R 338
2021 -- S 0985
Enacted 07/01/2021

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senator Louis P. DiPalma

Date Introduced: June 27, 2021

     WHEREAS, The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) was
established in state law in 2006 to serve as the principal agency of the executive branch of state
government to manage the State’s four health and human services departments: the Departments
of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), Health (RIDOH), and Human Services (DHS), and
Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH); and
     WHEREAS, The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is
administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services who is responsible to the Governor
for supervising EOHHS and for managing and providing strategic leadership and direction to the
four health and human services departments; and
     WHEREAS, EOHHS is intended to be a consumer-centered system of publicly-financed
state administered health and human services that supports access to high-quality services,
protects the safety of the State's most vulnerable citizens, and ensures the efficient use of all
available resources by the four departments responsible for the health and human services
programs serving all Rhode Islanders and providing direct assistance and support services
individuals and families; and
     WHEREAS, EOHHS was charged with leading the four (4) departments in order to:
     (1) Improve the economy, efficiency, coordination, and quality of health and human
services policy and planning, budgeting, and financing;
     (2) Design strategies and implement best practices that foster service access, consumer
safety, and positive outcomes;
     (3) Maximize and leverage funds from all available public and private sources, including
federal financial participation, grants, and awards;
     (4) Increase public confidence by conducting independent reviews of health and human
services issues in order to promote accountability and coordination across departments; and
     (5) Ensure that state health and human services policies and programs are responsive to
changing consumer needs and to the network of community providers that deliver assistive
services and supports on their behalf, and other duties pursuant to § 42-7.2-2; and
     WHEREAS, The health and human services landscape has changed greatly since 2006;
now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is hereby created
consisting of not more than eleven (11) members: three (3) of whom shall be members of the
Senate, not more than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the President of
the Senate; and not more than eight (8) of whom shall be members with relevant expertise and
experience as providers, partners and/or stakeholders of the Executive Office of Health and
Human Services, the Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Program, the Department of Children, Youth
and Families, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, and the Department
of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, to be appointed by the
President of the Senate.
     In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a legislative study
commission, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in
place of a legislator, provided that the Senate President or the Minority Leader of the political
party that is entitled to the appointment consents to the appointment of the member of the general
     The purpose of said commission shall be to review and make recommendations on how
to most efficiently and effectively administer health and human services in the state of Rhode
     Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at
the call of the President of the Senate, who shall appoint a Chair of the commission. Vacancies in
said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
     A quorum of the commission shall consist of a majority of its membership, and the
membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
     All departments and agencies of the state, shall furnish such advice and information,
documentary or otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable
by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
     The Joint Committee on Legislative Services is hereby authorized and directed to provide
suitable quarters for said commission; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the
President of the Senate on or before March 1, 2022, and said commission shall expire on July 1,