Code Section Group

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 4.5. SERVICES FOR THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED [4500 - 4885]

  ( Division 4.5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252. )

CHAPTER 5. Regional Centers for Persons With Developmental Disabilities [4620 - 4669.75]

  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252. )

ARTICLE 1. Regional Center Contracts [4620 - 4639.75]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252. )

4620.
  

(a) In order for the state to carry out many of its responsibilities as established in this division, the state shall contract with appropriate agencies to provide fixed points of contact in the community for persons with developmental disabilities and their families, to the end that these persons may have access to the services and supports best suited to them throughout their lifetime. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this division that the network of regional centers for persons with developmental disabilities and their families be accessible to every family in need of regional center services. It is the further intent of the Legislature that the design and activities of regional centers reflect a strong commitment to the delivery of direct service coordination and that all other operational expenditures of regional centers are necessary to support and enhance the delivery of direct service coordination and services and supports identified in individual program plans.

(b) The Legislature finds that the service provided to individuals and their families by regional centers is of such a special and unique nature that it cannot be satisfactorily provided by state agencies. Therefore, private nonprofit community agencies shall be utilized by the state for the purpose of operating regional centers.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1011, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1993.)

4620.1.
  

The Legislature recognizes the ongoing contributions many parents and family members make to the support and well-being of their children and relatives with developmental disabilities. It is the intent of the Legislature that the important nature of these relationships be respected and fostered by regional centers and providers of direct services and supports.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1011, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1993.)

4620.2.
  

(a) The State Department of Developmental Services, after consultation with stakeholder groups, shall develop a system of enrollment fees, copayments, or both, to be assessed against the parents of each child between the ages of three and 17 years who lives in the parent’s home and receives services purchased through a regional center. This system shall be submitted to the Legislature on or before April 1, 2004, immediately prior to the fiscal year in which the system is to be implemented, and as a part of the Governor’s proposed 2004–05 budget or subsequent legislation.

(b) The department, after consultation with stakeholder groups, shall submit a detailed plan for implementing a parental copayment system for children receiving services purchased through a regional center. This plan shall be submitted to the Legislature by April 1, 2004.

(c) The plan submitted on or before April 1, 2004, pursuant to subdivision (b), and any resources requested in the 2004–05 Governor’s Budget and related authority may be subsequently modified during the legislative review process.

(d) The parental copayment system shall only be applicable to families that have adjusted gross family incomes of over 200 percent of the federal poverty level and that have a child who meets all of the following criteria:

(1) The child is receiving services purchased through a regional center.

(2) The child is living at home.

(3) The child is not otherwise eligible to receive services provided under the Medi-Cal program.

(4) The child is at least three years of age and not more than 17 years of age.

(e) The department’s plan shall address, at a minimum all of the following components for the development of a parental copayment system:

(1) Description of the families and children affected, including those families with more than one child as described under subdivision (d).

(2) Privacy issues and potential safeguards regarding the families’ income, the children’s regional center clinical records, and related matters.

(3) Schedule of parental copayments and any other related assessments, and criteria or service thresholds for which these copayments and assessments are based.

(4) The options for a sliding scale for the schedule of parental copayments based on family income and family size.

(5) Proposed limits on parental cost sharing.

(6) An exemption process for families who are experiencing financial hardships and may need deferral or waiver of any copayments or assessments.

(7) An appeal process for families who may dispute the level of copayment or assessments for which they are billed.

(8) The specific methods and processes to be used by the department, regional centers, or other responsible party, for the collection of all parental copayments and assessments.

(9) Any potentials for the disruption of services to applicable regional center consumers due to the implementation of a parental copayment system.

(10) The estimated amount of revenues to be collected and any applicable assumptions made for making this determination.

(11) Any estimate related to a slowing of the trend in the growth for regional center services due to the implementation of a parental copayment system.

(12) A comparison to how the State Department of Health Services and other state agencies utilize personal information to manage the delivery of benefits and assessment of copayments.

(13) A recommendation on whether the parental copayment system should be centralized at the department or decentralized in the regional centers and the basis for this recommendation.

(14) The estimated cost for implementing a parental copayment system, including any costs associated with consultant contracts, state personnel, revenue collection, computer system processing, regional center operations, or any other cost factor that would need to be included in order to capture all estimated costs for implementation.

(15) The timeframe for which the parental copayment system is to be implemented.

(f) (1) In order for the department to develop a detailed plan for the implementation of a parental copayment system, the department shall collect information from selected families. In order to be cost efficient and prudent regarding the collection of information, the department may conduct a survey of only those families known to have children not eligible for the Medi-Cal program. The survey instrument may only be used for the sole purpose of obtaining information that is deemed necessary for the development of a parental copayment system, including the following:

(A) A family’s annual adjusted gross family income.

(B) The number of family members dependent on that income.

(C) The number of children who meet the criteria specified in subdivision (d).

(2) Results of the survey in the aggregate shall be provided to the Legislature as part of the department’s plan as required by subdivision (a).

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 230, Sec. 47. Effective August 11, 2003.)

4620.3.
  

(a) To provide more uniformity and consistency in the administrative practices and services of regional centers throughout the state, promote appropriateness of services, maximize efficiency of funding, address the state budget deficit, ensure consistency with Lanterman Act values, maintain the entitlement to services, and improve cost-effectiveness, the department, in collaboration with stakeholders, shall develop best practices for the administrative management of regional centers and for regional centers to use when purchasing services for consumers and families.

(b) In developing regional center administrative management best practices, the department shall consider the establishment of policies and procedures to ensure prudent fiscal and program management by regional centers; effective and efficient use of public resources; consistent practices to maximize the use of federal funds; detection and prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse; and proper contracting protocols.

(c) In developing purchase of services best practices, the department shall consider eligibility for the service; duration of service necessary to meet objectives set in an individual program plan; frequency and efficacy of the service necessary to meet objectives in an individual program plan; impact on community integration; service providers’ qualifications and performance; rates; parental and consumer responsibilities pursuant to Sections 4646.4, 4659, 4677, 4782, 4783, and 4784 of this code and Section 95004 of the Government Code; and self-directed service options.

(d) The department shall ensure that implementation of best practices that impact individual services and supports are made through the individual program planning process as provided for in this division or an individualized family service plan pursuant to Section 95020 of the Government Code, and that consumers and families are notified of any exceptions or exemptions to the best practices and their appeal rights established in Section 4701.

(e) Purchase of services best practices developed pursuant to this section may vary by service category and may do all of the following:

(1) Establish criteria determining the type, scope, amount, duration, location, and intensity of services and supports purchased by regional centers for consumers and their families.

(2) Modify payment rates.

(3) Reflect family and consumer responsibilities, pursuant to Sections 4646.4, 4659, 4677, 4782, 4783, and 4784 of this code and Section 95004 of the Government Code.

(f) Purchase of services best practices shall include provisions for exceptions to ensure the health and safety of the consumer or to avoid out-of-home placement or institutionalization.

(g) Best practices developed pursuant to this section shall not do either of the following:

(1) Endanger a consumer’s health or safety.

(2) Compromise the state’s ability to meet its commitments to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for participation in the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver or other federal funding of services for persons with developmental disabilities.

(h) The department shall submit the proposed best practices to the fiscal and applicable policy committees of the Legislature by no later than May 15, 2011. This submission shall include a description of the process followed to collaborate with system stakeholders; the anticipated impact of the best practices, coupled with prior reductions on consumers, families, and providers; estimated cost savings associated with each practice; and draft statutory language necessary to implement the best practices. Implementation of the best practices shall take effect only upon subsequent legislative enactment.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 9, Sec. 1. (SB 74) Effective March 24, 2011.)

4621.
  

The department, within the limitations of funds appropriated, shall contract with appropriate private nonprofit corporations for the establishment of regional centers.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any contract entered into pursuant to this section may provide for periodic advance payments for services to be performed under such contract. No advance payment made pursuant to this section shall exceed 25 percent of the total annual contract amount.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

4621.5.
  

Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 1 of Chapter 501 of the Statutes of 1971, the department shall, within the limitations of funds appropriated, contract with an appropriate private nonprofit corporation or corporations to operate regional centers as follows:

(a) One regional center to serve the Counties of Inyo, Kern, and Mono.

(b) One regional center to serve the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 364, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1994.)

4622.
  

The state shall contract only with agencies, the governing boards of which conform to all of the following criteria:

(a) The governing board shall be composed of individuals with demonstrated interest in, or knowledge of, developmental disabilities.

(b) The membership of the governing board shall include persons with legal, management or board governance, financial, and developmental disability program expertise. Board governance expertise may not be acquired solely by serving on a regional center board. The governing board of the regional center shall include members with financial expertise and members with management or board governance expertise by August 15, 2020.

(c) The membership of the governing board shall include representatives of the various categories of disability to be served by the regional center.

(d) The governing board shall reflect the geographic and ethnic characteristics of the area to be served by the regional center.

(e) A minimum of 50 percent of the members of the governing board shall be persons with developmental disabilities or their parents or legal guardians. No less than 25 percent of the members of the governing board shall be persons with developmental disabilities.

(f) Members of the governing board shall not be permitted to serve more than seven years within each eight-year period.

(g) (1) The regional center shall provide necessary training and support to these board members to facilitate their understanding and participation, including issues relating to linguistic and cultural competency.

(2) As part of its monitoring responsibility, the department shall review and approve the method by which training and support are provided to board members to ensure maximum understanding and participation by board members.

(3) Each regional center shall post on its internet website information regarding the training and support provided to board members.

(h) The governing board may appoint a consumers’ advisory committee composed of persons with developmental disabilities representing the various categories of disability served by the regional center.

(i) The governing board shall appoint an advisory committee composed of a wide variety of persons representing the various categories of providers from which the regional center purchases client services. The advisory committee shall provide advice, guidance, recommendations, and technical assistance to the regional center board in order to assist the regional center in carrying out its mandated functions. The advisory committee shall designate one of its members to serve as a member of the regional center board.

(j) (1) The governing board shall annually review the performance of the director of the regional center.

(2) The governing board shall annually review the performance of the regional center in providing services that are linguistically and culturally appropriate and may provide recommendations to the director of the regional center based on the results of that review.

(k) No member of the board who is an employee or member of the governing board of a provider from which the regional center purchases client services shall do any of the following:

(1) Serve as an officer of the board.

(2) Vote on any fiscal matter affecting the purchase of services from any regional center provider.

(3) Vote on any issue other than as described in paragraph (2), in which the member has a financial interest, as defined in Section 87103 of the Government Code, and determined by the regional center board. The member shall provide a list of the member’s financial interests, as defined in Section 87103, to the regional center board.

Nothing in this section shall prevent the appointment to a regional center governing board of a person who meets the criteria for more than one of the categories listed above.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 28, Sec. 12. (SB 81) Effective June 27, 2019.)

4622.5.
  

By August 15 of each year, the governing board of each regional center shall submit to the department detailed documentation, as determined by the department, demonstrating that the composition of the board is in compliance with Section 4622. If the composition of the governing board is not in compliance with Section 4622, the governing board shall submit a plan to the department with its board composition documentation setting forth how and, in as expeditious a manner as possible, when the board will come into compliance, in part or in whole, with Section 4622.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 28, Sec. 13. (SB 81) Effective June 27, 2019.)

4623.
  

In the event that the governing board of the regional center is not composed of individuals as specified in subdivisions (a) to (f), inclusive, of Section 4622, such governing board shall establish a program policy committee which is composed of such individuals. The program policy committee shall appoint one of its members to serve as an ex officio member of the governing board.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

4624.
  

When the governing board of the regional center is not composed of individuals as specified in subdivisions (a) to (f), inclusive, of Section 4622, the program policy committee to the regional center shall be responsible for establishing the program policies of the regional center. All program policies adopted by a program policy committee shall conform to the provisions of this division and the contract between the department and the governing board.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

4625.
  

The department shall not contract with any new regional center contracting agency unless the governing board of the agency is composed of individuals as specified in subdivisions (a) to (f), inclusive, of Section 4622.

This section shall become operative on July 1, 1999.

(Repealed (in Sec. 14) and added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 414, Sec. 14.5. Effective September 22, 1997. Section operative July 1, 1999, by its own provisions.)

4625.5.
  

(a) The governing board of each regional center shall adopt and maintain a written policy requiring the board to review and approve any regional center contract of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more, before entering into the contract.

(b) No regional center contract of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more shall be valid unless approved by the governing board of the regional center in compliance with its written policy pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) For purposes of this section, contracts do not include vendor approval letters issued by regional centers pursuant to Section 54322 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 9, Sec. 3. (SB 74) Effective March 24, 2011.)

4625.6.
  

To ensure the delivery of independent legal advice, an attorney retained or employed by the governing board of the regional center to provide legal services shall not be an employee of the regional center.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 28, Sec. 14. (SB 81) Effective June 27, 2019.)

4625.7.
  

The governing board of a regional center shall meet with representatives of the department upon a request by the Director of Developmental Services, and, if requested, the board shall exclude regional center employees from the meeting. The governing board shall meet with the department’s representatives without preconditions for the meeting and at a time and date determined by the department. Not infringing on the department’s authority otherwise provided in this section, at the department’s discretion, efforts shall be made to meet with a governing board of a regional center at a mutually agreed-upon time, date, and place, with the goal of promoting attendance by board members.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 28, Sec. 15. (SB 81) Effective June 27, 2019.)

4626.
  

(a) The department shall give a very high priority to ensuring that regional center board members and employees act in the course of their duties solely in the best interest of the regional center consumers and their families without regard to the interests of any other organization with which they are associated or persons to whom they are related. Board members, employees, and others acting on the regional center’s behalf, as defined in regulations issued by the department, shall be free from conflicts of interest that could adversely influence their judgment, objectivity, or loyalty to the regional center, its consumers, or its mission.

(b) In order to prevent potential conflicts of interest, a member of the governing board or member of the program policy committee of a regional center shall not be any of the following:

(1) An employee of the State Department of Developmental Services or any state or local agency that provides services to a regional center consumer, if employed in a capacity which includes administrative or policymaking responsibility, or responsibility for the regulation of the regional center.

(2) An employee or a member of the state council or a state council regional advisory committee.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (h) of Section 4622, an employee or member of the governing board of any entity from which the regional center purchases consumer services.

(4) Any person who has a financial interest, as defined in Section 87103 of the Government Code, in regional center operations, except as a consumer of regional center services.

(c) A person with a developmental disability who receives employment services through a regional center provider shall not be precluded from serving on the governing board of a regional center based solely upon receipt of these employment services.

(d) The department shall ensure that no regional center employee or board member has a conflict of interest with an entity that receives regional center funding, including, but not limited to, a nonprofit housing organization and an organization qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, that actively functions in a supporting relationship to the regional center.

(e) The department shall develop and publish a standard conflict-of-interest reporting statement. The conflict-of-interest statement shall be completed by each regional center governing board member and each regional center employee specified in regulations, including, at a minimum, the executive director, every administrator, every program director, every service coordinator, and every employee who has decisionmaking or policymaking authority or authority to obligate the regional center’s resources.

(f) Every new regional center governing board member and regional center executive director shall complete and file the conflict-of-interest statement described in subdivision (e) with his or her respective governing board within 30 days of being selected, appointed, or elected. Every new regional center employee referenced in subdivision (e) and every current regional center employee referenced in subdivision (e) accepting a new position within the regional center shall complete and file the conflict-of-interest statement with his or her respective regional center within 30 days of assuming the position.

(g) Every regional center board member and regional center employee referenced in subdivision (e) shall complete and file the conflict-of-interest statement by August 1 of each year.

(h) Every regional center board member and regional center employee referenced in subdivision (e) shall complete and file a subsequent conflict-of-interest statement upon any change in status that creates a potential or present conflict of interest. For the purposes of this subdivision, a change in status includes, but is not limited to, a change in financial interests, legal commitment, regional center or board position or duties, or both, or outside position or duties, or both, whether compensated or not.

(i) The governing board shall submit a copy of the completed conflict-of-interest statements of the governing board members and the regional center executive director to the department within 10 days of receipt of the statements.

(j) A person who knowingly provides false information on a conflict-of-interest statement required by this section shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), in addition to any civil remedies available to the department. An action for a civil penalty under this provision may be brought by the department or any public prosecutor in the name of the people of the State of California.

(k) The director of the regional center shall review the conflict-of-interest statement of each regional center employee referenced in subdivision (e) within 10 days of receipt of the statement. If a potential or present conflict of interest is identified for a regional center employee that cannot be eliminated, the regional center shall, within 30 days of receipt of the statement, submit to the department a copy of the conflict-of-interest statement and a plan that proposes mitigation measures, including timeframes and actions the regional center or the employee, or both, will take to mitigate the conflict of interest.

(l) The department and the regional center governing board shall review the conflict-of-interest statement of the regional center executive director and each regional center board member to ensure that no conflicts of interest exist. If a present or potential conflict of interest is identified for a regional center director or a board member that cannot be eliminated, the regional center governing board shall, within 30 days of receipt of the statement, submit to the department and the state council a copy of the conflict-of-interest statement and a plan that proposes mitigation measures, including timeframes and actions the regional center governing board or the individual, or both, will take to mitigate the conflict of interest.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 409, Sec. 39. (AB 1595) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4626.5.
  

Each regional center shall submit a conflict-of-interest policy to the department by July 1, 2011, and shall post the policy on its Internet Web site by August 1, 2011. The policy shall do, or comply with, all of the following:

(a) Contain the elements of this section and be consistent with applicable law.

(b) Define conflicts of interest.

(c) Identify positions within the regional center required to complete and file a conflict-of-interest statement.

(d) Facilitate disclosure of information to identify conflicts of interest.

(e) Require candidates for nomination, election, or appointment to a regional center board, and applicants for regional center director to disclose any potential or present conflicts of interest prior to being appointed, elected, or confirmed for hire by the regional center or the regional center governing board.

(f) Require the regional center and its governing board to regularly and consistently monitor and enforce compliance with its conflict-of-interest policy.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 9, Sec. 5. (SB 74) Effective March 24, 2011.)

4627.
  

(a) The director of the department shall adopt and enforce conflict-of-interest regulations to ensure that members of the governing board, program policy committee, and employees of the regional center make decisions with respect to the regional centers that are in the best interests of the center’s consumers and families.

(b) The department shall monitor and ensure the regional centers’ compliance with this section and Sections 4626 and 4626.5. Failure to disclose information pursuant to these sections and related regulations may be considered grounds for removal from the board or for termination of employment.

(c) The department shall adopt regulations to develop standard conflict-of-interest reporting requirements.

(d) The department shall adopt emergency regulations to implement this section and Sections 4626 and 4626.5 by May 1, 2011. The adoption, amendment, repeal, or readoption of a regulation authorized by this section is deemed to be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.9 of the Government Code, and the department is hereby exempted from that requirement. For purposes of subdivision (e) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code, the 120-day period, as applicable to the effective period of an emergency regulatory action and submission of specified materials to the Office of Administrative Law, is hereby extended to 180 days.

(e) The department shall adopt regulations to implement the terms of subdivision (d) through the regular rulemaking process pursuant to Sections 11346 and 11349.1 of the Government Code within 18 months of the adoption of emergency regulations pursuant to subdivision (d).

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 9, Sec. 6. (SB 74) Effective March 24, 2011.)

4628.
  

If, for good reason, a contracting agency is unable to meet all the criteria for a governing board established in this chapter, the director may waive those criteria for a period of time, not to exceed one year, with the approval of the state council.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 409, Sec. 40. (AB 1595) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4629.
  

(a) The state shall enter into five-year contracts with regional centers, subject to the annual appropriation of funds by the Legislature.

(b) The contracts shall include a provision requiring each regional center to render services in accordance with applicable provision of state laws and regulations.

(c) (1) The contracts shall include annual performance objectives that the department determines are necessary to ensure each regional center is complying with the requirement specified in subdivision (b), including, but not limited to, objectives that do both of the following:

(A) Be specific, measurable, and designed to do all of the following:

(i) Assist consumers to achieve life quality outcomes.

(ii) Achieve meaningful progress above the current baselines.

(iii) Develop services and supports identified as necessary to meet identified needs, including culturally and linguistically appropriate services and supports.

(iv) Measure progress in reducing disparities and improving equity in purchase of service expenditures.

(v) Measure progress, and report outcomes, in implementing the Employment First Policy, which may include, but are not limited to, measures addressing both of the following:

(I) Establishment of local partnership agreements between regional centers, local educational agencies, and the Department of Rehabilitation districts.

(II) The provision of information to consumers regarding the Employment First Policy, opportunities for employment, and available supports to achieve integrated competitive employment.

(B) Be developed through a public process as described in the department’s guidelines that includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(i) Providing information, in an understandable form, to the community about regional center services and supports, including budget information and baseline data on services and supports and regional center operations.

(ii) Conducting a public meeting where participants can provide input on performance objectives and using focus groups or surveys to collect information from the community.

(iii) Circulating a draft of the performance objectives to the community for input prior to presentation at a regional center board meeting where additional public input will be taken and considered before adoption of the objectives.

(2) In addition to the performance objectives developed pursuant to this section, the department may specify in the performance contract additional areas of service and support that require development or enhancement by the regional center. In determining those areas, the department shall consider public comments from individuals and organizations within the regional center catchment area, the distribution of services and supports within the regional center catchment area, and review how the availability of services and supports in the regional area catchment area compares with other regional center catchment areas.

(d) Each contract with a regional center shall specify steps to be taken to ensure contract compliance, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Incentives that encourage regional centers to meet or exceed performance standards.

(2) Levels of probationary status for regional centers that do not meet, or are at risk of not meeting, performance standards. The department shall require that corrective action be taken by any regional center that is placed on probation. Corrective action may include, but is not limited to, mandated consultation with designated representatives of the Association of Regional Center Agencies or a management team designated by the department, or both. The department shall establish the specific timeline for the implementation of corrective action and monitor its implementation. When a regional center is placed on probation, the department shall provide the state council and the clients’ rights advocacy contractor identified in Section 4433 with a copy of the correction plan, timeline, and any other action taken by the department relating to the probationary status of the regional center.

(e) In order to evaluate the regional center’s compliance with its contract performance objectives and legal obligations related to those objectives, the department shall do both of the following:

(1) Annually assess each regional center’s achievement of its previous year’s objectives and make the assessment, including baseline data and performance objectives of the individual regional centers, available to the public. The department may make a special commendation of the regional centers that have best engaged the community in the development of contract performance objectives and have made the most meaningful progress in meeting or exceeding contract performance objectives.

(2) Regularly monitor the activities of the regional center to ensure compliance with the provisions of its contracts, including, but not limited to, reviewing all of the following:

(A) The regional center’s public process for compliance with the procedures set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c).

(B) Each regional center’s performance objectives for compliance with the criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (c).

(C) Any public comments on regional center performance objectives sent to the department or to the regional centers, and soliciting public input on the public process and final performance standards.

(f) (1) Beginning May 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, each regional center’s governing board shall hold one or more public meetings regarding its prior year’s contract performance objectives and outcomes. The meetings may be held separately from meetings held pursuant to Section 4660. The regional center shall provide individuals attending these meetings with data and any associated information to facilitate discussion and community input. Regional centers shall inform the department that a meeting has been scheduled at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Notice of the meetings shall also be posted on the regional center’s internet website at least 30 days prior to the meeting and shall be sent to regional center consumers and families and individual stakeholders at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Each regional center, in holding the meetings required by this subdivision, shall ensure that the meetings and meeting materials provide language access, as required by state and federal law, and shall schedule the meetings at times and locations designed to promote attendance by the public. To encourage participation by diverse language, racial, and ethnic communities, the regional center shall consider strategies to promote opportunities for public comment.

(2) Each regional center governing board shall report to the department regarding the outcomes of each public meeting held pursuant to paragraph (1) within 90 days of the meeting. The report shall include, but shall not be limited to, both of the following:

(A) Copies of minutes from each meeting and comments obtained from other strategies utilized to provide opportunities for public comment from diverse language, racial, and ethnic communities.

(B) The regional center’s recommendations and a plan to address areas where improvement is needed.

(g) The renewal of each contract shall be contingent upon compliance with the contract, including, but not limited to, the performance objectives and achievement of sufficient progress towards meeting the requirements of any corrective action plan imposed by the state, as determined through the department’s evaluation.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 28, Sec. 16. (SB 81) Effective June 27, 2019.)

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 website 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 website, 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 and any other policies, guidelines, or regional center-developed assessment tools used to determine the transportation, personal assistant, or independent or supported living service needs of a consumer.

(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 yearend 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 website, specified in subdivision (d).

(15) The salaries, wages, and employee benefits for all managerial positions for which the primary purpose is the administrative management of the regional center, including, but not limited to, directors and chief executive officers.

(16) Regional center-specific reports generated pursuant to, and for the purposes of, subdivision (h) of Section 4571.

(c) The department shall establish and maintain a transparency portal on its internet website that allows consumers, families, advocates, and others to access provider and regional center information. Posted information on the department’s internet website transparency portal shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) A link to each regional center’s internet website 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 website 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.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 28, Sec. 17. (SB 81) Effective June 27, 2019.)

4629.7.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all regional center contracts or agreements with service providers in which rates are determined through negotiations between the regional center and the service provider shall expressly require that not more than 15 percent of regional center funds be spent on administrative costs. For purposes of this subdivision, direct service expenditures are those costs immediately associated with the services to consumers being offered by the provider. Funds spent on direct services shall not include any administrative costs. Administrative costs include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

(1) Salaries, wages, and employee benefits for managerial personnel whose primary purpose is the administrative management of the entity, including, but not limited to, directors and chief executive officers.

(2) Salaries, wages, and benefits of employees who perform administrative functions, including, but not limited to, payroll management, personnel functions, accounting, budgeting, and facility management.

(3) Facility and occupancy costs, directly associated with administrative functions.

(4) Maintenance and repair.

(5) Data processing and computer support services.

(6) Contract and procurement activities, except those provided by a direct service employee.

(7) Training directly associated with administrative functions.

(8) Travel directly associated with administrative functions.

(9) Licenses directly associated with administrative functions.

(10) Taxes.

(11) Interest.

(12) Property insurance.

(13) Personal liability insurance directly associated with administrative functions.

(14) Depreciation.

(15) General expenses, including, but not limited to, communication costs and supplies directly associated with administrative functions.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all contracts between the department and the regional centers shall require that not more than 15 percent of all funds appropriated through the regional center’s operations budget shall be spent on administrative costs. For purposes of this subdivision, “direct services” includes, but is not limited to, service coordination, assessment and diagnosis, monitoring of consumer services, quality assurance, and clinical services. Funds spent on direct services shall not include any administrative costs. For purposes of this subdivision, administrative costs include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

(1) Salaries, wages, and employee benefits for managerial personnel whose primary purpose is the administrative management of the regional center, including, but not limited to, directors and chief executive officers.

(2) Salaries, wages, and benefits of employees who perform administrative functions, including, but not limited to, payroll management, personnel functions, accounting, budgeting, auditing, and facility management.

(3) Facility and occupancy costs, directly associated with administrative functions.

(4) Maintenance and repair.

(5) Data processing and computer support services.

(6) Contract and procurement activities, except those performed by direct service employees.

(7) Training directly associated with administrative functions.

(8) Travel directly associated with administrative functions.

(9) Licenses directly associated with administrative functions.

(10) Taxes.

(11) Interest.

(12) Property insurance.

(13) Personal liability insurance directly associated with administrative functions.

(14) Depreciation.

(15) General expenses, including, but not limited to, communication costs and supplies directly associated with administrative functions.

(c) Consistent with subdivision (a), service providers and contractors, upon request, shall provide regional centers with access to any books, documents, papers, computerized data, source documents, consumer records, or other records pertaining to the service providers’ and contractors’ negotiated rates.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 9, Sec. 8. (SB 74) Effective March 24, 2011.)

4630.
  

The contract between the state and the contracting agency shall not:

(a) Require information that violates client confidentiality.

(b) Prevent a regional center from employing innovative programs, techniques, or staffing arrangements which may reasonably be expected to enhance program effectiveness.

(c) Contain provisions which impinge upon the legal rights of private corporations chartered under California statutes.

(d) Prevent the right of employees of a regional center to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the state’s authority to contract within available funds pursuant to Section 4621 or to obligate the state to appropriate funds in excess of those appropriated in the then current Budget Act.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 931.)

4631.
  

(a) In order to provide to the greatest extent practicable a larger degree of uniformity and consistency in the services, funding, and administrative practices of regional centers throughout the state, the State Department of Developmental Services shall, in consultation with the regional centers, adopt regulations prescribing a uniform accounting system, a uniform budgeting and encumbrancing system, a systematic approach to administrative practices and procedures, and a uniform reporting system which shall include:

(1) Number and costs of diagnostic services provided by each regional center.

(2) Number and costs of services by service category purchased by each regional center.

(3) All other administrative costs of each regional center.

(b) The department’s contract with a regional center shall require strict accountability and reporting of all revenues and expenditures, and strict accountability and reporting as to the effectiveness of the regional center in carrying out its program and fiscal responsibilities as established herein.

(c) The Director of Developmental Services shall publish a report of the financial status of all regional centers and their operations by February 28 of each year. At a minimum, the report shall include each regional center’s budget and actual expenditures for the previous fiscal year and each center’s budget and projected expenditures for the current fiscal year.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 171, Sec. 23. Effective August 10, 2001.)

4632.
  

If the department and a regional center are unable to resolve any contract dispute, including disputes between the regional center and the department over whether a contract should be renewed or continued, either party may request the state council to review and advise with regard to the issues in dispute. The state council shall review and shall provide its advice in writing within 30 days of receiving a request for such review and advice. Copies of the state council’s advice shall be transmitted to the Director of Developmental Services and the governing board of the regional center. The state council’s advice shall not be binding upon either party.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 399, Sec. 1. Effective July 7, 1982.)

4633.
  

If the department or any regional center intends to adopt any material change in policy which will have a direct effect upon the contract between the state and the regional center, the department or the regional center shall give at least 30 days’ notice of an intent to change policy, and, if necessary, the contract between the state and such regional center shall be amended. The department shall not require regional centers to provide or purchase any services beyond the level of the funding appropriation for such services. If the department should alter the rates of payments to providers, the regional center budget shall be adjusted accordingly.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

4634.
  

Contracts between the department and regional center shall be presented for final negotiation to regional center governing boards at least 90 days’ prior to the effective date of such contracts. A regional center shall not be expected to perform functions not specified in the contract without a revision of such contract.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

4635.
  

(a) If any regional center finds that it is unable to comply with the requirements of this division or its contract with the state, the regional center shall be responsible for informing the department immediately that it does not expect to fulfill its contractual obligations. Failure to provide the notification to the department in a timely manner shall constitute grounds for possible revocation or nonrenewal of the contract. If any regional center makes a decision to cancel or not renew its contract with the department, the regional center shall give a minimum of 90 days’ written notice of its decision.

(b) (1) If the department finds that any regional center is not fulfilling its contractual obligations, the department shall make reasonable efforts to resolve the problem within a reasonable period of time with the cooperation of the regional center, including the action described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 4629 or renegotiation of the contract.

(2) If the department’s efforts to resolve the problem are not successful, the department shall issue a letter of noncompliance. The letter of noncompliance shall state the noncompliant activities and establish a specific timeline for the development and implementation of a corrective action plan. The department shall approve the plan and monitor its implementation. Letters of noncompliance shall be made available to the public upon request. The letter of noncompliance shall not include privileged or confidential consumer information or information that would violate the privacy rights of regional center board members or employees. The department shall notify the state council and shall provide the state council with a copy of the corrective action plan, the timeline, and any other action taken by the department relating to the requirements for corrective action.

(c) If the department finds that any regional center continues to fail in fulfilling its contractual obligations after reasonable efforts have been made, and finds that other regional centers are able to fulfill similar obligations under similar contracts, and finds that it will be in the best interest of the persons being served by the regional center, the department shall take steps to terminate the contract and to negotiate with another governing board to provide regional center services in the area. These findings may also constitute grounds for possible nonrenewal of the contract in addition to, or in lieu of, other grounds.

(d) If the department makes a decision to cancel or not renew its contract with the regional center, the department shall give a minimum of 90 days’ written notice of its decision, unless it has determined that the 90 days’ notice would jeopardize the health or safety of the regional center’s consumers, or constitutes willful misuse of state funds, as determined by the Attorney General. Within 14 days after receipt of the notice, the regional center may make a written protest to the department of the decision to terminate or not renew the contract. In that case, the department shall: (1) arrange to meet with the regional center and the state council within 30 days after receipt of the protest to discuss the decision and to provide its rationale for the termination or nonrenewal of the contract, and to discuss any feasible alternatives to termination or nonrenewal, including the possibility of offering a limited term contract of less than one fiscal year; and (2) initiate the procedures for resolving disputes contained in Section 4632. To the extent allowable under state and federal law, any outstanding audit exceptions or other deficiency reports, appeals, or protests shall be made available and subject to discussion at the meeting arranged under clause (1).

(e) When terminating or not renewing a regional center contract and negotiating with another governing board for a regional center contract, the department shall do all of the following:

(1) Notify the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, all personnel employed by the regional center, all service providers to the regional center, and all consumers of the regional center informing them that it proposes to terminate or not renew the contract with the regional center, and that the state will continue to fulfill its obligations to ensure a continuity of services, as required by state law, through a contract with a new governing board.

(2) Issue a request for proposals prior to selecting and negotiating with another governing board for a regional center contract. The state council shall review all proposals and make recommendations to the department.

(3) Request the state council and any other community agencies to assist the state by locating or organizing a new governing board to contract with the department to operate the regional center in the area. The state council shall cooperate with the department when that assistance is requested.

(4) Provide any assistance that may be required to ensure that the transfer of responsibility to a new regional center will be accomplished with minimum disruption to the clients of the service program.

(f) In no event shall the procedures for termination or nonrenewal of a regional center contract limit or abridge the state’s authority to contract with any duly authorized organization for the purpose of service delivery, nor shall these procedures be interpreted to represent a continued contractual obligation beyond the limits of any fiscal year contract.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 409, Sec. 42. (AB 1595) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4636.
  

If necessary, to avoid disruption of the service program, the department may directly operate a regional center during the interim period between the termination of its contract with one governing board and the assumption of operating responsibility by a regional center contract with another governing board. In no event shall the department directly operate a regional center program for longer than 120 days before contracting with a new governing board. The department may, if requested by the new governing board, continue to provide additional assistance to avoid disruption of the service program, until such time as the governing board has assumed full responsibility for the operation of the program.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

4638.
  

Non-profit corporations operating regional centers shall not use state funds allocated to the corporation for operating the center for activities directly related to influencing employees of the center regarding their decision to organize or not to organize and to form a union or to join an existing union because these activities are not directly related to the purchase of services to clients. State funds shall not be used for these activities by the officers or employees of the corporation itself, by the officers or employees of the regional center, or by an independent contractor, consultant or attorney.

State funds shall not be used to litigate the issue of the application of the National Labor Relations Act to, nor the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board over, non-profit corporations operating regional centers.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the employers rights under Section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act. Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the use of state funds by the regional center in the employment of, or for contracting for, assistance in good faith collective bargaining or in handling employee grievances, including arbitration, under an employee-employer contract.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 327, Sec. 200. Effective June 30, 1982.)

4639.
  

(a) The governing board of a regional center shall annually contract with an independent accounting firm for an audited financial statement. The audit report and accompanying management letter shall be reviewed and approved by the regional center board and submitted to the department within 60 days of completion and before April 1 of each year. Upon submission to the department, the audit report and accompanying management letter shall be made available to the public by the regional center. It is the intent of the Legislature that no additional funds be appropriated for this purpose.

(b) For the 2011–12 fiscal year and subsequent years, the audit specified in subdivision (a) shall not be completed by the same accounting firm more than five times in every 10 years.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 9, Sec. 9. (SB 74) Effective March 24, 2011.)

4639.5.
  

(a) By December 1 of each year, each regional center shall provide a listing to the State Department of Developmental Services a complete current salary schedule for all personnel classifications used by the regional center. The information shall be provided in a format prescribed by the department. The department shall provide this information to the public upon request. From February 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, inclusive, the requirements of this subdivision shall not apply.

(b) By December 1 of each year, each regional center shall report information to the department on all prior fiscal year expenditures from the regional center operations budget for all administrative services, including managerial, consultant, accounting, personnel, labor relations, and legal services, whether procured under a written contract or otherwise. Expenditures for the maintenance, repair, or purchase of equipment or property shall not be required to be reported for purposes of this subdivision. The report shall be prepared in a format prescribed by the department and shall include, at a minimum, for each recipient the amount of funds expended, the type of service, and purpose of the expenditure. The department shall provide this information to the public upon request. Regional centers shall not be required to prepare or submit the report required by this subdivision in 2009.

(c) Beginning July 1, 2016, and to the extent funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act for this purpose, the department shall allocate thirty-one million one hundred thousand dollars ($31,100,000), plus any associated matching funds, to provide a salary increase, benefit increase, or both, excluding unfunded retirement liabilities, for regional center operations. Of this amount, twenty-nine million seven hundred thousand dollars ($29,700,000) shall be used for salary, benefit increases, or both, for regional center staff, and shall not supplant funding currently scheduled to be used for this purpose. These funds shall not be used to provide salary or benefit increases to regional center executive staff or for unfunded retirement liabilities. The remaining one million four hundred thousand dollars ($1,400,000) shall be used for an increase for administrative costs, consistent with those specified in subdivision (b) of Section 4629.7, for both regional centers and clients’ rights advocates contracts pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4433. Regional centers shall maintain documentation, subject to audit, on how this funding was allocated.

(d) By March 10, 2017, and again by October 1, 2017, and in a format prescribed by the department, each regional center shall report the following information to the department:

(1) The total amount provided to staff for purposes of subdivision (c).

(2) The position titles of staff receiving the increase and amounts of increases by title.

(3) The number of service coordinators receiving the increase.

(4) Data on staff turnover.

(5) The classification of expenditures and amount for each of the administrative costs outlined in subdivision (b) of Section 4629.7.

(6) The allocation methodology used by a regional center to distribute the funding.

(7) Any other information determined by the department.

(e) In its 2017–18 May Revision fiscal estimate, the department shall describe the implementation of the increase provided in subdivision (c), including, but not limited to, the data described in subdivision (d), aggregated by regional center and statewide, and the impact of the increase on caseload ratios.

(f) Any regional center that fails to report the information required by subdivision (d) to the department shall forfeit the increases described in subdivision (c).

(Amended by Stats. 2016, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 3, Sec. 3. (AB 1 2x) Effective June 9, 2016.)

4639.6.
  

The Director of Developmental Services may issue directives to the regional centers as the director deems necessary to protect consumer rights, health, safety, or welfare, or in accordance with Section 4434. The regional center shall comply with any directive issued by the director pursuant to this section. The directive shall not be in conflict with existing statutes or regulations.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 28, Sec. 18. (SB 81) Effective June 27, 2019.)

4639.75.
  

(a) On an ongoing basis, and as necessary, the State Department of Developmental Services shall provide to regional centers, and make available on the Internet, up-to-date information about work incentive programs for persons with developmental disabilities and other information relevant to persons with developmental disabilities in making informed choices about employment options. This information may include, but not be limited to, the access and retention of needed benefits, the interactions of earned income, asset building, and other financial changes on benefits, employment resources and protections, taxpayer requirements and responsibilities, training opportunities, and information and services available through other agencies, organizations, or on the Internet.

(b) The department, in consultation with regional centers, shall assess the need for, and develop a plan for, training of regional center staff on employment issues facing persons with a developmental disability. The department shall not be required to implement training pursuant to this section if implementation cannot be achieved within existing resources, unless additional funding for this purpose becomes available.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 397, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2007.)

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