H. B. 2955
(By Delegate Walters)
[Introduced March 18, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Homeland Security then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §9A-5-1, §9A-5-2, §9A-5-3, §9A-5-4and §9A-5-5, all relating to creation of a Traumatic Brain Injury Services Commission; stating legislative findings; creating commission and members; stating purpose and duties of members of commission; and stating how funded and requiring reporting.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §9A-5-1, §9A-5-2, §9A-5-3, §9A-5-4and §9A-5-5, and all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY SERVICES COMMISSION.
§9A-5-1. Legislative findings.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares:
(1) That the number of veterans returning to West Virginia is increasing, and they are in need of assistance;
(2) That many programs are available to people, particularly veterans to address traumatic brain injuries and related issues; and
(3) It is in the best interest of the state to facilitate these services to the veterans in need of them.
(b) Therefore, the Traumatic Brain Injury Services Commission is created.
§9A-5-2. Creation of commission, members.
(a) The Traumatic Brain Injury Services Commission consists of the following persons appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, except for those persons holding specific state offices:
(1) The Director of the Division of Veterans Affairs or designee;
(2) A veteran with a traumatic brain injury or family member of the veteran;
(3) The chairperson of the West Virginia Traumatic Brain/Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Fund Board;
(4) A medical professional who is not a state employee and who has experience with traumatic brain injury;
(5) The Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard or designee;
(6) The West Virginia National Guard’s transition assistance advisor, or designee;
(7) Three representatives of leading veterans organizations in West Virginia;
(8) A representative of the Brain Injury Association of West Virginia;
(9) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or designee;
(10) The Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, or designee; and
(11) Two West Virginia citizens, at least one of whom is a nonmilitary survivor of traumatic brain injury or a family member of such a person.
(b) Members who do not hold specific state offices serve staggered, four-year terms.
(c) All members are voting members except for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety or their designees.
(d) The commission shall select its chairperson from among its members who are not state employees.
The purpose of the commission is to assist military veterans and other West Virginians with traumatic brain injuries to receive services to help them regain as much quality of life and productivity as possible.
The duties and responsibilities of the commission are as follows:
(1) The commission shall establish outreach efforts that would connect veterans and others with traumatic brain injury services to services available to them.
(2) The commission shall provide funding to the Division of Veterans Affairs and community organizations to deliver services to West Virginians with traumatic brain injuries.
(3) The commission shall determine the costs of establishing a Medicaid waiver and a trust fund to provide services for individuals with traumatic brain injuries.
(4)(A) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall provide data on costs and actuarial information requested by the commission within seven days of receiving the requests, or if the data cannot be provided within seven days, the department must notify commission members in public letters.
(B) All costs of compiling data and responding to the commission’s requests shall be borne by the Department of Health and Human Resources. However, the commissionis not limited to data from the department in determining the costs of establishing a Medicaid waiver and a trust fund to provide services for individuals with traumatic brain injuries.
§9A-5-5. Funding and reporting.
Funding for the Traumatic Brain Injury Services Commission is as follows:
(1) Upon approval of the Governor, who shall notify the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the President of the Senate, the Department of Health and Human Resources shall apply to the federal government for a Medicaid waiver and establish a trust fund to provide services for individuals with traumatic brain injuries.
(2) A gross receipts tax of one percent on all limited video lottery terminals shall be used to fund the operations of the commission to match federal funds from a Medicaid waiver or other services and to establish a trust fund to provide services for individuals with traumatic brain injuries.
(3) Current Medicaid funded programs and services for West Virginians with traumatic brain injuries may not be supplemented by any new or expanded services provided by this legislation.
(4) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall report annually to the commission and to the Legislature on the status of services for West Virginians with traumatic brain injuries.
NOTE: The purpose of this article is to create a new commission for the service to veterans and others suffering from traumatic brain injuries.
This article is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.