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House Bill No. 5639

Public Act No. 06-170

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COUNCIL TO ADVISE THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES ON MATTERS RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND OPERATION OF THE MEDICARE PART D PROGRAM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a council which shall advise the Commissioner of Social Services on matters relating to the administration and implementation of the Medicare Part D program, established pursuant to Public Law 108-173, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The council shall advise on matters that include, but are not limited to, (1) the effect of the implementation of the Medicare Part D program on: (A) The administration and operation of the ConnPACE and Medicaid programs, (B) persons in the state who are full benefit dually eligible Medicare Part D beneficiaries, as defined in subsection (a) of section 17b-265d of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes, (C) state pharmacies and pharmacists, (D) physicians and other persons who are authorized to prescribe drugs within the state, and (E) prescription drug coverage, benefits and costs for program beneficiaries, and (2) the administration of the Medicare Part D Supplemental Needs Fund, established pursuant to section 17b-265e of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes. In addition, the council shall provide legislative recommendations to the General Assembly concerning the administration and implementation of the Medicare Part D program by the Department of Social Services, and may provide federal legislative recommendations concerning the Medicare Part D program to members of the state's congressional delegation.

(b) The council shall consist of the following members:

(1) Two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be pharmacists, licensed pursuant to chapter 400j of the general statutes, employed at pharmacies located in urban areas;

(2) Two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall be pharmacists, licensed pursuant to chapter 400j of the general statutes, employed at pharmacies located in rural areas;

(3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370 of the general statutes;

(4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, who shall be a psychiatrist licensed pursuant to chapter 370 of the general statutes;

(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be a consumer representative;

(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, who shall be an attorney with expertise in Medicare advocacy;

(7) The Commissioners of Social Services and Public Health, or their designees; and

(8) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services and public health and the chairpersons and ranking members of the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to aging.

(c) All appointments to the council shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(d) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall select the chairpersons of the council, from among the members of the council. The chairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the council, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section. Thereafter, the council shall meet quarterly and more often upon the call of the chairpersons or a majority of its members.

(e) The Joint Committee on Legislative Management shall provide administrative support to the council.

(f) On or before January 15, 2007, and annually thereafter, the council shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, on its activities to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services and public health and to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to aging.

Approved June 6, 2006