Important public hearings coming up! Legalizing marijuana & more...
Tomorrow (3/15/18): The General Law Committee will hear public testimonies on:
H.B. No. 5458, which would legalize recreational marijuana for ages 21 and up.
S.B. No. 431, which would change drug statutes to prohibit prescribers from prescribing controlled substances for themselves and their families and would enable pharmacists and prescribers to develop agreements with community agencies for distribution of Narcan.
Hearing will begin at 10am in Room 310 of the Capitol Building. Click bill numbers above for details and submit written testimony to GLtestimony@cga.ct.gov.
Friday (3/16/18): The Public Health Committee will hear testimonies on many behavioral health-related bills, including:
prescribing via telehealth,
the restructuring of the CT Valley Hospital,
the Psychiatric Security Review Board,
opioid treatment in correctional facilities, and more.
Tuesday (3/20/18): There should be another Public Health Committee meeting (not yet posted online). Bills will include:
SB 164, to raise the tobacco age to 21,
HB 5293, to require e-cigs and vapes to be sold face-to-face at the counter, like other tobacco products.
Finally, it's not too late to contact your representatives, particularly if they sit on the Insurance Committee, and ask them to support SB 384. That bill was announced on a Friday and had its hearing on the Tuesday, which meant there wasn't a lot of opportunity to mobilize support.
SB 384 would require better reporting and transparency by insurance companies on behavioral health claims, which would allow monitoring of Connecticut's very poor compliance with the mental health parity laws. (See December 2017 Milliman report here.)
The bill would also require insurance companies to cover behavioral health screenings at annual physicals when provided by a physician: when you talk to legislators, please suggest an amendment to that language to cover screenings at annual physicals when provided by a licensed healthcare professional (which could include a nurse, PA, etc.).
Thanks to Reps. Kupchick (Fairfield) and Floren (Greenwich) for introducing this bill and to NAMI Fairfield for their hard work on it.