Bill Description: House Bill 423 would create a "maternal mortality review committee" with at least 14 members selected by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
NOTE: In 2023, the Legislature chose to sunset the "maternal mortality review committee," because the committee was an unnecessary waste of tax dollars. House Bill 399, which was introduced earlier this session, appears to be an attempt to restore the functions of the committee without its form. House Bill 423 would reconstruct the maternal mortality review committee without addressing any of the reasons for its dissolution.
Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?
House Bill 323 would create Chapter 96, Title 39, Idaho Code, to create a "maternal mortality review committee" consisting of at least 14 members selected by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
House Bill 423 would expand the role of the department even though it is not appropriate for government to determine what scientific research should be performed or to compel taxpayers to subsidize it.
Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?
The Fiscal Note for House Bill 423 claims the "legislation causes no additional expenditures of funds" and therefore "has no fiscal impact," but this claim bears additional scrutiny. Government committees cost money to operate. So does gathering and analyzing data and preparing annual reports.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare would be given more duties under this bill. It would also receive a list of new tasks, including identifying maternal death cases, obtaining and reviewing medical records and other relevant data, consulting with "relevant experts to evaluate and interpret the records and data," and consulting with "family members and other affected or involved persons to collect additional relevant information."
The department is also instructed to "deliver an annual report of the committee's findings to the governor and chairs of the senate and house of representatives health and welfare committees no later than June 30 of each year."
If the basis of the "no fiscal impact" claim is that additional employees or employee time won't be required to complete these tasks, this raises the question of how the department will absorb these new mandates. Will it leave some other tasks undone, or are there currently too few tasks to justify existing staffing levels? In either case, the working hours spent on complying with the mandates in this bill will carry a cost, even if that cost is not acknowledged as a separate line item.
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