H.B. 5500 An Act Concerning the Department of Public Health's Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes

Home H.B. 5500 An Act Concerning the Department of Public Health’s Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes

DATE: March 28, 2022 

TO: Public Health Committee 

FROM: Ben Shaiken, Director of Government Relations, The Alliance 

RE: H.B. 5500 An Act Concerning the Department of Public Health’s Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes 

Good morning Senator Abrams, Representative Steinberg, Senator Somers, Senator Hwang, Representative Petit and distinguished members of the Public Health Committee: 

My name is Ben Shaiken, Director of Government Relations at the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance (The Alliance). The Alliance is the statewide organization representing nonprofits. Nonprofits deliver essential services to more than half a million people each year and employ 115,000 across Connecticut. 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on H.B. 5500 An Act Concerning the Department of Public Health’s Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes. The Alliance would like to offer comments on three sections of the bill. 

First, we urge you to oppose Section 10 and remove it from the bill. This section adds language requiring healthcare institutions, including those operated by nonprofit providers of health and human services, provide additional information in their strike contingency plans if they have received notice of the intention to strike by the union representing their employees. Existing law requires such a strike contingency plan to conform with the provisions of the federal National Labor Relations Act, but the proposed addition in the bill would exceed the federal requirements. Specifically, The Alliance objects to the proposal to require agencies provide the names and titles of each person who will be providing services at the institution in the event of a strike. This is an onerous requirement and does nothing to ensure the health and safety of the people who will need to receive services during a strike. We respectfully request the Committee remove this section from the bill before passage. 

Secondly, we urge you to support Sections 12-13 of the bill, which make crucial changes to the Medication Administration Certification process. The Alliance has worked collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure greater coordination among state agencies regarding medication administration certification. We have long supported the efforts of the multi-agency taskforce charged with streamlining licensure and certification processes between the Department of Public Health (DPH), Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). 

We appreciate that the bill would codify this multi-agency collaboration in statute and would make a certification from one state agency transferrable to another. 

Thank you for your consideration of these important issues.