Significant Elder Care Reform Legislation

2019

2019 was a watershed year for our elders and vulnerable adults living in assisted living facilities throughout the state of Minnesota. We are moving from being the only state that didn’t license assisted living facilities to finally being able to hold our heads higher, knowing that significant improvement in quality care and enforcement is now or soon to become law. 

It took the teamwork of a new and powerful coalition of advocates to get this accomplished. AARP, Legal Aid - Mid Minnesota and others were aggressively advocating and lobbying for this reform alongside of Elder Voice. It was a tough challenge but in the final hours of the legislative session it was passed and signed into law by Governor Walz on May 30, 2019.

 

HF 90 (Representative Jennifer Schultz and Senator Karin Housley as chief authors) was passed in the Senate with no ‘nay’ votes. The House of Representatives, however, was primarily a party line vote with the Democratic majority party voting 73 yes and 45 Republicans voting no. The Senate vote was 64 Yea, 0 Nay

MN Elder Voice Research

Elder Voice advocated and supported most of the new provisions included in the new law

2019

Our Advocacy Required
  • Conducting a study of the substantiated investigations and highlighting examples of representative neglect, abuse and exploitation. Go to this link for the full report. 

    • Held a press conference to announce the results of the study.

    • Distributed the reports to key legislators.

  • Invited by the Commissioner of Health to participate in the legislative negotiating session with the industry and the involved state agencies.

    • Spent several months in meetings held by the Commissioner to find common ground with the advocates and industry representatives.

    • Hundreds of hours were required debating and coming to agreement on specific language that was acceptable.

    • Final bill was drafted and agreed upon by all of the industry and advocacy groups. 

    • It was sent to the legislators for final action and was passed in both houses of the legislature.

  • Many media interviews with the newspapers and TV were done.

  • Elder Voice supporters talked to their legislators asking for their support and gave testimony at many legislative  committee hearings.

  • Capitol rallies were held.

We did not get everything that needs to be in place but we needed to compromise with industry and the Department of Health if we were going to get reforms in place. The final outcome was significant and has set a new course for the future operations of the industry and regulatory oversight. We will need to be very vigilant in ensuring strong enforcement of these laws and keep working for additional reforms.