92nd Minnesota Legislature, Olmsted County legislative priorities
Each year, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners approves a set of priorities for advocacy during the state legislative session. If you’d like more information about any of these priorities, please contact Jennifer Berquam.
The 2022 Legislature convened on January 31, 2022 and adjourned on May 23, 2022. For up-to-date information, please visit the Minnesota Legislature website.
2022 State Legislative Priorities
Materials recovery facility: Provide state capital investment to build a materials recovery facility (MRF) adjoining the Olmsted County Waste-to-Energy Facility (OWEF). Objectives of the MRF are to reclaim recyclable materials and remove recoverable and noncombustible materials from the waste stream to be further processed and to increase capacity and efficiency of the OWEF and postpone the need for future expansions of the OWEF and our local landfill.
Outcome: The governor’s capital budget recommendations included $10 million for the MRF but a bonding bill did not pass this session.
Proposed Interchange at CSAH 44 and TH 14: Provide state capital investment for the construction of a proposed interchange at County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 44 (formerly County Road 104) and Trunk Highway (TH) 14 and an associated flyover structure at 7th Street NW. The project will improve safety and support regional growth and economic development. The recently completed TH 14 Corridor Analysis Project identified construction of an interchange at the CSAH intersection as an immediate, short-term (5 year) improvement. Olmsted County received funding in the 2020 bonding bill to begin design and environmental work. Funding for construction is still needed.
Outcome: The Senate omnibus transportation bill (SF1154) included $17.46 million in trunk highway bonds for the CSAH 44/TH 14 interchange but the transportation bill did not pass (nor did a bonding bill pass, where this funding also could have been included).
Graham Exhibition Center: Graham Park has served southeast Minnesota as a regional asset for more than 100 years for agriculture, community events, entertainment, and youth athletics. Support investments in Graham Park to meet demonstrated regional and community needs, drive year-round activity, and generate new economic opportunity. The state’s capital investment will be matched with county funds to construct a regional, multi-use exhibition center designed to meet these market demands and will facilitate improvements to better serve the year-round Rochester Farmers Markets through inclement weather.
Outcome: The governor’s capital budget recommendations included $10 million for this project but a bonding bill did not pass this session.
Policy and Budget
Resource recovery facilities: Ensure the viability of resource recovery facilities, which support the state’s solid waste management hierarchy and help provide an effective, efficient, and environmentally focused waste management system for communities. The state has delegated solid waste management responsibilities to counties through Minnesota Statutes Chapters 400 and 473.
Outcome: No legislation passed that would negatively impact the viability of resource recovery facilities.
Local justice initiatives: Current efforts to reform Minnesota’s probation system are vitally important to ensure future systems are adequately funded and focused on improving outcomes related to reoffending, incarceration, supervision caseloads, and overall community safety.
- Community supervision: Increase state funding to meet the statutory requirement of funding 50% of statewide costs for community probation and supervision (Minnesota Statutes 244.19 and Chapter 401); the state currently reimburses counties for community probation and supervision at 29%. Ensure the state funding model is designed in a way to provide adequate ongoing funding.
- Justice reinvestment: Fund justice reform and reinvestment initiatives, such as pretrial services, alternative juvenile detention options, support for children of incarcerated parents, housing for justice involved individuals, and community rehabilitative options. These programs improve outcomes of the justice system.
- Real time data sharing: Support statutory changes that enable sharing of private and confidential data (with appropriate safeguards) between corrections departments, court systems, health and human services agencies, and other entities involved with cross-sector collaborative services.
- Mental health: Support increases in resources for mental health treatment for justice involved individuals, including those incarcerated in county jails.
Outcome: The House and Senate omnibus public safety bills (HF4608 & SF2673) both included increases for county community supervision services, but an omnibus public safety bill was not agreed to this session and did not pass. The real time data sharing provision did pass in an omnibus health and human services policy bill (Chapter 98).
Workforce shortages: Workforce shortages across many employment areas are reaching crisis levels. Olmsted County is especially concerned about shortages in health and human services sectors, including residential care, long-term care, public health, and child care settings.
- Residential and long-term care: Address workforce shortages and reimbursement rates in professions that provide support to seniors and individuals with disabilities.
- Public health: Support strategic investments to increase the production, recruitment, and retention of the public health workforce.
- Child care affordability and accessibility: The statewide workforce urgently needs affordable and accessible child care. Support and develop provider resources by reducing the burdens of becoming a provider, investing in provider training, and developing more child care facilities. In addition, increase state resources for child care subsidies for low income working families to ensure accessibility to safe and appropriate child care.
Outcome: Both House and Senate omnibus health and human services bills (HF4706 & SF4410) included investments to address workforce shortages in settings such as residential care, long-term care, public health, child care, and more. The conference committee did not reach consensus and a supplemental HHS finance bill did not pass.
Transportation bonding: Support bonding investments for state-wide local transportation infrastructure programs: $200 million for the Local Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, $150 million for the Local Road Improvement Program, and $20 million for the Local Road Wetland Replacement Program.
Outcome: The governor’s capital budget recommendations included funding for these programs but a bonding bill did not pass this session.
Emergency shelter: Support state bonding to construct or refurbish facilities that provide emergency shelter for individuals, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. The current warming shelter in Olmsted County is a temporary facility and will need to be replaced.
Outcome: The governor’s capital budget recommendations included funding for this purpose. The House omnibus HHS bill (HF4706) also included funding for emergency shelter facilities. Neither an HHS finance nor a bonding bill passed this session
County program aid (CPA): Restore county general purpose aid (CPA) to ensure counties have the support needed to fulfill responsibilities delegated by the state. Current CPA funding levels are far below historic levels, especially when comparing as a percentage of county budgets and as a share of the state budget.
Outcome: An omnibus tax bill was agreed to by the conference committee, however, the bill did not pass before the session adjourned. The agreement included a $30 million statewide increase for CPA – an approximate 9.5% increase for Olmsted County.
Family First Prevention Service Act (FFPSA): Support a state implementation of FFPSA that meets the core tenets of the federal statute and ensures equitable access to services statewide, while also avoiding unfunded mandates and cost shifts to counties.
Outcome: The Senate held a hearing this session on a bill (SF4189) supported by counties to address FFPSA implementation issues. The Senate did not include these provisions in their omnibus HHS bill, but the House did include a few governor’s priorities relating to FFPSA in their omnibus HHS bill (HF4706). The issue was included in conference committee negotiations but the HHS finance bill did not pass.
Children’s mental health services: Create a Medicaid benefit for youth services at children’s mental health crisis centers. This could be modeled after a benefit currently offered to adults in Minnesota.
Outcome: A provision passed this session in Chapter 99 that establishes crisis stabilization services in children’s residential facilities. The language also directs DHS to seek federal approval and to update the behavioral health fund room and board rate schedule to include programs providing children’s mental health crisis stabilization services.