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April 26, 2013

Posted: April 26, 2013

Budget Hearing Scheduled: Two Weeks Away!

Yesterday, it was announced that the Senate Finance committee will conduct a public hearing on HB 1 and HB 2 (State budget) on May 9th from 3:00p.m-8:00pm in Concord in Representatives Hall of the State House. The Senate has had possession of the budget for several weeks. The Finance committee has been meeting with House members and agency heads from various departments and branches of state government to understand what the House budget means for those groups. The department of Health and Human Services has not yet been reviewed publically at this point.


Meanwhile, over in the House, the focus is on examining SB 152, (Casino Gambling) the “super committee” of joint Finance and Ways and Means has broken up into sub committees (Revenue, Regulation & Community Impact). It remains to be seen what the committee will recommend to the full House. It seems clear the Senate will NOT include gaming revenue in its budget recommendation unless the House passes SB 152.


What about Policy Bills?

Most legislation CSNI worked on this legislative session (beyond the budget of course) has been killed, held in committee until 2014 or passed in one form or another. A couple of bills that CSNI continues to monitor include:


Oral Health Care Expansion:

One bill that was recently held for a year of study in the State Senate is SB 193. This bill specifically mentions that part of its purpose is to expand dental care access to people with developmental disabilities. Specifically, this bill authorizes licensure of dental therapists who may perform dental services under the supervision of a currently licensed dentist. The bill’s statement of purpose reads: The general court recognizes that access to oral health care services for New Hampshire’s children, elderly, minority populations, low income adults, and people with developmental disabilities and special medical needs remains sporadic and unreliable, particularly in sparsely populated areas of our state. CSNI will consider this legislation in the coming months.


SIM (State Innovation Model)

As reported last week, the State of NH has approved the acceptance of Federal SIM monies. (State Innovation Model). The Governor and Council and the Joint Fiscal Committee have granted DHHS the authorization to accept and expend the SIM grant federal funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the amount of $1,569,378.  The SIM program has a required completion date of September 30, 2013. However, the Department is planning for an extension from CMS to October 31, 2013. 


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