Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6708

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION STATUTES.

Vote Date:

03/04/2015

Vote Action:

JF/Floor

PH Date:

2/20/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To make Various revisions to the mental health and addiction statues.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Patricia Rehmer, MSN, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services(DMHAS):

The Department supports the Bill. Data collection is an important component of the Department's treatment system. It is a necessary requirement for our Federal Mental Health and Substance Abuse Block Grants and can be a determining factor in how much funding we receive from those grants. It also allows the Department to examine our treatment system to identify gaps and best practices, and gives the ability to be very successful when we apply for discretionary dollars from the Federal government. It will also give the Department the authority to collect information necessary for the care and treatment of individuals with behavioral health disorders.

The Bill gives the commissioner the ability to designate an individual to sign contracts and move business along should the commissioner not be available and a deputy commissioner position is not filled.

The last change would remove the very prescriptive language regarding the appointment of deputy commissioners and a medical director. This language was put into statue when we merged the Department of Mental Health with the CT Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission in 1995. We are a very different agency than we were 20 years ago and the system is no longer a bifurcated system of care. The language pertaining to the medical director has created difficulties in our ability to assign certain duties laid out in the statue to other professionals in the department.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

None

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Zani Imetovski

Date: 3/5/15