There shall be a public health evaluation grant program to be administered by the department of public health. Grant recipients shall be selected through a competitive grant process in which successful proposals shall: (i) demonstrate substantial experience conducting evaluations of federal, state or local public health programs; (ii) focus on the evaluation of a state-funded department of public health program which may include, but shall not be limited to, school-based health centers, smoking cessation programs, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs, obesity prevention programs and child nutrition programs; (iii) identify the state administrative datasets to be used; (iv) ensure compliance with applicable privacy regulations, including institutional review board policies; and (v) propose an evaluation to be completed in not more than 24 months that shall provide an analysis that examines the following areas of policy relevance: (a) the quantifiable effect of the program on the population treated through the program; (b) an estimate of the cost to the commonwealth of the public health problems being addressed through the program; (c) a comparison of the cost of the program and the estimated short-term and long-term benefits received by program recipients through the program; (d) data limitations in estimating the effect of the program; and (e) recommendations for further study. The department of public health shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means 30 days before issuing a request for proposals for the program which shall detail the criteria to be used to award grants; provided however, that the request for proposals shall be issued not later than December 1, 2015. The department of public health, the center for health information and analysis, the executive office of health and human services, the executive office of education, the department of housing and community development and other relevant state agencies shall work with grant recipients funded through the program to provide secure access to state-collected data necessary for evaluations. Organizations receiving funds pursuant to this section shall report quarterly to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on public health and the department of public health on: (1) the status and preliminary results of studies funded through the program; and (2) any obstacles encountered in access to data or other information that is negatively affecting the completion of the study. Funds appropriated in item 4590-0081 of section 2 for the grant program shall not revert and shall be available for expenditure through February 1, 2017.
I am vetoing this section because I am vetoing line item 4590-0081, which provides the funding for this program.