Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 82

    February Session, 2016

Substitute Senate Bill No. 32

Senate, March 21, 2016

The Committee on Insurance and Real Estate reported through SEN. CRISCO of the 17th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE COMMISSION ON HEALTH EQUITY.

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

Section 1. Section 38a-1051 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) Whereas the General Assembly finds that: (1) Equal enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is a human right and a priority of the state, (2) research and experience demonstrate that inhabitants of the state experience barriers to the equal enjoyment of good health based on race, ethnicity, gender, national origin and linguistic ability, and (3) addressing such barriers, and others that may arise in the future, requires: The collection, analysis and reporting of information, the identification of causes, and the development and implementation of policy solutions that address health disparities while improving the health of the public as a whole, therefore, there is established a Commission on Health Equity with the mission of eliminating disparities in health status based on race, ethnicity, gender and linguistic ability, and improving the quality of health for all of the state's residents. Such commission shall consist of the following commissioners, or their designees, and public members: (A) The Commissioners of Public Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Developmental Services, Social Services, Correction, Children and Families, and Education; (B) the dean of The University of Connecticut Health Center, or his or her designee; (C) the director of The University of Connecticut Health Center and Center for Public Health and Health Policy, or their designees; (D) the dean of the Yale University Medical School, or his or her designee; (E) the dean of the Yale School of Public Health, or his or her designee; (F) one member appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall be a member of an affiliate of the National Urban League; (G) one member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; (H) one member appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be a member of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus of the General Assembly; (I) one member appointed by the majority leader of the Senate with the advice of the Native American Heritage Advisory Council or the chairperson of the Indian Affairs Council, who shall be a representative of the Native American community; (J) one member appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, who shall be a representative of an advocacy group for Hispanics; (K) one member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be a representative of the state-wide Multicultural Health Network; (L) the chairperson of the African-American Affairs Commission, or his or her designee; (M) the chairperson of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, or his or her designee; (N) the chairperson of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, or his or her designee; (O) the chairperson of the Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, or his or her designee; (P) the director of the Hispanic Health Council, or his or her designee; (Q) the Healthcare Advocate, or his or her designee; and (R) eight members of the public, representing communities facing disparities in health status based on race, ethnicity, gender and linguistic ability, who shall be appointed as follows: Two by the president pro tempore of the Senate, two by the speaker of the House of Representatives, two by the minority leader of the Senate, and two by the minority leader of the House of Representatives. Vacancies on the council shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(b) The commission shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from among its members. Any member absent from either: (1) Three consecutive meetings of the commission, or (2) fifty per cent of such meetings during any calendar year, shall be deemed to have resigned from the commission.

(c) Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but within available appropriations, and shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties.

(d) The commission shall meet as often as necessary as determined by the chairperson or a majority of the commission, but not less than at least once per calendar quarter.

(e) The commission shall: (1) Review and comment on any proposed state legislation and regulations that would affect the health of populations in the state experiencing racial, ethnic, cultural or linguistic disparities in health status, (2) review and comment on the Department of Public Health's health disparities performance measures, (3) advise and provide information to the Governor and the General Assembly on the state's policies concerning the health of populations in the state experiencing racial, ethnic, cultural or linguistic disparities in health status, (4) work as a liaison between populations experiencing racial, ethnic, cultural or linguistic disparities in health status and state agencies in order to eliminate such health disparities, (5) evaluate policies, procedures, activities and resource allocations to eliminate health status disparities among racial, ethnic and linguistic populations in the state and have the authority to convene the directors and commissioners of all state agencies whose purview is relevant to the elimination of health disparities, including but not limited to, the Departments of Public Health, Social Services, Children and Families, Developmental Services, Education, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Labor, Transportation, and the Housing Finance Authority for the purpose of advising on and directing the implementation of policies, procedures, activities and resource allocations to eliminate health status disparities among racial, ethnic and linguistic populations in the state, (6) prepare and submit to the Governor and General Assembly an annual report, in accordance with section 11-4a, that provides both a retrospective and prospective view of health disparities and the state's efforts to ameliorate identifiable disparities among populations of the state experiencing racial, ethnic, cultural or linguistic disparities in health status, (7) explore other successful programs in other sectors and states, and pilot and provide grants for new creative programs that may diminish or contribute to the elimination of health disparities in the state and culturally appropriate health education demonstration projects, for which the commission may apply for, accept and expand public and private funding, (8) have the authority to collect and analyze government and other data regarding the health status of state inhabitants based on race, ethnicity, gender, national origin and linguistic ability, including access, services and outcomes in private and public health care institutions within the state, including, but not limited to, the data collected by the Connecticut Health Information Network, (9) have the authority to draft and recommend proposed legislation, regulations and other policies designed to address disparities in health status, [and] (10) have the authority to conduct hearings and interviews, and receive testimony, regarding matters pertinent to its mission, and (11) establish requirements for and duties of, and policies and procedures for the removal of, an executive director appointed pursuant to subsection (g) of this section.

(f) The commission may use such funds as may be available from federal, state or other sources, and may enter into contracts to carry out the provisions of this section.

(g) The commission may, within available appropriations, (1) appoint an executive director, who shall be in the unclassified service, and (2) subject to the provisions of chapter 67, employ any additional necessary staff.

(h) The commission shall be within the [Office of the Healthcare Advocate] Insurance Department for administrative purposes only.

(i) The commission shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on its findings not later than June 1, 2010.

(j) The commission shall make a determination as to whether the duties of the commission are duplicated by any other state agency, office, bureau or commission and shall include information concerning any such duplication or performance of similar duties by any other state agency, office, bureau or commission in the report described in subsection (i) of this section.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2016

38a-1051

INS

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill allows the Commission on Health Equity (the commission) to appoint an executive director within available appropriations.

This bill has no fiscal impact as the FY 16 and FY 17 Biennial Budget appropriated funding (including fringe benefits) of $139,547 in FY 16 and $147,467 in FY 17 from the Insurance Fund for one position.1 It should be noted that the Governor's Revised FY 17 Budget eliminates the commission's funding.

The bill also transfers the commission to the Insurance Department. Currently, funding for the commission is within the Office of the Healthcare Advocate. Based on this change it is assumed that funding would be transferred to the Insurance Department.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 32

AN ACT CONCERNING THE COMMISSION ON HEALTH EQUITY.

SUMMARY:

This bill allows the state Commission on Health Equity to appoint an executive director within available appropriations. The law already allows the commission to employ necessary staff within available appropriations.

The bill requires the commission to establish requirements for, the duties of, and policies and procedures for removing, an executive director, who must be in the unclassified service.

It also places the commission within the Insurance Department, instead of the Office of the Healthcare Advocate, for administrative purposes.

By law, the commission must (1) work to eliminate disparities in health status based on race, ethnicity, gender, and linguistic ability and improve the quality of health for all state residents and (2) report annually to the governor and General Assembly.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

COMMITTEE ACTION

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

4

(03/03/2016)

TOP

1 To date this one position has not been filled.