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SB-518 Developmental services: Self-Determination Program.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 05/25/2021 10:00 AM
SB518:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 25, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 13, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 09, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 518


Introduced by Senator Laird

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Sections 4519.5, 4629, and 4685.8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 518, as amended, Laird. Developmental services: Self-Determination Program.
Existing law, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, requires the State Department of Developmental Services to contract with regional centers to provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Under existing law, the regional centers purchase needed services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities through approved service providers, or arrange for their provision through other publicly funded agencies. The services and supports to be provided to a regional center consumer are contained in an individual program plan (IPP), developed in accordance with prescribed requirements. Existing law requires the department, contingent upon approval of federal funding, to establish and implement a state Self-Determination Program, as defined, that would be available in every regional center catchment area to provide participants and their families, within an individual budget, increased flexibility and choice, and greater control over decisions, resources, and needed and desired services and supports to implement their IPP, in accordance with prescribed requirements. Existing law also requires the department and regional centers to annually collaborate to compile data relating to, among other things, the purchase of service authorization, utilization, and expenditure by each regional center.
This bill would, among other things, bill, upon appropriation, would establish an Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson to, among other things, assist Self-Determination Program participants to overcome any barriers to full participation and inclusion. The bill would also require the Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson to be an independent and autonomous entity within the department. The bill would require various duties of the Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson, including, annually compiling and reporting to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees, as specified, and maintaining the confidentiality of information obtained from a complaint, as specified. The bill would require the department to include a prominent link on the internet website to the Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson. The bill would additionally require the department and regional centers to compile data on, among other things, individual budget certification, utilization, and expenditure for Self-Determination Program participants.
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.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that the people of the State of California have benefited from the establishment of a long-term care ombudsperson pursuant to Section 9710 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a child care ombudsperson program pursuant to Section 1596.872a of the Health and Safety Code, and a foster child ombudsperson program pursuant to Section 16161 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide protections for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities who seek to become or are already participants in the Self-Determination Program by establishing an Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4519.5.
 (a) The department and the regional centers shall annually collaborate to compile data in a uniform manner relating to purchase of service authorization, utilization, expenditure by each regional center, and individual budget certification, utilization, and expenditure for Self-Determination Program participants pursuant to Section 4685.8 by each regional center with respect to all of the following:
(1) The age of the consumer, categorized by the following:
(A) Birth to two years of age, inclusive.
(B) Three to 21 years of age, inclusive.
(C) Twenty-two years of age and older.
(2) Race or ethnicity of the consumer.
(3) Primary language spoken by the consumer, and other related details, as feasible.
(4) Disability detail, in accordance with the categories established by subdivision (a) of Section 4512, and, if applicable, a category specifying that the disability is unknown.
(5) Residence type, subcategorized by age, race or ethnicity, and primary language.
(6) Number of instances when the written copy of the individual program plan was provided at the request of the consumer and, when appropriate, the individual’s parents, legal guardian or conservator, or authorized representative, in a language other than a threshold language, as defined by paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 1810.410 of Title 9 of the California Code of Regulations, if that written copy was provided more than 60 days after the request.
(b) The data reported pursuant to subdivision (a) shall also include the number and percentage of individuals, categorized by age, race or ethnicity, and disability, and by residence type, as set forth in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a), who have been determined to be eligible for regional center services, but are not receiving purchase of service funds.
(c) By March 31, 2013, each regional center shall post the data described in this section that are specific to the regional center on its internet website. Commencing on December 31, 2013, each regional center shall annually post these data by December 31. Each regional center shall maintain all previous years’ data on its internet website.
(d) By March 31, 2013, the department shall post the information described in this section on a statewide basis on its internet website. Commencing December 31, 2013, the department shall annually post this information by December 31. The department shall maintain all previous years’ data on its internet website. The department shall also post notice of any regional center stakeholder meetings on its internet website.
(e) Within three months of compiling the data with the department, and annually thereafter, each regional center shall meet with stakeholders in one or more public meetings regarding the data. The meeting or meetings shall be held separately from any meetings held pursuant to Section 4660. The regional center shall provide participants of these meetings with the data and any associated information related to improvements in the provision of developmental services to underserved communities and shall conduct a discussion of the data and the associated information in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for that community, including providing alternative communication services, as required by Sections 11135 to 11139.7, inclusive, of the Government Code and implementing regulations. Regional centers shall inform the department of the scheduling of those public meetings 30 days prior to the meeting. Notice of the meetings shall also be posted on the regional center’s internet website 30 days prior to the meeting and shall be sent to individual stakeholders and groups representing underserved communities in a timely manner. Each regional center shall, in holding the meetings required by this subdivision, consider the language needs of the community and shall schedule the meetings at times and locations designed to result in a high turnout by the public and underserved communities.
(f) (1) Each regional center shall annually report to the department regarding its implementation of the requirements of this section. The report shall include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) Actions the regional center took to improve public attendance and participation at stakeholder meetings, including, but not limited to, attendance and participation by underserved communities.
(B) Copies of minutes from the meeting and attendee comments.
(C) Whether the data described in this section indicate a need to reduce disparities in the purchase of services among consumers in the regional center’s catchment area. If the data do indicate that need, the regional center’s recommendations and plan to promote equity, and reduce disparities, in the purchase of services.
(2) Each regional center and the department shall annually post the reports required by paragraph (1) on its internet website by August 31.
(g) (1) The department shall consult with stakeholders, including consumers and families that reflect the ethnic and language diversity of regional center consumers, regional centers, advocates, providers, the protection and advocacy agency described in Section 4901, and those entities designated as University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service pursuant to Section 15061 of Title 42 of the United States Code, to achieve the following objectives:
(A) Review the data compiled pursuant to subdivision (a).
(B) Identify barriers to equitable access to services and supports among consumers and develop recommendations to help reduce disparities in purchase of service expenditures.
(C) Encourage the development and expansion of culturally appropriate services, service delivery, and service coordination.
(D) Identify best practices to reduce disparity and promote equity.
(2) The department shall report the status of its efforts to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1) during the 2016–17 legislative budget subcommittee hearing process.
(h) (1) Subject to available funding, the department shall allocate funding to regional centers or community-based organizations with department oversight to assist with implementation of the recommendations and plans developed pursuant to subdivisions (f) and (g). Activities funded through these allocations may include, but are not limited to, pay differentials supporting direct care bilingual staff of community-based service providers, parent or caregiver education programs, cultural competency training for regional center staff, outreach to underserved populations, or additional culturally appropriate service types or service delivery models.
(2) Each regional center shall consult with stakeholders regarding activities that may be effective in addressing disparities in the receipt of regional center services and the regional center’s proposed requests for the funding specified in paragraph (1). Each regional center shall identify the stakeholders it consulted with and include information on how it incorporated the input of stakeholders into its requests.
(3) A community-based organization may submit a request for grant funding pursuant to this subdivision. The organization shall submit the request concurrently to the regional center of the jurisdiction in which the organization is located and to the department. The regional center shall provide the department with input regarding the request prior to the department’s final determination on the request.
(4) The department shall review requests for funding within 45 days from the deadline specified in the department’s guidance to regional centers and community-based organizations.
(5) Each regional center and community-based organization receiving funding shall report annually to the department, in a manner determined by the department, on how the funding allocations were used and shall include recommendations of priorities for activities that may be effective in addressing disparities, based on the consultation with stakeholders.
(6) The department shall post the following information on its internet website:
(A) By September 1 of any year in which grant funding is available and has not been allocated, a structure for the grant program, including all of the following information:
(i) How community-based organizations reflecting groups that are disadvantaged by disparities in the purchase of services will be invited to participate in the grant program.
(ii) How statewide strategies were considered.
(iii) How the department will ensure grant funds are not used for activities that regional centers are otherwise required by statute or regulation to conduct.
(iv) How funded activities will be evaluated.
(B) By October 1 of any year in which grant funding is available and has not been allocated, the final invitation for requests for funding or another mechanism through which requests for funding are solicited.
(C) By January 1 of any year in which grant funding has been allocated, a list of grant recipients, funding level per grant, and a description of the funded project.
(D) By May 1 of any year in which the information is available, evaluation results from prior grants. To ensure the department complies with this subparagraph, regional centers and community-based organizations receiving funding shall provide the department, by March 1 of the same year, with an evaluation of funded activities and the effectiveness of those activities in reducing disparities in the purchase of services, to the extent information is available.
(i) The amendments made to this section by the act that added this subdivision shall be implemented only upon an appropriation by the Legislature for these purposes in the annual Budget Act or other statute.

SEC. 3.

 Section 4629 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

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.
(vi) Measure Upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or other statute, measure progress and report outcomes in implementing the Self-Determination Program, including, but not limited to, compliance with subdivision (t) of Section 4685.8.
(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.

SEC. 4.

 Section 4685.8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4685.8.
 (a) The department shall implement a statewide Self-Determination Program. The Self-Determination Program shall be available in every regional center catchment area to provide participants and their families, within an individual budget, increased flexibility and choice, and greater control over decisions, resources, and needed and desired services and supports to implement their IPP. The statewide Self-Determination Program shall be phased in over three years, and during this phase-in period, shall serve up to 2,500 regional center consumers, inclusive of the remaining participants in the self-determination pilot projects authorized pursuant to Section 13 of Chapter 1043 of the Statutes of 1998, as amended, and Article 4 (commencing with Section 4669.2) of Chapter 5. Following the phase-in period, the program shall be available on a voluntary basis to all regional center consumers, including residents in developmental centers who are moving to the community, who are eligible for the Self-Determination Program. The program shall be available to individuals who reflect the disability, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the state. The Department of Finance may approve, upon a request from the department and no sooner than 30 days following notification to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, an increase to the number of consumers served by the Self-Determination Program before the end of the three-year phase-in period.
(b) (1) The department shall establish an Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson that shall do both of the following:
(A) Assist persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities overcome barriers to entering the Self-Determination Program.
(B) Assist Self-Determination Program participants overcome any barriers to full participation and inclusion.
(2) The Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson shall be an independent and autonomous entity within the department for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of this section and to assist regional center clients and Self-Determination Program consumers and their families to participate fully in the program as authorized pursuant to this section.
(3) The Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson shall have all of the following rights and duties:
(A) Assisting regional center consumers and their families in understanding their rights under the Self-Determination Program and facilitating solutions to disagreements regarding eligibility and services.
(B) Providing information and support to regional center consumers and their families and stakeholders in navigating and understanding the process, goals, and objectives of the Self-Determination Program.
(C) Deciding whether to investigate, or refer to another agency for investigation, complaints regarding the implementation of the Self-Determination Program, and recommending to the department strategies for change and improvement of the Self-Determination Program.
(D) Deciding whether to investigate, or to refer to another agency for investigation, any alleged violation of the confidentiality provision of this section.
(E) Advising and aiding the department regarding the creation of public information programs that educate Californians about the Self-Determination Program and the ombudsperson’s duties regarding the Self-Determination Program.
(F) (i) Annually compiling and reporting to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature relevant data collected over the course of the year, including, but not limited to, the number of contacts to the office, the number of complaints made, including the type of those complaints, the number of investigations performed by the office, the trends and issues that arose in the course of investigating complaints, the number of referrals made, and the number of pending complaints.
(ii) The data reported pursuant to this subparagraph shall be broken down by regional center and, to the extent available, by the race or ethnicity, or both, of complainants. The data shall, whenever possible, be aggregated and depersonalized.
(iii) The report made pursuant to this subparagraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(iv) (I) The report made pursuant to this subparagraph shall also include recommendations to the Legislature and the department that are consistent with the data in the report for improving the Self-Determination Program.
(II) The recommendations made pursuant to subclause (I) shall include recommendations for the inclusion and participation of any race or ethnicity, or both, that disproportionately face barriers to full inclusion and participation.
(v) In compiling the report pursuant to this subparagraph, the ombudsperson may consult or collaborate with the following entities, including, but not limited to, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, institutions of higher learning, including the federally funded University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service, and other nonprofit or community-based organizations, in preparing or compiling any data, findings, or reports required pursuant to this subparagraph.
(vi) This subparagraph does not preclude the ombudsperson from issuing data, findings, or reports other than the annual compilation of data required pursuant to this subparagraph.
(G) Providing the advisory committees specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (y) with the report required pursuant to subparagraph (F).
(H) Posting the aggregated and depersonalized data compiled pursuant to subparagraph (F) on a dedicated internet website for the Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson and hosted by the department.
(I) Recommending to the department and the Legislature changes to, including, but not limited to, relevant laws, regulations, policies, and actions that it determines to be appropriate and provide and facilitate public comment on, including, but not limited to, relevant laws, regulations, policies, and actions.
(J) Establishing a telephone number at which regional center consumers and other stakeholders may contact the ombudsperson.
(K) Establishing a confidential mechanism to receive feedback on consumer satisfaction in their experience with the ombudsperson’s office.
(L) The office is not precluded from issuing data, findings, or reports other than the annual compilation of data described in subparagraph (F).
(M) The Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson shall hire the necessary personnel to perform the functions of the office.
(N) Maintaining the confidentiality of information obtained by the office from a complaint, regardless of whether it is investigated by the office, referred to another entity for investigation, or determined not to be the proper subject of an investigation, or confidential under relevant state and federal confidentiality laws. Disclosure of information shall occur only as necessary to carry out the mission of the office and as permitted by law.
(O) Contacting, assisting, communicating with, providing information to the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson, or participating in any way in a complaint, investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to the activities of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson, shall be considered protected activity under this chapter.
(4) To the extent permissible under federal law, existing federal participation funds may be used to facilitate the activities required by this subdivision.
(5) Every regional center shall post in a conspicuous location on the home page of its internet website, in a conspicuous location at its physical facility, and provided in written form in the annual IPP, and include with every notice the name, address, and telephone number of the Office of Self-Determination Ombudsperson and a brief description of the services provided by the office. The form and content of the notice shall be approved by the Office of the Self-Determination Ombudsperson.
(6) The Department of Developmental Services shall include, on the portion of its internet website dedicated to the Self-Determination Program, a prominent link to the internet website of the Office of the Self-Determination Program Ombudsperson.
(c) The department, in establishing the statewide program, shall do both of the following:
(1) For the first three years of the Self-Determination Program, determine, as part of the contracting process described in Sections 4620 and 4629, the number of participants each regional center shall serve in its Self-Determination Program. To ensure that the program is available on an equitable basis to participants in all regional center catchment areas, the number of Self-Determination Program participants in each regional center shall be based on the relative percentage of total consumers served by the regional centers minus any remaining participants in the self-determination pilot projects authorized pursuant to Section 13 of Chapter 1043 of the Statutes of 1998, as amended, and Article 4 (commencing with Section 4669.2) of Chapter 5 or another equitable basis.
(2) Ensure all of the following:
(A) Oversight of expenditure of self-determined funds and the achievement of participant outcomes over time.
(B) Increased participant control over which services and supports best meet the participant’s needs and the IPP objectives. A participant’s unique support system may include the purchase of existing service offerings from service providers or local businesses, hiring their own support workers, or negotiating unique service arrangements with local community resources.
(C) Comprehensive person-centered planning, including an individual budget and services that are outcome based.
(D) Consumer and family training to ensure understanding of the principles of self-determination, the planning process, and the management of budgets, services, and staff.
(E) Choice of independent facilitators who can assist with the person-centered planning process and choice of financial management services providers vendored by regional centers who can assist with payments and provide employee-related services.
(F) Innovation that will more effectively allow participants to achieve their goals.
(d) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Financial management services” means services or functions that assist the participant to manage and direct the distribution of funds contained in the individual budget, and ensure that the participant has the financial resources to implement their IPP throughout the year. These may include bill paying services and activities that facilitate the employment of service and support workers by the participant, including, but not limited to, fiscal accounting, tax withholding, compliance with relevant state and federal employment laws, assisting the participant in verifying provider qualifications, including criminal background checks, and expenditure reports. The financial management services provider shall meet the requirements of Sections 58884, 58886, and 58887 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations and other specific qualifications established by the department. The costs of financial management services shall be paid by the participant out of the participant’s individual budget, except for the cost of obtaining the criminal background check specified in subdivision (x).
(2) “Independent facilitator” means a person, selected and directed by the participant, who is not otherwise providing services to the participant pursuant to their IPP and is not employed by a person providing services to the participant. The independent facilitator may assist the participant in making informed decisions about the individual budget, and in locating, accessing, and coordinating services and supports consistent with the participant’s IPP. The independent facilitator is available to assist in identifying immediate and long-term needs, developing options to meet those needs, leading, participating, or advocating on behalf of the participant in the person-centered planning process and development of the IPP, and obtaining identified services and supports. The cost of the independent facilitator, if any, shall be paid by the participant out of the participant’s individual budget. An independent facilitator shall receive training in the principles of self-determination, the person-centered planning process, and the other responsibilities described in this paragraph at the independent facilitator’s own cost.
(3) “Individual budget” means the amount of regional center purchase of service funding available to the participant for the purchase of services and supports necessary to implement the IPP. The individual budget shall be determined using a fair, equitable, and transparent methodology.
(4) “IPP” means individual program plan, as described in Section 4646.
(5) “Participant” means an individual, and when appropriate, the participant’s parents, legal guardian or conservator, or authorized representative, who has been deemed eligible for, and has voluntarily agreed to participate in, the Self-Determination Program.
(6) “Self-determination” means a voluntary delivery system consisting of a defined and comprehensive mix of services and supports, selected and directed by a participant through person-centered planning, in order to meet the objectives in their IPP. Self-determination services and supports are designed to assist the participant to achieve personally defined outcomes in community settings that promote inclusion. The Self-Determination Program shall only fund services and supports provided pursuant to this division that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services determines are eligible for federal financial participation.
(7) “Spending plan” means a plan detailing how the available funds in the participant’s individual budget may be used to purchase services and supports necessary to implement the IPP. The spending plan shall identify the cost of each service, activity, or item that will be purchased with the participant’s individual budget. The total amount in the spending plan cannot exceed the individual budget amount.
(e) Participation in the Self-Determination Program is fully voluntary. A participant may choose to participate in, and may choose to leave, the Self-Determination Program at any time. A regional center shall not require or prohibit participation in the Self-Determination Program as a condition of eligibility for, or the delivery of, services and supports otherwise available under this division. Participation in the Self-Determination Program shall be available to any regional center consumer who meets the following eligibility requirements:
(1) The participant has a developmental disability, as defined in Section 4512, and is receiving services pursuant to this division.
(2) The consumer does not live in a licensed long-term health care facility, as defined in paragraph (44) of subdivision (a) of Section 54302 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations. An individual, and when appropriate the individual’s parent, legal guardian or conservator, or authorized representative, who is not eligible to participate in the Self-Determination Program pursuant to this paragraph may request that the regional center provide person-centered planning services in order to make arrangements for transition to the Self-Determination Program, provided that the individual is reasonably expected to transition to the community within 90 days. In that case, the regional center shall initiate person-centered planning services within 60 days of that request.
(3) The participant agrees to all of the following terms and conditions:
(A) The participant shall receive an orientation to the Self-Determination Program prior to enrollment, which includes the principles of self-determination, the role of the independent facilitator and the financial management services provider, person-centered planning, and development of a budget.
(B) The participant shall utilize the services and supports available within the Self-Determination Program only when generic services and supports are not available.
(C) The participant shall only purchase services and supports necessary to implement their IPP and shall comply with any and all other terms and conditions for participation in the Self-Determination Program described in this section.
(D) The participant shall manage Self-Determination Program services and supports within the participant’s individual budget.
(E) The participant shall utilize the services of a financial management services provider of their own choosing and who is vendored by a regional center.
(F) The participant may utilize the services of an independent facilitator of their own choosing for the purpose of providing services and functions as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d). If the participant elects not to use an independent facilitator, the participant may use their regional center service coordinator to provide the services and functions described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d).
(f) A participant who is not Medi-Cal eligible may participate in the Self-Determination Program and receive self-determination services and supports if all other program eligibility requirements are met and the services and supports are otherwise eligible for federal financial participation.
(g) An individual receiving services and supports under a self-determination pilot project authorized pursuant to Section 13 of Chapter 1043 of the Statutes of 1998, as amended, or pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 4669.2) of Chapter 5, may elect to continue to receive self-determination services and supports pursuant to this section or the regional center shall provide for the participant’s transition from the self-determination pilot program to other services and supports. This transition shall include the development of a new IPP that reflects the services and supports necessary to meet the individual’s needs. The regional center shall ensure that there is no gap in services and supports during the transition period.
(h) The additional federal financial participation funds generated by the former participants of the self-determination pilot projects authorized pursuant to Section 13 of Chapter 1043 of the Statutes of 1998, as amended, or pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 4669.2) of Chapter 5, shall be used to maximize the ability of Self-Determination Program participants to direct their own lives and to ensure the department and regional centers successfully implement the program as follows:
(1) First, to offset the cost to the department for the criminal background check conducted pursuant to subdivision (x) and other administrative costs incurred by the department in implementing the Self-Determination Program.
(2) With the remaining funds, the department, in consultation with stakeholders, including a statewide self-determination advisory workgroup, shall prioritize the use of the funds to meet the needs of participants and to implement the program, including costs associated with all of the following:
(A) Independent facilitators to assist with a participant’s initial person-centered planning meeting.
(B) Development of the participant’s initial individual budget.
(C) Joint training of consumers, family members, regional center staff, and members of the local volunteer advisory committee established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (y).
(D) Regional center operations for caseload ratio enhancement.
(E) To offset the costs to the regional centers in implementing the Self-Determination Program.
(i) If at any time during participation in the Self-Determination Program a regional center determines that a participant is no longer eligible to continue in, or a participant voluntarily chooses to exit, the Self-Determination Program, the regional center shall provide for the participant’s transition from the Self-Determination Program to other services and supports. This transition shall include the development of a new IPP that reflects the services and supports necessary to meet the individual’s needs. The regional center shall ensure that there is no gap in services and supports during the transition period.
(j) An individual determined to be ineligible for or who voluntarily exits the Self-Determination Program shall be permitted to return to the Self-Determination Program upon meeting all applicable eligibility criteria and upon approval of the participant’s planning team, as described in subdivision (j) of Section 4512. An individual who has voluntarily exited the Self-Determination Program shall not return to the program for at least 12 months. During the first three years of the program, the individual’s right to return to the program is conditioned on the regional center not having reached the participant cap imposed by paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).
(k) An individual who participates in the Self-Determination Program may elect to continue to receive self-determination services and supports if the individual transfers to another regional center catchment area, provided that the individual remains eligible for the Self-Determination Program pursuant to subdivision (e). The balance of the participant’s individual budget shall be reallocated to the regional center to which the participant transfers.
(l) The IPP team shall utilize the person-centered planning process to develop the IPP for a participant. The IPP shall detail the goals and objectives of the participant that are to be met through the purchase of participant-selected services and supports. The IPP team shall determine the individual budget to ensure the budget assists the participant to achieve the outcomes set forth in the participant’s IPP and ensures their health and safety. The completed individual budget shall be attached to the IPP.
(m) The participant shall implement their IPP, including choosing and purchasing the services and supports allowable under this section necessary to implement the plan. A participant is exempt from the cost control restrictions regarding the purchases of services and supports pursuant to Section 4648.5. A regional center shall not prohibit the purchase of any service or support that is otherwise allowable under this section.
(n) A participant shall have all the rights established in Sections 4646 to 4646.6, inclusive, and Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 4700).
(o) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (4), the IPP team shall determine the initial and any revised individual budget for the participant using the following methodology:
(A) (i) Except as specified in clause (ii), for a participant who is a current consumer of the regional center, their individual budget shall be the total amount of the most recently available 12 months of purchase of service expenditures for the participant.
(ii) An adjustment may be made to the amount specified in clause (i) if both of the following occur:
(I) The IPP team determines that an adjustment to this amount is necessary due to a change in the participant’s circumstances, needs, or resources that would result in an increase or decrease in purchase of service expenditures, or the IPP team identifies prior needs or resources that were unaddressed in the IPP, which would have resulted in an increase or decrease in purchase of service expenditures.
(II) The regional center certifies on the individual budget document that regional center expenditures for the individual budget, including any adjustment, would have occurred regardless of the individual’s participation in the Self-Determination Program.
(iii) For purposes of clauses (i) and (ii), the amount of the individual budget shall not be increased to cover the cost of the independent facilitator or the financial management services.
(B) For a participant who is either newly eligible for regional center services or who does not have 12 months of purchase service expenditures, the participant’s individual budget shall be calculated as follows:
(i) The IPP team shall identify the services and supports needed by the participant and available resources, as required by Section 4646.
(ii) The regional center shall calculate the cost of providing the services and supports to be purchased by the regional center by using the average cost paid by the regional center for each service or support unless the regional center determines that the consumer has a unique need that requires a higher or lower cost. The regional center shall certify on the individual budget document that this amount would have been expended using regional center purchase of service funds regardless of the individual’s participation in the Self-Determination Program.
(iii) For purposes of clauses (i) and (ii), the amount of the individual budget shall not be increased to cover the cost of the independent facilitator or the financial management services.
(2) The amount of the individual budget shall be available to the participant each year for the purchase of program services and supports. An individual budget shall be calculated no more than once in a 12-month period, unless revised to reflect a change in circumstances, needs, or resources of the participant using the process specified in clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1).
(3) The individual budget shall be assigned to uniform budget categories developed by the department in consultation with stakeholders and distributed according to the timing of the anticipated expenditures in the IPP and in a manner that ensures that the participant has the financial resources to implement the IPP throughout the year.
(4) The department, in consultation with stakeholders, may develop alternative methodologies for individual budgets that are computed in a fair, transparent, and equitable manner and are based on consumer characteristics and needs, and that include a method for adjusting individual budgets to address a participant’s change in circumstances or needs.
(p) Annually, participants may transfer up to 10 percent of the funds originally distributed to any budget category set forth in paragraph (3) of subdivision (o) to another budget category or categories. Transfers in excess of 10 percent of the original amount allocated to any budget category may be made upon the approval of the regional center or the participant’s IPP team.
(q) Consistent with the implementation date of the IPP, the IPP team shall annually ascertain from the participant whether there are any circumstances or needs that require a change to the annual individual budget. Based on that review, the IPP team shall calculate a new individual budget consistent with the methodology identified in subdivision (o).
(r) (1) On or before December 31, 2014, the department shall apply for federal Medicaid funding for the Self-Determination Program by doing one or more of the following:
(A) Applying for a state plan amendment.
(B) Applying for an amendment to a current home- and community-based waiver for individuals with developmental disabilities.
(C) Applying for a new waiver.
(D) Seeking to maximize federal financial participation through other means.
(2) To the extent feasible, the state plan amendment, waiver, or other federal request described in paragraph (1) shall incorporate the eligibility requirements, benefits, and operational requirements set forth in this section. Except for the provisions of subdivisions (l), (n), (q), and this subdivision, the department may modify eligibility requirements, benefits, and operational requirements as needed to secure approval of federal funding.
(3) Contingent upon approval of federal funding, the Self-Determination Program shall be established.
(s) (1) The department, as it determines necessary, may adopt regulations to implement the procedures set forth in this section. Any regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) and Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and only to the extent that all necessary federal approvals are obtained, the department, without taking any further regulatory action, shall implement, interpret, or make specific this section by means of program directives or similar instructions until the time regulations are adopted. It is the intent of the Legislature that the department be allowed this temporary authority as necessary to implement program changes only until completion of the regulatory process.
(t) (1) The department, in consultation with stakeholders, shall develop informational materials about the Self-Determination Program. The department shall ensure that regional centers are trained in the principles of self-determination, the mechanics of the Self-Determination Program, and the rights of consumers and families as candidates for, and participants in, the Self-Determination Program. The training materials for regional centers, including regional center service coordinators and fair hearing specialists, shall be developed in collaboration with the ombudsperson and the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee established pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (y).
(2) The regional center shall ensure that service coordinators inform consumers about the Self-Determination Program at annual individual program plan meetings. A consumer or their representative shall sign on the individual program plan that they have been informed about the Self-Determination Program.
(u) Each regional center shall be responsible for implementing the Self-Determination Program as a term of its contract under Section 4629. As part of implementing the program, the regional center shall do both of the following:
(1) Contract with local consumer or family-run organizations and consult with the local volunteer advisory committee established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (y) to conduct outreach through local meetings or forums to consumers and their families to provide information about the Self-Determination Program and to help ensure that the program is available to a diverse group of participants, with special outreach to underserved communities.
(2) Collaborate with the local consumer or family-run organizations identified in paragraph (1) to jointly conduct training about the Self-Determination Program. The regional center shall consult with the local volunteer advisory committee established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (y) in planning for the training, and the local volunteer advisory committee may designate members to represent the advisory committee at the training. The regional center shall ensure that all service coordinators and fair hearing specialists receive training in the principles of self-determination, the mechanics of the Self-Determination Program, and the rights of consumers and families as described in subdivision (t). The training shall be conducted in collaboration with the local volunteer advisory committee using materials described in subdivision (t) and shall include a certification of completion.
(v) The financial management services provider shall provide the participant and the regional center service coordinator with a monthly individual budget statement that describes the amount of funds allocated by budget category, the amount spent in the previous 30-day period, and the amount of funding that remains available under the participant’s individual budget.
(w) Only the financial management services provider is required to apply for vendorization in accordance with Subchapter 2 (commencing with Section 54300) of Chapter 3 of Division 2 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations for the Self-Determination Program. All other service and support providers shall not be on the federal debarment list and shall have applicable state licenses, certifications, or other state required documentation, including documentation of any other qualifications required by the department, but are exempt from the vendorization requirements set forth in Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations when serving participants in the Self-Determination Program.
(x) To protect the health and safety of participants in the Self-Determination Program, the department shall require a criminal background check in accordance with all of the following:
(1) The department shall issue a program directive that identifies nonvendored providers of services and supports who shall obtain a criminal background check pursuant to this subdivision. At a minimum, these staff shall include both of the following:
(A) Individuals who provide direct personal care services to a participant.
(B) Other nonvendored providers of services and supports for whom a criminal background check is requested by a participant or the participant’s financial management service.
(2) Subject to the procedures and requirements of this subdivision, the department shall administer criminal background checks consistent with the department’s authority and the process described in Sections 4689.2 to 4689.6, inclusive.
(3) The department shall electronically submit to the Department of Justice fingerprint images and related information required by the Department of Justice of nonvendored providers of services and supports, as specified in paragraph (1), for purposes of obtaining information as to the existence and content of a record of state or federal convictions and state or federal arrests and also information as to the existence and content of a record of state or federal arrests for which the Department of Justice establishes that the person is free on bail or on their own recognizance pending trial or appeal.
(4) When received, the Department of Justice shall forward to the Federal Bureau of Investigation requests for federal summary criminal history information received pursuant to this section. The Department of Justice shall review the information returned from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and compile and disseminate a response to the department.
(5) The Department of Justice shall provide a state or federal response to the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 11105 of the Penal Code.
(6) The department shall request from the Department of Justice subsequent notification service, as provided pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code, for persons described in paragraph (1).
(7) The Department of Justice shall charge a fee sufficient to cover the cost of processing the request described in this subdivision.
(8) The fingerprints of any provider of services and supports who is required to obtain a criminal background check shall be submitted to the Department of Justice prior to employment. The costs of the fingerprints and the financial management service’s administrative cost authorized by the department shall be paid by the services and supports provider or the provider’s employing agency. Any administrative costs incurred by the department pursuant to this subdivision shall be offset by the funds specified in subdivision (h).
(9) If the criminal record information report shows a criminal history, the department shall take the steps specified in Section 4689.2. The department may prohibit a provider of services and supports from becoming employed, or continuing to be employed, based on the criminal background check, as authorized in Section 4689.6. The provider of services and supports who has been denied employment shall have the rights set forth in Section 4689.6.
(10) The department may utilize a current department-issued criminal record clearance to enable a provider to serve more than one participant, as long as the criminal record clearance has been processed through the department and no subsequent arrest notifications have been received relative to the cleared applicant.
(11) Consistent with subdivision (h) of Section 4689.2, the participant or financial management service that denies or terminates employment based on written notification from the department shall not incur civil liability or unemployment insurance liability.
(y) To ensure the effective implementation of the Self-Determination Program and facilitate the sharing of best practices and training materials commencing with the implementation of the Self-Determination Program, local and statewide advisory committees shall be established as follows:
(1) Each regional center shall establish a local volunteer advisory committee to provide oversight of the Self-Determination Program. The regional center and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities shall each appoint one-half of the membership of the committee. The committee shall consist of the regional center clients’ rights advocate, consumers, family members, and other advocates, and community leaders. A majority of the committee shall be consumers and their family members. The committee shall reflect the multicultural diversity and geographic profile of the catchment area. The committee shall review the development and ongoing progress of the Self-Determination Program, including whether the program advances the principles of self-determination and is operating consistent with the requirements of this section, and may make ongoing recommendations for improvement to the regional center and the department.
(2) The State Council on Developmental Disabilities shall form a volunteer committee, to be known as the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee, comprised of the chairs of the 21 local advisory committees or their designees. The council shall convene the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee twice annually, or more frequently in the sole discretion of the council. The Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee shall meet by teleconference or other means established by the council to identify self-determination best practices, effective consumer and family training materials, implementation concerns, systemic issues, ways to enhance the program, and recommendations regarding the most effective method for participants to learn of individuals who are available to provide services and supports. The council shall synthesize information received from the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee, local advisory committees, and other sources, share the information with consumers, families, regional centers, and the department, and make recommendations, as appropriate, to increase the program’s effectiveness in furthering the principles of self-determination.
(z) The department shall annually provide the following information to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature:
(1) Number and characteristics of participants, by regional center, including the number of participants who entered the program upon movement from a developmental center.
(2) Types and amount of services and supports purchased under the Self-Determination Program, by regional center.
(3) Range and average of individual budgets, by regional center, including adjustments to the budget to address the adjustments permitted in clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (o).
(4) The number and outcome of appeals concerning individual budgets, by regional center.
(5) The number and outcome of fair hearing appeals, by regional center.
(6) The number of participants who voluntarily withdraw from the Self-Determination Program and a summary of the reasons why, by regional center.
(7) The number of participants who are subsequently determined to no longer be eligible for the Self-Determination Program and a summary of the reasons why, by regional center.
(8) (A) The department shall report quarterly to the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee on all of the following:
(i) The total number of Self-Determination Program participants.
(ii) The respective numbers of consumers who have enrolled, completed an orientation, developed a person-centered plan, certified a budget, completed a spending plan, and fully transitioned to the program.
(iii) The number of previously enrolled individuals and families who have disenrolled from the Self-Determination Program.
(B) The report pursuant to paragraph (A) shall be broken down by regional center and race or ethnicity, or both.
(aa) (1) The State Council on Developmental Disabilities shall issue an interim report to the Legislature, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, no later than June 30, 2021, on the status of the Self-Determination Program authorized by this section, barriers to its implementation, and recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the program. The interim report shall provide an update to the program’s status, each regional center’s cap on participation and progress toward that cap, the most recent statewide and per-regional-center participant count, and the historical trend in the statewide participation count since the start of the program. The department shall assist in providing available information to the council in order to facilitate the timely issuance of the report.
(2) The council, in collaboration with the protection and advocacy agency identified in Section 4900 and the federally funded University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service, may work with regional centers to survey participants regarding participant satisfaction under the Self-Determination Program and, when data is available, the traditional service delivery system, including the proportion of participants who report that their choices and decisions are respected and supported and who report that they are able to recruit and hire qualified service providers, and to identify barriers to participation and recommendations for improvement.
(3) The council, in collaboration with the protection and advocacy agency identified in Section 4900 and the federally funded University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service, shall issue a report to the Legislature, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, by December 31, 2022, on the status of the Self-Determination Program authorized by this section, and provide recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the program. This review shall include the program’s effectiveness in furthering the principles of self-determination, including all of the following:
(A) Freedom, which includes the ability of adults with developmental disabilities to exercise the same rights as all citizens to establish, with freely chosen supporters, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them; and for families to have the freedom to receive unbiased assistance of their own choosing when developing a plan and to select all personnel and supports to further the life goals of a minor child.
(B) Authority, which includes the ability of a person with a disability, or family, to control a certain sum of dollars in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing.
(C) Support, which includes the ability to arrange resources and personnel, both formal and informal, that will assist a person with a disability to live a life in the community that is rich in community participation and contributions.
(D) Responsibility, which includes the ability of participants to take responsibility for decisions in their own lives and to be accountable for the use of public dollars, and to accept a valued role in their community through, for example, competitive employment, organizational affiliations, spiritual development, and general caring of others in their community.
(E) Confirmation, which includes confirmation of the critical role of participants and their families in making decisions in their own lives and designing and operating the system that they rely on.
(ab) The amendments made to this section by the act that added this subdivision shall be implemented only upon an appropriation by the Legislature for these purposes in the annual Budget Act or other statute.

SEC. 5.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 4 of this act, which amends Section 4685.8 of 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 consumers with respect to personal information contained within investigations performed by the ombudsperson, it is necessary that those investigations be confidential.