Indian Affairs - State of Minnesota


Minnesota Indian Affairs Council Legislative Update

This legislative session the Minnesota Indian Affairs council will be sending weekly updates on a broad range of issues, including anything that relates to Indian Country in Minnesota. Often issues of focus are health, human services, natural resources and education – to name a few. We’ll keep you informed as legislative initiatives move forward in the House and Senate.

This Week at the Legislature

Committee Deadlines: The first deadline for committee action is today, March 21st, with the second deadline fast approaching next Friday the 28th of March. The first deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin. The second deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house.

Health and Human Services: Indian Child Welfare Act

Provisions included in SF 2754 regarding out-of-home placement for a child within 30 days of a child’s placement into a foster home. Section 22 part (b) provides specifics regarding American Indian children and reads, “An out-of-home placement plan means a written document which is prepared by the responsible social services agency jointly with the parent or parents or guardian of the child and in consultation with the child's guardian ad litem, the child's tribe, if the child is an Indian child, the child's foster parent or representative of the foster care facility, and, where appropriate, the child.” Additionally the bill includes important language surrounding a licensed child foster parent. Section 6 is amended and now includes a foster parent that is licensed by a Minnesota tribe in accordance with tribal standards. Introduction and first reading of companion bill HF 3216 occurred March 19th and was referred to Health and Human Service Policy.

Human Services: Safe Harbor

Representative Susan Allen and other authors are also working on HF 2248, which includes provisions for Safe Harbor director duties to be expanded, and money appropriated for service grants and safe housing. Safe Harbor Minnesota is a statewide effort to provide shelter and services for Minnesota's sexually exploited youth and is the first most significant state investment in the country to end child sex trafficking. On March 20th companion bill SF 1857 was passed by the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee and re-referred to Finance.

Environment and Natural Resources: Wolf Management

The Wolf Management Plan Review Advisory Council is tasked with reporting to the commissioner, chairs and ranking minority members of committees in the house and the senate that have primary jurisdiction over the environment on the efficacy of the wolf management plan adopted under section B.646 to ensure the maintenance of a healthy wolf population within the state. The report must include suggestions for altering the plan to ensure the maintenance of a healthy wolf population within the state. The bill, SF 2256 has been amended to include two seats for members of Federally Recognized Tribal Nations, whereas in the original language there were not inclusions for these members of the Council.

Thank you for your time in reading our legislative update! Anticipate weekly updates throughout this session.
    Melanie L. Plucinski, MPH
    Legislative and Grants Director
    Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
    Cell: (651)-231-9248