Commerce Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-820

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING ELIGIBILITY OF PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS UNDER THE SMALL BUSINESS EXPRESS PROGRAM.

Vote Date:

3/21/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/23/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Commerce Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

Summary

Makes the following eligible for EXP assistance:

● Physicians in CT in active practice of primary care for adults or children.

● Physician offices in CT that provide primary care services to adults or children.

Summary of Substitute Bill

The bill lowers the number of months, from 12 to 6, that a primary care physician or physician office must have been in operation to be eligible for Small Business Express (EXP) assistance.

Description of Changes

The substitute deletes the original bill's change, opening EXP to newly established physicians and physician offices. (However, under the substitute, the required months in operation for physicians and physicians' offices is still lower than the requirement for other types of business, which is 12 months.) The substitute also retains the requirement in current law (which the original bill eliminated) that a physician or physician office have 100 or fewer employees.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

DECD, Commissioner Catherine Smith: we have already funded small doctor's offices, and larger offices are eligible for other assistance – thus, bill isn't necessary.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

CT State Medical Society: access to capital is difficult for physicians; CT is losing physicians; CT efforts to retain medical students and recruit new physicians are lagging; two physicians could not get what they needed from the program.

Mahesh Bhaya, M.D. – expand the bill to include specialties, not just primary care

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

DECD, Commissioner Smith: at 3/09/17 hearing said that it doesn't have the expertise to underwrite new businesses.

NOTES:

Committee decided to JFS – retained 100 employees or less requirement but kept provision exempting physician offices from requirement that a business be in operation for 12 months.

25 medical/health practices have received funding through EXP

In previous iterations of this concept (e.g., Targeted Health Areas), proponents were looking for money for salary assistance and hiring incentives (loan forgiveness, bonuses) – EXP may provide some salary assistance, but does not provide hiring incentives.

Reported by: Rosemary Klotz

Date: 3/22/2017