Brown County Browser: Department of Human Services

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has been in the news a lot in 2019. Concerns over billing errors, contracting issues and changes in leadership have been the predominant headlines. How does this impact our local human service agency?

In Minnesota, Human Services is administered by counties. Most operate as single counties, such as Brown. But some are a consortium of counties who have chosen to deliver services jointly such as MN Prairie which is a collective human service agency serving Waseca, Steele and Dodge Counties. Although county administered, the supervision and oversight of these agencies is the responsibility of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

There are several mandates that are set by the federal and state legislatures that direct the operation of the local human service agency. It is our role and responsibility to follow these regulations as we provide social service and financial support to our most vulnerable populations. We do this while being mindful of our fiscal responsibility to the taxpayer. I am very proud of the dedicated staff at Brown County Human Services who are knowledgeable about what they do, care about the people we are called to serve and committed to doing their job well. There are many challenges we face in the daily work we do.

Let’s hope that that with the added scrutiny of the media, the Minnesota legislature and the public, that the errors at the Minnesota Department of Human Services will be corrected and positive changes will result. As the largest State Agency in Minnesota tasked with protecting the most vulnerable of our citizen’s – children, vulnerable adults and individuals with disabilities – it is important that we be supervised by an agency that is accountable for how it operates and is trustworthy to those it serves.

2020 Election Information

By Jean Prochniak

Brown County Auditor/Treasurer

The 2020 Election Season will begin much earlier this year with the establishment of the Presidential Nomination Primary (hereinafter “PNP”) set for Tuesday, March, 3, 2020. In 2016, the Minnesota Legislature authorized a nomination primary to be conducted for president of the United States, beginning with the 2020 presidential election cycle. The presidential nomination primary supplements the party caucus model that has been used in Minnesota for many years. What that means for Minnesota voters is that rather than voting for presidential candidates during the Feb. 25 caucuses, voters will go to the polls the following Tuesday (March 3) to vote for presidential candidates. This year there will be two ballots, one for the DFL and the other for the GOP. There are two other parties that are considered major parties in Minnesota but they are not conducting a national convention and are not eligible to participate in the PNP.

In the weeks ahead, I will continue to share information regarding this new election and the process. The one thing to keep in mind is that voters will be required to declare a party preference to obtain a ballot and vote in the PNP. Feel free to contact the Auditor-Treasurer’s office at 233-6616 if you have any questions.


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