PA 13-227—sSB 761

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT MAKING THE JANITORIAL WORK PILOT PROGRAM FOR PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY OR A DISADVANTAGE PERMANENT

SUMMARY: This act makes permanent the janitorial work pilot program for people with a disability or a disadvantage, which was established in 2006 and is administered by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). It (1) generally extends, with some modifications, the pilot program's existing requirements and establishes new ones and (2) allows the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) and the Judicial Branch to participate in the program.

Additionally, the act requires the Government Administration and Elections Committee to continue studying the program's effectiveness, but eliminates the requirement to study the need for making it permanent. It also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

JANITORIAL WORK PROGRAM

Under the janitorial work pilot program, the DAS commissioner awarded contracts to qualified partnerships, which are commercial janitorial contractors and community rehabilitation programs, designated by the Connecticut Community Providers Association (CCPA), that meet certain criteria. The act makes this program permanent and allows BOR and the Judicial Branch to participate. It extends to the chief court administrator and BOR president a prohibition, previously applicable to the DAS commissioner only, on delegating program-related responsibilities to an outside vendor. BOR governs the Connecticut State University System, regional community-technical colleges, and Charter Oak State College.

Under existing law and the act, the program must create and expand work opportunities, specifically full-time jobs or full-time equivalents at standard wage rates, for people with a disability (excluding blindness) and people with a disadvantage (see BACKGROUND). The act eliminates requirements that the program (1) consist of four janitorial work projects, (2) create at least 60 full-time jobs or equivalent, and (3) have a total market value of at least $3 million. It also eliminates a provision authorizing DAS to adopt regulations concerning the program.

Modifications to Existing Requirements

Under prior law, if more than one qualified partnership submitted a bid for a janitorial contract, the contract had to be awarded to the lowest responsible qualified bidder. The act additionally allows an award to the most advantageous proposer (i. e. , the one whose proposal is deemed most advantageous to the state, according to criteria specified in the request for proposals). It specifies that if no qualified partnership submits a bid, then the Judicial Branch or BOR must award the contract according to their regular contracting laws. (DAS must already do this under existing law. )

Under existing law, qualified partnerships awarded janitorial contracts under the program must provide CCPA with a list of their employees who have a disability or disadvantage no later than six months after the contract starts. CCPA must certify to DAS, in a manner and form the DAS commissioner prescribes, that the contractor continues to employ the required number of people with disabilities in positions equivalent to those created under the contract and has integrated them into the contractor's general workforce. The act additionally requires that (1) qualified partnerships provide lists to CCPA on an annual basis after the initial provision of the list and (2) CCPA (a) provide DAS with the certification on an annual basis and (b) also provide it to BOR and the Judicial Branch.

Under prior law, if DAS awarded an exclusive contract during the pilot program's term under the state's preferential purchasing law for people with disabilities, including one for janitorial services, the contract had to remain in effect with no change in the fair market value formula used by DAS for determining whether a vendor should be awarded the contract. The act instead specifies that exclusive contracts awarded during the pilot program's term (which ends October 1, 2013) must remain in effect until terminated by either party, with at least 60 days' written notice. The contract can be amended to include updated terms and conditions, but cannot allow for price increases except for those mandated for minimum and standard wages. If the contract is terminated, the next one can be awarded under (1) the janitorial work program, (2) the preferential purchasing law for people with disabilities, or (3) standard contracting laws.

New Requirements

The act prohibits awarding authorities from awarding contracts, under the program, at sites where employees are employed pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement or under the state's preferential purchasing law for people with disabilities, including those for janitorial services, unless a contract has previously been awarded to a qualified partnership under the program.

The act specifies that if a position is not available at a job site for a janitorial contract award and a person with a disability or disadvantage is placed at an alternate job site, then he or she must be paid the alternate site's wage rate. It requires that, when a position becomes available at the original job site, the person be transferred and paid the standard wage rate at the original site. The act further specifies that if a person who is transferred subsequently leaves the position, then it must be filled by another person with a disability or disadvantage.

BACKGROUND

Person With a Disadvantage

To qualify as a person with a disadvantage, an individual must either (1) have income up to 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of four or (2) be eligible for employment services under the federal Workforce Investment Act as the state Labor Department determines.

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