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MDH Publishes Proposed Assisted Living Licensure Rules and Notice of Hearing

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) published Proposed Rules and Notice of Hearing in the State Register. This effectively begins the formal public comment period on the proposed rules that will govern licensed assisted living settings after Aug. 1, 2021.  This is a significant advocacy opportunity for LeadingAge Minnesota members, as the process invites the public to weigh in on the rules and express support or concerns.

We have been heavily engaged in the rulemaking process. As members of the MDH Assisted Living Licensure Rulemaking Advisory Committee, we have provided extensive comments to help shape the proposed rule. While the proposed rule reflects many of our comments, there are still several significant concerns with the rule that we hope can be addressed in the comment period.

We will be seeking to engage members throughout comment period to help enhance our advocacy efforts. To that end, we are currently preparing issue papers and templates that will help you prepare and submit your own comments to the rule. We will also host a Virtual Rulemaking Comment Workshop to answer all of your questions about how to engage in the coming weeks. Please watch your email for an announcement on the date and time of this event.

In the meantime, here is a summary of the next steps in the rulemaking process:

The Initial Comment Period is now open and closes on Feb. 9, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. If you wish to make comments to the proposed rules, please review the instructions provided by the Office of Administrative Hearings. Please note that all comments are public; only submit information you wish to make available for anyone to review.  The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) does not edit or delete submissions that include personal information.

The OAH will conduct a hearing on the proposed rules on Jan. 19 and 20.  This will be a public hearing and members of the public can attend via WebEx or telephone.  If necessary, the department will schedule additional hearing days. At the hearing, all interested or affected persons may submit oral statements, written statements, or other tangible materials. Statements or materials may be submitted without appearing at the hearing.

At the hearing, the administrative law judge may order this five working-day comment period extended for a longer period but for no more than 20 calendar days.

There will be a Rebuttal Comment Period that follows the Initial Comment Period from Feb. 10, 2021, through Feb. 16, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. This will allow commenters to respond to other comments filed during the Initial Comment Period.

The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will take all the comments and other materials submitted and evaluate the rules to determine whether the agency has met the standard and demonstrated that the rules are needed and reasonable. If the ALJ determines that the agency has not met all of the legal and procedural requirements, the rules are submitted to the Chief ALJ. If the Chief ALJ supports the ALJ, the agency may not adopt the rule until the defects are corrected. Once the ALJ approves the rules, the agency may submit them to the governor and take other procedural steps for final adoption.

If the ALJ and the Chief ALJ determine the agency has not established the need or reasonableness for the rules, the rules are submitted to the Legislative Coordinating Commission and to the House and Senate Government Operations committees for comment.  After seeking these comments, the agency may adopt the rules. Please note, this is rarely invoked as defects are usually addressed before it gets to this point.

Please watch Advantage and your email for additional resources and information regarding the Assisted Living Licensure Rule.  In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Kari Thurlow at kthurlow@leadingagemn.org.

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