P.A. 22-140 AAC The Department of Developmental Services' Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions to Developmental Services Statutes. (S.B. 369)
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This bill makes various changes in Department of Developmental Services (DDS)-related statutes. Information about select sections is below. To read a detailed analysis of each section of the bill from the Office of Legislative Research, please click here. Specifically, it does the following:
- allows the DDS commissioner to require anyone applying for a job with an individual funded by DDS for self-directed services to submit to a check for substantiated complaints in the Department of Children and Families child abuse and neglect registry (§ 1);
- specifies that the governor’s physician appointee to the Council on Developmental Services must be a Connecticut-licensed physician or psychiatrist, rather than a physician generally, as under current law (§ 2);
- specifically allows the DDS commissioner’s designee, rather than just the commissioner, to perform various tasks related to the probate court process when someone files a court petition to place a person with DDS for services (§ 3);
- requires DDS to encourage DDS-licensed residential facility owners to adopt standards and practices when building new residential facilities that (a) promote energy efficiency and (b) include environmentally friendly construction materials and techniques (§ 4);
- allows DDS-licensed residential facilities to participate in specified energy use assessment programs, and requires the commissioner to report on the assessments’ findings (§ 4);
- repeals laws (a) requiring DDS to, among other things, coordinate family support services for children with disabilities and (b) establishing the Family Support Council (§§ 5, 6 & 12); and
- increases, from $101,000 to $125,000, the cost allowance cap for executive director salaries in state agencies’ calculations of grants to private agencies that provide employment opportunities, day services, or residential facility services (§§ 7, 8 & 13).
The bill requires funds invested in, contributed to, or distributed from an “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) account to be disregarded when determining someone’s eligibility for certain cash assistance programs (§ 9). The bill also makes minor and technical changes to the ABLE statutes, codifying recent changes to federal regulations (§§ 10 & 11).
§ 4 — Energy Efficiency Standards and Assessments
The bill requires DDS to encourage DDS-licensed residential facility owners (i.e., community living arrangements or community companion homes) to adopt standards and practices when building new residential facilities that (a) promote energy efficiency and (b) include environmentally friendly construction materials and techniques.
The bill permits any DDS-licensed residential facility to participate in energy use assessment programs under the state’s Conservation and Load Management Plan. And it requires the facility’s owner or operator, or his or her designee, to give DDS a copy of any energy assessment report it receives no later than 10 days after receipt. The report copies provided to DDS are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
The bill requires the DDS commissioner, by July 1, 2023, to report to the Public Health Committee on the (1) findings of the energy assessments done on these facilities and (2) their recommended energy efficiency improvements.
§§ 5, 6 & 12 — Family Support Services
The bill repeals laws requiring DDS to (1) coordinate family support services for children with disabilities (e.g., developmental disabilities or a moderate, severe, or profound educational disability); (2) within available appropriations, promote the statewide availability of these services; and (3) in coordination with other state, regional, and local agencies, help families access other sources of government funds before using funds appropriated for these services.
The bill also repeals the law establishing the Family Support Council, which current law charges with, among other things, providing specified assistance to DDS and other state agencies that administer or fund family support services. (In practice, the council has not met in several years.)
§§ 7, 8 & 13 — Cost Allowance Cap for Executive Director Salaries
The bill increases, from $101,000 to $125,000, the cost allowance cap for executive director salaries in the Department of Developmental Services’, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’, Department of Social Services’, and other state agencies’ calculations of grants to private agencies that provide employment opportunities, day services, or residential facility services. (The current cost allowance cap reflects a one-time, 1% cost of living adjustment.)
Beginning July 1, 2022, the bill allows the cap to increase annually, up to any percentage cost-of-living increase provided in the departments’ contracts with these agencies.
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