Substitute House Bill No. 5525

Public Act No. 00-188

An Act Establishing A Children's Behavioral Health Advisory Committee To The State Advisory Council On Children And Families And A Children's Behavioral Health Council.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 17a-4 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be a State Advisory Council on Children and Families which shall consist of fifteen members appointed by the Governor, including at least five persons who are child care professionals, one child psychiatrist licensed to practice medicine in this state [,] and at least one attorney. [and at least three members between fifteen and twenty-two years of age at the date of their appointment.] The balance of the advisory council shall be representative of young persons, parents and others interested in the delivery of services to children and youth. Members of the council shall serve without compensation, except for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. No person shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. The commissioner shall be an ex-officio member of the council without vote and shall attend its meetings. Any member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. The council shall elect a [chairman] chairperson and [vice-chairman] vice-chairperson to act in the [chairman's] chairperson's absence.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (a) There is established a Children's Behavioral Health Advisory Committee to the State Advisory Council on Children and Families which shall promote and enhance the provision of behavioral health services for all children in this state.

(b) The Children's Behavioral Health Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following members: (1) The Commissioner of Children and Families or the commissioner's designee; (2) the Commissioner of Social Services or the commissioner's designee; (3) the Executive Director of the Children's Health Council or said director's designee; (4) the Chief Court Administrator or said administrator's designee; (5) the Commissioner of Education or the commissioner's designee; (6) the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services or the commissioner's designee; (7) the Commissioner of Mental Retardation or the commissioner's designee; (8) two members appointed by the Governor, one member who shall be a parent of a child who receives behavioral health services and the other a provider of behavioral health services; (9) one member each shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be knowledgeable on issues relative to children in need of behavioral health services and family supports; and (10) sixteen members appointed by the chairperson of the State Advisory Council on Children and Families. The membership of the advisory committee shall fairly and adequately represent parents of children who have a serious emotional disturbance. At least fifty per cent of the members of the advisory committee shall be persons who are parents or relatives of a child who has or had a serious emotional disturbance or persons who had a serious emotional disturbance as a child.

(c) All appointments to the advisory committee shall be made no later than sixty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority. Members shall serve two-year terms.

(d) The advisory committee shall elect two cochairpersons from among its members, one of whom shall be the parent of a child with a serious emotional disturbance. The advisory committee shall meet at least bimonthly. Members of the advisory committee shall serve without compensation.

(e) Not later than October first of each year, the advisory committee shall submit a status report on local systems of care and practice standards for state-funded behavioral health programs to the State Advisory Council on Children and Families.

(f) Not later than October first of each odd-numbered year, the advisory committee shall submit recommendations concerning the provision of behavioral health services for all children in the state to the State Advisory Council on Children and Families. The recommendations shall address, but shall not be limited to, the following: (1) The target population for children with behavioral health needs, and assessment and benefit options for children with such needs; (2) the appropriateness and quality of care for children with behavioral health needs; (3) the coordination of behavioral health services provided under the HUSKY Plan with services provided by other publicly-funded programs; (4) performance standards for preventive services, family supports and emergency service training programs; (5) assessments of community-based and residential care programs; (6) outcome measurements by reviewing provider practice; and (7) a medication protocol and standards for the monitoring of medication and after-care programs.

Sec. 3. Not later than January 1, 2001, the Commissioner of Social Services shall (1) evaluate the process for determining eligibility for enrolment in the HUSKY Plan, Part A and Part B, and (2) develop a plan to improve the process for determining such eligibility and redetermination of eligibility. The commissioner shall submit any findings and such plan to the Governor and to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services.

Sec. 4. (a) There is established a Children's Behavioral Health Council which shall advise the appropriate state departments and the General Assembly on the delivery of behavioral health services to children in this state. The council shall consider all relevant reports and ongoing work addressing children's behavioral health needs and services in Connecticut and make recommendations concerning the coordination of and access to a range of behavioral health services for children in the state.

(b) The council shall be composed of the following members: (1) 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 or their designees; (2) the Commissioners of Children and Families, Social Services, Education, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Mental Retardation and Public Health or their designees; (3) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or said secretary's designee; (4) the executive director of the Commission on Children or said director's designee; (5) the Child Advocate or said advocate's designee; (6) two community providers of children's behavioral health services, one each to be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives; (7) two representatives of Medicaid managed care companies or their subcontractors, one each to be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate and the majority leader of the House of Representatives; and (8) two family representatives of children currently receiving behavioral health services, one each to be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(c) 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. Such chairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the council, which shall be held no later than June 1, 2000.

(d) Not later than February 1, 2001, the council shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services and public health, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The council shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or February 1, 2001, whichever is earlier.

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that sections 1 to 3, inclusive, shall take effect July 1, 2000.

Approved June 1, 2000