Session Updates: Bills Introduced Related to Child Welfare

//Session Updates: Bills Introduced Related to Child Welfare

Over 1000 bills have been introduced in the House so far and nearly 900 in the Senate in Minnesota, and committees have been meeting regularly to determine their priorities for this budget-setting session.

Three deadlines have been established for committees. The first, March 10, is the date by which committees must determine which bills they’d like to advance from the house of origin. By March 17, the other house must act on companion bills if they are to move forward, and March 31 is the deadline for action on major funding bills.

DHS has released a number of fact sheets detailing their legislative proposals and policy priorities. Among them are a proposal to reform corporate foster care to better address housing needs, expand NorthStar Care to include children under age six and increase DHS oversight of county child protection agencies.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the annual Children and Youth Issues Briefing recently that featured speeches by Jaime Tincher of Governor Dayton’s office, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, and Nan Madden of the Minnesota Budget Project. A panel of leaders in early childhood education, along with a panel featuring legislators who serve on education committees also spoke. Early childhood education funding and quality assurance was the primary topic throughout the morning. You can access the videos from this event to hear from the speakers.

The Health and Human Services Budget Bill has been introduced in both houses. Key provisions affecting child welfare practice have been laid out in the CASCW Bill Tracker.

A hearing is set for February 14 at 8:15 AM in the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee that includes HF 696 on its agenda. This bill would modify the handling of background studies for child foster care providers.

Another bill of note would allow former foster youth to re-enter foster care if they had left care within six months of their 18th birthday.

We will continue to update our bill tracker and blog about child welfare policy throughout the next few months of session.

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