Public Policy Update: 2022 End of Session Preview


The last week of the 2022 Minnesota Legislative session is upon us, and with it comes the conference committee process. In this process, the Senate and House appoint conferees to meet and reconcile the differences between each chamber’s omnibus bills (megabills that focus on a particular policy area like health, education, or housing). Wilder's Public Policy team has been actively engaging legislators from both chambers to highlight the need for meaningful investment in the areas of health, human services, workforce crisis mitigation, housing, education, and holistic wrap-around services. For a more in-depth look at the policy areas Wilder has been active in this session, please reference our 2022 Wilder Legislative Agenda.

Here is a brief overview of Wilder’s policy agenda items that are still alive, broken down by their policy area. Unfortunately, most of these policies find themselves with split support, meaning that only one chamber is currently supporting them through omnibus inclusion. The good news is that all these policies are still alive.

The public policy team invites you to find your legislator here, and tell them that you expect them to support the following common-sense policies that can improve our mental health, general health, and housing systems. Make sure to mention that you are their constituent, and that the time to act is NOW! Legislators must come to agreement by this Sunday (5/19/22), so don’t delay and contact them now!


Mental Health

Funding for Mental Health Workforce Retention & Incentive Programs.

Appropriations for mental health workforce retention and incentivization programs. Programs include the establishment of the Mental Health Provider Supervision Grant Program, the Mental Health Professional Scholarship Program, and the inclusion of mental health providers into the Workforce Incentive Grant. These policy changes would alleviate the severity of the critical workforce shortage.

Modifications that allow mental health practitioners to be case managers.

Allowing mental health practitioners to serve as case manager will allow qualified individuals to advocate for patients and ensure they receive the services they require.

Mental health professionals who provide clinical supervision to be made eligible for loan forgiveness under HPELFP (health provider’s education loan forgiveness program).

As Minnesota grapples with the critical workforce shortage, it is vital for us to empower those who are working tirelessly to support the mental health needs of Minnesota communities. This policy will incentivize those who are interested in joining the mental health workforce to do so and will alleviate the large amounts of education related debt loads that

Language that guides the mental health professional loan forgiveness program to mental health practitioners operating in culturally specific organizations and/or rural areas:

This will help ensure that program benefits are supporting communities that are in the highest need.

Puts CEMIG (Cultural & Ethnic Minority Infrastructure Grant Program) into statute:

CEMIG supports culturally-specific, trauma-informed mental health and substance use disorder services within targeted cultural and minority communities in Minnesota. Codifying CEMIG into statute will over long-term viability and ensures the program can continue serving our communities.

One-time money appropriated to African American mental health providers.

$1,000,000 in fiscal year 2023 to invest in licensed community mental health centers who specialize in services for African American children and families. Providers must offer care coordination and services to all ages, regardless of ability to pay or place of residence.

Funding for Shelter & School-Linked Mental Health services

Shelter-Linked & School-Linked Mental Health grants bring youth-focused mental health supports into sites who are already serving youth and integrates mental health care with other supports to care for the “whole child”. This one time funding will sustain these critical services through grants. It is important to note that more investments are needed and Wilder will continue advocating for increased investments in future sessions.

Increase rates for Adult Day Treatment.

Our community relies on this multidisciplinary program to prevent hospitalization, and support discharge from inpatient services. This policy will support the continuation of Adult-Day Treatment services by ensuring that the rate for reimbursement is sustainable.

Future Mental Health Providers Resource Website.

Creation of a website that contains relevant information, supports, and direction for people interested in a career in mental health.  This website will streamline the process for incoming mental health providers.

General Health Care

12-month continuous eligibility for children up to 21.

Continuous eligibility will help children access continuous and predictable health care and minimize “MA churn”, a phenomenon when otherwise eligible individuals are bumped off of Medicaid for failing to submit paperwork reaffirming their eligibility.

Increase in Medical Assistance Income, Asset, and Spend Down standards.

Increases the Medical Assistance Income and Asset qualifying standards. This will allow individuals in the low-income elderly and disabled category to get the support they need without being driven so deeply into poverty and brings these standards into line with other MA eligibility categories.

Modifications in statute to allow foster care youth to remain on Medical Assistance until age 26.

Essentially affords similar health insurance coverage rights to foster care youth as other youth groups. Under the Affordable Care Act, youth can remain on the health insurance plan of their parent or guardian until the age of 26. Foster care youth should not have additional barriers to health care as their peers.

Language to reduce the burden of cost-sharing under Medical Assistance.

Life Sharing is a nurturing and supportive family-style living option for adults with disabilities who are 18 years or older. Life Sharing combines the benefits of living in a family home with support to lead an independent life in community. The proposed language would direct the Department of Human Services to increase access and remove barriers to this critical service, chiefly through research, stakeholder engagement, the development of a Life Sharing Waiver. This holistic policy change would have the added benefit of increasing access to housing options and alleviating workforce shortages.

Inclusion of Tobacco Cessation Treatment into Medical Assistance.

Removes barriers to commercial tobacco cessation treatment for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare enrollees by amending current statutes. The policy change also expands the kinds of health care practitioners that can offer cessation counseling and treatment services.

Funding increases for traditional healing practices

Traditional healing practices are a vital part of health and wellness for many communities across Minnesota. The House language calls for $2,000,000 in grants to support organizations providing traditional health services.

Personal Care Assistance/ Community First Services & Supports Rate Framework.

Increase in implementation factor in the PCA/CFSS rate framework, which brings the rate closer to the actual cost of service. This policy change will alleviate the critical workforce crisis through increased wages to PCA’s and ensure that the 44,000 Minnesotans that rely on PCA services have a PCA workforce to support them.

Adjustments to PCA driving rules.

Allows PCAs to drive clients and providers to bill for the time in transit. PCA’s need to be compensated for all the services they provide clients, and sometimes this includes transportation.

Modifications to PCA weekly hour limits.

Increasing the weekly hourly limit for parents of minors and spouses who provide PCA services for their family members, essentially honoring the work already being done by workers

Public Health Emergency Wind-Down.

There are several provisions that will help our state and Medicaid enrollees wind down from the federal public health emergency. Provisions like aligning MA-EPD and MinnesotaCare premiums with the timing of an enrollee’s first enrollment period, continuing coverage until each enrollee’s enrollment period, and allowing an extension of the Covid-19 asset limits for a short period of time will ease this transition and help ensure continuous coverage for eligible enrollees.



Homelessness prevention and assistance programs.

Multiple provisions including, shelter capital, expansion of the emergency services program, and funding for homeless youth. In this time of profound crisis, it is imperative that we offer our neighbors what they need to prevent homelessness and to climb out of it.

Rental opportunities.

There are several policies aimed at improving the rental landscape in Minnesota. These include preservation and acquisition of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing, and expansion of rental assistance including COVID Emergency Rental Assistance. The entire state is grappling with a housing shortage, we must support renters and address the fundamental lack of housing options.

Housing Opportunities.

Other provisions that expand housing opportunities include down-payment assistance, manufactured home park infrastructure improvements, and homeownership development. By expanding housing opportunities, we can begin to remedy the housing situation in Minnesota.

Questions? Comments? Contact Us

If you have any questions about any of these polices, Wilder’s Public Policy Agenda, or would like to learn more/find support for engaging your legislators, please contact our Director for Public Policy & Community Relations, Adrián.

Adrián Rafael Magaña
Director of Public Policy & Community Relations