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AB-1170 Developmental disabilities: competitive integrated employment ombudsperson.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
AB1170:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1170


Introduced by Assembly Member Cooley

February 17, 2017


An act to add Article 8 (commencing with Section 4556) to Chapter 2 of Division 4.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to developmental disabilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1170, as introduced, Cooley. Developmental disabilities: competitive integrated employment ombudsperson.
Existing law requires the State Council on Developmental Disabilities to, among other responsibilities, form a standing Employment First Committee to identify strategies and recommend legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to increase integrated employment, as defined, self-employment, and microenterprises for persons with developmental disabilities, as specified.
This bill would establish within the State Council on Developmental Disabilities the office of the Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson. The bill would require the executive director of the council to appoint a qualified individual to serve as the ombudsperson and would specify the duties of the ombudsperson, including, among other things, the duty to serve as a resource regarding the rights and services available under the California Competitive Integrated Employment Blueprint, as defined. The bill would require the ombudsperson to submit an annual report to the Governor, the Director of Developmental Services, and the Employment First Committee of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, as specified. The bill would also specify that all communications received by the Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson in the course of his or her duties are confidential.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 8 (commencing with Section 4556) is added to Chapter 2 of Division 4.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
Article  8. Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson

4556.
 For the purposes of this article, “California Competitive Integrated Employment Blueprint” or “Blueprint” is the plan developed through the partnership of the State Department of Education, the Department of Rehabilitation, the State Department of Developmental Services, and stakeholders, under the leadership of the California Health and Human Services Agency, to increase opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities, or both, to prepare for, and participate in, competitive integrated employment.

4557.
 (a) There is hereby established within the State Council on Developmental Disabilities the office of the Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson.
(b) The executive director of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities shall appoint an individual to serve as the Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson who is qualified, by training and experience, to perform the duties of the office.
(c) The Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson shall have all of the following duties:
(1) Serve as a resource regarding the rights and services available under the California Competitive Integrated Employment Blueprint.
(2) Provide information and support in navigating and understanding the process, goals, and objectives of the Blueprint, and be the designated contact person for questions and inquiries regarding the Blueprint.
(3) Provide information, communication, problem solving suggestions, appeal resolution, and related services in resolving conflicts concerning Blueprint issues, and educate Californians on the available options for resolving these disputes.
(4) Work neutrally with all parties to help ensure that the Blueprint functions equitably as intended.
(5) Identify any patterns of complaints that emerge regarding the implementation of the Blueprint, and recommend strategies for improvement.
(6) Assist and advise the State Department of Education, the Department of Rehabilitation, and the State Department of Developmental Services in creating public information programs that educate Californians about the Blueprint and the ombudsperson’s duties regarding the Blueprint.
(7) Serve as a resource for referrals to other available programs and services that align with the goals and objectives of the Blueprint.
(d) All communications received by the Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson in the course of his or her duties are confidential.
(e) The Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson shall submit an annual report to the Governor, the Director of Developmental Services, and the Employment First Committee of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities that includes all of the following:
(1) A summary of the services provided by the ombudsperson during the prior year.
(2) An evaluation of the progress made implementing the Blueprint.
(3) A numerical breakdown and analysis of complaints received regarding the implementation of the Blueprint and their resolutions.
(4) Recommendations concerning implementation of the Blueprint.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 4556 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
In order to protect the privacy of individuals using the services of the Competitive Integrated Employment Ombudsperson and to enable him or her to effectively perform his or her duties, it is necessary that all communications received by the ombudsperson in the course of his or her duties be confidential.