This past Monday April 16th, legislators returned to the capitol after a weeklong legislative spring break. Legislators quickly got back to work on various legislative issues as we are rapidly approaching the April 30th date that most legislators have said they hope the legislative session ends by. Just before legislators left for spring break, both the House and Senate passed off their respective floors their own versions of the 2012 Health and Human Services (HHS) Omnibus bill. Many of the smaller individual bills that the disability community has been working on this session have now been wrapped into either one or both of these larger HHS omnibus bills. Now that legislators have returned from break, a conference committee made up of five senators and five representatives has been called to work out the differences between the two versions of this bill. This conference committee met for the first time on the evening of Tuesday April 17th, and they adopted a number of no cost provisions during that the meeting. For a comprehensive list of the provisions adopted at last night’s conference committee hearing, visit the Capitol Updates section of the MN-CCD website. Following the adoption of these provisions, testimony was taken on various additional topics related to the House and Senate HHS omnibus bills. DHS and disability advocates provided testimony on the foster care bed closure language that is being suggested to address the mandatory bed closure language passed last session (there have been many versions of this language this session). Testimony was also taken on a proposed licensing fee for some disability service providers. No official action was taken on either the foster care bed closure issue or the licensing fee issues. MN-CCD will continue to follow the work of the HHS conference committee as well as other disability related legislation that continues to move forward at this time. As always we will share this legislative information on the Capitol Updates section of our website.