Proposed Rule Amendments Governing Minnesota Veterans Homes Disapproved

July 20, 2022  |  Cathryn Reher

On April 15, 2022, Administrative Law Judge Jessica A. Palmer issued her order rescinding the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs Additional Notice Plans and disapproving in toto the proposed changes to the Minnesota Veterans Homes Rules (Minn. R. Ch. 9050).  The proposed amendments related to admissions, discharges, and billing procedures. Members of the Elder Law Section along with many stakeholder groups over a three-month period committed significant time to research, raised substantive written objections, and testified at the public rule-making hearing on January 31, 2022.  The resulting order found the “Department did not establish that it complied with all procedural requirements of law and rule, or that the proposed rules are needed and reasonable. The Department failed to adequately address all of the regulatory factors required for consideration in the Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) under Minn. Stat. § 14.131. This is a prejudicial defect and not a harmless error.”  Further, the ALJ determined “the MDVA misrepresented its engagement with the public in the development of the proposed rules. The Administrative Law Judge would not have approved the MDVA’s Additional Notice Plan as proposed had she known that the SONAR’s description of the level of prior stakeholder involvement was not true.”  The MDVA committed five years to the rule-making process and all involved understand the need to update the rules.  The ALJ suggested the MDVA re-engage in outreach efforts with stakeholders, consider the input received, and re-propose rules at a later date.  The author reached out to MDVA General Counsel Kristen Root for a status update and received the following response:  “The MDVA continues to review its course of action with regard to the proposed amendments to Chapter 9050 following both Minnesota Statute 14.19 and Minnesota Rule 1400.2240.”  For those interested in the substantive findings of the ALJ, the order is available at: