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Proposed licensing revisions for service providers stall

A bill that would revise the way the state licenses human services providers hit a bump in a House committee Tuesday.

HB120 revises the Department of Human Services' Office of Licensing, which was criticized in an October audit. Many of the revisions are minor but, based on recommendations from the audit, sponsor Rep. J. Brent Haymond, R-Springville, stripped licensors from reviewing anything but a program's basic health and safety standards.Programs that contract with the state or receive state funds would continue to be checked for quality by the department's divisions, like Youth Corrections or Child and Family Services. But those without state funding would not be required to undergo quality assessments.

Wayne Holland, a retired director of the Office of Quality Assurance in Youth Corrections, told the House committee Haymond's proposal put children in jeopardy. Holland said out-of-state children sent to Utah for wilderness and other behavior programs wouldn't be protected. He reminded the committee of Utah wilderness programs in which children were abused and suesequently died, when quality assurances weren't considered.

Rep. Nora Stephens, R-Sunset, proposed reinstating the current quality assurance measures until next year, after study by an interim committee.

The House Health and Human Services Standing Committee voted to rehear the proposal later.