Legislature approves human services budget

BISMARCK–The North Dakota Legislature has passed the budget for the Department of Human Services.

The total budget is $2.6 billion, with $925.5 million in general funds.

All of the state’s human service centers received additional money, as well as the state hospital.

The Legislature also approved a 3 percent inflator for each year of the biennium.

“We’re ensuring that those who provide care for the elderly and disabled are able to receive reimbursements that match with inflation,” said Assistant House Minority Leader Lee Kaldor of Mayville.

The final bill restores $39 million in Medicaid reimbursement to physicians that was previously cut by the House, he said.

The bill does not include funding for additional crisis beds for the severely mentally ill, Kaldor said.

It does require the department to periodically report to legislators about the status of the dementia care services program.

The bill also directs the department to use $250,000 of federal funding to provide grants to support a statewide school and community-based youth network dedicated to implementing risk behavior prevention efforts.

The bill will now go to Gov. Jack Dalrymple for his signature.