Measures to extend human services program waivers and modifications made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could allow for the state to both consider long-term improvements and ease back into its regular operating procedures.
“This is the work of many parties … I believe there’s broad agreement,” said Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester), the sponsor of SSHF105. “This is the Legislature exercising our prerogative to look at the way we do business and have a real say over this.”
The bill was approved by the House in a 127-6 vote Thursday and sent to the Senate, where Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) is the sponsor.
While some extensions included in the bill are needed in order to meet federal requirements, receive full federal funding, prevent service backlogs, and continue to ensure access, others are being considered for long-term adoption.
These would be extended until June 30, 2021 and include an expansion of telemedicine services and increased flexibility in some programs.
“We have found better ways of delivering better services to those most vulnerable,” said Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake).