Editor’s note, May 22: Gov. Tim Walz has signed HF90, also known as the Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2019, into law.

Senior living organizations, regulators and consumer advocates on Tuesday finalized an agreement about licensing assisted living facilities for the first time in Minnesota, completing a two-year process.

“The consensus bill language that we have prepared with the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Human Services represents our best efforts and combined knowledge of how to address this issue from a technical, policy and budgetary perspective,” members of the so-called Long-Term Care Imperative said in a letter to the governor and leaders in the state House and Senate. “None of us think it is perfect. All of us think it is necessary and urgent,” the letter added.

Those involved worked “long into the night and early hours” last weekend to iron out the parameters of the agreement, which also addresses safety issues and the use of resident-room cameras in assisted living and nursing homes, Toby Pearson, vice president of advocacy for Care Providers of Minnesota, the state affiliate of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living, wrote in a post on the organization’s website.

LeadingAge Minnesota, which also is an Argentum state partner, also has been involved in the discussions.

“The compromise language must still find funding and pass the House and Senate with the exact same language, and get signed by the governor,” Pearson wrote.

A bill passed the House on Friday, the StarTribune reported, but it remains unclear whether the Senate will hold a vote. Senate Republicans have concerns about enforcement costs, which could reach $50 million over four years, according to the media outlet. If the Senate doesn’t act, the new protections may be added to a budget bill, the StarTribune said.

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