Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1136 California Department of Community Living.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The California Department of Aging was established as the state entity responsible for administration of the programs provided by the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act (OCA). The OCA authorized California-specific programs serving older adults in their homes and communities.
(2) Over the decades since its enactment, the OCA has evolved to reflect the changing population and emerging service delivery needs. Despite these amendments, however, the OCA still contains several outdated sections with language that needs updating to reflect the changing paradigms in service delivery.
(3) The California Department of Aging administers a number of programs in addition to those authorized through the OCA, including the community-based services programs, the Multipurpose Senior Services Program, the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and the Aging and Disability Resource Connection program.
(4) In addition to the California Department of Aging, the State Department of Health Care Services, the Department of Rehabilitation, and the State Department of Social Services are responsible for delivering a range of services to California’s older adults and people with disabilities, yet often with duplication and without administrative efficiency. At the state level, there is no overarching leadership structure with responsibility for system planning to meet the needs of this population. Many departments operate in a fragmented fashion, often with little data sharing and policy development across programs. This fragmentation impacts the ability to deliver services in a coordinated, streamlined fashion.
(5) For years, state policymakers have called for structural reorganization of the California Department of Aging. Restructuring proposals, including those offered by the Little Hoover Commission (1996 and 2011), the California Performance Review (2004), the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care (2006), and the Senate Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care (2015), have not been implemented.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to establish a California Department of Community Living with the goal of building a more efficient delivery system for older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers that strengthens access to home- and community-based services to enable Californians to live with dignity and independence in the setting of their choice.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 9050) is added to Division 8.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

CHAPTER  1.5. California Department of Community Living
 (a) There is hereby established, within the California Health and Human Services Agency, the California Department of Community Living. The department shall consolidate leadership on issues and programs serving California’s older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers.
(b) The department shall realize California’s commitment to person-centered, coordinated service delivery for older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers in order to strengthen access to home and community-based services and enable individuals of all ages to live with dignity and independence.
(c) The department shall provide leadership, policy development, and technical assistance to the programs within its jurisdiction while also advocating across state departments for the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers.
(d) The timeline and implementation provisions for the Department of Community Living shall be further established, as appropriate, as a component of any master plan for aging established by the state.
 (a) The department shall establish a statewide No Wrong Door (NWD) system to support seamless access to information regarding available long-term services and supports, building upon the standards established through the Aging and Disability Resource Connection program.
(b) The purpose of the NWD system shall be to assist older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers in obtaining accurate information and timely referrals to appropriate community services and supports through all of the following means:
(1) A universal assessment process.
(2) Information and referral services.
(3) Person-centered options counseling concerning available programs for long-term services and supports and public and private benefits.
(4) Short-term service coordination.
(5) Transition services from hospitals to home and from skilled nursing facilities to the community.
 The department shall assist older adults and people with disabilities in connecting to services needed through provision of care coordination, health insurance counseling, peer-based programs, and community transition services through the following programs:
(a) The Multipurpose Senior Services Program.
(b) The Linkages Program.
(c) The California Community Transitions Project (Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration).
(d) Independent living center transition programs.
(e) Independent living center assistive technology programs.
(f) The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.
(g) The California State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.
 The department shall provide leadership in enhancing and streamlining access to the following home and community-based services, including those services that are currently overseen by other state departments:
(a) Community-based adult services.
(b) Independent living centers.
(c) The Traumatic Brain Injury program.
(d) The Older Individuals who are Blind program.
(e) Assistive technology programs.
(f) Services authorized under the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, including but not limited to, both of the following:
(1) Nutritional programs, including congregate feeding programs and home-delivered meals.
(2) Family Caregiver Support Program.
(g) Assisted Living Waiver program.
(h) Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver.
(i) Caregiver resource centers.
(j) Home and Community-Based Services programs, including the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, Alzheimer’s day care resource centers, respite services, and the Brown Bag program.
 The department shall assist the following entities in carrying out their mandated duties and responsibilities to be an advocate for the needs of California’s older adults and people with disabilities:
(a) The California Commission on Aging.
(b) The State Independent Living Council.
(c) The Assistive Technology Advisory Committee.
(d) The California Senior Legislature.
 The department shall allocate funding through a number of mechanisms to programs identified by the department that link individuals to the right services at the right time.
 (a) The department shall provide block grants to area agencies on aging to provide services through programs authorized under the Home and Community-Based Services program, with a goal of ensuring that local needs are met in accordance with the area plans.
(b) An area agency on aging that receives a block grant pursuant to this section shall have the discretion to allocate funds to the following programs in amounts to be determined by the area agency on aging based on local need:
(1) The Alzheimer’s day care resource center.
(2) The Brown Bag program.
(3) The Linkages Program.
(4) The Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent Programs.
 The department shall continue funding for independent living centers based on current levels as of January 1, 2020, and as written in the State Plan for Independent Living, while working to secure additional funding sources to meet the needs of the local community and underserved populations. Independent living center programs include housing, personal assistant services, assistive technology, information and referral, peer support, individual and systems change advocacy, independent living skills training, youth transition, transition, and diversion.
 The department shall increase access to the Aging and Disability Resource Connections program to streamline local service delivery through funding, technical assistance, and coordination with area agencies on aging and independent living centers.