CHAPTER 402

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 624

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 86, TITLE 29 AND CHAPTER 94, TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE IN ORDER TO FORMALLY RECOGNIZE THE EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR THE COORDINATION OF SERVICES TO THE HANDICAPPED AND THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS; TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE COUNCIL TO THE "STATE COUNCIL FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES"; TO CHANGE REFERENCES TO "THE HANDICAPPED" TO "PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES": AND TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF CONSUMERS ON THE COUNCIL FROM SIX TO TWELVE.

WHEREAS, the State Advisory Council for Coordination of Services to the Handicapped was established in 1980 pursuant to Chapter 94, Title 16 of the Delaware Code; and

WHEREAS, the Council was originally established with professional staff provided by the Office of Management, Budget and Planning; and

WHEREAS, this Office was discontinued in November 1981, thus leaving the Council without an administering agency; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Community Affairs has provided, on an informal basis, staff services to this Council during this period; and

WHEREAS, the Council wishes to now be formally established, for administrative purposes, within the Office of Handicapped Services in the Department of Community Affairs; and

WHEREAS, the Council wishes to also change its name to the "State Council for Persons with Disabilities:" and

WHEREAS, the Council wishes to increase the number of consumers from six to twelve in order to bring to the Council more representation from community members who have disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the Council wishes to strike references to "the handicapped," using instead the preferred term "persons with disabilities;".

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 94, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by striking said chapter in its entirety.

Section 2. Amend Chapter 86, Title 29, Delaware Code by adding a new section 8606 to read as follows:

"8606. State Council for Persons with Disabilities

(a) There is hereby established a State Council for Persons with Disabilities.

(b) This Council shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

(1) Promote coordination among all state programs, services and plans established for or related to persons with disabilities.

(2) Review, on a continuing basis, all state policies, plans, programs and activities concerning persons with disabilities which are conducted, or assisted in whole or part, by state departments, agencies or funds in order to determine whether such policies, programs, plans and activities effectively meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

(3) Make recommendations to the Governor, the General Assembly and all state departments and agencies respecting ways to improve the administration of services for persons with disabilities, and for facilitation the implementation of new or expanded programs.

(4) Provide the Governor, the General Assembly, all interested agencies and the general public with review and comment on all state legislative proposals affecting people with disabilities,

(5) Serve as a central state clearinghouse for information and data regarding:

a. The current numbers of persons with disabilities and their needs;

b. The location, provision and availability of services and programs for persons with disabilities.

c. Any other relevant information and data about persons with disabilities which the Council deems appropriate.

(6) Prepare and submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual report of the activities of the Council and a status on services and programs for persons with disabilities.

(7) Monitor the Implementation of the final recommendations of the Governor's Task Force for the Implementation of the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals.

(c) For administrative purposes, this Council is placed within the Office of Handicapped Services in the Department of Community Affairs.

(d) This Council shall consist of the following members:

(1) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, or a designee of the Secretary;

(2) The Secretary of the Department of Labor, or a designee of the Secretary;

(3) The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, or a designee of the Secretary;

(4) The Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs, or a designee of the Secretary;

(5) The Secretary of the Department of Services to Children, Youth and Their Families, or a designee of the Secretary;

(6) The following councils and committees shall elect 1 of their members each year to serve as a member of the Council:

a. The Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens;

b. Developmental Disabilities Planning Council;

c. Governor's Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities;

d. Council on Mental Retardation;

e. Council on Mental Health;

f. Architectural Accessibility Board;

g. Council on Transportation;

h. Council on Aging;

i. Council on Public Health;

j. Council on Deaf Equality.

(7) Twelve consumers appointed by the Council Chairperson.

(e) In appointing persons under (d) (7), preference should be given to persons with disabilities, and any vacancy among the members referred to in paragraph (d) (6) of this subsection should be filled by the respective council/committee within 1 month of the vacancy.

(f) Any member who misses either 3 consecutive meetings or 4 out of any 12 consecutive meetings shall be presumed to have resigned from the Council.

(g) Members of the Council shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed by the Office of Handicapped Services, Department of Community Affairs, for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members of the Council to the extent funds are available therefor and in accordance with state law.

(h) The Council itself shall elect its own Chairperson.

(i) The Council shall determine its own meeting schedule, but there shall be not less than 4 meetings each calendar year, open to the public, held in an accessible place, and with accommodations as requested.

(j) A simple majority of the total membership shall constitute a quorum which shall be necessary to vote on any issue.

(k) As used in this section, "persons with disabilities" means any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment with the exception of the visually impaired.

(1) for purposes of this Section, the operations and activities of the Division for the Visually Impaired and the Governor's Advisory Council on the Blind shall be exempt from the purview of the State Council for Persons with Disabilities."

Approved July 18, 1990.