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2001 Legislative Session: Major Initiatives and the 2001-2003 Budget
Legislative summary

Department-wide impact
Children, Adult and Family Services
Health Services
Seniors and People with Disabilities Services

For more information, including a more comprehensive list of bills affecting the Department and its clients, see the "About DHS" section of the Department's Web page.


Criminal Fine and Assessment Public Safety Fund ­ HB 2877
Changes the distribution formula for these funds, removing "Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (DUII)" services as a priority item. Will impact Department-funded services beginning in 2003.

Criminal Fines and Assessment Public Safety Fund ­ HB 5050
Includes funding for domestic violence programs, child abuse multidisciplin-ary teams, regional assessment centers, emergency medical services, and the intoxicated driver program fund. This bill provides interim funding for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) services. See HB 2877.

DHS Budget ­ SB 5527
Funds the majority of the Department's programs. (See the budget breakdowns beginning on page 42 for more detail.)

DHS Reorganization ­ HB 2294
Abolishes the divisions and positions of assistant directors for the Department of Human Services. Requires the Department to report on reorganization progress to each meeting of the Legislative Emergency Board.

End of Session Bill ­ HB 5014
Includes funding for a variety of projects, programs and services. Includes funding for the Home Care Commission, local mental health planning, prescription drug assistance program, Food Stamp outreach, state employee compensation, senior and disabled transportation, medical assistance programs, public health programs and independent living programs.

Health Care Trust Fund ­ HB 3951
Establishes the Health Care Trust Fund for money paid to the state by tobacco product manufacturers under the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998.

Medicare Upper Payments Limit ­ SB 963
Creates an account appropriated to the Department of Administrative Services for health-related purposes.

Oregon Children's Plan ­ HB 3659
Directs the State Commission on Children and Families, Department of Education, and the Department of Human Services to jointly lead an effort to establish policies for a statewide early childhood system. This plan will provide for voluntary screening of all firstborn children for both medical and social risks, and will increase services available to children and families through the state and counties. The Legislature appropriated $60 million for this initiative.

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Adoptions and Safe Families Act Changes ­ SB 419
Amends several statutes to bring Oregon into compliance with the federal interpretation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA). This bill will allow changes to keep the Department in compliance with federal laws.

At-Home Infant Care Pilot Program ­ HB 3444
Directs the Department to develop a pilot program serving a maximum of 200 families who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families but choose to stay at home for up to one year to care for an infant. The amount of assistance would be 75 percent of the rate that would be paid to a provider for infant care. This will take effect only if the state is able to obtain a waiver from the federal Department of Health and Human Services allowing the use of child care block grant funds for this purpose.

Community-based Foster Care ­ HB 2491
Allows the Department, in consultation with local Commissions on Children and Families, to establish community-based foster care demonstration projects. This bill parallels the Annie E. Casey "Family to Family" grant awarded to the Department last year.

JOBS Plus ­ SB 874
Reduces reimbursements to JOBS Plus employers of Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants. DHS clients receiving UI benefits will be considered a UI/JOBS Plus participants. In addition, for those families, JOBS Plus wages will be treated as countable income when calculating public assistance and Food Stamp benefits.

Safe Surrender ­ SB 199
Allows a parent to leave an infant who is 30 days of age or younger with an employee at an authorized facility. Guarantees the parent's anonymity so long as the infant shows no sign of abuse. Grants immunity for authorized facility acting in good faith. Requires authorized facility to notify the Department, which shall take protective custody of infant. The Health Division is responsible for developing the public-awareness campaign.

Termination of Parental Rights ­ HB 3669
Expands grounds for terminating parental rights to include exposing a child to the storage or production of methamphetamine. The court shall consider the extent of the child's exposure and the potential harm to the physical health of the child.

Wilderness Camps ­ HB 3330
Requires wilderness programs to receive a license and oversight from the Department. An advisory board of wilderness program providers will assist in the development of administrative rules.

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Attorneys for Public Assistance Clients ­ SB 392
Requires attorneys representing applicants for, or recipients of, public assistance to notify the Department and the client's prepaid managed-care health plan when the client makes a claim or begins an action for damages because of personal injuries.

Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening ­ HB 3214
Expands access to treatment for women who have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through the Centers for Disease Control Screening Program.

County Mental Health Comprehensive Plan ­ HB 3024
Prescribes a comprehensive county planning process to identify a full range of mental health services that must be available in each county. The array of services must cover the full continuum of care from prevention to secure residential services. Of the $7.5 million appropriated, $1 million is to be available to counties for plan development in 2001-02 and $6.5 million for services after local plans are approved.

EMS-C ­ SB 243
Expands emergency medical services to children by requiring DHS to provide advice and technical assistance to state and local trauma advisory boards regarding emergency services for children. It also establishes an Emergency Medical Services for Children Advisory Committee.

Health Care Interpreters ­ SB 790
Establishes Council on Health Care Interpreters in the Department to improve access to health care for people with limited English proficiency.

Hepatitis A Vaccination ­ SB 482
Requires the Department to consult with medical community and others to develop a plan, to be implemented by July 1, 2006, to include hepatitis A and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in the immunization requirements for school and school-based day care entry. Also states the Department may not purchase or distribute a pediatric vaccine necessary for school entry immunization if the vaccine contains thimerosal.

Hospital Nursing Staffing Plan ­ HB 2800
Requires acute inpatient care facilities to develop and implement a nursing staff plan and establish an internal review process. The bill imposes civil penalties for individuals, and license suspension or revocation for the health care facility for violation. "Nursing staff" includes assistive nursing personnel at Oregon State Hospital and Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center.

Joint Interim Task Force on Mental Health Parity ­ HB 3015
Establishes a joint legislative task force to study issues relating to parity for mental health coverage in health insurance plans. The task force must report its findings to the next legislative assembly.

Mental Health Facilities Information Release ­ HB 2398
Provides for release of "comfort information" to family members about the status of a person in a hospital pending a civil commitment proceeding. This information includes verification of the person's presence, condition and diagnosis. Release requires the person's consent. If unable to give consent, only information about the person's presence will be provided.

Mental Health Services - Community Programs ­ SB 144
Requires the Department to produce a comprehensive plan for providing mental health services. The plan is to be based on local plans produced by local community mental health programs and be consistent with the findings of the January 2001 report produced by the Governor's Mental Health Alignment Work Group.

Mental Health Tribal Contracts ­ SB 385
Allows the Department to contract for community mental health and developmental disability services with Native American tribes whose reservations are in only one county. The law had required that the tribe's land be in two or more counties before a direct contract can occur. This change recognizes tribes' sovereign status as described in Executive Order 96-30.

Newborn Metabolic Screening Program ­ HB 2268
Raises fee cap so Oregon can acquire a new technology called Tandem Mass Spectrometry. The technology significantly improves screening of newborns for rare and potentially deadly metabolic disorders. The Department's Public Health Lab operates the Northwest Regional Newborn Screening Program for Idaho, Alaska, Nevada and Hawaii, testing 130,000 newborns a year.

Oregon Health Plan 2 ­ HB 2519
Expands access to health coverage for Oregonians with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

Outpatient Dialysis Facility Licensure ­ HB 2241
Requires outpatient renal dialysis facilities to be licensed by the Department. Establishes an annual fee of $1,500.

Pain Management Commission ­ SB 885
Creates a pain-management commission in the Department and establishes educational requirements for medical providers.

Practitioner-managed Prescription Drug Plan ­ SB 819
This "formulary" bill, now called the Practitioner-managed Prescription Drug Plan, was a high priority for the Governor. It is particularly important because of its potential to significantly contain drug costs.

Prescription Drug Assistance ­ SB 9
Creates the Patient Prescription Drug Assistance Program to match low-income Oregonians with programs providing reduced-cost medication. Also creates the Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program for low-income seniors. This program will provide enrollees with up to $2,000 in assistance. Savings from the implementation of SB 819, the formulary, will fund this new program.

Restaurant Inspection Fees ­ HB 2256
Establishes new fee schedules for certain food-service facilities. Changes fee assessed for reinstatement of expired license to operate certain food service facilities. Expands authority of qualifying counties to administer laws governing food service facilities. Allows private food handler training programs to have same reciprocity agreements as county and state programs.

Seclusion and Restraint ­ HB 2626
Brings Oregon into compliance with federal rules for seclusion and restraint of children in psychiatric residential-treatment facilities. Facilities serving children under 21 must have, at minimum, one licensed practitioner available at all times. The bill gives the Department authority to license Qualified Mental Health Professionals to provide these services necessary for continued federal funding of the state's eight psychiatric residential treatment facilities.

Small Water System Certification ­ HB 2239
Requires operators of water systems serving ground water to fewer than 150 service connections to be certified. This bill makes an additional 2,000 operators of about 900 small public water systems subject to certification. The Department will not charge fees for this certification.

Smoking Pre-emption ­ HB 2828
Pre-empts ability of local government to pass anti-smoking ordinances with stricter standards than state law. Grandfathers in local ordinances passed prior to July 1, 2001. Bans smoking statewide in places of employment with several exceptions. The exceptions include: retail shops selling tobacco and tobacco products, restaurants or areas of restaurants that are off-limits to minors, bars or taverns off-limits to minors, bingo parlors, bowling alleys, hotel or motel rooms designated as "smoking," employee lounges not accessible to minors. Despite the exceptions, this bill will rapidly increase the number of smoke-free workplaces in Oregon.

Tobacco Tax ­ HB 3433
Extends sunset on the 10-cent tobacco tax for the Oregon Health Plan until 2004 and limits cigar taxes to 50 cents per cigar.

Treatment First Act ­ SB 914
This bill, which passed along with two companion bills associated with criminal and civil forfeiture, provides additional funding for drug treatment for some offender populations. The bill was developed by a collaboration of legislators, criminal justice professionals, court administration, the judiciary, district attorneys and treatment professionals.

Vaccine Shortage Emergency ­ HB 3339
Gives the State Health Officer the authority to develop an emergency prioritization plan in the event of vaccine shortages, and to mobilize resources to help in distributing and administering vaccines. Provides a $500 civil penalty for health-care providers who knowingly violate plan guidelines.

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Alternate Facility Survey ­ SB 512
Requires the Department to establish a demonstration project to explore alternate processes to ensure the quality of facility-based long-term care. The goal: to "develop alternate approaches to achieve regulatory compliance." Requires the Department to apply for necessary waivers and establishes the Senior Consumer Advisory Committee.

Complaint Investigations ­ SB 210
Requires the Department to clearly designate the outcome of complaint investigations in all internal and public access complaint files.

Developmental Disability Foster Care ­ SB 756
Allows a person with a developmental disability who is age 18 to 22 to remain in a designated foster home for children with developmental disabilities. Although the Department allows youth to stay in child foster homes until age 22, this bill allows individuals served by mental health and developmental disability programs to have an option to stay in a child foster home until age 22. This bill provides families with more choices to support their children.

Estate Recoveries ­ HB 2243
Allows the Department to recover from estates of people under age 65 if they are permanently institutionalized.

Home Care Commission ­ HB 3816
Implements Ballot Measure 99, which created the Home Care Commission. Establishes the process for collective bargaining by home-care workers. Funded through HB 5014.

Moratorium on Assisted Living Facilities ­ HB 3212
Establishes a moratorium on the construction of new assisted living facilities.

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