This year's priorities and bills at the Capitol
2/3/2023 12:01:37 AM
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The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing is pleased to share our 2023 legislative agenda.
CDI in classrooms: The CDI in Classrooms bill will define Certified Deaf Interpreter requirements in education law to ensure CDIs in the classroom are an option for students. The House bill number is HF170 and the chief author is Rep. Becker-Finn. The Senate bill number is SF295 and the chief author is Senator Gustafson. Both bills have already been heard in hearings. Many thanks to Dov Nathanson, Galvin Nathanson, Nic Zapko, Trevor Turner, and Alicia Lane for testifying in support of these bills.
Deaf Education Master’s Degree Tax Credit: This priority adds ‘deaf education’ to the list of teacher licensure fields that qualify for a tax credit of up to $2,500 towards a master’s degree.
Metro Deaf School Enrollment Preference: This bill protects Metro Deaf School’s ability to give preferential enrollment to students with a primary disability of deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing. The House bill number is HF59 and the chief author is Rep. Richardson. (Update: Since the time of this filming, there is now a bill in the Senate; SF1024, authored by Senator Maye Quade.)
Educational Interpreter Database: This priority secures funding to create a public database listing interpreters who have satisfied Minnesota’s requirements for educational interpreters.
Birth-Age 3 at Metro Deaf School: This priority fixes statutes to allow families to place children ages 0-3 at Metro Deaf School.
Language Acquisition Tracking: This priority strengthens Minnesota’s tracking of language development in children identified as deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing.
Minnesota State Academies Funding: This priority supports the Minnesota State Academies with their requests for funding. MSA has requested funding for their operating budget, funding for their safety-security technology initiative, funding for an audiology booth and equipment, funding for a mental health day treatment program, and the ability to retain rental income. The rental income will be used to cover professional development for MSA employees. MSA is also requesting 3 bonding proposals. They are for MSAB/MSAD dorm accessibility and renovations, MSAD student center pre-design, and asset preservation.
Closed captioning in public places: This priority requires closed captioning to be enabled for TVs displayed in public places. (Update: Since the time of filming, there is now a bill in the House; HF909, authored by Rep. Daniels.)
IEP Process Accommodations for Parents: This bill requires districts to establish a process for providing reasonable accommodations for parents to participate in developing their child’s Individualized Education Program. This is led by the Autism Society of Minnesota. The House bill number is HF142 and the chief author is Rep. Freiberg. (Update: Since the time of this filming, there is now a bill in the Senate; SF681, authored by Senator Hoffman.)
Hearing Aid Affordability: This priority expands the existing mandate for hearing aid insurance coverage to all ages. An alternative is to establish a voucher or tax rebate.
Acoustic Loops and Telecoil Access: This priority improves tracking of hearing loop locations and reduces barriers to patients receiving education about the telecoil features of their hearing devices.
Prescription Container Accessible Labels: This priority ensures that consumers can receive label information via Braille or large print.
Mental Health Day Treatment Center: This priority secures funding for a youth mental health day treatment center to be housed at MSAD facilities.
State Employees with Disabilities Recruitment & Retention: This bill updates and clarifies Minnesota statutes on hiring and keeping employees with disabilities. It is being led by the Minnesota Council on Disability. The House bill number is HF383 and the chief author is Rep. Reyer.
Commission Board Membership Requirements: This priority updates statute requirements to allow more flexibility to appointment board members with relevant lived experiences.
MNCDHH will continue to share legislative updates during this session. Please subscribe to our newsletters or follow our website and social media to stay up to date. Find our information on our website. If you would like to discuss any of the bills, please reach out to me (email@example.com) or our government relations director, Alicia Lane (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you!
Featuring Dr. Darlene G. Zangara, Executive Director.
The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing thanks:
Jamie Schumacher for voiceover.
Keystone Interpreting Solutions for film production.
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