SB744 (2020) Detail

Establishing a commission to review drug overdose fatality information and data.


SB 744 - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/11/2020   1077s

2020 SESSION

20-3067

01/03

 

SENATE BILL 744

 

AN ACT establishing a commission to review drug overdose fatality information and data.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Morse, Dist 22; Rep. Hinch, Hills. 21; Rep. Shurtleff, Merr. 11

 

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes the New Hampshire drug overdose fatality review commission to review information and data related to drug overdose fatalities in New Hampshire.

 

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/11/2020   1077s 20-3067

01/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT establishing a commission to review drug overdose fatality information and data.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Statement of Purpose.  The general court finds that the ongoing addiction epidemic has resulted in the deaths of thousands of New Hampshire residents.  It has cost the state billions of dollars in health care costs, lost worker productivity, and other charges, and it has strained state and community resources and policies.  Greater investigation into the circumstances of overdose fatalities can help New Hampshire continue to develop more effective policies and effectively fight this public health crisis.  Therefore, the general court hereby establishes the New Hampshire drug overdose fatality review commission.

2  New Chapter; New Hampshire Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 126-AA the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 126-BB

NEW HAMPSHIRE DRUG OVERDOSE FATALITY REVIEW COMMISSION

126-BB:1  Commission Established.  

I.  There is established a commission to review information and data related to drug overdose fatalities in New Hampshire.  The members of the commission shall be as follows:

(a)  One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(b)  Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(c)  The attorney general, or designee.

(d)  The chief medical examiner, or designee.

(e)  The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.

(f)  The commissioner of the department of safety, or designee.

(g)  The chairperson of the governor’s commission on alcohol and drug abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery, or designee.

(h)  A representative of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, appointed by the association.

(i)  A representative of the New Hampshire Association of Fire Chiefs, appointed by the association.

(j)  A health official from a city health department, appointed by the governor.

(k)  A victim/witness advocate, appointed by the attorney general.

(l)  A representative of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, appointed by the association.

(m)  A representative of the recovery community, appointed by the governor.

(n)  A representative of the treatment community, appointed by the governor.

(o)  A representative of the prevention community, appointed by the governor.

(p)  A representative of New Futures, appointed by that organization.

(q)  A representative from American Medical Response, appointed by that organization.

(r)  A representative of the Drug Enforcement Administration, appointed by the administration.

(s)  The governor’s advisor on addiction and behavioral health.

(t)  A suicide prevention specialist, appointed by NAMI-New Hampshire.

II.(a)  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

(b)  A member of the commission appointed under subparagraphs I(a)-(g) or (s) shall serve a term conterminous with their term in office.  A member appointed under subparagraph I(h)-(r) or (t) shall serve a 6-year term, provided that initial appointments shall be for staggered terms of one to 6 years.

(c)  Members of the commission shall sign confidentiality statements that prohibit any unauthorized dissemination of information except when disclosures may be necessary to enable the commission to carry out its duties under this subdivision.  No material shall be used for reasons other than for which it was intended.

III.(a)  The commission shall:

(1)  Review trends and patterns of overdose-related fatalities in New Hampshire.

(2)  Identify high-risk factors, current practices, and gaps in system responses.

(3)  Recommend policies, practices, and services that will encourage collaboration and reduce overdose fatalities.

(4)  Improve sources of data collection by developing a system to share information between agencies and offices that work with individuals struggling with addiction.

(5)  Educate the public, policy makers, and funders about overdose-related fatalities and about strategies for intervention and effective prevention, treatment, and recovery.

(6) Review laws and programs enacted in other states, counties, or municipalities.  

(b)(1)  Upon the request of the chairperson of the commission and as necessary to carry out the commission's duties, the chairperson shall be provided, within 5 days excluding weekends and holidays, with access to information and records regarding a drug overdose fatality that is being reviewed by the commission or regarding the person who overdosed on drugs.  The commission may request the information and records from any of the following:

(A)  A provider of medical, dental or behavioral health care.

(B)  Any state or a political subdivision of this state that might assist the commission in reviewing the fatality.

(2)  A law enforcement agency, with the approval of the prosecuting attorney, may withhold from a review team investigative records that may interfere with a pending criminal investigation or prosecution.

IV.(a)  The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the senate member.  The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  Eleven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

(b)  The department of health and human services shall provide administrative support to the commission.

V.  The commission shall:

(a)  Meet no fewer than 6 times per year to conduct reviews of overdose fatalities.

(b)  Study the adequacy of statutes, rules, training, and services to determine what changes are needed to decrease the incidence of preventable overdose fatalities and, as appropriate, take steps to implement these changes.

(c)  Educate the public regarding the incidence and causes of overdose fatalities and the public's role in preventing these deaths.

(d)  Review all overdose fatalities except for fatalities of children under 18 years of age and fatalities related to women while pregnant or with one year of the end of pregnancy.

(e)  Complete an annual statistical report on the incidence and causes of overdose fatalities in this state during the past fiscal year and submit a copy of this report, including its recommendations for proposed legislation and actions, to the governor, the senate president, and the speaker of the house of representatives.  The commission shall submit the report on or before December 15 of each year commencing on December 15, 2021.

VI.  The commission shall not:

(a)  Call witnesses or take testimony from individuals who have been identified by the department of justice as potential witnesses in any criminal prosecution arising from an overdose death until the completion of such prosecution.

(b)  Enforce any public health standard or criminal law or otherwise participate in any legal proceeding, unless a member of the team is involved in the investigation of the death or resulting prosecution and must participate in a legal proceeding in the course of performing his or her duties outside the team.

VII.(a)  Proceedings, records, and opinions of the commission are confidential, not subject to RSA 91-A, and not subject to discovery, subpoena, or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding.  Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to limit or restrict the right to discover or use in any civil or criminal proceeding anything that is available from another source and entirely independent of the proceedings of the commission.

(b)  Members of the commission shall not be questioned in any civil or criminal proceeding regarding information presented in or opinions formed as a result of a meeting of the team.  Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to prevent a member of the commission from testifying to information obtained independently of the commission or which is public information.

VIII.(a)  The commission shall maintain the confidentiality of all records pursuant to RSA 169-C:25, RSA 170-G:8-a, and all other related confidentiality laws.  

(b)  The information and records obtained and created in execution of the commission’s official functions shall be exempt from disclosure pursuant to RSA 91-A and shall be privileged and exempt from use or disclosure in any criminal or civil matter or administrative proceeding.  No person who participates in the official functions of the commission shall be compelled to testify or produce evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding with respect to any matter involving exercise of his or her official duties.  

(c)  Commission members, their agents and employees, shall not be subject to, and shall be immune from, claims, suits, liability, damages or any other recourse, civil or criminal, arising from any act, proceeding, decision or determination undertaken or performed or recommendation made, provided such persons acted in good faith and without malice in carrying out their responsibilities authority, duties, powers and privileges of the offices conferred by this subdivision upon them.

(d)  No organization, institution, or person furnishing information, data, reports, or records to the commission shall be liable in damages to any person or subject to any other recourse, civil or criminal.

(e)  Any person who knowingly discloses case records or other information obtained from commission proceedings shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Links

SB744 at GenCourtMobile
SB744 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 12, 2020 Senate Hearing
March 12, 2020 Senate Floor Vote
March 11, 2020 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB744 Revision: 8297 Date: March 11, 2020, 3:31 p.m.
SB744 Revision: 8081 Date: Feb. 4, 2020, 8:55 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 30, 2020 Introduced 01/30/2020 and Referred to Executive Departments and Administration; SJ 3
Feb. 12, 2020 Hearing: 02/12/2020, Room 101, LOB, 09:00 am; SC 6
March 11, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-1077s, 03/11/2020; Vote 5-0; CC; SC 10
March 12, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-1077s, 03/12/2020; Vote 5-0; CC; SC 10
March 11, 2020 Committee Amendment # 2020-1077s, AA, VV; 03/11/2020; SJ 6
March 11, 2020 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2020-1077s, MA, VV; OT3rdg; 03/11/2020; SJ 6