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AB-959 Developmental services: regional centers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 10/05/2017 02:00 PM
AB959:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 959
CHAPTER 474

An act to amend Sections 4502.1 and 4629.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to developmental services.

[ Approved by Governor  October 04, 2017. Filed with Secretary of State  October 04, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 959, Holden. Developmental services: regional centers.
Under existing law, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, the State Department of Developmental Services is authorized to contract with regional centers to provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. Existing law requires a regional center to include specified information on its Internet Web site for the purpose of promoting transparency and access to public information, including, among other things, reports on all prior fiscal year expenditures from the regional center operations budget for all administrative services.
This bill would require the State Department of Developmental Services to establish and maintain a page on its Internet Web site that includes a list of services purchased or provided to consumers by regional centers and descriptions of those services. The bill would require a regional center to also include on its Internet Web site a link to that page on the department’s Internet Web site.
Existing law states the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to make choices in their own lives, and requires public or private agencies that receive state funds to serve persons with developmental disabilities to respect the choices made by consumers and provide consumers with understandable information to aid in their choices. Existing law also grants these rights to consumers’ parents, legal guardians, or conservators.
This bill would extend the right to make choices and have those choices respected to consumers’ authorized representatives. The bill would require regional centers to provide information to a consumer or his or her parents, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 4502.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4502.1.
 (a) The right of individuals with developmental disabilities to make choices in their own lives requires that all public or private agencies receiving state funds for the purpose of serving persons with developmental disabilities, including, but not limited to, regional centers, shall respect the choices made by a consumer or, if appropriate, the consumer’s parents, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative. Those public or private agencies shall provide consumers with opportunities to exercise decisionmaking skills in any aspect of day-to-day living and shall provide consumers with relevant information in an understandable form to aid the consumer in making his or her choice.
(b) A regional center shall provide information in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for the consumer, or, when appropriate, the consumer’s parents, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative, including providing alternative communication services, as required by Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 11135) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and the regulations implementing that article.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4629.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4629.5.
 (a) In addition to the requirements set forth in Section 4629, the department’s contract with a regional center shall require the regional center to adopt, maintain, and post on its Internet Web site a board-approved policy regarding transparency and access to public information. The transparency and public information policy shall provide for timely public access to information, including, but not limited to, information regarding requests for proposals and contract awards, service provider rates, documentation related to establishment of negotiated rates, audits, and IRS Form 990. The transparency and public information policy shall be in compliance with applicable law relating to the confidentiality of consumer service information and records, including, but not limited to, Section 4514.
(b) To promote transparency, each regional center shall include on its Internet Web site, as expeditiously as possible, at least all of the following:
(1) Regional center annual independent audits.
(2) Biannual fiscal audits conducted by the department.
(3) Regional center annual reports pursuant to Section 4639.5.
(4) Contract awards, including the organization or entity awarded the contract, and the amount and purpose of the award.
(5) Purchase of service policies.
(6) The names, types of service, and contact information of all vendors, except consumers or family members of consumers.
(7) Board meeting agendas and approved minutes of open meetings of the board and all committees of the board.
(8) Bylaws of the regional center governing board.
(9) The annual performance contract and year-end performance contract entered into with the department pursuant to this division.
(10) The biannual Home and Community-based Services Waiver program review conducted by the department and the State Department of Health Care Services.
(11) The board-approved transparency and public information policy.
(12) The board-approved conflict-of-interest policy.
(13) Reports required pursuant to Section 4639.5.
(14) A link to the page on the department’s Internet Web site specified in subdivision (d).
(c) The department shall establish and maintain a transparency portal on its Internet Web site that allows consumers, families, advocates, and others to access provider and regional center information. Posted information on the department’s Internet Web site transparency portal shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) A link to each regional center’s Internet Web site information referenced in subdivision (b).
(2) Biannual fiscal audits conducted by the department.
(3) Vendor audits.
(4) Biannual Home and Community-based Services Waiver program reviews conducted by the department and the State Department of Health Care Services.
(5) Biannual targeted case management program and federal nursing home reform program reviews conducted by the department.
(6) Early Start Program reviews conducted by the department.
(7) Annual performance contract and year-end performance contract reports.
(d) The department shall establish and maintain a page on its Internet Web site that includes both a list of services purchased by regional centers or provided directly to consumers by regional centers and a brief description of those services.