HB79 (2021) Detail

Relative to town health officers.


HB 79  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2021 SESSION

21-0037

06/04

 

HOUSE BILL 79

 

AN ACT relative to town health officers.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Marsh, Carr. 8; Rep. Salloway, Straf. 5; Rep. Merchant, Sull. 4; Rep. Avellani, Carr. 5; Rep. Edwards, Rock. 4; Rep. Deshaies, Carr. 6; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24

 

COMMITTEE: Municipal and County Government

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill modifies the law regarding town health officers by deleting the residency requirement, adding a training requirement and a criminal background check, and adding a reporting requirement.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21-0037

06/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to town health officers.

 

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

 

1  Town Health Officers; Appointment.  RSA 128:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

128:1  Appointment.  The commissioner of the department of health and human services shall appoint as health officer for each town such person as the selectmen of the town recommend, and the commissioner of the department of health and human services shall issue to the health officer a certificate of appointment.  The appointed officer shall provide the department with sufficient and complete contact information to be readily accessible as needed.  Upon the expiration of the officer’s term, or upon his or her removal, death, or resignation or the occurrence of a vacancy in the office for any reason, the selectmen shall recommend a replacement as soon as reasonably practicable; but if no recommendation is made within 15 days after notice, the commissioner may appoint a health officer without such recommendation.

2  Town Health Officers; Residence.  Amend RSA 128:2 to read as follows:

128:2  Residence.  [Said health officer shall be a resident of the state.] The commissioner of the department of health and human services may appoint any qualified person to act in unorganized localities as a health officer.

3  Town Health Officers; Secretary of Local Board.  Amend RSA 128:3 to read as follows:

128:3  Secretary of Local Board.  The health officer shall be the secretary and executive officer of, and, with the selectmen, shall constitute the local board of health for the town.  The local board of health for each town shall meet at least once every year, and as frequently as needed, to review the state of local public health issues and concerns and provide information, as requested, to the department of health and human services, on the readiness to address relevant public health threats at the local or regional levels.  

4  Town Health Officer; Deputy Health Officer.  Amend RSA 128:5-b to read as follows:

128:5-b  Deputy Health Officer.  When a health officer has been appointed under the provisions of RSA 128:1, such officer may, subject to the approval of the selectmen and the commissioner of the department of health and human services, appoint a deputy health officer or officers who shall be empowered to enforce public health laws and regulations and make such sanitation investigations as the health officer may direct or as may be required by the department of health and human services.  The term of the deputy health officer shall expire with that of the health officer, or may be extended with the approval of the board of selectmen, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of health and human services or designee, until the health officer vacancy is filled.  The deputy health officer shall receive such compensation from the town as the selectmen of the town shall fix.

5  Town Health Officers; Officer for Several Towns.  Amend RSA 128:6 to read as follows:

128:6  Health Officer for Several Towns.  Upon recommendation of the selectmen of each of several towns the commissioner of the department of health and human services may, in the commissioner's discretion, appoint any qualified person [resident of the state] as health officer for all of said towns, and such health officer shall receive such compensation from each town as the selectmen thereof or the town shall fix.

6  New Sections; Town Health Officers; Training and Qualifications.  Amend RSA 128  by inserting after section 7 the following new sections:

128:8  Training and Qualifications.  Within one year of appointment every health officer shall complete a minimum of 3 hours of training on topics related to the specific state laws that provide authority to health officers.  The training shall be administered at no cost to the municipality by the department of health and human services in collaboration with the New Hampshire health officers association (NHHOA).  The curriculum shall cover, but not be limited to, duties and responsibilities of the health officer as required on rental housing standards pursuant to RSA 48-A:3, I(c), assessment and management of health nuisances pursuant to RSA 147, and duties pursuant to RSA 128:5.  The required training may be taken in person, or through a remote learning platform as provided by the department of health and human services.  Municipalities shall cover reasonable costs of attending the NHHOA training subject to the provisions of RSA 129:1.

128:9  Background Check.  Each municipality shall request and obtain a criminal history record information request from the department of safety, as a prerequisite to any nomination of a health officer or deputy health officer, to be submitted to the commissioner of the department of health and human services or his or her designee, in order to determine if there are any prior convictions that may disqualify such person or interfere with the performance his or her duties.

128:10  Administrative Rulemaking.  The commissioner of the department of health and human services may adopt administrative rules for implementation of this chapter pursuant to RSA 541-A.

128:11  Reporting Requirement.  Beginning November 1, 2021, and annually thereafter, the New Hampshire health officers association, in consultation with the department of health and human services, shall report to the joint legislative oversight committee on health and human services, established in RSA 126-A:13, and the state health assessment and state health improvement plan advisory council, established in RSA 126-A:88, regarding the readiness of municipal health officers to respond to potential public health threats in New Hampshire.

7  New Paragraphs; Communicable Disease; Health Officers.  Amend RSA 141-C:5 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraphs:

III.  After being informed of isolation and quarantine orders issued pursuant to RSA 141-C:12 to persons in their jurisdiction, inform the commissioner if they identify any substantive non-compliance with the order.

IV.  In the event of a public health emergency declared pursuant to RSA 4:45, enforce orders issued pursuant to RSA 4:47.

8  New Paragraph; Communicable Disease; Disclosure.  Amend RSA 141-C:10  by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

V.  The department may share information with town and city health officers acting in accordance with their duties under RSA 141-C:5, provided the health officer has signed a confidentiality agreement at the time of his or her appointment under RSA 128 and has presented proof of successful completion of training on adherence to applicable confidentiality and security laws and regulations required when assisting the department of health and human services under RSA 141-C:5.  All sharing of confidential information under this section shall be in accordance with this section and pursuant to 45 C.F.R. 164.512(b).  

9  Safety Regulations for Pools and Bathing Places; Injunction; Emergency Closures.  Amend RSA 485-A:27, II(b) to read as follows:

(b)  If the department determines that a pool at the facility is not in compliance with the standards and safety requirements specified in subparagraph (a) and that the deficiencies threaten the health or safety of patrons of the facility, the department shall issue an emergency closure notice to the owner of the facility or the owner's on-site representative and immediately provide a copy of the notice to the town or city health officer.  The notice shall identify which pool must be closed and specify the reason for the emergency closure.

10  Effective Date.  

I.  Sections 7 and 8 of this act shall take effect 60 days after passage.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

Links

HB79 at GenCourtMobile
HB79 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 8, 2021 House Hearing
Feb. 9, 2021 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB79 Revision: 31370 Date: Jan. 4, 2021, 11:06 a.m.

Docket


: Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 17-1; CC)


Feb. 9, 2021: Executive Session: 02/09/2021 02:00 pm Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/93215390740


Feb. 8, 2021: Public Hearing: 02/08/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/96815613466 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Municipal and County Government HJ 2 P. 34


Jan. 6, 2020: To Be Introduced 01/06/2020 and referred to Municipal and County Government