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Capitol briefs: Health exchange seeks $55M federal grant

  • August 7, 2013 - 9:23 PM

Health exchange seeks $55M federal grant

Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is seeking a $55 million federal grant to pay for its operations next year.

The board of directors of MNsure met Wednesday to review the grant request. MNsure’s director said Minnesota has already received more federal grant support for its exchange than any other state.

Five previous federal grants to Minnesota’s exchange added up to $110 million. The $55 million request would cover salaries for about 166 full-time employees who would work on MNsure operations, and would also cover spending on technology, marketing, customer service, administration and other items.

The state must submit its grant application next week with an expected award date of Oct. 1. That’s the same day that MNsure is supposed to start operating.

MnSCU must turn over syllabuses

An appeals court says Minnesota State College and Universities must release faculty course materials to an organization that scrutinizes teacher prep programs.

The court rejected MnSCU’s argument that the materials are copyright protected. The National Council on Teacher Quality sued MnSCU after it refused to hand over course materials for its education programs.

The Washington-based nonprofit wanted the syllabuses as part of its rankings on teacher prep programs. The council says its rating system helps aspiring teachers pick strong programs. But critics say the system is too narrow and relies on flawed information.

The St. Cloud Times says the ruling upholds a decision in Ramsey County District Court.

Vets home tour on tap for state lawmakers

A special state House committee is examining ways to improve housing options for Minnesota veterans with long-term needs.

The House Select Committee on Veterans Housing planned a tour Wednesday of the Minneapolis Veterans Home and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility.

The panel, created this year, is tasked with appraising the current state of veterans housing in Minnesota. It is building toward a February 2014 report, which will be issued just before the Legislature begins crafting a construction borrowing package next session.

Geographic access, partnerships with the private sector and the cost effectiveness of current programs are among the things the committee is studying.

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