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Workgroup at an Impasse on Frontline Worker Bonuses; Prospects for Special Session Grow Dim

On October 21, 2021 by Kari Thurlow

The Frontline Worker Pay Work Group met yesterday—more than a month past its designated deadline for reaching an agreement—and announced that there was still no agreement for distributing the $250 million designated by the legislature for frontline worker bonuses.

Workforce Solutions Can’t Wait! Contact State Lawmakers Today

On October 14, 2021 by Libbie Chapuran

Minnesota’s assisted living settings and nursing homes are facing an unprecedented workforce crisis, and LeadingAge Minnesota members across the state are contacting their lawmakers to ask for support now.

At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Reveal First Public Proposals on Hero Pay

On October 7, 2021 by Matt Steele

A select working group began hosting hearings about allocating the money set aside during the 2021 special session for Hero Pay bonuses for frontline workers in late July. Several different groups are vying for a piece of the $250 million fund, and this week, the working group released two separate proposals drawn upon party lines.

At the Capitol: Senate Hearing on Elderly Waiver and Vaccine Requirements

On September 30, 2021 by Matt Steele

The Senate Human Services Reform and Finance Committee recently met to address a wide array of topics that included Elderly Waiver implementation and vaccine requirements in various long-term care settings.

At the Capitol: New Minnesota Senate Leadership and Special Session

On September 15, 2021 by Matt Steele

This week, lawmakers have yet to call a special session to allocate the $250 million set aside for Hero Pay bonuses, and new Senate majority and minority leaders have been elected. Here is what you need to know about what is happening at the Capitol this week:

At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Working Overtime on Hero Pay Bonus Package

On September 8, 2021 by Matt Steele

Thursday, Sept. 2 marked the final working group meeting for Hero Pay. Since July, lawmakers have been meeting to finalize how the $250 million allocated to reward frontline workers will be distributed. In their final meeting, co-chairs Senator Housley and Majority Leader Winkler indicated that progress is being made. However, they have yet to reach a consensus and will continue the conversation beyond their self-imposed deadline of Sept. 7.

At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Enter the Final Stretch of Hearings on Hero Pay

On September 1, 2021 by Matt Steele

In late July, a select working group began hosting hearings on allocating the money set aside during the 2021 special session for Hero Pay bonuses for frontline workers. Several different groups are vying for a piece of the $250 million. This week, the working group hosted a hearing to discuss the criteria used to allocate the money.

MN Senators Urge Biden Administration to Release PRF Funds Immediately

On September 1, 2021 by Matt Steele

Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith joined a group of 43 senators urging U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to distribute the funds remaining in the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and other health care relief programs.

Engage with Argentum’s “Release the PRF” Campaign

On August 25, 2021 by Matt Steele

Argentum, a national affiliate of LeadingAge Minnesota, has launched a 5-week campaign to encourage the federal government to release Provider Relief Funds promised to long-term care providers to assist in responding to COVID-19.

At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Continue Hearings on Hero Pay

On August 18, 2021 by Matt Steele

In late July, a select working group began hosting hearings on allocating the money set aside during the 2021 special session for bonuses for frontline workers. Several different groups are vying for the $250 million set aside for the bonuses and this week. The working group is hosting a hearing to discuss eligibility requirements and take more public testimony.

At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Host Hearings on Hero Pay

On August 4, 2021 by Matt Steele

On Tuesday, July 27, a select working group began hosting a series of hearings to determine how to allocate the money set aside during a special session for Hero Pay bonuses for frontline workers. Several different groups are vying for the $250 million set aside for the bonuses, and this week, the working group is hosting a hearing to discuss the effects of the pandemic on long-term care staff. Here is what you need to know about what is happening at the capitol this week:

At the Capitol: Hero Pay Bonuses for LTC Workers Included in Budget Deal

On June 23, 2021 by Matt Steele

As lawmakers work to complete their work to agree upon a two-year budget before July 1, legislative leaders announced an agreement to allocate $250 million for Hero Pay bonuses for frontline workers during the pandemic.

At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Return for Special Session

On June 16, 2021 by Matt Steele

On Monday, June 14, Governor Walz called a special session to finalize and pass a two-year state budget. At the outset of the special session, only a few committees had publicly announced their joint agreements with the remaining budget areas having until June 30 to finalize unresolved details to avoid a state government shutdown. Here is what you need to know about what is happening at the capitol this week:

Bipartisan Agreement Reached to Phase Out Eviction Moratorium

On June 16, 2021 by Kari Thurlow

Minnesota legislators announced on Monday an agreement to end Gov. Tim Walz's eviction moratorium over the next three-and-a-half months. The eviction moratorium has been in place since March 2020, when the governor used executive powers to ban evictions except in extreme circumstances. The agreement still needs to be approved by legislators, but the vote could occur later this week. The bipartisan deal creates a phased eviction moratorium off-ramp, with some protections lasting into June 2022. Governor Walz has said he will rescind the moratorium once a legislative solution is passed.

DHS to Begin Issuing Medicaid Termination Letters due to Potential for Government Shutdown

On June 16, 2021 by Jeff Bostic

In the event of a state government shutdown, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will cease payments to providers of Medicaid services. Per the statutory obligation, DHS will begin to inform Medicaid providers, including aging services providers who serve Medicaid clients, via letters that will be sent out as early as this week.

At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Prepare to Return for Special Session

On June 9, 2021 by Matt Steele

With Governor Walz expected to call a special session on Monday, lawmakers worked this past week, mostly behind closed doors, to iron out differences in the two-year budget. By Monday, June 7, only three committees--Commerce and Energy, Legacy, and Higher Education--had publicly announced their joint budget agreements. Here is what you need to know about what is happening at the capitol this week:

At the Capitol: First Deadline Passes and Upcoming Special Session

On June 2, 2021 by Matt Steele

This week, lawmakers mainly met in private to debate the specific spending details for each budget area. The first of two self-imposed deadlines passed on Friday, May 28, without any public notice of the finalized details of the budget. The second deadline, June 4, is quickly approaching; lawmakers to agree on what policy provisions will be included in the final deal when Governor Walz calls a special session on June 14. Here is what you need to know about what is happening at the capitol this week:

At the Capitol: Deadlines loom for budget details and the upcoming special session

On May 26, 2021 by Matt Steele

This week, lawmakers are approaching a May 28, self-imposed deadline to decide how to allocate the money announced in the recent budget deal by legislative leaders last Monday. Throughout the week, only one legislative committee met publicly. There have yet to be any specific spending details released by budget area. With a looming special session presumed to happen on or before June 14, here is what you need to know about what is happening at the capitol this week.

At the Capitol: With Days Until Session Adjourns, Most Legislative Work Remains Unfinished

On May 12, 2021 by Matt Steele

This week, lawmakers enter the final stretch of the legislative session before adjourning on May 17 at midnight, regardless of the status of the budget. Most at the Capitol view the Monday deadline as irrelevant given several circumstances that almost guarantee that lawmakers will leave their work unfinished at the end of their constitutionally allotted time.

At the Capitol: The Legislature Begins Conference Committees as the End of Session Nears

On May 5, 2021 by Matt Steele

This week, lawmakers are starting to reconcile the differences in significant budget bills passed off the House and Senate floors in conference committees. Conference committees mark one of the final steps in the budget-making process before the bills are sent to the Governor for his approval. We expect our most important issues to be debated in conference committees in the upcoming days.

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