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Olmstead Plan Chronology

Department of Administration Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
July 1, 2019

The Olmstead Plan Chronology traces Minnesota's Olmstead Plan – how it was created and how it has been implemented – and was first produced with Legacy Grant funds appropriated by the 2017 Minnesota Legislature.

The Chronology begins with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, followed by the United States Supreme Court decision, Olmstead v L.C. in 1999. The Chronology then picks up with the Jensen Settlement Agreement approved by the United States District, District of Minnesota, in December 2011.

The first Olmstead committee began in 2012. Governor Dayton then issued Executive Order 13-01 on January 28, 2013 and appointed a Subcabinet.

The Chronology summarizes, on a monthly basis, the actions taken, the reports that were prepared, the multiple versions of the Olmstead Plan, and the Court orders.

Download the PDF version (Updated 2-03-23) >>


July 26, 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted by Congress, prohibiting public entities from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and supporting integration.


June 22, 1999

Olmstead v. L.C Supreme Court decision was announced. This case involved two women with disabilities who were confined in an institution even though health professionals determined they were ready to move into a community-based program. The Court held that the ADA's integration mandate required public entities to provide community-based services to persons with disabilities when:

  1. Such services were appropriate;
  2. The affected individuals did not oppose community-based treatment; and
  3. Community-based services could be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the state and the needs of others who were receiving disability services from the public entity.

To comply with the integration mandate, public entities needed to reasonably modify their policies, procedures or practices to avoid discrimination. In Olmstead v. L.C., the Supreme Court stated that a state could meet this reasonable-modifications standard if it had a comprehensive, effective plan for placing people with disabilities in less restrictive settings, and a waiting list that moved at a reasonable pace not controlled by endeavors to keep state institutions fully populated. Many states developed Olmstead Plans to begin transitioning individuals with disabilities into more integrated settings. Formal Olmstead Plans were not required, but the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) offered guidance to develop these plans. In the mid-2000s, the DOJ began focusing attention on states for investigation/litigation if they were not complying with Olmstead.


June 22, 2009

President Obama declared this the year of community living on the tenth anniversary of the Olmstead v. L.C. decision, challenging every federal agency to uphold rights of persons with disabilities and ensure inclusion. The DOJ increased enforcement of the Olmstead agreement, which resulted in new lawsuits in some states.


December 5, 2011

The settlement agreement entered into in June 2011 by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Plaintiffs in the Jensen et al v. Minnesota Department of Human Services, et al. was approved by the Court. The agreement required the development and implementation of a Minnesota Olmstead Plan. The ruling required the elimination of unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities, reductions in restraints and seclusions, and the adoption of a positive support rule to ensure that persons with disabilities received services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.


Minnesota's Olmstead Planning Committee was formed to make recommendations to the commissioner of DHS, and included individuals with disabilities, family members, providers, advocates and senior decision-makers from DHS.

July 17, 2012

A court monitor was appointed seven months after the approval of the Jensen agreement after the Court found that the defendants had not complied with an important element of its obligations and that there were gaps and deficiencies in the defendants' reporting. The Court appointed David Ferleger as its independent advisor to the Court to assess and monitor implementation of the settlement agreement.

October 23, 2012

Minnesota's Olmstead Planning Committee presented a report to DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. The report included recommendations to ensure that Minnesotans with disabilities had choices about where they live and were served in community settings more suitable to their needs and desires. One of the Committee's recommendations asked that the Governor establish an Olmstead Subcabinet to ensure the most efficient and effective inter-agency coordination, planning and implementation of an Olmstead Plan.