Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 143

Public Act No. 06-124

AN ACT CONCERNING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND SERVICES FOR THE BLIND.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-293 of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) [The] There is established a Board of Education and Services for the Blind that shall serve as the central policy making authority in providing services to the blind and visually impaired in the state. Prior to January 4, 2007, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall consist of seven members, six of whom shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be residents of this state. The Commissioner of Social Services shall be a member, ex officio. One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be the parent of a child who receives services provided by the board, and not less than two of the members appointed by the Governor shall be blind persons. One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be designated by the Governor as the chairperson of the board. The Governor may, for reasonable cause, remove any appointed member and appoint another person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term. The board shall meet annually in the month of September and may meet at any other time upon the call of its chairperson; and the chairperson shall call a meeting at the request of two members. Any appointed member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. A majority of the members in office shall constitute a quorum. The terms of the members of the board serving on the effective date of this section shall expire on January 3, 2007.

(b) (1) On and after January 4, 2007, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall consist of members appointed as follows: Six appointed by the Governor, one appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives and one appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives and all shall be residents of the state. The Commissioner of Social Services shall be a member, ex officio. One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be the parent of a child who receives services provided by the board, and not less than two of the members appointed by the Governor shall be blind persons.

(2) Three members appointed by the Governor shall serve a term of four years. Three members appointed by the Governor shall serve a term of two years. The three members appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the Senate shall serve a term of four years. The three members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, and the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall serve a term of two years. Thereafter, all members shall be appointed for a term of four years, commencing on January fourth of the year of the appointment.

(3) One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be designated by the Governor as the chairperson of the board. The board shall meet annually in the month of September and may meet at any other time upon the call of its chairperson; and the chairperson shall call a meeting at the request of two members. Any appointed member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. A majority of the members in office shall constitute a quorum. The appointing authority may, for reasonable cause, remove any appointed member and appoint another person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term. Any vacancy in the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall be filled by the appointing authority for the unexpired portion of the term.

(c) Members appointed to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall monitor the activities of the agency in carrying out its mission to provide educational and rehabilitative services to all state residents who are legally blind or visually impaired. Members shall also monitor the activities of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind regarding the agency's compliance with the benchmarks and recommendations set by the monitoring council established pursuant to section 3 of public act 03-217 and offer recommended adjustments to the benchmarks when deemed necessary. Not later than January 1, 2008, and annually thereafter, the members of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall report in accordance with section 11-4a, to the Governor, the Office of Policy and Management and to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services and education on the agency's compliance with the benchmarks established by said monitoring council and on the activities of the agency in fulfilling its mission to provide educational and rehabilitative services to state residents who are legally blind or visually impaired.

[(b)] (d) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall be within the Department of Social Services for administrative purposes only.

Approved June 2, 2006