STATE OF MINNESOTA TENTH MEETING
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES EIGHTY-SIXTH SESSION
EARLY CHILDHOOD FINANCE & POLICY DIVISION
Representative Nora Slawik, Chair of the Early Childhood Finance & Policy Division, called the meeting to order at 4:34 pm on Tuesday, February 17, 2009, in Room 200 of the State Office Building.
The Committee Legislative Assistant noted the roll.
House Members Present:
House Members Excused:
A quorum was not present.
A quorum was present at 4:35 pm.
Presentation by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and counties on basic sliding fee (BSF) childcare:
Cherie Kotilinek, Manager, Child Care Assistance Program, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Questions to Ms. Kotilinek inquired about guaranteed floor spending, how guaranteed floor affects county appropriations and spend, how does the current BSF waiting list compare historically, what does the waiting list measure, if BSF funds ever reach the fifth priority list, is the allocation formula federally mandated or state controlled and fears of overspending by counties.
Ann Sessoms, Director of Transitions to Economic Stability, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Representative Rosenthal moved that the minutes from Thursday, February 12, 2009 be adopted. THE MOTION PREVAILED.
Ruth Krueger, Director of Employment and Economic Assistance, Dakota County; Chair Early Childhood Committee for Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators
Ms. Krueger was asked how many teenage mothers will be dropped from benefits this year.
Bob Meyer, Human Services Director, Blue Earth County
Questions to Ms. Krueger and Mr. Meyer asked how can a county have a waiting list with unspent funds; if the response rate to individuals who have qualified for BSF has been higher or lower in previous years; is it possible to predict the response rate; did Blue Earth county’s 2008 allocation go up more than the floor; and how much do the counties scan macro county trends.
Mary Nelson, Ramsey County Human Services
Tori Hippler, Resources for Child Caring, Ramsey County
Questions to Ms. Nelson and Mr. Hippler asked if the county has to stop funding the BSF waiting list mid-year and hope the county budget balances; how will the Governor’s proposed cuts effect counties’ ability to spend; and would it be better for the state to administer this the BSF program.
Ms. Kotilinek and Ms. Sessoms were called back to answer questions from the committee. Questions focusing on why Blue Earth county received a 40 percent increase in funds; will the Governor repeat the BSF cuts of 2003; does the Governor’s budget have any refinancing; is the Governor proposing spending based on counties under-spending BSF; and should any BSF under-spending be allocated to other programs or should it be redirected to the BSF waiting list.
Emily Adriaens, House Fiscal Analyst, answered a question regarding the fiscal implication of the 2003 childcare funding cuts.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:58 pm.
Representative Nora Slawik, CHAIR
Matthew M. Collie
Committee Legislative Assistant