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Defunct Commission on Health Equity didn’t follow the law, audit says

The Commission on Health Equity which was supposed to eliminate racial and gender disparities in health status rarely met for meetings and was 11 members short of the 32 required by state statute during 2014 and 2015, according to an audit of the Connecticut Department of Insurance.

The audit revealed a litany of issues for the commission related to failing to have meetings, missing agendas, not posting meetings to its website and lack of minutes, all of which violate the state statute that created the commission.

Although the commission is required to meet once per month, the auditors could not verify the commission met once during the fourth quarter of 2014 due to a lack of records. The lack of records also meant there was no record of attendance for any of the meetings.

The commission was also 136 days late filing their annual report in 2014 and 94 days late for the report in 2015.

The commission was disbanded in 2016 due to budget constraints, a move by that was criticized by the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus. Although the CHE was created in 2008, Rep. Hilda Santiago, D-Meriden, told CTLatinoNews.com that “we never had an opportunity to get this off the ground.”

The Black and Puerto Rican Caucus indicated they would try to revive the commission in 2017. The last budget allocation before the commission was cut was $146,967.

The audit cited the Department of Insurance on other issues related to family medical leave for employees and the department filing a number of reports late.

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Marc E. Fitch

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