Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519
05/15/2019 09:00 AM FINANCE
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SENATE BILL NO. 10 "An Act extending the termination date of the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council; and providing for an effective date." 9:01:19 AM AT EASE 9:01:40 AM RECONVENED Co-Chair Wilson drew attention to the new fiscal impact note from the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)/House Finance Committee, Behavioral Health, OMB Component Number 2651. She read directly from the comments box on the first page: This revised fiscal note reflects a funding level of $400.0 for pass-through grants in FY20. Additionally, the following intent language will be added: It is the intent of the legislature that grant funding be divided 50% to rural school districts and 50% to urban school districts. Further, it is the intent of the legislature that the Suicide Prevention Council and the Department of Education and Early Development work together to develop a long-term sustainability plan for suicide prevention training. The plan should include implementation of a "Train the Trainer" model so districts can provide ongoing training. The plan should be submitted to the Presiding Officers of the legislature and the Legislative Finance Division by December 1, 2019 Co-Chair Wilson thanked Representative Tarr for her comments regarding the language. She reported that obtaining detailed information about the grants was difficult, and she wanted to ensure the grantees were getting the right type of training. She had spoken to Commissioner Johnson, Commissioner, Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and with his permission put his comments on record: "He commits to working during the interim on transparency and accountability with the school districts on these grants going forward to ensure that when a suicide happens the right team would respond and focus more on the prevention portion and help students identify when they might be experiencing major issues and identify who receives the reporting. She noted that the grant was made a one-time increment. She requested that the department testify to the committee in the following session to discuss the improvements regarding the intent language and whether it implemented the "Train the Trainer" model. Currently, the program consists of online training for teachers and others. She envisioned the program aimed more directly at the students. She thanked the House and Senate bill sponsors for assisting with the changes and felt the changes were positive. 9:04:44 AM Representative Carpenter appreciated the new language in the fiscal note. However, he was concerned with being able to measure the effectiveness of the program. He noted that the suicide rate had hardly decreased in the seven years the program was operating. He questioned whether the program was effective in preventing suicides. He wanted some sort of a gauge to ensure the training reduced suicide. He opined that the state provided training was unable to address the real issue that existed at the family and community level. He thought the state would be spending a significant amount of money yet, not address the root cause of the problem. 9:06:41 AM Co-Chair Wilson did not believe some of his statements were accurate. She spoke of her experience with being a part of the state education taskforce when the program was initially implemented. The taskforce traveled to a community and created a student taskforce in the school district that were trained to communicate with other students. The school had the highest suicide rate in the state and currently had the lowest rate of suicide. The students learned to identify when a classmate was experiencing problems and had a reporting mechanism. She indicated that Representative Carpenter could be correct. However, the changes added parameters to the grant program and alerted the council to the committees concerns. She knew of programs that were effective in lowering the rate of suicide. She agreed the problem began at home, but the student brought the issues to school and expressed them to their peers. She advocated for providing proper training to students to be able to recognize when their peers were in trouble and how to respond. She believed in making the program accountable and enable the collection and analysis of statistical data that was available. She had had personal discussions with folks in communities and the legislature and emphasized that all wanted to reduce the number of suicides in the state. 9:09:06 AM Representative Carpenter wanted to see the data showing the effectiveness of the program. He agreed and understood the need to prevent and reduce suicide in the state and that some type of training was warranted. He relayed his personal experience of receiving suicide prevention training for over 20 years. He had not heard about the effectiveness of the states program. He was looking forward to seeing the results of the program the following session. Co-Chair Wilson thought the committee had made it clear to the commissioner he would be held accountable. She related that the grant had previously been a pass through grant and the commissioner was aware that the committee wanted details by school district. She intended to hear from each member of the council regarding implementation of the changes in the following session. 9:11:12 AM Vice-Chair Johnston MOVED to report SB 10 out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. SB 10 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with one new fiscal impact note from the House Finance Committee for the Department of Health and Social Services. 9:11:28 AM AT EASE 9:14:15 AM RECONVENED