PA 07-238—HB 7008

Public Health Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL RETARDATION

SUMMARY: This act prohibits a probate court from excluding people from being a plenary or limited guardian of a person with mental retardation solely because they (1) work for a private agency the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) funds or licenses or (2) operate a DMR-licensed community training home.

It permits the Children and Families (DCF) and Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) departments to access DMR's abuse registry to check whether a job applicant is listed.

It increases, to $100,000 from $75,000, the cost allowance cap for executive director salaries in DMR's, DMHAS', and the Department of Social Services' calculations of grants to private agencies for residential or day services. And, beginning July 1, 2007, it permits the cap to rise annually up to any percentage cost-of-living increase provided in the departments' contracts with these agencies.

The act extends through June 30, 2009 the moratorium on the sale, lease, or transfer of state-owned or state-operated property used to house people with mental retardation. The moratorium is otherwise scheduled to expire on June 30, 2007. It does not apply to any agreement to sell, lease, or transfer property entered into before June 2, 2005.

Finally, the act repeals several reporting requirements, some of which are obsolete.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007, except for the executive director salary cap increase and the moratorium extension, which are effective upon passage.

PLENARY GUARDIANS

Probate courts appoint plenary and limited guardians for people with mental retardation. A plenary guardian acts for someone who cannot take care of his or her physical health or safety or make informed decisions about it; a limited guardian acts for those who can take care of or make informed decisions about some, but not all, aspects of their health or safety. The act prohibits a probate court from excluding someone from serving in these roles solely because he or she works for a private agency DMR licenses or funds or operates a DMR-licensed community training home. But it specifies that people:

1. cannot serve as guardians for individuals who live in the residential facilities in which they work or the community training homes they operate (this latter prohibition extends to a training home operator's relatives and household members) and

2. can be appointed only if no other suitable person can be found to serve.

The law already prohibits excluding DMR employees from serving in these roles, with similar exceptions.

REPEALED REPORTS

The act repeals requirements that:

1. DMR evaluate and annually report to the Public Health and Appropriations committees on how each of its regions adheres to its (the region's) written protocol for selecting service providers and determining which clients receive services;

2. DMR report annually to the Public Health and Appropriations committees on the status of its waiting list and its establishment of a Recreation and Respite Care Division;

3. DMR annually submit to the Public Health and Appropriations committees a proposed spending plan for residential and day services;

4. DMR, DMHAS, and DCF provide technical support to private providers in reducing work-related injuries and report annually on resulting cost savings;

5. DMR annually report to the education commissioner on its evaluation of Unified School District #3, which DMR operates as part of the Birth-to-Three system;

6. the Southbury Training School board of trustees annually review the school director's report and report to the Council on Mental Retardation on the school's status, operation, and administration; and

7. DMR report to the Public Health Committee by January 1, 1996 on criteria for placing Southbury Training School residents.

The act also eliminates the Advisory Commission on Services and Supports for People with Developmental Disabilities, which produced its final report in July 2002.

OLR Tracking: SS: JK: PF: RO