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Introduced Version House Bill 3265 History

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hb3265 intr
H. B. 3265


(By Delegates Armstead, Lane, Sobonya,
Carmichael and Anderson)
[Introduced March 25, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then Finance.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §16-5P-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto two new sections, §16-5P-10a and §16-5P-10b, all relating to the "senior citizens prescription drug subsidy program"; clarifying the duties of the Commissioner of the Bureau Senior Services as executive and administrative head of the Bureau of Senior Services; requiring the Bureau for Senior Services to administer the program; providing a voluntary check-off designation of personal income tax forms upon which taxpayers may designate that a certain portion of any refund be donated to the fund; and requiring transfer of those funds into a special account for the program.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §16-5P-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto two new sections, designated §16-5P-10a and §16-5P-10b, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5P. SENIOR SERVICES.
§16-5P-6. Powers and duties generally.
The Commissioner shall be is the executive and administrative head of the Bureau and shall have has the power and duty to:
(a) Exercise general supervision of the Bureau;
(b) Propose legislative rules for the effective and expeditious performance and discharge of the duties and responsibilities placed upon the Commissioner by law;
(c) Conduct and coordinate studies of the problems of encountered by the state's older people citizens;
(d) Encourage and promote the establishment of local programs and services for the aging;
(e) Conduct public education programs of public education on the problems of the related to aging;
(f) Review state programs for the aging, and annually make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature;
(g) Encourage and assist governmental and private agencies to coordinate effective efforts on behalf of the aging;
(h) Coordinate statewide local and voluntary efforts to serve the aging and develop programs at the local level;
(i) Supervise fiscal management and responsibilities of the Bureau;
(j) Keep an accurate and complete record of all Bureau proceedings, record and file all bonds and contracts and assume responsibility for the custody and preservation of all papers and documents of the Bureau;
(k) Submit an annual report to the Governor on the condition, operation and functioning of the Bureau;
(l) Invoke any legal or special remedy for the enforcement of orders or the provisions of this chapter;
(m) Standardize administration, expedite Bureau business, revise rules and promote the efficiency of the service;
(n) Provide a program of continuing professional, technical and specialized instruction for the personnel of the Bureau and local service providers; and
(o) Receive on behalf of the state any grant or gift and accept the same, so that the title shall pass to the state. All moneys from grants or gifts shall be deposited with the State Treasurer in a special fund and shall be used for the purposes set forth in the grant or gift; and
(p) Administer the program provided in section ten-a of this article by subsidizing, within the funds available, the cost of prescription drugs for eligible persons over the age of sixty-five.
§16-5P-10a. Senior citizens prescription drug subsidy program. (a) There is hereby created a senior citizens prescription drug subsidy program, which shall be administered by the Bureau of Senior Services in accordance with the provisions of this section and within the funding made available through the provisions of section ten-b of this article and any appropriations: Provided, That the provisions of this section may not be construed to require legislative appropriations. The program shall be designed to provide a subsidy for prescription medications purchased by eligible citizens over the age of sixty-five: Provided, however, That the otherwise eligible citizen does not qualify for other third-party reimbursement for prescription drugs. Funds administered as reimbursement for prescription drugs under the provisions of this section may be paid directly to qualified pharmaceutical providers, or the eligible citizen, upon proof of purchase.
(b) The Bureau shall propose legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to accomplish the following:
(1) Establish eligibility guidelines for program participation based on income and the need for the prescription drugs;
(2) Develop criteria, which is to be applied uniformly, to determine which pharmaceutical providers may participate in the program;
(3) Determine the percentage of subsidy to be provided based on the cost of the particular prescription drug, the availability of an equivalent generic prescription drug, and the amount of funds available in the account;
(4) Develop criteria, which is to be applied uniformly, to determine the circumstances in which a pharmaceutical provider or eligible person would be declared ineligible; and
(5) Develop a system to verify that the prescription drug has actually been dispensed to the eligible person.
§16-5P-10b. Voluntary check-off designation to fund the senior citizens prescription drug subsidy program; contributions credited to special fund.

(a) Beginning the first day of January, two thousand six, each West Virginia individual income tax return form shall contain a designation as follows:
West Virginia Voluntary Senior Citizens Prescription Drug Program
Check ( ) if you wish to designate $1, $5, $10 or more of your tax refund for this program. If joint return, check ( ) if spouse wishes to designate $1, $5, $10 or more.
(b) Each individual taxpayer desiring to contribute to the senior citizens prescription drug subsidy program may so designate by placing an "X" in the appropriate box on the state income tax return form. His or her contribution shall be credited to the program.
(c) The Tax Department shall determine by the first day of July of each year the total amount designated pursuant to this section and shall report the amount to the State Treasurer who shall credit the amount to a special account for the senior citizens prescription drug subsidy program. The Bureau shall use the moneys received from the voluntary check-off program, and any additional amounts contributed to or appropriated to the special account, in accordance with the provisions set forth in section ten-a of this article.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the "Senior Citizens Prescription Drug Subsidy Program." Provisions of the bill include: (1) Clarify the duties of the Commissioner of Health and Human Resources as executive and administrative head of the Bureau of Senior Services; (2) requiring the Bureau of Senior Citizens to administer the program; (3) providing a voluntary check-off designation of personal income tax forms upon which taxpayers may designate that a certain portion of any refund be donated to the fund; and (4) creating the Senior Citizens Prescription Drug Subsidy Program Fund.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§§16-5P-10a and 10b are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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