HB 361 is AN ACT relative to the authority of the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) relative to certain vaccine requirements.

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HB 361 is AN ACT relative to the authority of the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) relative to certain vaccine requirements.

History: The Commissioner is responsible for the overall management of DHHS. The Commissioner sets policy for DHHS and oversees implementation of all programs and services. The Commissioner provides the leadership and direction necessary to ensure the design and delivery of a comprehensive and coordinated system of health and human services that is community based and family centered. The Immunization Program which serves to reduce and/or eliminate all vaccine preventable diseases is under the supervision of the Commissioner.

It is important to consider the scope of what is meant to delete the authority of the commissioner to adopt rules without referring to the language in Chapter 541-A: Administrative Procedure Act Section 541-A:1

According to RSA 541:A-XV - "Rule'' means each regulation, standard, form as defined in paragraph VII-a, or other statement of general applicability adopted by an agency to (a) implement, interpret, or make specific a statute enforced or administered by such agency or (b) prescribe or interpret an agency policy, procedure or practice requirement binding on persons outside the agency, whether members of the general public or personnel in other agencies. The term does not include (a) internal memoranda which set policy applicable only to its own employees and which do not affect private rights or change the substance of rules binding upon the public, (b) informational pamphlets, letters, or other explanatory material which refer to a statute or rule without affecting its substance or interpretation, (c) personnel records relating to the hiring, dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee, or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigating of any charges against such employee, or (d) declaratory rulings.

The term "rule'' shall include rules adopted by the director of personnel, department of administrative services, relative to the state employee personnel system. Notwithstanding the requirements of RSA 21-I:14, the term "rule'' shall not include the manual described in RSA 21-I:14, I or the standards for the format, content, and style of agency annual and biennial reports described in RSA 21-I:14, IX, which together comprise the manual commonly known as the administrative services manual of procedures. The manual shall be subject to the approval of governor and council.

This bill deletes the authority of the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human (DHHS) services to adopt rules regarding certain child immunizations/vaccines.

NHNA’s Commission on Government Affairs is opposed to the passage of HB 361 as presented at the Legislative Town Hall Forum on January 26.

An initial hearing on this bill was held on January 24.  No next public hearing has been scheduled at this time.  Bill in Executive Session on 2/22/17. On 2/28/17 from House Committee on Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs: majority reported bill ought not to pass and minority reported ought to pass. On 3/8/17 this bill FAILED TO PASS in the House.

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