HOUSE BILL NO. 687
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND PART IX, TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DISABLED AND PARTIALLY DISABLED PERSONS; AND PROVIDING FOR A STATE USE LAW TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLIND INDIVIDUALS BY ASSURING A MARKET FOR THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Amend Part IX, Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new chapter, to be designated as Chapter 96, which new chapter shall read as follows:
CHAPTER 96. STATE USE LAW
§9601. Declaration of purpose
The purpose of this Act is to further the policy of the State of Delaware to encourage and assist blind individuals to achieve maximum personal independence through useful and productive gainful employment by assuring an expanded and constant market for their products and services, thereby enhancing the dignity and capacity for self-support of blind persons, and minimizing their dependence on welfare as well as the need for the State to provide costly institutionalization.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the meaning ascribed to them except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(a) "Agency of this State" shall include all counties, towns, school districts, or any other entity which is supported in whole or in part by funds appropriated by the General Assembly.
(b) "Blind" shall include all persons whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses or whose visual acuity, if better than 20/200, is accompanied by a limit to the better field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no greater than 20 degrees.
(c) "Workshop" or "sheltered workshop" shall mean the Sheltered Workshop for the Visually Impaired.
§9603. Commission for purchase of products and services
(a) There is hereby created a Commission for the Purchase of Products and Services of the blind which commission shall be appointed by the Governor. The Commission shall be composed of the following members: a private citizen with a background in industrial purchasing, a private citizen with business experience in production and/or marketing, a private citizen representing the general public, and a representative of each of the following offices or agencies of the State: the Chief State Purchasing Officer, the Chief State Fiscal Officer, the State Health Agency and the Delaware Bureau for the Visually Impaired. The members of the Commission shall each be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years, and shall serve until reappointed or until new appointments are made at the end of each term; except that of the three private citizen members first appointed, one shall be appointed for a term of two years, one shall be appointed for a term of three years, and one shall be appointed for a term of four years, as designated by the Governor at the time of appointment. The members of the Commission shall designate one of their number to be Chairman.
(b) Any private citizen member appointed under subsection (a) of this section to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term.
(c) Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation other than reimbursement for expenses actually incurred in connection with the work of the Commission, and for travel expenses when away from their homes or regular places of business.
(d) The Commission may secure, directly from any agency of this State, information necessary to enable it to carry out the provisions of this Act. Upon request of the Chairman of the Commission, the head or administrator of such State agency shall furnish the requested information to the Commission.
(e) The Commission shall, not later than ninety days following the close of each fiscal year, transmit to the Governor and to the General Assembly a report which shall include the names of the Commission members serving in the preceding fiscal year, the dates of the Commission meetings in that year, a description of its activities during that year, and any recommendations for changes in the law which the Commission might suggest.
§9604. Commission; duties and powers
There is hereby established a Workshop for the Blind. It shall be the duty of the Commission to determine the price of all products manufactured and services provided by the Workshop, which are offered for sale to the various agencies of the State. The price shall recover for the Workshop the cost of raw materials, labor, overhead and delivery costs; but shall not include a profit to the Commission or to the Workshop. The Commission may revise such prices from time to time in accordance with changing cost factors, and may make such rules and regulations regarding specifications, time of delivery, and other relevant matters of procedure as shall be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Chapter.
The Commission shall establish and publish a list of products and services provided by the Workshop for the Blind under the jurisdiction of the State Services to the Blind which the Commission determines are suitable for procurement by agencies of this State pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter. This procurement list and revisions thereof shall be distributed to any person who procures materials for any agency of the State.
§9605. Procurement requirements for the State
If any agency of this State intends to procure a product or service on the procurement list, that agency shall, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Commission, procure such product or service, at the price established by the Commission, from the Workshop Program of the State "Services to the Blind" program. If the product or service is available within the period required by that agency, such procurement shall be mandatory. The provisions of this Chapter, however, shall not apply in any case where products or services are available for procurement from any agency of this State and procurement therefrom is required under the provisions of any statute, rule or regulation.
In furthering the purposes of this Chapter, as set forth in §9601, and in contributing to economy of government, it is the intent of the General Assembly that there be close cooperation between the Commission and any agency of the State from which procurement of products or services is required under the provisions of any State law. The Commission and any such agency are authorized to enter into such contractual agreements, cooperative working relationships or other arrangements as may be determined to be necessary for effective coordination and efficient realization of the objectives of this Chapter and any other law requiring procurement of products or services from any agency of this State.
Section 2. Amend §2115, Chapter 21, Part H, Title 31 of the Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety.
Approved July 29, 1974.