Public Comments for 02/08/2021 Health, Welfare and Institutions
SB1121 - Birth certificates; an amendment of a certificate shall be evaluated by the State Registrar.
SB1147 - Nurse Loan Repayment Program; certified nurse aide.
SB1154 - Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Commissioner of; reports to designated protection.
SB1176 - Barrier crimes; amends current requirements for DBHDS to provide, etc.
SB1178 - Genetic counseling; repeals conscience clause.
SB1187 - Physical therapy; extends time allowed for a therapist to evaluate and treat patients.
SB1189 - Occupational therapists; licensure.
SB1205 - Career fatigue and wellness in certain health care providers; programs to address, civil immunity.
SB1220 - State facilities; admission of certain aliens.
SB1221 - Loudoun County; operation of local health department.
SB1227 - Hormonal contraceptives; payment of medical assistance for 12-month supply.
SB1235 - Health, Department of; certain communication prohibited.
Dear Chair and Committee Members, I am writing in favor of SB 1235, a common sense bill which would require the consent of parents to be involved with the healthcare, education, upbringing and religious freedom, for their minor aged children. SB would protect children in Virginia from the harm which came to my 14 year old daughter after she obtained a surgical procedure without my knowledge or consent. As a result of my absence, my daughter suffered physical and emotional damage caused by the physician, which required follow-up surgery. However, she could not have the follow-up reparative surgery and hospitalization unless I signed a consent form. To add insult to injury, I was responsible for the follow-up medical costs, amounting to over $27,000. SB 1235 would stop what happened to my family from happening to other families in Virginia when speaking to strangers, concerning their healthcare, education, religious freedom and certainly all medical and surgical procedures. This bill would continue to ensure a parent's constitutional right to care for their minor aged daughter as they see fit. Besides, who knows their children better than the parent. While not ever child is from a loving family, this bill protects those children in a volatile situation. Please don't punish parents who love their children, parents and grandparents just like yourself. I am sure you would want your children to know and give consent for any healthcare, education and other situations as named in this bill, for your grandchildren. Most importantly, parents not strangers, kidnappers, or sexual predators have the right to be involved with their children. I urge you not only for your constituents, but for your own families and all Virginia parents, to put their arms around their children and say "we love you, we can work this out together". Please pass SB 1235 out of committee. Thank you for your time, Eileen Roberts, President Parents for Life "Serving as a collective voice for all parents". February 6, 2021
SB1237 - Emergency and quarantine orders, certain; additional procedural requirements.
SB1302 - Crisis Call Center Fund; created, consistency with federal guidelines.
I am the Director of Tazewell County PSAP. My understanding of Bill SB1302 is to provide a 9-8-8 Crisis Call Center and establish a staff administered by the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services providing a Hotline Center for the purposes of participating in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and to provide consistency with federal guidelines. I'm in support of the 9-8-8 Crisis Line but opposed to this Bill for the following reasons: 1) Separate Bill introduced for the 9-8-8 line; Separating it out of Public Safety Answering Point funds. It should be separate and distinct from the current 9-1-1 legislation 2) The 9-1-1 PSAP Community consistently faces financial challenges and is conducting a cost study to determine the current adequacy of our current 9-1-1 surges to ease the costly increases to the NextGen voice and ever changing data technologies. Technology and costs for NG-911 are increasing our operating costs by leaps and bounds and a increase to what we receive from the wireless E-911 and the prepaid E-911 should be for providing our current expected services to maintain the quality of life for every citizen in State and locally. 3) E911 is in the middle of a huge migration now to Next Generation 9-1-1, which is mandated. PSAP's cannot just not migrate because of lack of funding. This Bill would limit the amount of funding PSAP's would be allotted, when we need these funds more now than ever. Technology is great and the 9-1-1 community is constantly growing and changing and the future is here we need to increase PSAP's funding and not share with another Department. 3) 9-1-1 funds (taxes) are collected to be used for 9-1-1 services / needs. Using these funds for other projects / needs for other Departments could lead a continued problem for the PSAP Community, it could lead to having funds continually diverted to non-9-1-1 needs or projects. I appreciate you time, consideration and efforts on this project, but please consider re-evaluating this SB1302 and designating a separate Bill for the needed funding to the 9-8-8 Crisis Call Center. Thank you.
House Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation's largest organization dedicated to saving lives and restoring hope to those impacted by suicide, appreciates your consideration and thanks Senator McPike for championing the 988 policy and for introducing legislation to support crisis services for callers in need. When 988, the national mental health and suicide prevention crisis hotline number designated by the U.S. Congress, is made nationally available in July 2022 it is crucial that Virginia's local crisis call centers and state crisis capacity is effectively equipped to respond to individuals calling for help. AFSP applauds Senator McPike's effort to increase funding for Virginia's crisis response services, but we acknowledge the body of concerns regarding implementation of SB1302. Implementing service fees on wireless, wireline, and VoIP bills to support 988 would be invaluable. Providing stable funding for 988 centers just as we do for 911 centers is essential for ensuring that calls to 988 are answered quickly and effectively. But, input from professional organizations and policy experts regarding the proposed expanding of Virginia's 911 fee to support 988 has raised notable concerns. We hope that the fees collected to support 988 will not constitute diversion from the dedicated purpose of 911 fees or create jurisdictional challenges between 988 call centers and 911 PSAPs. Collaboration between 911 and 988 as parallel, but independent, response lines will be important, and the points raised by 911 stakeholders should be heeded. Fees collected in support of 988 should receive appropriate guardrails to prevent diversion, similar to 911. AFSP supports regular assessment and oversight of the collection and use of 988 fees to ensure that callers are responded to quickly, that robust services are provided, that at-risk communities are provided specialized services, that data can be used effectively, and that 988 can coordinate effectively with the continuum or crisis and emergency response. AFSP further reciprocates the support of mental health and suicide prevention experts for increased investment in 988 crisis services. Just as 911 PSAPs need robust, dedicated funding to ensure our calls are answered and responded to effectively, so too do 988 crisis call centers need to be prepared to respond to the demand for crisis services. We hope that 988 fees will be in parity with 911 fees, to ensure these parallel systems are both resourced sufficiently so any Virginian, regardless of their crisis or emergency, receives effective responses. We recognize and appreciate the perspectives of numerous stakeholders on the historic implementation of 988. And we applaud Senator McPike's efforts to bring Virginia's crisis response system into the 21st century. AFSP believes that the provision of robust 988 service fees can fortify Virginia's local crisis capacity before July 2022. We encourage the Committee to consider the concerns regarding the diversion of 911 fees and the administrative and funding needs of local crisis call centers responding to individuals in need. Thank you.
Senate Bill 1302 proposes and increase in Wireless 9-1-1 surcharge to fund the National 9-8-8 Mental Health Crisis Line here in Virginia. This puts an increase for Next Generation 9-1-1 Sustainable Funding at risk. Please consider this: (1) Propose a separate bill be introduced to fund the 9-8-8 line. It can still utilize Wireless Surcharge. However it should be separate and distinct from the current 9-1-1 legislation. (2) If it continues under this Bill, then increase the surcharge to also address cost increases related to Next Generation 9-1-1 and the emerging technologies in voice and data. Additionally, there is an addition in Item D to make “Inhouse repeaters” the 9-1-1 grant funds second highest priority. This would be devastating to smaller PSAP’s. I would like to propose this be removed or modified to “improvements in location identification accuracy”.
My understanding of the bill is the following - 1. Creates a Crisis Call Center Fund (for 9-8-8), 2. Increases the wireless E-911 surcharge from .75 to .94 and increases the prepaid wireless E-911 charge from .50 to .63; some of the additional revenue to the Crisis Call Center and some to PSAP’s (9-1-1 Centers), 3. Expectations with the Marcus Alert System. ---- Some of the revenue attributed to the increase in the tax-rate would be distributed to the Crisis Call Center Fund (to establish and administer the call center) and the remainder of the additional revenue would be distributed to 9-1-1 Centers. Under the bill, .12 of the total monthly wireless 9-1-1 surcharge of .94 would be allocated for the Crisis Call Center Fund and .08 of the total surcharges on prepaid wireless devices (.63) would be allocated to the Crisis Call Center Fund. While this increase in the 9-1-1 taxes should result in additional revenue for 9-1-1 Centers, there are other considerations/concerns: 1. If approved, funds collected for 9-1-1 (and expected to be used for 9-1-1 services in the state) would be used for non-9-1-1 purposes (9-8-8 and the Crisis Call Center Fund). This is against the principle of why the 9-1-1 tax was created and a bigger-issue is the state most likely would be added to the FCC list of states that divert 9-1-1 fees for non-9-1-1 costs (from the NET911 Act from 2008). States on this list are subjects to consequences, such as withholding federal funding and how impacts to participating in aspects of FirstNet. Overall, is not a list a state wants to be on. 2. Our state in in the middle of a major 9-1-1 ecosystem transition (Next Generation 911), with costs incurred and expected to be incurred higher than what 9-1-1 Centers have previously experienced. The expectation would be to assure the necessary funds are provided to 9-1-1 Center’s before any consideration to use 9-1-1 funds collected elsewhere. 3. 9-1-1 funds (taxes) are collected to be used for 9-1-1 services/needs; using these funds for other projects/needs overall could lead to a slippery--slope in our state where these funds continue to be used (diverted) for non 9-1-1 needs/projects. The ESVA 9-1-1 Commission overall supports legislative changes to properly respond to individuals with mental health incidents or during a mental health crisis, however overall does not support the use of taxes/fees collected for 9-1-1 in our state not being used directly to support 9-1-1 services throughout our state, as is included in SB1302.
The idea for a Mental Health hotline using E911 funding is not ideal. As a 911 center, we will still be responsible for taking those mental health calls even though there would be a designated hotline for this. E911 is in the middle of huge migration to Next Generation 911, which is mandated. PSAPs can not just not migrate because of lack of funding. This bill would limit the amount of funding PSAPs would be allotted, when we need these funds more than ever. The transition to Next Generation 911 is a very expensive transition, and E911 will need every bit of funding it can get to make this successful.
In Support of 9-8-8 Crisis Line but opposed to this Bill for the following reasons: 1) Risk of Virginia being placed on the 9-1-1 Diversion List. It is my understanding 9-8-8- would be a diversion based on their review of language in the The New and Emerging 9-1-1 Technologies Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act). Repercussions include Virginia becoming ineligible for grant funding and ineligible to participate on National Committees. 2) The 9-1-1 Community consistently faces financial challenges and is conducting a cost study to determine the adequacy of the current 9-1-1 surcharge for funding increased costs related to the NextGen911 voice and data technologies. 3) Lastly, in line 289 and 290, the Bill proposes a change in priority to include a specific technology "in-building repeaters". I understand this is an important need, in our jurisdiction remote repeaters on public lands is as great a need as in-building repeaters. In either case, I would argue repeaters is not the second highest priority for 9-1-1 but rather training. At a minimum the language should be changed from 'in-house repeater" to 'location identification improvements'. Mu preference would be that prioritization remain with the 9-1-1 Services Board and the 9-1-1 Grant Committee. Thank you for your consideration.
While there is agreement that mental health services should be addressed by the state, including that funding within E-911 funding is diverting needed additional funds from PSAP's. Local E-911 agencies and PSAP's are under a financial crunch to upgrade to NG-911 over the next few years and are seeing technology and operating costs exceeding funds from the state and local approved taxing methods. When you consider the additional costs we now incur locally with additional mental health mandates, we are seeing local budgets stressed. E-911 is at its core a service as important for life saving measures as any other provided or mandated by the state and citizens. I would ask that you consider providing funding in full for PSAP's through the increase in E-911 fees and provide an additional fee for the mental health services.
Although supportive of a 9-8-8 Crisis Line, I am opposed to this Bill for the following reasons: 1) Risk of Virginia being placed an the 9-1-1 Diversion List. In discussions with Laurie Flaherty, VDOT National 9-1-1 Coordinator, the FCC lawyers, VDOT lawyers are advising 9-8-8- would be a diversion based on their review of language in the The New and Emerging 9-1-1 Technologies Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act). Repercussions include Virginia becoming ineligible for grant funding but more importantly becoming ineligible to participate on National Committees. 2) The 9-1-1 Community is already facing financial challenges and are conducting a cost study to determine the adequacy of the current 9-1-1 surcharge for funding increased costs related to the Next Generation voice and data technologies. 3) Finally, in line 289 and 290, the Bill proposes a change in priority to include a specific technology "in-building repeaters". Again although an important need, in our jurisdiction remote repeaters on public lands is as great a need as in-building repeaters. In either case, I would argue repeaters is not the second highest priority for 9-1-1. Currently training takes that coveted spot. I would that at a minimum the language be changed from 'in-house repeater" to 'location identification improvements". Although my preference would be that prioritization remain with the 9-1-1 Services Board and the 9-1-1 Grant Committee. Thank you for your consideration.
I am the Communications Manager for the Washington County PSAP. I think the funding for the Crisis call Center and the PSAP 911 portion should not be co mingled. The PASP Community 911 legislation and this National 988 Mental Health Crisis should be separate and distinct. We as PSAP's are constantly striving to improve the overall voice and data technologies that serve the areas we are in. At this time we are in the process of the Next Generation 911 migration and with this comes additional costs. We currently need all available funding that the wireless surcharges provide our centers and with the co mingling this would drastically reduce the funding for the PSAP and could be detrimental to those smaller PSAPs as well as others. While supporting the Crisis line is not the issue, it should have its own legislation thus not sharing the proposed funding. An additional increase should be designated for the Crisis Line funding, not taking the funding from the PSAP's.
SB1304 - Community services boards; discharge planning.
SB1307 - School-based health services; Bd. of MAS to amend state plan for services to provide for payment.
SB1316 - Child care providers; background checks, portability.
SB1320 - Licensed certified midwives; clarifies definition, licensure, etc.
SB1321 - Confirmatory adoption; expands the stepparent adoption provisions.
SB1328 - State-Funded Kinship Guardianship Assistance program; created.
SB1333 - Pharmaceutical processors; permits processors to produce and distribute cannabis products.
SB1338 - Telemedicine services; remote patient monitoring services.
SB1356 - Hospitals, nursing homes, etc.; visits by clergy.
SB1362 - Employers; reporting outbreaks of COVID-19, effective clause.
SB1366 - Aging services; economic and social need.
SB1421 - Brain injury; clarifies definition.
SB1427 - Early Psychosis Intervention and Coordinated Specialty Care Program Advisory Board; established.
Each year over 1700 young Virginians experience their first episode of psychosis. Many do not receive treatment. During the period in which they are not treated, known as the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), symptoms worsen and functioning decreases. Coordinated Specialty Care is an evidence based treatment for first episode psychosis. It is proven effective in decreasing symptoms and increasing functioning with outcomes such as decreased hospitalization, improved work and school achievement and enhanced social networks. There are 8 teams in Virginia currently providing treatment to 233 individuals. This does not approach the need. Besides treatment, Coordinated Specialty Care conducts outreach and community education so that new cases of psychosis are identified and engaged in treatment. The Advisory Board in this legislation will work with DBHDS to expand and enhance this essential service. I support SB 1427.
SB1102 - Personal care aides; DMAS shall establish an orientation program for certain aides.