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S.F. No. 989 - State Agencies Accommodation Reimbursement Expenses - the First Engrossment
Author: Senator James P. Metzen
Prepared By: Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
Date: March 24, 2015


Establishes a program for reimbursing a state agency for the expenses the agency incurs in making a “reasonable accommodation” for an employee, or applicant for employment, who has a qualifying disability, as required by law.  The bill establishes a dedicated fund for this purpose and appropriates money to the fund. 

Section. 1. [Accommodation Reimbursement]

Subdivision 1. [Definitions] defines “reasonable accommodation” by cross-reference to current human rights law.  Reasonable accommodation means steps to accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified disabled person, including making facilities readily accessible to and usable by disabled persons and job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment, or modifying equipment or devices, and providing aides.  This section defines “state agency” as an agency in the executive branch of state government, but does not include constitutional officers.

Subd. 2 [Reimbursement for making reasonable accommodation] requires the Commissioner of Administration to reimburse state agencies for expenses incurred in making reasonable accommodations for agency employees and applicants to the extent that funds are available in the accommodation account for this purpose.

Subd. 3 [Accommodation account established] establishes an accommodation account in the special revenue fund.

Subd. 4 [Administration costs] permits the Commissioner of Administration to use up to 15 percent of money appropriated to the accommodation account to be used for administering this program.

Subd. 5 [Notification] requires the Commissioner of Administration to periodically notify agencies of the availability of funds under this program. 

Subd. 6 [Report] requires the Commissioner of Administration to report to the legislature annually on the use of the accommodation account, including specified topics.

This section is effective for expenses incurred after June 30, 2015.

Section 2 [Appropriation; Procedure Development and Education in First Year] appropriates $500,000 in fiscal year 2016 and $500,000 in fiscal year 2017 to be credited to the accommodation fund.  In fiscal year 2016, the Commissioner of Administration is permitted to use five percent of the 2016 appropriation for developing policies and procedures to implement the program and to educate agencies about the availability of reimbursement for accommodation expenses.

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