) between personnel of the welfare system working in the same program;

 

(8) to the Department of Revenue to assess parental contribution amounts for purposes of section 252.27, subdivision 2a, administer and evaluate tax refund or tax credit programs and to identify individuals who may benefit from these programs.  The following information may be disclosed under this paragraph:  an individual's and their dependent's names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, income, addresses, and other data as required, upon request by the Department of Revenue.  Disclosures by the commissioner of revenue to the commissioner of human services for the purposes described in this clause are governed by section 270B.14, subdivision 1.  Tax refund or tax credit programs include, but are not limited to, the dependent care credit under section 290.067, the Minnesota working family credit under section 290.0671, the property tax refund and rental credit under section 290A.04, and the Minnesota education credit under section 290.0674;

 

(9) between the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment and Economic Development, and when applicable, the Department of Education, for the following purposes:

 

(i) to monitor the eligibility of the data subject for unemployment benefits, for any employment or training program administered, supervised, or certified by that agency;

 

(ii) to administer any rehabilitation program or child care assistance program, whether alone or in conjunction with the welfare system;

 

(iii) to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program or the child care assistance program by exchanging data on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, medical programs under chapter 256B or 256L, or a medical program formerly codified under chapter 256D; and

 

(iv) to analyze public assistance employment services and program utilization, cost, effectiveness, and outcomes as implemented under the authority established in Title II, Sections 201-204 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999.  Health records governed by sections 144.291 to 144.298 and "protected health information" as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 160.103, and governed by Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, parts 160-164, including health care claims utilization information, must not be exchanged under this clause;

 

(10) to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the individual or other individuals or persons;


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(11) data maintained by residential programs as defined in section 245A.02 may be disclosed to the protection and advocacy system established in this state according to Part C of Public Law 98-527 to protect the legal and human rights of persons with developmental disabilities or other related conditions who live in residential facilities for these persons if the protection and advocacy system receives a complaint by or on behalf of that person and the person does not have a legal guardian or the state or a designee of the state is the legal guardian of the person;

 

(12) to the county medical examiner or the county coroner for identifying or locating relatives or friends of a deceased person;

 

(13) data on a child support obligor who makes payments to the public agency may be disclosed to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to the extent necessary to determine eligibility under section 136A.121, subdivision 2, clause (5);

 

(14) participant Social Security numbers and names collected by the telephone assistance program may be disclosed to the Department of Revenue to conduct an electronic data match with the property tax refund database to determine eligibility under section 237.70, subdivision 4a;

 

(15) the current address of a Minnesota family investment program participant may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who provide the name of the participant and notify the agency that:

 

(i) the participant:

 

(A) is a fugitive felon fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction from which the individual is fleeing; or

 

(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law;

 

(ii) the location or apprehension of the felon is within the law enforcement officer's official duties; and

 

(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of those duties;

 

(16) the current address of a recipient of general assistance may be disclosed to probation officers and corrections agents who are supervising the recipient and to law enforcement officers who are investigating the recipient in connection with a felony level offense;

 

(17) information obtained from food support applicant or recipient households may be disclosed to local, state, or federal law enforcement officials, upon their written request, for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the Food Stamp Act, according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, section 272.1(c);

 

(18) the address, Social Security number, and, if available, photograph of any member of a household receiving food support shall be made available, on request, to a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer if the officer furnishes the agency with the name of the member and notifies the agency that:

 

(i) the member:

 

(A) is fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony in the jurisdiction the member is fleeing;

 

(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law; or


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(C) has information that is necessary for the officer to conduct an official duty related to conduct described in subitem (A) or (B);

 

(ii) locating or apprehending the member is within the officer's official duties; and

 

(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of the officer's official duty;

 

(19) the current address of a recipient of Minnesota family investment program, general assistance, or food support may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who, in writing, provide the name of the recipient and notify the agency that the recipient is a person required to register under section 243.166, but is not residing at the address at which the recipient is registered under section 243.166;

 

(20) certain information regarding child support obligors who are in arrears may be made public according to section 518A.74;

 

(21) data on child support payments made by a child support obligor and data on the distribution of those payments excluding identifying information on obligees may be disclosed to all obligees to whom the obligor owes support, and data on the enforcement actions undertaken by the public authority, the status of those actions, and data on the income of the obligor or obligee may be disclosed to the other party;

 

(22) data in the work reporting system may be disclosed under section 256.998, subdivision 7;

 

(23) to the Department of Education for the purpose of matching Department of Education student data with public assistance data to determine students eligible for free and reduced-price meals, meal supplements, and free milk according to United States Code, title 42, sections 1758, 1761, 1766, 1766a, 1772, and 1773; to allocate federal and state funds that are distributed based on income of the student's family; and to verify receipt of energy assistance for the telephone assistance plan;

 

(24) the current address and telephone number of program recipients and emergency contacts may be released to the commissioner of health or a community health board as defined in section 145A.02, subdivision 5, when the commissioner or community health board has reason to believe that a program recipient is a disease case, carrier, suspect case, or at risk of illness, and the data are necessary to locate the person;

 

(25) to other state agencies, statewide systems, and political subdivisions of this state, including the attorney general, and agencies of other states, interstate information networks, federal agencies, and other entities as required by federal regulation or law for the administration of the child support enforcement program;

 

(26) to personnel of public assistance programs as defined in section 256.741, for access to the child support system database for the purpose of administration, including monitoring and evaluation of those public assistance programs;

 

(27) to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program by exchanging data between the Departments of Human Services and Education, on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, medical programs under chapter 256B or 256L, or a medical program formerly codified under chapter 256D;

 

(28) to evaluate child support program performance and to identify and prevent fraud in the child support program by exchanging data between the Department of Human Services, Department of Revenue under section 270B.14, subdivision 1, paragraphs (a) and (b), without regard to the limitation of use in paragraph (c), Department of Health, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and other state agencies as is reasonably necessary to perform these functions;


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(29) counties and the Department of Human Services operating child care assistance programs under chapter 119B may disseminate data on program participants, applicants, and providers to the commissioner of education;

 

(30) child support data on the child, the parents, and relatives of the child may be disclosed to agencies administering programs under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act, as authorized by federal law;

 

(31) to a health care provider governed by sections 144.291 to 144.298, to the extent necessary to coordinate services;

 

(32) to the chief administrative officer of a school to coordinate services for a student and family; data that may be disclosed under this clause are limited to name, date of birth, gender, and address; or

 

(33) to county correctional agencies to the extent necessary to coordinate services and diversion programs; data that may be disclosed under this clause are limited to name, client demographics, program, case status, and county worker information.

 

(b) Information on persons who have been treated for drug or alcohol abuse may only be disclosed according to the requirements of Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, sections 2.1 to 2.67.

 

(c) Data provided to law enforcement agencies under paragraph (a), clause (15), (16), (17), or (18), or paragraph (b), are investigative data and are confidential or protected nonpublic while the investigation is active.  The data are private after the investigation becomes inactive under section 13.82, subdivision 5, paragraph (a) or (b).

 

(d) Mental health data shall be treated as provided in subdivisions 7, 8, and 9, but are not subject to the access provisions of subdivision 10, paragraph (b).

 

For the purposes of this subdivision, a request will be deemed to be made in writing if made through a computer interface system.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 13.46, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Investigative data.  (a) Data on persons, including data on vendors of services, licensees, and applicants that is collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system in an investigation, authorized by statute, and relating to the enforcement of rules or law are confidential data on individuals pursuant to section 13.02, subdivision 3, or protected nonpublic data not on individuals pursuant to section 13.02, subdivision 13, and shall not be disclosed except:

 

(1) pursuant to section 13.05;

 

(2) pursuant to statute or valid court order;

 

(3) to a party named in a civil or criminal proceeding, administrative or judicial, for preparation of defense; or

 

(4) to an agent of the welfare system or an investigator acting on behalf of a county, state, or federal government, including a law enforcement officer or attorney in the investigation or prosecution of a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, unless the commissioner of human services determines that disclosure may compromise a Department of Human Services ongoing investigation; or

 

(4) (5) to provide notices required or permitted by statute.


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The data referred to in this subdivision shall be classified as public data upon submission to an administrative law judge or court in an administrative or judicial proceeding.  Inactive welfare investigative data shall be treated as provided in section 13.39, subdivision 3.

 

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision in law, the commissioner of human services shall provide all active and inactive investigative data, including the name of the reporter of alleged maltreatment under section 626.556 or 626.557, to the ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities upon the request of the ombudsman.

 

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) and section 13.39, the existence of an investigation by the commissioner of human services of possible overpayments of public funds to a service provider or recipient may be disclosed if the commissioner determines that it will not compromise the investigation.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 13.461, subdivision 28, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 28.  Child care assistance program.  Data collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system pertaining to persons selected as legal nonlicensed child care providers by families receiving child care assistance are classified under section 119B.02, subdivision 6, paragraph (a).  Child care assistance program payment data is classified under section 119B.02, subdivision 6, paragraph (b).

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 15C.02, is amended to read:

 

15C.02 LIABILITY FOR CERTAIN ACTS.

 

(a) A person who commits any act described in clauses (1) to (7) is liable to the state or the political subdivision for a civil penalty of not less than $5,500 and not more than $11,000 per false or fraudulent claim in the amounts set forth in the federal False Claims Act, United States Code, title 31, section 3729, and as modified by the federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, plus three times the amount of damages that the state or the political subdivision sustains because of the act of that person, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b):

 

(1) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;

 

(2) knowingly makes or uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;

 

(3) knowingly conspires to commit a violation of clause (1), (2), (4), (5), (6), or (7);

 

(4) has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the state or a political subdivision and knowingly delivers or causes to be delivered less than all of that money or property;

 

(5) is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt for money or property used, or to be used, by the state or a political subdivision and, intending to defraud the state or a political subdivision, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;

 

(6) knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or

 

(7) knowingly makes or uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state or a political subdivision, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state or a political subdivision.


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(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the court may assess not less than two times the amount of damages that the state or the political subdivision sustains because of the act of the person if:

 

(1) the person committing a violation under paragraph (a) furnished an officer or employee of the state or the political subdivision responsible for investigating the false or fraudulent claim violation with all information known to the person about the violation within 30 days after the date on which the person first obtained the information;

 

(2) the person fully cooperated with any investigation by the state or the political subdivision of the violation; and

 

(3) at the time the person furnished the state or the political subdivision with information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had been commenced under this chapter with respect to the violation and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into the violation.

 

(c) A person violating this section is also liable to the state or the political subdivision for the costs of a civil action brought to recover any penalty or damages.

 

(d) A person is not liable under this section for mere negligence, inadvertence, or mistake with respect to activities involving a false or fraudulent claim.

 

Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.02, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Data.  (a) Data collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system pertaining to persons selected as legal nonlicensed child care providers by families receiving child care assistance shall be treated as licensing data as provided in section 13.46, subdivision 4.

 

(b) For purposes of this paragraph, "child care assistance program payment data" means data for a specified time period showing (1) that a child care assistance program payment under this chapter was made, and (2) the amount of child care assistance payments made to a child care center.  Child care assistance program payment data may include the number of families and children on whose behalf payments were made for the specified time period.  Any child care assistance program payment data that may identify a specific child care assistance recipient or benefit paid on behalf of a specific child care assistance recipient, as determined by the commissioner, is private data on individuals as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 12.  Data related to a child care assistance payment is public if the data relates to a child care assistance payment made to a licensed child care center or a child care center exempt from licensure and:

 

(1) the child care center receives payment of more than $100,000 from the child care assistance program under this chapter in a period of one year or less; or

 

(2) when the commissioner or county agency either:

 

(i) disqualified the center from receipt of a payment from the child care assistance program under this chapter for wrongfully obtaining child care assistance under section 256.98, subdivision 8, paragraph (c);

 

(ii) refused a child care authorization, revoked a child care authorization, stopped payment, or denied payment for a bill for the center under section 119B.13, subdivision 6, paragraph (d); or

 

(iii) made a finding of financial misconduct under section 245E.02.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.


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Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.09, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Date of eligibility for assistance.  (a) The date of eligibility for child care assistance under this chapter is the later of the date the application was received by the county; the beginning date of employment, education, or training; the date the infant is born for applicants to the at-home infant care program; or the date a determination has been made that the applicant is a participant in employment and training services under Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0080, or chapter 256J.

 

(b) Payment ceases for a family under the at-home infant child care program when a family has used a total of 12 months of assistance as specified under section 119B.035.  Payment of child care assistance for employed persons on MFIP is effective the date of employment or the date of MFIP eligibility, whichever is later.  Payment of child care assistance for MFIP or DWP participants in employment and training services is effective the date of commencement of the services or the date of MFIP or DWP eligibility, whichever is later.  Payment of child care assistance for transition year child care must be made retroactive to the date of eligibility for transition year child care.

 

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), payment of child care assistance for participants eligible under section 119B.05 may only be made retroactive for a maximum of six three months from the date of application for child care assistance.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2019.

 

Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.125, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Record-keeping requirement.  (a) As a condition of payment, all providers receiving child care assistance payments must:

 

(1) keep accurate and legible daily attendance records at the site where services are delivered for children receiving child care assistance; and

 

must (2) make those records available immediately to the county or the commissioner upon request.  Any records not provided to a county or the commissioner at the date and time of the request are deemed inadmissible if offered as evidence by the provider in any proceeding to contest an overpayment or disqualification of the provider.

 

The (b) As a condition of payment, attendance records must be completed daily and include the date, the first and last name of each child in attendance, and the times when each child is dropped off and picked up.  To the extent possible, the times that the child was dropped off to and picked up from the child care provider must be entered by the person dropping off or picking up the child.  The daily attendance records must be retained at the site where services are delivered for six years after the date of service.

 

(c) A county or the commissioner may deny or revoke a provider's authorization as a child care provider to any applicant, rescind authorization of any provider, to receive child care assistance payments under section 119B.13, subdivision 6, paragraph (d), pursue a fraud disqualification under section 256.98, take an action against the provider under chapter 245E, or establish an attendance record overpayment claim in the system under paragraph (d) against a current or former provider, when the county or the commissioner knows or has reason to believe that the provider has not complied with the record-keeping requirement in this subdivision.  A provider's failure to produce attendance records as requested on more than one occasion constitutes grounds for disqualification as a provider.

 

(d) To calculate an attendance record overpayment under this subdivision, the commissioner or county agency shall subtract the maximum daily rate from the total amount paid to a provider for each day that a child's attendance record is missing, unavailable, incomplete, inaccurate, or otherwise inadequate.


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(e) The commissioner shall develop criteria for a county to determine an attendance record overpayment under this subdivision.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2019.

 

Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.13, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Provider payments.  (a) A provider shall bill only for services documented according to section 119B.125, subdivision 6.  The provider shall bill for services provided within ten days of the end of the service period.  Payments under the child care fund shall be made within 21 days of receiving a complete bill from the provider.  Counties or the state may establish policies that make payments on a more frequent basis.

 

(b) If a provider has received an authorization of care and been issued a billing form for an eligible family, the bill must be submitted within 60 days of the last date of service on the bill.  A bill submitted more than 60 days after the last date of service must be paid if the county determines that the provider has shown good cause why the bill was not submitted within 60 days.  Good cause must be defined in the county's child care fund plan under section 119B.08, subdivision 3, and the definition of good cause must include county error.  Any bill submitted more than a year after the last date of service on the bill must not be paid.

 

(c) If a provider provided care for a time period without receiving an authorization of care and a billing form for an eligible family, payment of child care assistance may only be made retroactively for a maximum of six months from the date the provider is issued an authorization of care and billing form.

 

(d) A county or the commissioner may refuse to issue a child care authorization to a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider, revoke an existing child care authorization to a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider, stop payment issued to a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider, or refuse to pay a bill submitted by a licensed or legal nonlicensed provider if:

 

(1) the provider admits to intentionally giving the county materially false information on the provider's billing forms;

 

(2) a county or the commissioner finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the provider intentionally gave the county materially false information on the provider's billing forms, or provided false attendance records to a county or the commissioner;

 

(3) the provider is in violation of child care assistance program rules, until the agency determines those violations have been corrected;

 

(4) the provider is operating after:

 

(i) an order of suspension of the provider's license issued by the commissioner;

 

(ii) an order of revocation of the provider's license; or

 

(iii) a final order of conditional license issued by the commissioner for as long as the conditional license is in effect;

 

(5) the provider submits false attendance reports or refuses to provide documentation of the child's attendance upon request; or

 

(6) the provider gives false child care price information.; or


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(7) the provider fails to report decreases in a child's attendance as required under section 119B.125, subdivision 9.

 

(e) For purposes of paragraph (d), clauses (3), (5), and (6), and (7), the county or the commissioner may withhold the provider's authorization or payment for a period of time not to exceed three months beyond the time the condition has been corrected.

 

(f) A county's payment policies must be included in the county's child care plan under section 119B.08, subdivision 3.  If payments are made by the state, in addition to being in compliance with this subdivision, the payments must be made in compliance with section 16A.124.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2019.

 

Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.13, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Absent days.  (a) Licensed child care providers and license-exempt centers must not be reimbursed for more than 25 full-day absent days per child, excluding holidays, in a fiscal calendar year, or for more than ten consecutive full-day absent days.  "Absent day" means any day that the child is authorized and scheduled to be in care with a licensed provider or license-exempt center, and the child is absent from the care for the entire day.  Legal nonlicensed family child care providers must not be reimbursed for absent days.  If a child attends for part of the time authorized to be in care in a day, but is absent for part of the time authorized to be in care in that same day, the absent time must be reimbursed but the time must not count toward the absent days limit.  Child care providers must only be reimbursed for absent days if the provider has a written policy for child absences and charges all other families in care for similar absences.

 

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), children with documented medical conditions that cause more frequent absences may exceed the 25 absent days limit, or ten consecutive full-day absent days limit.  Absences due to a documented medical condition of a parent or sibling who lives in the same residence as the child receiving child care assistance do not count against the absent days limit in a fiscal calendar year.  Documentation of medical conditions must be on the forms and submitted according to the timelines established by the commissioner.  A public health nurse or school nurse may verify the illness in lieu of a medical practitioner.  If a provider sends a child home early due to a medical reason, including, but not limited to, fever or contagious illness, the child care center director or lead teacher may verify the illness in lieu of a medical practitioner.

 

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), children in families may exceed the absent days limit if at least one parent:  (1) is under the age of 21; (2) does not have a high school diploma or commissioner of education-selected high school equivalency certification; and (3) is a student in a school district or another similar program that provides or arranges for child care, parenting support, social services, career and employment supports, and academic support to achieve high school graduation, upon request of the program and approval of the county.  If a child attends part of an authorized day, payment to the provider must be for the full amount of care authorized for that day.

 

(d) Child care providers must be reimbursed for up to ten federal or state holidays or designated holidays per year when the provider charges all families for these days and the holiday or designated holiday falls on a day when the child is authorized to be in attendance.  Parents may substitute other cultural or religious holidays for the ten recognized state and federal holidays.  Holidays do not count toward the absent days limit.

 

(e) A family or child care provider must not be assessed an overpayment for an absent day payment unless (1) there was an error in the amount of care authorized for the family, (2) all of the allowed full-day absent payments for the child have been paid, or (3) the family or provider did not timely report a change as required under law.


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(f) The provider and family shall receive notification of the number of absent days used upon initial provider authorization for a family and ongoing notification of the number of absent days used as of the date of the notification.

 

(g) For purposes of this subdivision, "absent days limit" means 25 full-day absent days per child, excluding holidays, in a fiscal calendar year; and ten consecutive full-day absent days.

 

(h) For purposes of this subdivision, "holidays limit" means ten full-day holidays per child, excluding absent days, in a calendar year.

 

(i) If a day meets the criteria of an absent day or a holiday under this subdivision, the provider must bill that day as an absent day or holiday.  A provider's failure to properly bill an absent day or a holiday results in an overpayment, regardless of whether the child reached, or is exempt from, the absent days limit or holidays limit for the calendar year.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2019.

 

Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 144.057, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Reconsiderations.  The commissioner of health shall review and decide reconsideration requests, including the granting of variances, in accordance with the procedures and criteria contained in chapter 245C.  The commissioner must set aside a disqualification for an individual who requests reconsideration and who meets the criteria described in section 245C.22, subdivision 4, paragraph (d).  The commissioner's decision shall be provided to the individual and to the Department of Human Services.  The commissioner's decision to grant or deny a reconsideration of disqualification is the final administrative agency action, except for the provisions under sections 245C.25, 245C.27, and 245C.28, subdivision 3.

 

Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245.095, is amended to read:

 

245.095 LIMITS ON RECEIVING PUBLIC FUNDS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Prohibition.  (a) If a provider, vendor, or individual enrolled, licensed, or receiving funds under a grant contract, or registered in any program administered by the commissioner, including under the commissioner's powers and authorities in section 256.01, is excluded from any that program administered by the commissioner, including under the commissioner's powers and authorities in section 256.01, the commissioner shall: 

 

(1) prohibit the excluded provider, vendor, or individual from enrolling or, becoming licensed, receiving grant funds, or registering in any other program administered by the commissioner.; and

 

(2) disenroll, revoke or suspend a license, disqualify, or debar the excluded provider, vendor, or individual in any other program administered by the commissioner.

 

(b) The duration of this prohibition, disenrollment, revocation, suspension, disqualification, or debarment must last for the longest applicable sanction or disqualifying period in effect for the provider, vendor, or individual permitted by state or federal law.

 

Subd. 2.  Definitions.  (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions have the meanings given them.

 

(b) "Excluded" means disenrolled, subject to license revocation or suspension, disqualified, or subject to vendor debarment disqualified, having a license that has been revoked or suspended under chapter 245A, or debarred or suspended under Minnesota Rules, part 1230.1150, or excluded pursuant to section 256B.064, subdivision 3.


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(c) "Individual" means a natural person providing products or services as a provider or vendor.

 

(d) "Provider" means includes any entity or individual receiving payment from a program administered by the Department of Human Services, and an owner, controlling individual, license holder, director, or managerial official of an entity receiving payment from a program administered by the Department of Human Services.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Applicant.  "Applicant" means an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, controlling individual, or other organization, or government entity, as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 7a, that has applied for licensure under this chapter and the rules of the commissioner is subject to licensure under this chapter and that has applied for but not yet been granted a license under this chapter.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 3b.  Authorized agent.  "Authorized agent" means the controlling individual designated by the license holder responsible for communicating with the commissioner of human services on all matters related to this chapter and on whom service of all notices and orders must be made pursuant to section 245A.04, subdivision 1.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 8.  License.  "License" means a certificate issued by the commissioner under section 245A.04 authorizing the license holder to provide a specified program for a specified period of time and in accordance with the terms of the license and the rules of the commissioner.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 9.  License holder.  "License holder" means an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, or other organization, or government entity that is legally responsible for the operation of the program or service, and has been granted a license by the commissioner under this chapter or chapter 245D and the rules of the commissioner, and is a controlling individual.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 10c.  Organization.  "Organization" means a domestic or foreign corporation, nonprofit corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, association, voluntary association, and any other legal or commercial entity.  For purposes of this chapter, organization does not include a government entity.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.


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Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, subdivision 12, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 12.  Private agency.  "Private agency" means an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association or other organization, other than a county agency, or a court with jurisdiction, that places persons who cannot remain in their own homes in residential programs, foster care, or adoptive homes.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, subdivision 14, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 14.  Residential program.  (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), "residential program" means a program that provides 24-hour-a-day care, supervision, food, lodging, rehabilitation, training, education, habilitation, or treatment outside a person's own home, including a program in an intermediate care facility for four or more persons with developmental disabilities; and chemical dependency or chemical abuse programs that are located in a hospital or nursing home and receive public funds for providing chemical abuse or chemical dependency treatment services under chapter 254B.  Residential programs include home and community-based services for persons with disabilities or persons age 65 and older that are provided in or outside of a person's own home under chapter 245D.

 

(b) For a residential program under chapter 245D, "residential program" means a single or multifamily dwelling that is under the control, either directly or indirectly, of the service provider licensed under chapter 245D and in which at least one person receives services under chapter 245D, including residential supports and services under section 245D.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (3); out-of-home crisis respite services under section 245D.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (1), item (ii); and out-of-home respite services under section 245D.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), clause (1).  A residential program does not include out-of-home respite services when a case manager has determined that an unlicensed site meets the assessed needs of the person.  A residential program also does not include multifamily dwellings where persons receive integrated community supports, even if authorization to provide these supports is granted under chapter 245D and approved in the federal waiver.

 

Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.02, subdivision 18, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 18.  Supervision.  (a) For purposes of licensed child care centers, "supervision" means when a program staff person:

 

(1) is within sight and hearing of a child at all times so that the program staff accountable for the child's care;

 

(2) can intervene to protect the health and safety of the child.; and

 

(3) is within sight and hearing of the child at all times except as described in paragraphs (b) to (d).

 

(b) When an infant is placed in a crib room to sleep, supervision occurs when a program staff person is within sight or hearing of the infant.  When supervision of a crib room is provided by sight or hearing, the center must have a plan to address the other supervision component components.

 

(c) When a single school-age child uses the restroom within the licensed space, supervision occurs when a program staff person has knowledge of the child's activity and location and checks on the child at least every five minutes.  When a school-age child uses the restroom outside the licensed space, including but not limited to field trips, supervision occurs when staff accompany children to the restroom.


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(d) When a school-age child leaves the classroom but remains within the licensed space to deliver or retrieve items from the child's personal storage space, supervision occurs when a program staff person has knowledge of the child's activity and location and checks on the child at least every five minutes.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  License required.  Unless licensed by the commissioner under this chapter, an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, other organization, or controlling individual government entity must not:

 

(1) operate a residential or a nonresidential program;

 

(2) receive a child or adult for care, supervision, or placement in foster care or adoption;

 

(3) help plan the placement of a child or adult in foster care or adoption or engage in placement activities as defined in section 259.21, subdivision 9, in this state, whether or not the adoption occurs in this state; or

 

(4) advertise a residential or nonresidential program.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.03, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Unlicensed programs.  (a) It is a misdemeanor for an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, other organization, or a controlling individual government entity to provide a residential or nonresidential program without a license issued under this chapter and in willful disregard of this chapter unless the program is excluded from licensure under subdivision 2.

 

(b) The commissioner may ask the appropriate county attorney or the attorney general to begin proceedings to secure a court order against the continued operation of the program, if an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, other organization, or controlling individual government entity has:

 

(1) failed to apply for a license under this chapter after receiving notice that a license is required or continues to operate without a license after receiving notice that a license is required;

 

(2) continued to operate without a license after the a license issued under this chapter has been revoked or suspended under section 245A.07 this chapter, and the commissioner has issued a final order affirming the revocation or suspension, or the license holder did not timely appeal the sanction; or

 

(3) continued to operate without a license after the a temporary immediate suspension of a license has been temporarily suspended under section 245A.07 issued under this chapter.

 

(c) The county attorney and the attorney general have a duty to cooperate with the commissioner.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Application for licensure.  (a) An individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, other organization or controlling individual, or government entity that is subject to licensure under section 245A.03 must apply for a license.  The application must be made on the forms and in the manner prescribed by the


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commissioner.  The commissioner shall provide the applicant with instruction in completing the application and provide information about the rules and requirements of other state agencies that affect the applicant.  An applicant seeking licensure in Minnesota with headquarters outside of Minnesota must have a program office located within 30 miles of the state Minnesota border.  An applicant who intends to buy or otherwise acquire a program or services licensed under this chapter that is owned by another license holder must apply for a license under this chapter and comply with the application procedures in this section and section 245A.03.

 

The commissioner shall act on the application within 90 working days after a complete application and any required reports have been received from other state agencies or departments, counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions.  The commissioner shall not consider an application to be complete until the commissioner receives all of the information required under section 245C.05 information.

 

When the commissioner receives an application for initial licensure that is incomplete because the applicant failed to submit required documents or that is substantially deficient because the documents submitted do not meet licensing requirements, the commissioner shall provide the applicant written notice that the application is incomplete or substantially deficient.  In the written notice to the applicant the commissioner shall identify documents that are missing or deficient and give the applicant 45 days to resubmit a second application that is substantially complete.  An applicant's failure to submit a substantially complete application after receiving notice from the commissioner is a basis for license denial under section 245A.05.

 

(b) An application for licensure must identify all controlling individuals as defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 5a, and must specify an designate one individual to be the authorized agent who is responsible for dealing with the commissioner of human services on all matters provided for in this chapter and on whom service of all notices and orders must be made.  The application must be signed by the authorized agent and must include the authorized agent's first, middle, and last name; mailing address; and e­mail address.  By submitting an application for licensure, the authorized agent consents to electronic communication with the commissioner throughout the application process.  The authorized agent must be authorized to accept service on behalf of all of the controlling individuals of the program.  A government entity that holds multiple licenses under this chapter may designate one authorized agent for all licenses issued under this chapter or may designate a different authorized agent for each license.  Service on the authorized agent is service on all of the controlling individuals of the program.  It is not a defense to any action arising under this chapter that service was not made on each controlling individual of the program.  The designation of one or more a controlling individuals individual as agents the authorized agent under this paragraph does not affect the legal responsibility of any other controlling individual under this chapter.

 

(c) An applicant or license holder must have a policy that prohibits license holders, employees, subcontractors, and volunteers, when directly responsible for persons served by the program, from abusing prescription medication or being in any manner under the influence of a chemical that impairs the individual's ability to provide services or care.  The license holder must train employees, subcontractors, and volunteers about the program's drug and alcohol policy.

 

(d) An applicant and license holder must have a program grievance procedure that permits persons served by the program and their authorized representatives to bring a grievance to the highest level of authority in the program.

 

(e) The applicant must be able to demonstrate competent knowledge of the applicable requirements of this chapter and chapter 245C, and the requirements of other licensing statutes and rules applicable to the program or services for which the applicant is seeking to be licensed.  Effective January 1, 2013, The commissioner may limit communication during the application process to the authorized agent or the controlling individuals identified on the license application and for whom a background study was initiated under chapter 245C.  The commissioner may require the applicant, except for child foster care, to demonstrate competence in the applicable licensing requirements by successfully completing a written examination.  The commissioner may develop a prescribed written examination format.


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(f) When an applicant is an individual, the individual applicant must provide:

 

(1) the applicant's taxpayer identification numbers including the Social Security number or Minnesota tax identification number, and federal employer identification number if the applicant has employees;

 

(2) at the request of the commissioner, a copy of the most recent filing with the secretary of state that includes the complete business name, if any, and;

 

(3) if doing business under a different name, the doing business as (DBA) name, as registered with the secretary of state; and

 

(3) a notarized signature of the applicant.  (4) if applicable, the applicant's National Provider Identifier (NPI) number and Unique Minnesota Provider Identifier (UMPI) number; and

 

(5) at the request of the commissioner, the notarized signature of the applicant or authorized agent.

 

(g) When an applicant is a nonindividual an organization, the applicant must provide the:

 

(1) the applicant's taxpayer identification numbers including the Minnesota tax identification number and federal employer identification number;

 

(2) at the request of the commissioner, a copy of the most recent filing with the secretary of state that includes the complete business name, and if doing business under a different name, the doing business as (DBA) name, as registered with the secretary of state;

 

(3) the first, middle, and last name, and address for all individuals who will be controlling individuals, including all officers, owners, and managerial officials as defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 5a, and the date that the background study was initiated by the applicant for each controlling individual; and

 

(4) first, middle, and last name, mailing address, and notarized signature of the agent authorized by the applicant to accept service on behalf of the controlling individuals.

 

(4) if applicable, the applicant's NPI number and UMPI number;

 

(5) the documents that created the organization and that determine the organization's internal governance and the relations among the persons that own the organization, have an interest in the organization, or are members of the organization, in each case as provided or authorized by the organization's governing statute, which may include a partnership agreement, bylaws, articles of organization, organizational chart, and operating agreement, or comparable documents as provided in the organization's governing statute; and

 

(6) the notarized signature of the applicant or authorized agent.

 

(h) When the applicant is a government entity, the applicant must provide:

 

(1) the name of the government agency, political subdivision, or other unit of government seeking the license and the name of the program or services that will be licensed;

 

(2) the applicant's taxpayer identification numbers including the Minnesota tax identification number and federal employer identification number;


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(3) a letter signed by the manager, administrator, or other executive of the government entity authorizing the submission of the license application; and

 

(4) if applicable, the applicant's NPI number and UMPI number.

 

(h) (i) At the time of application for licensure or renewal of a license under this chapter, the applicant or license holder must acknowledge on the form provided by the commissioner if the applicant or license holder elects to receive any public funding reimbursement from the commissioner for services provided under the license that:

 

(1) the applicant's or license holder's compliance with the provider enrollment agreement or registration requirements for receipt of public funding may be monitored by the commissioner as part of a licensing investigation or licensing inspection; and

 

(2) noncompliance with the provider enrollment agreement or registration requirements for receipt of public funding that is identified through a licensing investigation or licensing inspection, or noncompliance with a licensing requirement that is a basis of enrollment for reimbursement for a service, may result in:

 

(i) a correction order or a conditional license under section 245A.06, or sanctions under section 245A.07;

 

(ii) nonpayment of claims submitted by the license holder for public program reimbursement;

 

(iii) recovery of payments made for the service;

 

(iv) disenrollment in the public payment program; or

 

(v) other administrative, civil, or criminal penalties as provided by law.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Notification of affected municipality.  The commissioner must not issue a license under this chapter without giving 30 calendar days' written notice to the affected municipality or other political subdivision unless the program is considered a permitted single-family residential use under sections 245A.11 and 245A.14.  The commissioner may provide notice through electronic communication.  The notification must be given before the first issuance of a license under this chapter and annually after that time if annual notification is requested in writing by the affected municipality or other political subdivision.  State funds must not be made available to or be spent by an agency or department of state, county, or municipal government for payment to a residential or nonresidential program licensed under this chapter until the provisions of this subdivision have been complied with in full.  The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to programs located in hospitals.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 4.  Inspections; waiver.  (a) Before issuing an initial a license under this chapter, the commissioner shall conduct an inspection of the program.  The inspection must include but is not limited to:

 

(1) an inspection of the physical plant;

 

(2) an inspection of records and documents;


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(3) an evaluation of the program by consumers of the program;

 

(4) (3) observation of the program in operation; and

 

(5) (4) an inspection for the health, safety, and fire standards in licensing requirements for a child care license holder.

 

For the purposes of this subdivision, "consumer" means a person who receives the services of a licensed program, the person's legal guardian, or the parent or individual having legal custody of a child who receives the services of a licensed program.

 

(b) The evaluation required in paragraph (a), clause (3), or the observation in paragraph (a), clause (4) (3), is not required prior to issuing an initial a license under subdivision 7.  If the commissioner issues an initial a license under subdivision 7 this chapter, these requirements must be completed within one year after the issuance of an initial the license.

 

(c) Before completing a licensing inspection in a family child care program or child care center, the licensing agency must offer the license holder an exit interview to discuss violations or potential violations of law or rule observed during the inspection and offer technical assistance on how to comply with applicable laws and rules.  Nothing in this paragraph limits the ability of the commissioner to issue a correction order or negative action for violations of law or rule not discussed in an exit interview or in the event that a license holder chooses not to participate in an exit interview.  The commissioner shall not issue a correction order or negative licensing action for violations of law or rule not discussed in an exit interview, unless a license holder chooses not to participate in an exit interview or not to complete the exit interview.  If the license holder is unable to complete the exit interview, the licensing agency must offer an alternate time for the license holder to complete the exit interview.

 

(d) If a family child care license holder disputes a county licensor's interpretation of a licensing requirement during a licensing inspection or exit interview, the license holder may, within five business days after the exit interview or licensing inspection, request clarification from the commissioner, in writing, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.  The license holder's request must describe the county licensor's interpretation of the licensing requirement at issue, and explain why the license holder believes the county licensor's interpretation is inaccurate.  The commissioner and the county must include the license holder in all correspondence regarding the disputed interpretation, and must provide an opportunity for the license holder to contribute relevant information that may impact the commissioner's decision.  The county licensor must not issue a correction order related to the disputed licensing requirement until the commissioner has provided clarification to the license holder about the licensing requirement.

 

(d) (e) The commissioner or the county shall inspect at least annually a child care provider licensed under this chapter and Minnesota Rules, chapter 9502 or 9503, for compliance with applicable licensing standards.

 

(e) (f) No later than November 19, 2017, the commissioner shall make publicly available on the department's website the results of inspection reports of all child care providers licensed under this chapter and under Minnesota Rules, chapter 9502 or 9503, and the number of deaths, serious injuries, and instances of substantiated child maltreatment that occurred in licensed child care settings each year.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  The amendments to paragraphs (a) and (b) are effective January 1, 2020.  The amendments to paragraphs (c) to (f) are effective September 30, 2019.


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Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Commissioner's evaluation.  (a) Before issuing, denying, suspending, revoking, or making conditional a license, the commissioner shall evaluate information gathered under this section.  The commissioner's evaluation shall consider the applicable requirements of statutes and rules for the program or services for which the applicant seeks a license, including the disqualification standards set forth in chapter 245C, and shall evaluate facts, conditions, or circumstances concerning: 

 

(1) the program's operation,;

 

(2) the well-being of persons served by the program,;

 

(3) available consumer evaluations of the program, and by persons receiving services;

 

(4) information about the qualifications of the personnel employed by the applicant or license holder.; and

 

(5) the applicant's or license holder's ability to demonstrate competent knowledge of the applicable requirements of statutes and rules, including this chapter and chapter 245C, for which the applicant seeks a license or the license holder is licensed.

 

(b) The commissioner shall also evaluate the results of the study required in subdivision 3 and determine whether a risk of harm to the persons served by the program exists.  In conducting this evaluation, the commissioner shall apply the disqualification standards set forth in chapter 245C.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Grant of license; license extension.  (a) If the commissioner determines that the program complies with all applicable rules and laws, the commissioner shall issue a license consistent with this section or, if applicable, a temporary change of ownership license under section 245A.043.  At minimum, the license shall state:

 

(1) the name of the license holder;

 

(2) the address of the program;

 

(3) the effective date and expiration date of the license;

 

(4) the type of license;

 

(5) the maximum number and ages of persons that may receive services from the program; and

 

(6) any special conditions of licensure.

 

(b) The commissioner may issue an initial a license for a period not to exceed two years if:

 

(1) the commissioner is unable to conduct the evaluation or observation required by subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clauses (3) and clause (4), because the program is not yet operational;

 

(2) certain records and documents are not available because persons are not yet receiving services from the program; and


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(3) the applicant complies with applicable laws and rules in all other respects.

 

(c) A decision by the commissioner to issue a license does not guarantee that any person or persons will be placed or cared for in the licensed program.  A license shall not be transferable to another individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, other organization, or controlling individual or to another location.

 

(d) A license holder must notify the commissioner and obtain the commissioner's approval before making any changes that would alter the license information listed under paragraph (a).

 

(e) (d) Except as provided in paragraphs (g) (f) and (h) (g), the commissioner shall not issue or reissue a license if the applicant, license holder, or controlling individual has:

 

(1) been disqualified and the disqualification was not set aside and no variance has been granted;

 

(2) been denied a license under this chapter, within the past two years;

 

(3) had a license issued under this chapter revoked within the past five years;

 

(4) an outstanding debt related to a license fee, licensing fine, or settlement agreement for which payment is delinquent; or

 

(5) failed to submit the information required of an applicant under subdivision 1, paragraph (f) or (g), after being requested by the commissioner.

 

When a license issued under this chapter is revoked under clause (1) or (3), the license holder and controlling individual may not hold any license under chapter 245A or 245D for five years following the revocation, and other licenses held by the applicant, license holder, or controlling individual shall also be revoked.

 

(f) (e) The commissioner shall not issue or reissue a license under this chapter if an individual living in the household where the licensed services will be provided as specified under section 245C.03, subdivision 1, has been disqualified and the disqualification has not been set aside and no variance has been granted.

 

(g) (f) Pursuant to section 245A.07, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), when a license issued under this chapter has been suspended or revoked and the suspension or revocation is under appeal, the program may continue to operate pending a final order from the commissioner.  If the license under suspension or revocation will expire before a final order is issued, a temporary provisional license may be issued provided any applicable license fee is paid before the temporary provisional license is issued.

 

(h) (g) Notwithstanding paragraph (g) (f), when a revocation is based on the disqualification of a controlling individual or license holder, and the controlling individual or license holder is ordered under section 245C.17 to be immediately removed from direct contact with persons receiving services or is ordered to be under continuous, direct supervision when providing direct contact services, the program may continue to operate only if the program complies with the order and submits documentation demonstrating compliance with the order.  If the disqualified individual fails to submit a timely request for reconsideration, or if the disqualification is not set aside and no variance is granted, the order to immediately remove the individual from direct contact or to be under continuous, direct supervision remains in effect pending the outcome of a hearing and final order from the commissioner.

 

(i) (h) For purposes of reimbursement for meals only, under the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, subtitle B, chapter II, subchapter A, part 226, relocation within the same county by a licensed family day care provider, shall be considered an extension of the license for a period of no more than 30 calendar days or until the new license is issued, whichever occurs first, provided the county agency has determined the family day care provider meets licensure requirements at the new location.


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(j) (i) Unless otherwise specified by statute, all licenses issued under this chapter expire at 12:01 a.m. on the day after the expiration date stated on the license.  A license holder must apply for and be granted a new license to operate the program or the program must not be operated after the expiration date.

 

(k) (j) The commissioner shall not issue or reissue a license under this chapter if it has been determined that a tribal licensing authority has established jurisdiction to license the program or service.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 7a.  Notification required.  (a) A license holder must notify the commissioner, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, and obtain the commissioner's approval before making any change that would alter the license information listed under subdivision 7, paragraph (a).

 

(b) A license holder must also notify the commissioner, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, before making any change:

 

(1) to the license holder's authorized agent as defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 3b;

 

(2) to the license holder's controlling individual as defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 5a;

 

(3) to the license holder information on file with the secretary of state;

 

(4) in the location of the program or service licensed under this chapter; and

 

(5) to the federal or state tax identification number associated with the license holder.

 

(c) When, for reasons beyond the license holder's control, a license holder cannot provide the commissioner with prior notice of the changes in paragraph (b), clauses (1) to (3), the license holder must notify the commissioner by the tenth business day after the change and must provide any additional information requested by the commissioner.

 

(d) When a license holder notifies the commissioner of a change to the license holder information on file with the secretary of state, the license holder must provide amended articles of incorporation and other documentation of the change.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 9a.  Child foster home variances for capacity.  (a) The commissioner, or the commissioner of corrections under section 241.021, may grant a variance for a licensed family foster parent to allow additional foster children if:

 

(1) the variance is needed to allow:  (i) a parenting youth in foster care to remain with the child of the parenting youth; (ii) siblings to remain together; (iii) a child with an established meaningful relationship with the family to remain with the family; or (iv) a family with special training or skills to provide care to a child who has a severe disability;

 

(2) there is no risk of harm to a child currently in the home;


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(3) the structural characteristics of the home, including sleeping space, accommodates additional foster children;

 

(4) the home remains in compliance with applicable zoning, health, fire, and building codes; and

 

(5) the statement of intended use specifies conditions for an exception to capacity limits and specifies how the license holder will maintain a ratio of adults to children that ensures the safety and appropriate supervision of all the children in the home.

 

(b) A variance granted to a family foster home under Minnesota Rules, part 2960.3030, subpart 3, prior to October 1, 2019, remains in effect until January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.04, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 10.  Adoption agency; additional requirements.  In addition to the other requirements of this section, an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, other or organization, or controlling individual applying for a license to place children for adoption must:

 

(1) incorporate as a nonprofit corporation under chapter 317A;

 

(2) file with the application for licensure a copy of the disclosure form required under section 259.37, subdivision 2;

 

(3) provide evidence that a bond has been obtained and will be continuously maintained throughout the entire operating period of the agency, to cover the cost of transfer of records to and storage of records by the agency which has agreed, according to rule established by the commissioner, to receive the applicant agency's records if the applicant agency voluntarily or involuntarily ceases operation and fails to provide for proper transfer of the records.  The bond must be made in favor of the agency which has agreed to receive the records; and

 

(4) submit a certified audit to the commissioner each year the license is renewed as required under section 245A.03, subdivision 1.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 30.  [245A.043] LICENSE APPLICATION AFTER CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP.

 

Subdivision 1.  Transfer prohibited.  A license issued under this chapter is only valid for a premises and individual, organization, or government entity identified by the commissioner on the license.  A license is not transferable or assignable.

 

Subd. 2.  Change in ownership.  (a) If the commissioner determines that there is a change in ownership, the commissioner shall require submission of a new license application.  This subdivision does not apply to a licensed program or service located in a home where the license holder resides.  A change in ownership occurs when:

 

(1) the license holder sells or transfers 100 percent of the property, stock, or assets;

 

(2) the license holder merges with another organization;

 

(3) the license holder consolidates with two or more organizations, resulting in the creation of a new organization;

 

(4) there is a change to the federal tax identification number associated with the license holder; or


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(5) all controlling individuals associated with the original application have changed.

 

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), clauses (1) and (5), no change in ownership has occurred if at least one controlling individual has been listed as a controlling individual for the license for at least the previous 12 months.

 

Subd. 3.  Change of ownership process.  (a) When a change in ownership is proposed and the party intends to assume operation without an interruption in service longer than 60 days after acquiring the program or service, the license holder must provide the commissioner with written notice of the proposed change on a form provided by the commissioner at least 60 days before the anticipated date of the change in ownership.  For purposes of this subdivision and subdivision 4, "party" means the party that intends to operate the service or program.

 

(b) The party must submit a license application under this chapter on the form and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner at least 30 days before the change in ownership is complete, and must include documentation to support the upcoming change.  The party must comply with background study requirements under chapter 245C and shall pay the application fee required under section 245A.10.  A party that intends to assume operation without an interruption in service longer than 60 days after acquiring the program or service is exempt from the requirements of Minnesota Rules, part 9530.6800.

 

(c) The commissioner may streamline application procedures when the party is an existing license holder under this chapter and is acquiring a program licensed under this chapter or service in the same service class as one or more licensed programs or services the party operates and those licenses are in substantial compliance.  For purposes of this subdivision, "substantial compliance" means within the previous 12 months the commissioner did not (1) issue a sanction under section 245A.07 against a license held by the party, or (2) make a license held by the party conditional according to section 245A.06.

 

(d) Except when a temporary change in ownership license is issued pursuant to subdivision 4, the existing license holder is solely responsible for operating the program according to applicable laws and rules until a license under this chapter is issued to the party.

 

(e) If a licensing inspection of the program or service was conducted within the previous 12 months and the existing license holder's record demonstrates substantial compliance with the applicable licensing requirements, the commissioner may waive the party's inspection required by section 245A.04, subdivision 4.  The party must submit to the commissioner (1) proof that the premises was inspected by a fire marshal or that the fire marshal deemed an inspection was not warranted, and (2) proof that the premises was inspected for compliance with the building code or no inspection was deemed warranted.

 

(f) If the party is seeking a license for a program or service that has an outstanding action under section 245A.06 or 245A.07, the party must submit a letter as part of the application process identifying how the party has or will come into full compliance with the licensing requirements.

 

(g) The commissioner shall evaluate the party's application according to section 245A.04, subdivision 6.  If the commissioner determines that the party has remedied or demonstrates the ability to remedy the outstanding actions under section 245A.06 or 245A.07 and has determined that the program otherwise complies with all applicable laws and rules, the commissioner shall issue a license or conditional license under this chapter.  The conditional license remains in effect until the commissioner determines that the grounds for the action are corrected or no longer exist.

 

(h) The commissioner may deny an application as provided in section 245A.05.  An applicant whose application was denied by the commissioner may appeal the denial according to section 245A.05.

 

(i) This subdivision does not apply to a licensed program or service located in a home where the license holder resides.


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Subd. 4.  Temporary change in ownership license.  (a) After receiving the party's application pursuant to subdivision 3, upon the written request of the existing license holder and the party, the commissioner may issue a temporary change in ownership license to the party while the commissioner evaluates the party's application.  Until a decision is made to grant or deny a license under this chapter, the existing license holder and the party shall both be responsible for operating the program or service according to applicable laws and rules, and the sale or transfer of the existing license holder's ownership interest in the licensed program or service does not terminate the existing license.

 

(b) The commissioner may issue a temporary change in ownership license when a license holder's death, divorce, or other event affects the ownership of the program and an applicant seeks to assume operation of the program or service to ensure continuity of the program or service while a license application is evaluated.

 

(c) This subdivision applies to any program or service licensed under this chapter.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.05, is amended to read:

 

245A.05 DENIAL OF APPLICATION.

 

(a) The commissioner may deny a license if an applicant or controlling individual:

 

(1) fails to submit a substantially complete application after receiving notice from the commissioner under section 245A.04, subdivision 1;

 

(2) fails to comply with applicable laws or rules;

 

(3) knowingly withholds relevant information from or gives false or misleading information to the commissioner in connection with an application for a license or during an investigation;

 

(4) has a disqualification that has not been set aside under section 245C.22 and no variance has been granted;

 

(5) has an individual living in the household who received a background study under section 245C.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), who has a disqualification that has not been set aside under section 245C.22, and no variance has been granted;

 

(6) is associated with an individual who received a background study under section 245C.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (6), who may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults, and who has a disqualification that has not been set aside under section 245C.22, and no variance has been granted; or

 

(7) fails to comply with section 245A.04, subdivision 1, paragraph (f) or (g).;

 

(8) fails to demonstrate competent knowledge as required by section 245A.04, subdivision 6;

 

(9) has a history of noncompliance as a license holder or controlling individual with applicable laws or rules, including but not limited to this chapter and chapters 119B and 245C;

 

(10) is prohibited from holding a license according to section 245.095; or

 

(11) for family child foster care, has nondisqualifying background study information, as described in section 245C.05, subdivision 4, that reflects on the individual's ability to safely provide care to foster children.


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(b) An applicant whose application has been denied by the commissioner must be given notice of the denial, which must state the reasons for the denial in plain language.  Notice must be given by certified mail or personal service.  The notice must state the reasons the application was denied and must inform the applicant of the right to a contested case hearing under chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505 to 1400.8612.  The applicant may appeal the denial by notifying the commissioner in writing by certified mail or personal service.  If mailed, the appeal must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within 20 calendar days after the applicant received the notice of denial.  If an appeal request is made by personal service, it must be received by the commissioner within 20 calendar days after the applicant received the notice of denial.  Section 245A.08 applies to hearings held to appeal the commissioner's denial of an application.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020, except paragraph (a), clause (11), is effective March 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 32.  [245A.055] CLOSING A LICENSE.

 

Subdivision 1.  Inactive programs.  The commissioner shall close a license if the commissioner determines that a licensed program has not been serving any client for a consecutive period of 12 months or longer.  The license holder is not prohibited from reapplying for a license if the license holder's license was closed under this chapter.

 

Subd. 2.  Reconsideration of closure.  If a license is closed, the commissioner must notify the license holder of closure by certified mail or personal service.  If mailed, the notice of closure must be mailed to the last known address of the license holder and must inform the license holder why the license was closed and that the license holder has the right to request reconsideration of the closure.  If the license holder believes that the license was closed in error, the license holder may ask the commissioner to reconsider the closure.  The license holder's request for reconsideration must be made in writing and must include documentation that the licensed program has served a client in the previous 12 months.  The request for reconsideration must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within 20 calendar days after the license holder receives the notice of closure.  A timely request for reconsideration stays imposition of the license closure until the commissioner issues a decision on the request for reconsideration.

 

Subd. 3.  Reconsideration final.  The commissioner's disposition of a request for reconsideration is final and not subject to appeal under chapter 14.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.07, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Sanctions; appeals; license.  (a) In addition to making a license conditional under section 245A.06, the commissioner may suspend or revoke the license, impose a fine, or secure an injunction against the continuing operation of the program of a license holder who does not comply with applicable law or rule or who has nondisqualifying background study information, as described in section 245C.05, subdivision 4, that reflects on the license holder's ability to safely provide care to foster children.  When applying sanctions authorized under this section, the commissioner shall consider the nature, chronicity, or severity of the violation of law or rule and the effect of the violation on the health, safety, or rights of persons served by the program.

 

(b) If a license holder appeals the suspension or revocation of a license and the license holder continues to operate the program pending a final order on the appeal, the commissioner shall issue the license holder a temporary provisional license.  Unless otherwise specified by the commissioner, variances in effect on the date of the license sanction under appeal continue under the temporary provisional license.  If a license holder fails to comply with applicable law or rule while operating under a temporary provisional license, the commissioner may impose additional sanctions under this section and section 245A.06, and may terminate any prior variance.  If a temporary provisional license is set to expire, a new temporary provisional license shall be issued to the license holder upon


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payment of any fee required under section 245A.10.  The temporary provisional license shall expire on the date the final order is issued.  If the license holder prevails on the appeal, a new nonprovisional license shall be issued for the remainder of the current license period.

 

(c) If a license holder is under investigation and the license issued under this chapter is due to expire before completion of the investigation, the program shall be issued a new license upon completion of the reapplication requirements and payment of any applicable license fee.  Upon completion of the investigation, a licensing sanction may be imposed against the new license under this section, section 245A.06, or 245A.08.

 

(d) Failure to reapply or closure of a license issued under this chapter by the license holder prior to the completion of any investigation shall not preclude the commissioner from issuing a licensing sanction under this section, or section 245A.06, or 245A.08 at the conclusion of the investigation.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  Paragraph (a) is effective March 1, 2020.  Paragraphs (c) and (d) are effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 34.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.07, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Temporary immediate suspension.  (a) The commissioner shall act immediately to temporarily suspend a license issued under this chapter if:

 

(1) the license holder's actions or failure to comply with applicable law or rule, or the actions of other individuals or conditions in the program, pose an imminent risk of harm to the health, safety, or rights of persons served by the program; or

 

(2) while the program continues to operate pending an appeal of an order of revocation, the commissioner identifies one or more subsequent violations of law or rule which may adversely affect the health or safety of persons served by the program.; or

 

(3) the license holder is criminally charged in state or federal court with an offense that involves fraud or theft against a program administered by the commissioner.

 

(b) No state funds shall be made available or be expended by any agency or department of state, county, or municipal government for use by a license holder regulated under this chapter while a license issued under this chapter is under immediate suspension.  A notice stating the reasons for the immediate suspension and informing the license holder of the right to an expedited hearing under chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505 to 1400.8612, must be delivered by personal service to the address shown on the application or the last known address of the license holder.  The license holder may appeal an order immediately suspending a license.  The appeal of an order immediately suspending a license must be made in writing by certified mail or, personal service, or other means expressly set forth in the commissioner's order.  If mailed, the appeal must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within five calendar days after the license holder receives notice that the license has been immediately suspended.  If a request is made by personal service, it must be received by the commissioner within five calendar days after the license holder received the order.  A license holder and any controlling individual shall discontinue operation of the program upon receipt of the commissioner's order to immediately suspend the license.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 35.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.07, subdivision 2a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2a.  Immediate suspension expedited hearing.  (a) Within five working days of receipt of the license holder's timely appeal, the commissioner shall request assignment of an administrative law judge.  The request must include a proposed date, time, and place of a hearing.  A hearing must be conducted by an administrative law judge


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within 30 calendar days of the request for assignment, unless an extension is requested by either party and granted by the administrative law judge for good cause.  The commissioner shall issue a notice of hearing by certified mail or personal service at least ten working days before the hearing.  The scope of the hearing shall be limited solely to the issue of whether the temporary immediate suspension should remain in effect pending the commissioner's final order under section 245A.08, regarding a licensing sanction issued under subdivision 3 following the immediate suspension.  For suspensions under subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (1), the burden of proof in expedited hearings under this subdivision shall be limited to the commissioner's demonstration that reasonable cause exists to believe that the license holder's actions or failure to comply with applicable law or rule poses, or the actions of other individuals or conditions in the program poses an imminent risk of harm to the health, safety, or rights of persons served by the program.  "Reasonable cause" means there exist specific articulable facts or circumstances which provide the commissioner with a reasonable suspicion that there is an imminent risk of harm to the health, safety, or rights of persons served by the program.  When the commissioner has determined there is reasonable cause to order the temporary immediate suspension of a license based on a violation of safe sleep requirements, as defined in section 245A.1435, the commissioner is not required to demonstrate that an infant died or was injured as a result of the safe sleep violations.  For suspensions under subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (2), the burden of proof in expedited hearings under this subdivision shall be limited to the commissioner's demonstration by a preponderance of the evidence that, since the license was revoked, the license holder committed additional violations of law or rule which may adversely affect the health or safety of persons served by the program.

 

(b) The administrative law judge shall issue findings of fact, conclusions, and a recommendation within ten working days from the date of hearing.  The parties shall have ten calendar days to submit exceptions to the administrative law judge's report.  The record shall close at the end of the ten-day period for submission of exceptions.  The commissioner's final order shall be issued within ten working days from the close of the record.  When an appeal of a temporary immediate suspension is withdrawn or dismissed, the commissioner shall issue a final order affirming the temporary immediate suspension within ten calendar days of the commissioner's receipt of the withdrawal or dismissal.  Within 90 calendar days after a final order affirming an immediate suspension, the commissioner shall make a determination regarding whether a final licensing sanction shall be issued under subdivision 3.  The license holder shall continue to be prohibited from operation of the program during this 90-day period.

 

(c) When the final order under paragraph (b) affirms an immediate suspension, and a final licensing sanction is issued under subdivision 3 and the license holder appeals that sanction, the license holder continues to be prohibited from operation of the program pending a final commissioner's order under section 245A.08, subdivision 5, regarding the final licensing sanction.

 

(d) For suspensions under subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (3), the burden of proof in expedited hearings under this subdivision shall be limited to the commissioner's demonstration by a preponderance of the evidence that a criminal complaint and warrant or summons was issued for the license holder that was not dismissed, and that the criminal charge is an offense that involves fraud or theft against a program administered by the commissioner.

 

Sec. 36.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.07, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  License suspension, revocation, or fine.  (a) The commissioner may suspend or revoke a license, or impose a fine if:

 

(1) a license holder fails to comply fully with applicable laws or rules including but not limited to the requirements of this chapter and chapter 245C;

 

(2) a license holder, a controlling individual, or an individual living in the household where the licensed services are provided or is otherwise subject to a background study has a been disqualified and the disqualification which has was not been set aside under section 245C.22 and no variance has been granted;


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(3) a license holder knowingly withholds relevant information from or gives false or misleading information to the commissioner in connection with an application for a license, in connection with the background study status of an individual, during an investigation, or regarding compliance with applicable laws or rules; or

 

(4) after July 1, 2012, and upon request by the commissioner, a license holder fails to submit the information required of an applicant under section 245A.04, subdivision 1, paragraph (f) or (g). a license holder is excluded from any program administered by the commissioner under section 245.095; or

 

(5) revocation is required under section 245A.04, subdivision 7, paragraph (d).

 

A license holder who has had a license issued under this chapter suspended, revoked, or has been ordered to pay a fine must be given notice of the action by certified mail or personal service.  If mailed, the notice must be mailed to the address shown on the application or the last known address of the license holder.  The notice must state in plain language the reasons the license was suspended or revoked, or a fine was ordered.

 

(b) If the license was suspended or revoked, the notice must inform the license holder of the right to a contested case hearing under chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505 to 1400.8612.  The license holder may appeal an order suspending or revoking a license.  The appeal of an order suspending or revoking a license must be made in writing by certified mail or personal service.  If mailed, the appeal must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder receives notice that the license has been suspended or revoked.  If a request is made by personal service, it must be received by the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder received the order.  Except as provided in subdivision 2a, paragraph (c), if a license holder submits a timely appeal of an order suspending or revoking a license, the license holder may continue to operate the program as provided in section 245A.04, subdivision 7, paragraphs (g) (f) and (h) (g), until the commissioner issues a final order on the suspension or revocation.

 

(c)(1) If the license holder was ordered to pay a fine, the notice must inform the license holder of the responsibility for payment of fines and the right to a contested case hearing under chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505 to 1400.8612.  The appeal of an order to pay a fine must be made in writing by certified mail or personal service.  If mailed, the appeal must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder receives notice that the fine has been ordered.  If a request is made by personal service, it must be received by the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder received the order.

 

(2) The license holder shall pay the fines assessed on or before the payment date specified.  If the license holder fails to fully comply with the order, the commissioner may issue a second fine or suspend the license until the license holder complies.  If the license holder receives state funds, the state, county, or municipal agencies or departments responsible for administering the funds shall withhold payments and recover any payments made while the license is suspended for failure to pay a fine.  A timely appeal shall stay payment of the fine until the commissioner issues a final order.

 

(3) A license holder shall promptly notify the commissioner of human services, in writing, when a violation specified in the order to forfeit a fine is corrected.  If upon reinspection the commissioner determines that a violation has not been corrected as indicated by the order to forfeit a fine, the commissioner may issue a second fine.  The commissioner shall notify the license holder by certified mail or personal service that a second fine has been assessed.  The license holder may appeal the second fine as provided under this subdivision.

 

(4) Fines shall be assessed as follows:

 

(i) the license holder shall forfeit $1,000 for each determination of maltreatment of a child under section 626.556 or the maltreatment of a vulnerable adult under section 626.557 for which the license holder is determined responsible for the maltreatment under section 626.556, subdivision 10e, paragraph (i), or 626.557, subdivision 9c, paragraph (c);


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(ii) if the commissioner determines that a determination of maltreatment for which the license holder is responsible is the result of maltreatment that meets the definition of serious maltreatment as defined in section 245C.02, subdivision 18, the license holder shall forfeit $5,000;

 

(iii) for a program that operates out of the license holder's home and a program licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9502.0300 to 9502.0495 9502.0445, the fine assessed against the license holder shall not exceed $1,000 for each determination of maltreatment;

 

(iv) the license holder shall forfeit $200 for each occurrence of a violation of law or rule governing matters of health, safety, or supervision, including but not limited to the provision of adequate staff-to-child or adult ratios, and failure to comply with background study requirements under chapter 245C; and

 

(v) the license holder shall forfeit $100 for each occurrence of a violation of law or rule other than those subject to a $5,000, $1,000, or $200 fine in items (i) to (iv).

 

For purposes of this section, "occurrence" means each violation identified in the commissioner's fine order.  Fines assessed against a license holder that holds a license to provide home and community-based services, as identified in section 245D.03, subdivision 1, and a community residential setting or day services facility license under chapter 245D where the services are provided, may be assessed against both licenses for the same occurrence, but the combined amount of the fines shall not exceed the amount specified in this clause for that occurrence.

 

(5) When a fine has been assessed, the license holder may not avoid payment by closing, selling, or otherwise transferring the licensed program to a third party.  In such an event, the license holder will be personally liable for payment.  In the case of a corporation, each controlling individual is personally and jointly liable for payment.

 

(d) Except for background study violations involving the failure to comply with an order to immediately remove an individual or an order to provide continuous, direct supervision, the commissioner shall not issue a fine under paragraph (c) relating to a background study violation to a license holder who self-corrects a background study violation before the commissioner discovers the violation.  A license holder who has previously exercised the provisions of this paragraph to avoid a fine for a background study violation may not avoid a fine for a subsequent background study violation unless at least 365 days have passed since the license holder self-corrected the earlier background study violation.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective January 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 37.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.10, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 4.  License or certification fee for certain programs.  (a) Child care centers shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on the following schedule:

 

 

Licensed Capacity

Child Care Center License Fee

 

 

1 to 24 persons

$200

 

25 to 49 persons

$300

 

50 to 74 persons

$400

 

75 to 99 persons

$500

 

100 to 124 persons

$600

 

125 to 149 persons

$700

 

150 to 174 persons

$800

 

175 to 199 persons

$900

 

200 to 224 persons

$1,000

 

225 or more persons

$1,100


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(b)(1) A program licensed to provide one or more of the home and community-based services and supports identified under chapter 245D to persons with disabilities or age 65 and older, shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on revenues derived from the provision of services that would require licensure under chapter 245D during the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the license fee is paid, according to the following schedule:

 

License Holder Annual Revenue

 

License Fee

 

less than or equal to $10,000

 

$200 $240

greater than $10,000 but less than or equal to $25,000

 

$300 $360

greater than $25,000 but less than or equal to $50,000

 

$400 $480

greater than $50,000 but less than or equal to $100,000

 

$500 $600

greater than $100,000 but less than or equal to $150,000

 

$600 $720

greater than $150,000 but less than or equal to $200,000

 

$800 $960

greater than $200,000 but less than or equal to $250,000

 

$1,000 $1,200

greater than $250,000 but less than or equal to $300,000

 

$1,200 $1,440

greater than $300,000 but less than or equal to $350,000

 

$1,400 $1,680

greater than $350,000 but less than or equal to $400,000

 

$1,600 $1,920

greater than $400,000 but less than or equal to $450,000

 

$1,800 $2,160

greater than $450,000 but less than or equal to $500,000

 

$2,000 $2,400

greater than $500,000 but less than or equal to $600,000

 

$2,250 $2,700

greater than $600,000 but less than or equal to $700,000

 

$2,500 $3,000

greater than $700,000 but less than or equal to $800,000

 

$2,750 $3,300

greater than $800,000 but less than or equal to $900,000

 

$3,000 $3,600

greater than $900,000 but less than or equal to $1,000,000

 

$3,250 $3,900

greater than $1,000,000 but less than or equal to $1,250,000

 

$3,500 $4,200

greater than $1,250,000 but less than or equal to $1,500,000

 

$3,750 $4,500

greater than $1,500,000 but less than or equal to $1,750,000

 

$4,000 $4,800

greater than $1,750,000 but less than or equal to $2,000,000

 

$4,250 $5,100

greater than $2,000,000 but less than or equal to $2,500,000

 

$4,500 $5,400

greater than $2,500,000 but less than or equal to $3,000,000

 

$4,750 $5,700

greater than $3,000,000 but less than or equal to $3,500,000

 

$5,000 $6,000

greater than $3,500,000 but less than or equal to $4,000,000

 

$5,500 $6,600

greater than $4,000,000 but less than or equal to $4,500,000

 

$6,000 $7,200

greater than $4,500,000 but less than or equal to $5,000,000

 

$6,500 $7,800

greater than $5,000,000 but less than or equal to $7,500,000

 

$7,000 $9,000

greater than $7,500,000 but less than or equal to $10,000,000

 

$8,500 $13,500

greater than $10,000,000 but less than or equal to $12,500,000

 

$10,000 $18,000

greater than $12,500,000 but less than or equal to $15,000,000

 

$14,000 $22,500

greater than $15,000,000 but less than or equal to $17,500,000

 

$18,000 $27,000

greater than $17,500,000 but less than or equal to $20,000,000

 

$31,500

greater than $20,000,000 but less than or equal to $25,000,000

 

$36,000

greater than $25,000,000 but less than or equal to $30,000,000

 

$45,000

greater than $30,000,000 but less than or equal to $35,000,000

 

$54,000

greater than $35,000,000 but less than or equal to $40,000,000

 

$63,000

greater than $40,000,000

 

$72,000

 

(2) If requested, the license holder shall provide the commissioner information to verify the license holder's annual revenues or other information as needed, including copies of documents submitted to the Department of Revenue.


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(3) At each annual renewal, a license holder may elect to pay the highest renewal fee, and not provide annual revenue information to the commissioner.

 

(4) A license holder that knowingly provides the commissioner incorrect revenue amounts for the purpose of paying a lower license fee shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of double the fee the provider should have paid.

 

(5) Notwithstanding clause (1), a license holder providing services under one or more licenses under chapter 245B that are in effect on May 15, 2013, shall pay an annual license fee for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016, equal to the total license fees paid by the license holder for all licenses held under chapter 245B for calendar year 2013.  For calendar year 2017 and thereafter, the license holder shall pay an annual license fee according to clause (1).

 

(c) A chemical dependency treatment program licensed under chapter 245G, to provide chemical dependency treatment shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on the following schedule:

 

 

Licensed Capacity

License Fee

 

 

1 to 24 persons

$600

 

25 to 49 persons

$800

 

50 to 74 persons

$1,000

 

75 to 99 persons

$1,200

 

100 or more persons

$1,400

 

(d) A chemical dependency program licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9530.6510 to 9530.6590, to provide detoxification services shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on the following schedule:

 

 

Licensed Capacity

License Fee

 

 

1 to 24 persons

$760

 

25 to 49 persons

$960

 

50 or more persons

$1,160

 

(e) Except for child foster care, a residential facility licensed under Minnesota Rules, chapter 2960, to serve children shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on the following schedule:

 

 

Licensed Capacity

License Fee

 

 

1 to 24 persons

$1,000

 

25 to 49 persons

$1,100

 

50 to 74 persons

$1,200

 

75 to 99 persons

$1,300

 

100 or more persons

$1,400

 

(f) A residential facility licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9520.0500 to 9520.0670, to serve persons with mental illness shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on the following schedule:

 

 

Licensed Capacity

License Fee

 

 

1 to 24 persons

$2,525

 

25 or more persons

$2,725


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(g) A residential facility licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9570.2000 to 9570.3400, to serve persons with physical disabilities shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on the following schedule:

 

 

Licensed Capacity

License Fee

 

 

1 to 24 persons

$450

 

25 to 49 persons

$650

 

50 to 74 persons

$850

 

75 to 99 persons

$1,050

 

100 or more persons

$1,250

 

(h) A program licensed to provide independent living assistance for youth under section 245A.22 shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee of $1,500.

 

(i) A private agency licensed to provide foster care and adoption services under Minnesota Rules, parts 9545.0755 to 9545.0845, shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee of $875.

 

(j) A program licensed as an adult day care center licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9555.9600 to 9555.9730, shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee based on the following schedule:

 

 

Licensed Capacity

License Fee

 

 

1 to 24 persons

$500

 

25 to 49 persons

$700

 

50 to 74 persons

$900

 

75 to 99 persons

$1,100

 

100 or more persons

$1,300

 

(k) A program licensed to provide treatment services to persons with sexual psychopathic personalities or sexually dangerous persons under Minnesota Rules, parts 9515.3000 to 9515.3110, shall pay an annual nonrefundable license fee of $20,000.

 

(l) A mental health center or mental health clinic requesting certification for purposes of insurance and subscriber contract reimbursement under Minnesota Rules, parts 9520.0750 to 9520.0870, shall pay a certification fee of $1,550 per year.  If the mental health center or mental health clinic provides services at a primary location with satellite facilities, the satellite facilities shall be certified with the primary location without an additional charge.

 

Sec. 38.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.14, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 4.  Special family day care homes.  Nonresidential child care programs serving 14 or fewer children that are conducted at a location other than the license holder's own residence shall be licensed under this section and the rules governing family day care or group family day care if:

 

(a) the license holder is the primary provider of care and the nonresidential child care program is conducted in a dwelling that is located on a residential lot;

 

(b) the license holder is an employer who may or may not be the primary provider of care, and the purpose for the child care program is to provide child care services to children of the license holder's employees;

 

(c) the license holder is a church or religious organization;


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(d) the license holder is a community collaborative child care provider.  For purposes of this subdivision, a community collaborative child care provider is a provider participating in a cooperative agreement with a community action agency as defined in section 256E.31;

 

(e) the license holder is a not-for-profit agency that provides child care in a dwelling located on a residential lot and the license holder maintains two or more contracts with community employers or other community organizations to provide child care services.  The county licensing agency may grant a capacity variance to a license holder licensed under this paragraph to exceed the licensed capacity of 14 children by no more than five children during transition periods related to the work schedules of parents, if the license holder meets the following requirements:

 

(1) the program does not exceed a capacity of 14 children more than a cumulative total of four hours per day;

 

(2) the program meets a one to seven staff-to-child ratio during the variance period;

 

(3) all employees receive at least an extra four hours of training per year than required in the rules governing family child care each year;

 

(4) the facility has square footage required per child under Minnesota Rules, part 9502.0425;

 

(5) the program is in compliance with local zoning regulations;

 

(6) the program is in compliance with the applicable fire code as follows:

 

(i) if the program serves more than five children older than 2-1/2 years of age, but no more than five children 2‑1/2 years of age or less, the applicable fire code is educational occupancy, as provided in Group E Occupancy under the Minnesota State Fire Code 2003 2015, Section 202; or

 

(ii) if the program serves more than five children 2-1/2 years of age or less, the applicable fire code is Group I-4 Occupancies, as provided in the Minnesota State Fire Code 2003 2015, Section 202, unless the rooms in which the children are cared for are located on a level of exit discharge and each of these child care rooms has an exit door directly to the exterior, then the applicable fire code is Group E occupancies, as provided in the Minnesota State Fire Code 2015, Section 202; and

 

(7) any age and capacity limitations required by the fire code inspection and square footage determinations shall be printed on the license; or

 

(f) the license holder is the primary provider of care and has located the licensed child care program in a commercial space, if the license holder meets the following requirements:

 

(1) the program is in compliance with local zoning regulations;

 

(2) the program is in compliance with the applicable fire code as follows:

 

(i) if the program serves more than five children older than 2-1/2 years of age, but no more than five children 2‑1/2 years of age or less, the applicable fire code is educational occupancy, as provided in Group E Occupancy under the Minnesota State Fire Code 2003 2015, Section 202; or

 

(ii) if the program serves more than five children 2-1/2 years of age or less, the applicable fire code is Group I-4 Occupancies, as provided under the Minnesota State Fire Code 2003 2015, Section 202;


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(3) any age and capacity limitations required by the fire code inspection and square footage determinations are printed on the license; and

 

(4) the license holder prominently displays the license issued by the commissioner which contains the statement "This special family child care provider is not licensed as a child care center."

 

(g) The commissioner may approve two or more licenses under paragraphs (a) to (f) to be issued at the same location or under one contiguous roof, if each license holder is able to demonstrate compliance with all applicable rules and laws.  Each license holder must operate the license holder's respective licensed program as a distinct program and within the capacity, age, and ratio distributions of each license.

 

(h) The commissioner may grant variances to this section to allow a primary provider of care, a not-for-profit organization, a church or religious organization, an employer, or a community collaborative to be licensed to provide child care under paragraphs (e) and (f) if the license holder meets the other requirements of the statute.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 39.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.14, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 8.  Experienced aides; child care centers.  (a) An individual employed as an aide at a child care center may work with children without being directly supervised for an amount of time that does not exceed 25 percent of the child care center's daily hours if:

 

(1) a teacher is in the facility;

 

(2) the individual has received within the last three years first aid training that meets the requirements under section 245A.40, subdivision 3, and CPR training that meets the requirements under section 245A.40, subdivision 4;

 

(3) (2) the individual is at least 20 years old; and

 

(4) (3) the individual has at least 4,160 hours of child care experience as a staff member in a licensed child care center or as the license holder of a family day care home, 120 days of which must be in the employment of the current company.

 

(b) A child care center that uses experienced aides under this subdivision must notify parents or guardians by posting the notification in each classroom that uses experienced aides, identifying which staff member is the experienced aide.  Records of experienced aide usage must be kept on site and given to the commissioner upon request.

 

(c) A child care center may not use the experienced aide provision for one year following two determined experienced aide violations within a one-year period.

 

(d) A child care center may use one experienced aide per every four full-time child care classroom staff.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 40.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.14, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 16.  Valid driver's license.  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, when a licensed child care center provides transportation for children or contracts to provide transportation for children, a person who has a current, valid driver's license appropriate to the vehicle driven may transport the child.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.


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Sec. 41.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.14, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 17.  Reusable water bottles or cups.  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a licensed child care center may provide drinking water to a child in a reusable water bottle or reusable cup if the center develops and ensures implementation of a written policy that at a minimum includes the following procedures:

 

(1) each day the water bottle or cup is used, the child care center cleans and sanitizes the water bottle or cup using procedures that comply with the Food Code under Minnesota Rules, chapter 4626;

 

(2) a water bottle or cup is assigned to a specific child and labeled with the child's first and last name;

 

(3) water bottles and cups are stored in a manner that reduces the risk of a child using the wrong water bottle or cup; and

 

(4) a water bottle or cup is used only for water.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 42.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.145, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Policies and procedures.  (a) All licensed child care providers The Department of Human Services must develop policies and procedures for reporting suspected child maltreatment that fulfill the requirements in section 626.556 and must develop policies and procedures for reporting complaints about the operation of a child care program.  The policies and procedures must include the telephone numbers of the local county child protection agency for reporting suspected maltreatment; the county licensing agency for family and group family child care providers; and the state licensing agency for child care centers. provide the policies and procedures to all licensed child care providers.  The policies and procedures must be written in plain language.

 

(b) The policies and procedures required in paragraph (a) must:

 

(1) be provided to the parents of all children at the time of enrollment in the child care program; and

 

(2) be made available upon request.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 43.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.145, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Licensing agency phone number displayed.  By July 1, 2002, A new or renewed child care license must include the licensing agency's telephone number and a statement that informs parents who have concerns questions about their child's care that they may call the licensing agency.  The commissioner shall print the telephone number for the licensing agency in bold and large font on the license issued to child care providers.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 44.  [245A.149] SUPERVISION OF FAMILY CHILD CARE LICENSE HOLDER'S OWN CHILD.

 

Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 9502.0365, subpart 5, an individual may supervise the family child care license holder's own child both inside and outside of the licensed space, and is exempt from the requirements of this chapter and Minnesota Rules, chapter 9502, if the individual:


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(1) is related to the license holder, as defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 13;

 

(2) is not a designated caregiver, helper, or substitute for the licensed program; and

 

(3) is involved only in the care of the license holder's own child.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 45.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.151, is amended to read:

 

245A.151 FIRE MARSHAL INSPECTION.

 

When licensure under this chapter or certification under chapter 245H requires an inspection by a fire marshal to determine compliance with the State Fire Code under section 299F.011, a local fire code inspector approved by the state fire marshal may conduct the inspection.  If a community does not have a local fire code inspector or if the local fire code inspector does not perform the inspection, the state fire marshal must conduct the inspection.  A local fire code inspector or the state fire marshal may recover the cost of these inspections through a fee of no more than $50 per inspection charged to the applicant or license holder or license-exempt child care center certification holder.  The fees collected by the state fire marshal under this section are appropriated to the commissioner of public safety for the purpose of conducting the inspections.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 46.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.16, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Delegation of authority to agencies.  (a) County agencies and private agencies that have been designated or licensed by the commissioner to perform licensing functions and activities under section 245A.04 and background studies for family child care under chapter 245C; to recommend denial of applicants under section 245A.05; to issue correction orders, to issue variances, and recommend a conditional license under section 245A.06; or to recommend suspending or revoking a license or issuing a fine under section 245A.07, shall comply with rules and directives of the commissioner governing those functions and with this section.  The following variances are excluded from the delegation of variance authority and may be issued only by the commissioner:

 

(1) dual licensure of family child care and child foster care, dual licensure of child and adult foster care, and adult foster care and family child care;

 

(2) adult foster care maximum capacity;

 

(3) adult foster care minimum age requirement;

 

(4) child foster care maximum age requirement;

 

(5) variances regarding disqualified individuals except that, before the implementation of NETStudy 2.0, county agencies may issue variances under section 245C.30 regarding disqualified individuals when the county is responsible for conducting a consolidated reconsideration according to sections 245C.25 and 245C.27, subdivision 2, clauses (a) and (b), of a county maltreatment determination and a disqualification based on serious or recurring maltreatment;

 

(6) the required presence of a caregiver in the adult foster care residence during normal sleeping hours; and


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(7) variances to requirements relating to chemical use problems of a license holder or a household member of a license holder.; and

 

(8) variances to section 245A.53 for a time-limited period.  If the commissioner grants a variance under this clause, the license holder must provide notice of the variance to all parents and guardians of the children in care.

 

Except as provided in section 245A.14, subdivision 4, paragraph (e), a county agency must not grant a license holder a variance to exceed the maximum allowable family child care license capacity of 14 children.

 

(b) Before the implementation of NETStudy 2.0, county agencies must report information about disqualification reconsiderations under sections 245C.25 and 245C.27, subdivision 2, paragraphs (a) and (b), and variances granted under paragraph (a), clause (5), to the commissioner at least monthly in a format prescribed by the commissioner.

 

(c) For family child care programs, the commissioner shall require a county agency to conduct one unannounced licensing review at least annually.

 

(d) For family adult day services programs, the commissioner may authorize licensing reviews every two years after a licensee has had at least one annual review.

 

(e) A license issued under this section may be issued for up to two years.

 

(f) During implementation of chapter 245D, the commissioner shall consider:

 

(1) the role of counties in quality assurance;

 

(2) the duties of county licensing staff; and

 

(3) the possible use of joint powers agreements, according to section 471.59, with counties through which some licensing duties under chapter 245D may be delegated by the commissioner to the counties.

 

Any consideration related to this paragraph must meet all of the requirements of the corrective action plan ordered by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

(g) Licensing authority specific to section 245D.06, subdivisions 5, 6, 7, and 8, or successor provisions; and section 245D.061 or successor provisions, for family child foster care programs providing out-of-home respite, as identified in section 245D.03, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), clause (1), is excluded from the delegation of authority to county and private agencies.

 

(h) A county agency shall report to the commissioner, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, the following information for a licensed family child care program:

 

(1) the results of each licensing review completed, including the date of the review, and any licensing correction order issued; and

 

(2) any death, serious injury, or determination of substantiated maltreatment.; and

 

(3) any fires that require the service of a fire department within 48 hours of the fire.  The information under this clause must also be reported to the State Fire Marshal within 48 hours of the fire.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.


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Sec. 47.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.16, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 9.  Licensed family child foster care.  (a) Before recommending to deny a license under section 245A.05 or revoke a license under section 245A.07 for nondisqualifying background study information received under section 245C.05, subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clause (3), for licensed family child foster care a county agency or private agency that has been designated or licensed by the commissioner must review the following:

 

(1) the type of crime;

 

(2) the number of crimes;

 

(3) the nature of the offenses;

 

(4) the age of the individual at the time of conviction;

 

(5) the length of time that has elapsed since the last conviction;

 

(6) the relationship of the crime and the capacity to care for a child;

 

(7) evidence of rehabilitation;

 

(8) information or knowledge from community members regarding the individual's capacity to provide foster care;

 

(9) a statement from the study subject;

 

(10) a statement from the license holder; and

 

(11) other aggravating and mitigating factors.

 

(b) The county or private licensing agency must send a summary of the review completed according to paragraph (a), on a form developed by the commissioner, to the commissioner and include any recommendation for licensing action.  The commissioner shall retain the final authority and responsibility for determining licensing actions. 

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective March 1, 2020.

 

Sec. 48.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.18, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Child passenger restraint systems; training requirement.  (a) Programs licensed by the Department of Human Services under Minnesota Rules, chapter 2960, that serve a child or children under nine eight years of age must document training that fulfills the requirements in this subdivision.

 

(b) Before a license holder, staff person, or caregiver transports a child or children under age nine eight in a motor vehicle, the person transporting the child must satisfactorily complete training on the proper use and installation of child restraint systems in motor vehicles.  Training completed under this section may be used to meet initial or ongoing training under Minnesota Rules, part 2960.3070, subparts 1 and 2.

 

For all providers licensed prior to July 1, 2006, the training required in this subdivision must be obtained by December 31, 2007.


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(c) Training required under this section must be at least one hour in length, completed at orientation or initial training, and repeated at least once every five years.  At a minimum, the training must address the proper use of child restraint systems based on the child's size, weight, and age, and the proper installation of a car seat or booster seat in the motor vehicle used by the license holder to transport the child or children.

 

(d) Training under paragraph (c) must be provided by individuals who are certified and approved by the Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety.  License holders may obtain a list of certified and approved trainers through the Department of Public Safety website or by contacting the agency.

 

(e) Child care providers that only transport school age children as defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 16, in school buses as defined in section 169.011, subdivision 71, paragraphs (c) to (f), are exempt from this subdivision.

 

(e) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), for an emergency relative placement under section 245A.035, the commissioner may grant a variance to the training required by this subdivision for a relative who completes a child seat safety check up.  The child seat safety check up trainer must be approved by the Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, and must provide one-on-one instruction on placing a child of a specific age in the exact child passenger restraint in the motor vehicle in which the child will be transported.  Once granted a variance, and if all other licensing requirements are met, the relative applicant may receive a license and may transport a relative foster child younger than eight years of age.  A child seat safety check up must be completed each time a child requires a different size car seat according to car seat and vehicle manufacturer guidelines.  A relative license holder must complete training that meets the other requirements of this subdivision prior to placement of another foster child younger than eight years of age in the home or prior to the renewal of the child foster care license.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective September 30, 2019.

 

Sec. 49.  Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 245A.40, is amended to read:

 

245A.40 CHILD CARE CENTER TRAINING REQUIREMENTS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Orientation.  (a) The child care center license holder must ensure that every the director, staff person and volunteer is persons, substitutes, and unsupervised volunteers are given orientation training and successfully completes complete the training before starting assigned duties.  The orientation training in this subdivision applies to volunteers who will have direct contact with or access to children and who are not under the direct supervision of a staff person.  Completion of the orientation must be documented in the individual's personnel record.  The orientation training must include information about:

 

(1) the center's philosophy, child care program, and procedures for maintaining health and safety according to section 245A.41 and Minnesota Rules, part 9503.0140, and handling emergencies and accidents according to Minnesota Rules, part 9503.0110;

 

(2) specific job responsibilities;

 

(3) the behavior guidance standards in Minnesota Rules, part 9503.0055; and

 

(4) the reporting responsibilities in section 626.556, and Minnesota Rules, part 9503.0130.;

 

(5) the center's drug and alcohol policy under section 245A.04, subdivision 1, paragraph (c);

 

(6) the center's risk reduction plan as required under section 245A.66, subdivision 2;


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(7) at least one-half hour of training on the standards under section 245A.1435 and on reducing the risk of sudden unexpected infant death as required in subdivision 5, if applicable;

 

(8) at least one-half hour of training on the risk of abusive head trauma as required for the director and staff under subdivision 5a, if applicable; and

 

(9) training required by a child's individual child care program plan as required under Minnesota Rules, part 9503.0065, subpart 3, if applicable.

 

(b) In addition to paragraph (a), before having unsupervised direct contact with a child, the director and staff persons within the first 90 days of employment, and substitutes and unsupervised volunteers within 90 days after the first date of direct contact with a child, must complete:

 

(1) pediatric first aid, in accordance with subdivision 3; and

 

(2) pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in accordance with subdivision 4.

 

(c) In addition to paragraph (b), the director and staff persons within the first 90 days of employment, and substitutes and unsupervised volunteers within 90 days from the first date of direct contact with a child, must complete training in child development, in accordance with subdivision 2.

 

(d) The license holder must ensure that documentation, as required in subdivision 10, identifies the number of hours completed for each topic with a minimum training time identified, if applicable, and that all required content is included.

 

(e) Training in this subdivision must not be used to meet in-service training requirements in subdivision 7.

 

(f) Training completed within the previous 12 months under paragraphs (a), clauses (7) and (8), and (c) are transferable to another child care center.

 

Subd. 1a.  Definitions.  (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.