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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.545

Introduced by Committee on Government Operations

Date

Subject:  Human services; Vermont Statutes Annotated

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to:  (1) amend the Vermont Statutes Annotated to conform to the current structure of the agency of human services; (2) include health maintenance organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, self‑insured plans, and other entities responsible for the payment of health care claims within the definition of “third party” under Medicaid law; and (3) remove the requirement that the secretary of human services establish by rule a table that specifies certain maximum annual home heating fuel assistance benefit amounts.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE AGENCY OF HUMAN SERVICES

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont: 

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 3051(c) is amended to read:

(c)  For the department for children and families, the secretary, with the approval of the governor, shall appoint deputy commissioners for the following divisions of the department:

(1)  field operations;

(2)  economic services;

(3)(2)  child development;

(4)(3)  family services.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 3087a is added to read:

§ 3087a.  Field Services Division

The division of field services is created within the agency of human services.  The division shall be headed by a director who shall be appointed by the secretary of human services subject to section 3054 of this title.

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 3091 is amended to read:

§ 3091.  HEARINGS

* * *

(e)  The board shall give written notice of its decision to the person applying for fair hearing and to the agency.  Unless a continuance is requested or consented to by an aggrieved person, decisions and orders concerning aid to needy families with children (ANFC) Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) under Title 33, chapter 11, ANFC‑Emergency TANF‑Emergency Assistance (ANFC‑EA TANF‑EA) under Title IV of the Social Security Act and medical assistance (Medicaid) under Title 33, chapter 19 shall be issued by the board within 75 days of the request for hearing.

* * *

(h)(1)(A)  Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (f) of this section, the secretary shall review all board decisions and orders concerning ANFC TANF, ANFC‑EA TANF‑EA, office of child support cases, and Medicaid.  The secretary shall:

(A)  adopt a board decision or order, except that the secretary may reverse or modify a board decision or order if:

(i)  the board’s findings of fact lack any support in the record; or

(ii)  the decision or order implicates the validity or applicability of any agency policy or rule.

(B)  The secretary shall issue a written decision setting forth the legal, factual or policy basis for reversing or modifying a board decision or order.

(2)  Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (f) of this section, a board decision and order concerning ANFC TANF, ANFC‑EA TANF‑EA, office of child support, or Medicaid shall become the final and binding decision of the agency upon its approval by the secretary.  The secretary shall either approve, modify or reverse the board’s decision and order within 15 days of the date of the board decision and order.  If the secretary fails to issue a written decision within 15 days as required by this subdivision, the board’s decision and order shall be deemed to have been approved by the secretary.


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Sec. 4.  18 V.S.A. § 1751(b)(3) is amended to read:

(3)  “Child care facility” means a day child care facility or family day child care home as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 4902 that was constructed prior to 1978.

Sec. 5.  20 V.S.A. § 2730 is amended to read:

§ 2730.  DEFINITIONS

(a)  As used in this subchapter, “public building” means:

(1)(A)  a building owned or occupied by a public utility; hospital; school; house of worship; convalescent center or home for the aged, infirm, or disabled; nursery; kindergarten; or day child care;

* * *

(b)  The term “public building” does not include:

* * *

(2)  a family residence registered as a day child care home under chapter 35 of Title 33, or specifically exempted from registration by subdivision 3502(b)(1) of Title 33;

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Sec. 6.  20 V.S.A. § 2900(8) is amended to read:

(8)  “Public building” means a state, county, or municipal building, airport terminal, bus or railroad station, school building, school, or society hall, hotel as defined in section 9202 of Title 32, restaurant, apartment, church or other house of worship, factory, mill, office building, or other building in which persons are employed, store or other space wherein goods are offered for sale at wholesale or retail, nursery, convalescent home, home for the aged, or day child care facility; provided that the term “public building” does not include a family residence registered as a day child care home under subchapter 1 of chapter 35 of Title 33.  “Public building” also means a tent or outdoor structure, place of amusement, barn, shed, or workshop, if normally open to the public for the purpose of offering goods for sale at wholesale or retail, public assembly or viewing, entertainment, or education.  “Public building” shall not include a working farm or farms, as that term is defined by section 2730 of this title.  However, for purposes of this chapter, “public building” shall not include existing housing on a working farm provided to farm employees or a farm building which is open for public tours and for which no fee is charged for those tours.

Sec. 7.  21 V.S.A. § 271(3) is amended to read:

(3)  “Public buildings” means state, county and municipal buildings, airport terminals, bus and railroad stations, school buildings, school and society halls, hotels as defined in 32 V.S.A. § 9202, restaurants, apartments, churches and other houses of worship, factories, mills, office buildings, and other buildings in which persons are employed, stores and other space wherein goods are offered for sale at wholesale or retail, nurseries, convalescent homes, homes for the aged, and day child care facilities; provided that the term “public buildings” does not include family residences registered as day child care homes under 33 V.S.A. chapter 35, subchapter 3.

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Sec. 8.  33 V.S.A. chapter 3 is amended to read:

CHAPTER 3.  DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND REHABILITATION SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

§ 301.  SOCIAL AND REHABILITATION SERVICES POLICY

It is the policy of the state of Vermont that:

(1)  Social and rehabilitation services programs The department for children and families shall provide needed assistance, care and services to persons of the state and promote the well-being of persons of the state;

(2)  Social and rehabilitation services programs The department for children and families shall contribute to the prevention of dependency and social maladjustment, and contribute to the rehabilitation and protection of persons of the state;

* * *

(5)  The programs of the department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families shall be designed to strengthen family life for the care and protection of children; to assist and encourage the use by any family of all available personal and reasonable community resources to this end; and to provide substitute care of children only when the family, with the use of available resources, is unable to provide the necessary care and protection to assure the right of any child to sound health, and normal physical, mental, spiritual and moral development.

§ 302.  DEFINITIONS

(a)  Unless otherwise required by the context, the words and phrases in this chapter shall be defined as follows:

(1)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of social and rehabilitation services for children and families.

(2)  “Department” means the department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families.

* * *

(6)  “Social services” means the services administered by the department of social and rehabilitation services.

(7)  “Social Security Act” means the federal Social Security Act and rules and regulations made thereunder, as amended at any time.

(b)  The laws relating to the department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families and its programs shall be construed liberally to carry out the policies stated in this chapter.


§ 303.  COMPOSITION OF DEPARTMENT

The department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families, created pursuant to section 3084 of Title 3, shall consist of the commissioner of social and rehabilitation services for children and families and all divisions, councils, boards, and committees within the department.

§ 304.  COMMISSIONER; APPOINTMENT, TERM, DUTIES, AND
POWERS

* * *

(d)  The commissioner, with the approval of the attorney general, may enter into reciprocal agreements with social and rehabilitation children and family service agencies in other states in matters relating to social and rehabilitation services children and families.

(e)  The commissioner shall ensure the provision of services to children or adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the commissioners of education and mental health and mental retardation disabilities, aging, and independent living in accordance with the provisions of chapter 43 of this title.

* * *

§ 306.  ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

(a)  The provisions of sections 111, 112, 113, 121, 122, 141, and 143 of this title, relating to records, furnishing of information by banks and governmental agencies, recovery of payments and fraud shall apply to the department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families, except that the authority of the department to locate parents provided in section 113 of this title shall apply only to parents of committed children.

* * *

§ 307.  DIVISION OF CHILD CARE SERVICES DEVELOPMENT;
DUTIES

The division of child care services development shall:

* * *

§ 308.  CHILD CARE SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD

* * *

(c)  The board shall advise the director of the division of child care services  development and the commissioner of the department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families on all functions related to child care that are within the jurisdiction of state government.  The board shall review and evaluate the child‑care‑related programs and activities of the division of child care services development.  On or before January 15 the board shall report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly.


* * *

§ 311.  DELINQUENT CHILD SERVICES; PURPOSE AND
RESPONSIBILITY

The department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families, in cooperation with the department of corrections, shall have the purpose and responsibility to administer a comprehensive program, developed by the commission on juvenile justice established pursuant to section 3085c of Title 3, for youthful offenders and children who commit delinquent acts, including utilization of probation services, a range of community-based treatment, training, and rehabilitation programs and secure detention and treatment programs when necessary in the interests of public safety, designed with the objective of preparing those children to live in their communities as productive and mature adults.

Sec. 9.  33 V.S.A. § 900(2) is amended to read:

(2)  “Director” or “director of rate setting” means the director of administration and rate setting.

Sec. 10.  33 V.S.A. § 1901c(g) is amended to read:

(g)  The director shall appoint members of the medical care advisory committee for staggered, nonrecurring three‑year terms.  The director may remove members of the committee who fail to attend three consecutive meetings and appoint replacements.

Sec. 11.  33 V.S.A. § 1904(10) is amended to read:

(10)  “Third party” means a person having an obligation to pay all or any portion of the medical expense incurred by a recipient at the time the medical service was provided.  The obligation is not discharged by virtue of being undiscovered or undeveloped at the time a Medicaid claim is paid.  Third parties include:

* * *

(E)  Managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, self‑insured plans, and other entities that are, by statute, contract, or agreement, legally responsible for the payment of a claim for a health care item or service.

Sec. 12.  33 V.S.A. § 2601a(2) is amended to read:

(2)  The following individuals are members of the same household based on their being legally responsible for the financial support of the applicant or recipient or another member of the household:

(A)  An individual residing in the dwelling unit who is the husband, or wife, or civil union partner, or minor daughter or son of the applicant or recipient.

(B)  An individual residing in the dwelling unit who is the parent of any minor daughter or son included in the household, any minor daughter or son of such parent not already included in the household, the husband or, wife, or civil union partner, of any minor included in the household, or the minor daughter or son of any minor included in the household.

Sec. 13.  33 V.S.A. § 2602(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The secretary of human services shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3, necessary for the implementation of this chapter, or pursuant to any applicable federal laws or regulations.  In order to adopt rules for the implementation of the home heating fuel assistance program for the 1996‑97 heating season, the secretary may adopt rules from May 1, 1996 through September 1, 1996 under the expeditious rule making procedures set out in section 134 of Act No.  63 of the 1995 session relating to the expeditious adoption of social welfare rules.

Sec. 14.  33 V.S.A. § 2604 is amended to read:

§ 2604.  ELIGIBLE BENEFICIARIES; REQUIREMENTS

* * *

(b)  Fuel cost requirements.  The secretary shall adopt rules that specify the responsibility of the applicant households and their certified fuel supplier in providing the office of home heating fuel assistance with information that the office will use to establish an applicant household’s heating fuel consumption for the previous year.  The secretary shall by rule procedure establish a table that contains amounts that will function as a proxy for applicant households’ annual heating fuel cost for the previous year.  The seasonal fuel expenditure estimates contained within such table shall closely approximate the actual home heating costs experienced by participants in the home heating fuel assistance program.  Such table shall be revised no less frequently than every three years based on data supplied by certified fuel suppliers to the office of home heating fuel assistance, as required by rule.  The secretary shall also establish by rule minimum amounts of annual home heating fuel costs that vary based on the household’s size and annual income.

(c)  In determining heating fuel costs of households:

* * *

(2)  Residents of housing units subsidized by the federal, state, or local government shall be deemed to have incurred no annual home heating fuel costs, except to the extent required by any federal law or regulation if federal funds are utilized for the home heating fuel assistance program, and with the following additional exception.  Housing unit residents that receive Aid to Needy Families with Children (ANFC) Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income/aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (SSI/AABD), ANFC TANF emergency assistance, or general assistance benefits that are used in whole or in part to pay for their housing or utility costs and do not receive other federal, state, or local government assistance targeted specifically to their housing or utility needs shall, with the exception of households for which the cost of heat is supplied by the landlord, be assumed to incur annual home heating fuel costs and their eligibility for annual heating fuel assistance shall not be limited by this subsection.

* * *

Sec. 15.  33 V.S.A. § 2605 is amended to read:

§ 2605.  BENEFIT AMOUNTS

(a)  The secretary shall by rule establish a table that specifies for households for which the cost of heat is not supplied by the landlord, maximum annual home heating fuel assistance benefit amounts.  The maximum benefit amounts contained within this table shall vary by household size and annual household income.  The annual home heating fuel assistance benefit for households that make undesignated payments for energy for home heat in the form of rent, and for households that pay room rent and who are not members of the same household with other residents of the dwelling unit, shall be the amounts established in section 2604(c)(1) of this title.

(b)  The secretary shall by rule establish a table that specifies maximum percentages of applicant households’ annual heating fuel costs, based on the proxy table established pursuant to section subsection 2604(b) of this title, that can be authorized for payment as annual home heating fuel assistance benefits for the following year.  The maximum percentages contained within this table shall vary by household size and annual household income.  In no instance shall the percentage exceed 90 percent.

(c)(b)  Annually, based on the number of eligible households that have applied, and for which the cost of heat is not supplied by the landlord, these households’ individual incomes and individual annual heating fuel cost, based on the proxy table established pursuant to section subsection 2604(b) of this title, the number of eligible households that have applied and for which the cost of heat is supplied by the landlord, the cost of benefits for these households, and the amount of funds available in the home heating fuel assistance trust fund for the purpose of providing annual home heating fuel assistance benefits, the secretary shall, by procedure, set the payment rate that shall be used to determine the amount of annual home heating fuel assistance for which each household for which the cost of heat is not supplied by the landlord qualifies.  In no event shall the payment rate be greater than 100 percent of the maximum percentage established by rule as required by subsection (b) of this section.

(d)(c)  In the case of a household for which the cost of heat is not supplied by the landlord, the household’s annual home heating fuel assistance benefit is the household’s annual heating fuel cost for the previous year as defined in section subsection 2604(b) of this title, multiplied by the maximum percentage for that household found in the table established by subsection (b) (a) of this section, multiplied by the payment rate established in subsection (c) (b) of this section.  In no event, however, shall the benefit paid for these households exceed the maximum benefit for a household of its income and size as established by rule as required in subsection (a) of this section.  The annual home heating fuel assistance benefit for households that make undesignated payments for energy for home heat in the form of rent, and for households that pay room rent and who are not members of the same household with other residents of the dwelling unit, shall be the amounts established in section subdivision 2604(c)(1) of this title.

(e)  In its report to the general assembly in 1997 required by 33 V.S.A. § 2501a(b)(6), the office of home energy assistance shall evaluate the effect of making benefit amounts under this section vary directly with household size and make recommendations on whether this policy should be maintained.

Sec. 16.  33 V.S.A. § 3502(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Unless exempted under subsection (b) of this section, a person shall not operate a child care facility without a license, or operate a family day child care home without registration from the department.

Sec. 17.  33 V.S.A. § 3503(b) is amended to read:

(b)  No person employed by or agent of a licensed or registered day child care facility shall inflict or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment upon a child attending the facility.  However, this section does not prohibit a person from using reasonable and necessary force:


* * *

Sec. 18.  33 V.S.A. § 3511 is amended to read:

§ 3511.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Child” means an individual under the age of 13.

(2)  “Child care provider” means a person licensed or registered by the department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families, or authorized by the department, to provide day child care.

* * *

(5)  “Division” means the child development division.

* * *

Sec. 19.  33 V.S.A. § 4912(5) is amended to read:

(5)  “A person responsible for a child’s welfare” includes the child’s parent; guardian; foster parent; any other adult residing in the home who serves in a parental role; an employee of a public or private residential home, institution or agency; or other person responsible for the child’s welfare while in a residential, educational, or day child care setting, including any staff person.

Sec. 20.  33 V.S.A. § 4913(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any physician, surgeon, osteopath, chiropractor, or physician’s assistant licensed, certified, or registered under the provisions of Title 26, any resident physician, intern, or any hospital administrator in any hospital in this state, whether or not so registered, and any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, dentist, psychologist, pharmacist, any other health care provider, school superintendent, school teacher, school librarian, day child care worker, school principal, school guidance counselor, mental health professional, social worker, probation officer, police officer, camp owner, camp administrator, camp counselor, or member of the clergy who has reasonable cause to believe that any child has been abused or neglected shall report or cause a report to be made in accordance with the provisions of section 4914 of this title within 24 hours.  As used in this subsection, “camp” includes any residential or nonresidential recreational program.

Sec. 21.  33 V.S.A. § 4916(f)(1) is amended to read:

(1)  The person responsible for supervising the staff in the child’s residential, educational, or day child care setting.

Sec. 22.  33 V.S.A. § 4917(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The commissioner of social and rehabilitation services for children and families, or his or her designee, in conjunction with professionals and community agencies, shall appoint members to the multi‑disciplinary teams which may include persons who are trained and engaged in work relating to child abuse or neglect such as medicine, mental health, social work, nursing, day care, education, law, or law enforcement.  Additional persons may be appointed when the services of those persons are appropriate to any particular case.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us