HB 717 – FINAL VERSION
HOUSE BILL 717
This bill allows municipalities to establish community services and care planning boards, and establishes the duties and authority of such boards.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eight
AN ACT allowing municipalities to establish local community services and care planning boards.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
20:1 New Chapter; Community Services and Care Planning Boards. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 677 the following new chapter:
COMMUNITY SERVICES AND CARE PLANNING BOARDS
678:1 Declaration of Purpose and Findings. The general court hereby finds and declares that:
I. New Hampshire has a rich history of neighbors helping neighbors and residents of municipalities actively participating and organizing themselves to take care of their fellow residents and improve their communities. It also serves the public good and general welfare for the state to support, maintain, and strengthen these locally-based practices and traditions.
II. There is a critical need for the proper and continuous assessment of the community service needs of all residents and the development of local plans, projects, support systems, and other mechanisms to enhance the public health, prosperity, quality of life, safety, and general welfare of all citizens.
678:2 Definitions. In this chapter:
I. “Board” means a community services and care planning board established under this chapter.
II. “Community services master plan” or “CSMP” means an assessment of the availability, adequacy, and accessibility of the human services systems in each community and shall include the following elements:
(a) A list and description of the specific community assets and programs in existence to serve and support citizens of all ages and abilities;
(b) An analysis of specific improvements to community assets and programs, in priority order that the board recommends be made over the next 5 years and the specific issues these improvements address. These improvements shall be as measurable as possible and include consideration of improvements to all health and human services provided to residents and funded all or in part by the state and other public sources;
(c) The community assets available and needed to achieve each improvement, the most important barriers that must be overcome to achieve each improvement, and an assessment of the feasibility and cost of achieving each improvement;
(d) An overall strategy and problem-solving approach and process for achieving the improvements and a description of the rationale for using these strategies; and
(e) A 5-year plan of action with annual updates as required, which follow the strategy to achieve the improvements. These action steps shall include describing each step, establishing measurable objectives and benchmarks for achieving each step, setting up timelines and the process and methods for achieving each step, and identifying the agencies and persons responsible for accomplishing each step.
III. “Community services” means all the health and social services and supports provided and available to residents in a municipality including those provided by charitable, for profit, and proprietary providers; individuals and groups; and agencies and other providers funded in all or part by the department of health and human services or other state, county, and governmental entities.
IV. “Community well-being index” means an aggregate measure consisting of individual measures of specific aspects of the physical and social well-being of all residents of a municipality that is adopted by the board for use in its annual assessment and state of the community report and to develop its CSMP. The index may include measures of the health of residents and their quality of health care; the quality of housing and prevalence of homelessness; the sense of community and belonging, as measured by participation in community events and decisions; successful mobility; safe and well-managed schools; volunteering and other contributions by residents to the community and their neighbors; children and youth thriving and transitioning successfully into adulthood; youth and adults avoiding dangerous and risky behaviors; elders and residents with disabilities living in dignity and included in community life; the breadth and vitality of community activities, institutions, traditions, and celebrations; shared vision and common purpose; and commitment to building community for the future and ensuring that fellow residents get the care they need.
678:3 Establishment of Community Services and Care Planning Boards.
I. The legislative body of any municipality may establish a community services and care planning board.
II. The community services and care planning board shall consist of no fewer than 3 and no more than 9 members who shall be residents of the municipality, and appointed in a manner as prescribed by the legislative body of the municipality.
III. No more than 5 alternate members may be appointed. When an alternate sits in the absence or the disqualification of a regular member, the alternate shall have full voting powers. Members of a community services and care planning board may also serve on other municipal boards and commissions, including a conservation commission established under RSA 36-A, a historic district commission established under RSA 673:4, or a heritage commission established under RSA 673:4-a.
678:4 Duties of the Board.
I. It shall be the duty of every board established under RSA 678:3 to prepare and amend from time to time a CSMP to guide the development of community services and support systems and the provision of health and social services and community supports to residents that affect community well-being. A CSMP may include consideration of any areas outside the boundaries of the municipality which in the judgment of the board bear a relationship to or have an impact on the planning of the municipality. Every board shall update and amend the adopted CSMP with funds appropriated for that purpose by the local legislative body. In preparing, amending, and updating the master plan:
(a) The board shall have responsibility for promoting interest in, and understanding of, the CSMP of the municipality. In order to promote this interest and understanding, the board may publish and distribute copies of the community services master plan, or copies of any report relating to the community services master plan, hold public forums and meetings, and employ such other means of publicity and education as it deems advisable.
(b) The board shall also have authority to make any inventories of community assets, investigations of community social issues, evaluations of the availability and accessibility of health and social services and support systems, and necessary recommendations.
II. It shall be the duty of every board established under RSA 678:3 to prepare an annual state of the community report which shall be included in the municipality’s annual report. The report shall include the community well-being index as defined in RSA 678:2, IV and information explaining all its components, how it was devised, and any other sections the board deems necessary to describe and explain the social services and support systems of the municipality and trends in the municipality.
III. The board may report and recommend to the appropriate public officials and public agencies programs for the development, protection, and improvement of the social services and support systems of the municipality. Each program shall include recommendations for its financing. The board may consult with and advise public officials and agencies; health and human services providers and funders; civic and charitable groups, networks, and associations; schools; educational, professional, advocacy, and research groups; and other organizations. The board may also consult with citizens, for the purposes of implementing the CSMP and making recommendations for developing the social services and support systems of the municipality.
IV. Members of the board, when duly authorized by the board as a whole, may attend planning conferences or meetings, or hearings upon pending municipal planning legislation. The board may by majority vote authorize the payment of reasonable expenses incident to such attendance.
V. The board may recommend to the governing body amendments or additions to local ordinances, services, and programs to improve the community’s social services and support systems.
VI. In general, the board may be given such powers by the municipality as are necessary to enable the board to fulfill its functions.
678:5 Terms of Board Members. Terms of board members shall be 3 years, except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. In the first year of a community services and care planning board’s existence, members shall be appointed to the following terms: at least one member to a one-year term, at least one member to a 2-year term, and at least one member to a 3-year term.
678:6 Abolishment of Board.
I. The local legislative body of a city, of a county in which there are located unincorporated towns or unorganized places, or of a town operating under the town council form of government, shall determine the manner in which the board may be abolished.
II. In all other towns, upon a petition to abolish the board, signed by 100 or more voters or 1/10 of the registered voters in town, whichever number is less, the board shall submit the proposal to the town or village district in the same manner prescribed in RSA 675:4.
III. The question put to the voters shall be in substantially the following form: “Are you in favor of abolishing the community services and care planning board as proposed by petition of the voters of this town (village district)?”
678:7 Transfer of Documents Upon Abolition of Board. If the board is abolished, the records shall be transferred to the city or town clerk.
20:2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
Approved: May 12, 2008
Effective Date: July 11, 2008