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February 13, 2017: Legislative Update

Several bills introduced, upcoming hearings & Lobby Day

2/13/2017 3:34:29 PM

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Many more of the bills that we are following were introduced to the House and the Senate last week. Here’s the update:

DHHSD bill introduced

The bill to modernize and increase funding for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division, which includes an increase in funding for the Deaf Mentor Family Program, was introduced in the Senate. It is SF 738, and is authored by Senators John Hoffman from Champlin, Jim Abeler from Anoka, and Foung Hawj from Saint Paul.

Training bill introduced

The bill to require staff at assisted living facilities to receive training about age-related hearing loss and how to identify it. It was introduced in both the Senate and the House. In the Senate, it is SF 818 and is authored by Senators Karin Housley from Stillwater, Tony Lourey from Kerrick, Kent Eken from Twin Valley, Jim Abeler from Anoka, and Jerry Relph from Saint Cloud. In the House, it is HF 952 and is authored by Representatives Deb Kiel from Crookston, Tama Theis from Saint Cloud, Erin Murphy from Saint Paul, Susan Allen from Minneapolis and Dave Baker from Willmar.

Commission bill introduced

A bill to increase funding for the Commission to expand our ability to work with the community was introduced in the House. It is HF 1043 and is authored by Representatives Dave Baker from Willmar, Bob Gunther from Fairmont, Karen Clark from Minneapolis, Marion O’Neill from Maple Lake, Jason Metsa from Virginia and Jim Davnie from Minneapolis. We expect it to be introduced in the Senate early next week.

MSAD bills introduced

As we explained in detail in last week’s update, the Minnesota State Academies, both for the Deaf and the Blind, are requesting funding for facility maintenance and improvement and to improve educational outcomes. These funding requests are included in much bigger bills introduced this week.  Three of the requests are included in the Governor’s bonding bill. It is HF 892 being authored by Representative Dean Urdahl from Grove City and SF 640 being authored by Senator Sandy Pappas from Saint Paul. 

The other two requests are included in the Governor’s Education bill. It is HF 890 and is authored by Representative Jenifer Loon from Eden Prairie and SF 718 and is authored by Senator Carla Nelson from Rochester. For more details about these requests, please see the February 6, 2017, update.

Upcoming Hearings & Lobby Day

Have you signed up for Lobby Day? We are working with legislators and staff (and scheduling interpreters) to arrange for hearings on all of the legislation we are supporting. It looks like two of our bills will have hearings on Lobby Day (DHHSD & Training bills). We are excited to have you come to watch the legislature discuss on March 8th. We are excited that this means that many of you will be there in-person to support and watch the legislature discuss the bills that are important to the community in Minnesota. If you haven’t already registered, please do so today.

Please register by February 28th. Legislator and interpreter schedules book fast so early registration is best! Please sign up before the deadline.

Awards will be presented during the rally. MNCDHH is seeking nominations for community members who have accomplished a landmark achievement or contributed to the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing community within the past 2 years (2015-2016). Please nominate individuals you believe should be recognized.

For More Information and Updates

For more information and to sign up for alerts, visit our website.


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