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MFDA Legislative Update - May 16, 2017
 
Cook Girard’s update on the status of the legislature with 10 days left in session is available here

 

Here is an update of issues of specific interest to MFDA:

 

  •  SF1844 (Sen. Kiffmeyer) / HF2177 (Rep. Zerwas) – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses signature authority (gives APRNs authority to sign death certificates).  Passed both House and Senate and will be presented to the Governor for his signature.  This will be effective the day following final the Governor’s signature.
  • HF2627 (Rep. Schomacker) – Requires counties to pay “appropriate expenses” for county burials or cremations.   This bill will not move forward this session but was introduced to help start conversations between MFDA and Minnesota Counties on this growing concern for many MN funeral directors.  We will be working with the counties in the interim in attempt to reach agreement on solutions to the increasing county reimbursement issues for county burials and cremations.  
  • The Department of Health Mortuary Science proposal which included a cremator operator certification and a number of other provisions was introduced but not heard in any committees. This will remain a topic of discussion for 2018.
  • Rental Caskets Sales Tax Exemption - The language to add rental caskets to the sales tax exemption that was part of the Governor’s tax proposal was not included in the omnibus tax bill from the House and Senate.  This can be an item of discussion at District Meetings for possible work in 2018.

Looking forward:

 

  • We will be working throughout the interim to educate legislators and staff on the importance of cremator operator certification and will move forward with the legislation in 2018.
  • The Mortuary Science Section at MDH is interviewing individuals for the section manager position.
  • The next Mortuary Science Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee is Friday, June 2nd.  We will continue to attend all Ad Hoc meetings and report back on status and issues being discussed for 2018.

We will keep you posted on all developments and I look forward to visiting with many of you at the MFDA Annual Convention.

 

Joe Sellwood

Manager of Government Affairs

Cook Girard Associates

(o) 651-917-6001

(c ) 651-303-3853

jsellwood@cookgirard.com

 

Information on legislative updates on Medical Assistance

 

Information on legislative updates on Prep Room Regulations

 

MFDA Legislative Update - March 17, 2017

Every session is unique and 2017 is no different. The primary focus of the session is crafting the state's budget for the next two years. Another theme throughout the first eleven weeks has been the rising costs of health insurance, with lawmakers first passing a premium rebate and now working towards greater overall market reform. There are many other issues under consideration, with over 4600 bills introduced so far, some of which are of specific interest to the funeral industry.

 Bills moving forward of interest to MFDA members

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Physician Assistant signature authority
    1. HF2177 (Rep. Zerwas, Elk River) & SF1844 (Sen. Kiffmeyer, Big Lake)
    2. This bill would allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants to provide cause of death information within MR&C. This would alleviate some of the pressure on funeral directors to track down physicians to provide the cause of death. The bill is currently awaiting votes on the House and Senate floors.
  • Rental casket sales tax exemption
    1. HF893 (Rep. Davids, Preston) & SF726 (Sen. Chamberlain, Lino Lakes)
    2. This provision is part of Governor Dayton's tax proposal to the legislature. It extends the sales tax exemption to rental caskets, burial vaults, and alternative containers used for transportation or viewing. We have spoken with both Tax Committee Chairs and expressed MFDA support for the provision's inclusion in the forthcoming Omnibus Tax bills.
  • Elimination of the State Veterans Cemetery Burial fee for spouses and dependents
    1. HF1597 (Rep. Howe, Rockville) & SF1244 (Sen. Fischbach, Paynesville)
    2. This bill eliminates the State Veterans Cemetery Burial fee ($745) for spouses and dependents of eligible veterans. The bill is currently moving through the committee process.

Bills not currently moving

  • MFDA Cremator Operator certification bill
    1. HF1025 (Rep. Kiel, Crookston) & SF1665 (Sen. Weber, Luverne)
    2. Our proposal falls under the category of new Certification/Licensure or Scope of Practice, an area that lawmakers will be focusing on in 2018.
  • Department of Health Policy bill
    1. HF1839 (Rep. Schomacker, Luverne) & no senate companion
    2. Similar to MFDA, the Department proposed a Cremator Operator certification, as well as other policy provisions ranging from capturing additional information for alkaline hydrolysis to a new cremation form.

Other items of interest

  • Department of Human Services
    1. The Department of Human Services recently released updated MA recovery guidelines. The release outlines the use of reasonable and unreasonable funeral expenses. These guidelines do not apply to funerals that are prepaid, unless the prepaid funeral is underfunded and the estate has to make up the difference. We've met with DHS and they understand MFDA members have some concerns, particularly with the uniform application of the guidelines throughout Minnesota counties. DHS is willing to review any suggestions or changes MFDA puts forward.
  • Department of Health
    1. Anne Kukowski has recently left the Mortuary Science Section at the Department. Currently, Catherine Lloyd is the supervisor and can be reached by phone at 651-201-3829.
    2. The Mortuary Science Ad Hoc Advisory Committee continues to meet and is always taking suggestions for discussion topics. If there is a topic you'd like the committee to consider, you can email health.mortsci@state.mn.us.

As MFDA's lobbyists, we're your eyes and ears at the capitol every day. We will continue to keep you updated on any developments impacting MFDA and its members. Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Joe Sellwood                                        Judy Cook
651-303-3853                                       612-80-7116

jsellwood@cookgirard.com                    jcook@cookgirard.com

 

 


 

 

Please click here to view the entire 2015 Legislative Updates for the Minnesota Mortuary Science Industry document.

 

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