Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 7237

Public Act No. 17-30

AN ACT CONCERNING AN ADVISORY BOARD FOR PERSONS WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING.

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

Section 1. Section 46a-27 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The [Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired] Advisory Board for Persons Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing is hereby created to advocate, strengthen and advise the [Department of Rehabilitation Services] Governor and the General Assembly concerning state policies affecting deaf [and hearing impaired] or hard of hearing individuals and their relationship to the public, industry, health care and educational opportunity. The board shall:

(1) Monitor services for deaf or hard of hearing persons;

(2) Periodically meet with the Commissioners of Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Education, Developmental Services, and Children and Families and the Labor Commissioner, or the commissioners' designees, to discuss best practices and gaps in services for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing;

(3) Refer individuals with complaints concerning the qualification and registration of interpreters for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to the entity designated pursuant to section 46a-10b;

(4) Make recommendations for (A) technical assistance and resources for state agencies in order to serve persons who are deaf or hard of hearing; (B) public policy and legislative changes needed to address gaps in services; and (C) the qualifications and registration of interpreters pursuant to section 46a-33a. The board shall submit such recommendations, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services.

Sec. 2. Section 46a-28 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The [Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired] Advisory Board for Persons Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing shall consist of [twenty-one members, three of whom shall be ex officio. The ex-officio members shall consist of the following individuals:] the following fifteen members appointed by the Governor: (1) The consultant appointed by the State Board of Education in accordance with section 10-316a, or the consultant's designee; (2) the president of the Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf, [and the superintendent] or the president's designee; (3) the president of the Connecticut Association of the Deaf, or the president's designee; (4) the president of the Connecticut Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, or the president's designee; (5) the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, or the commissioner's designee; (6) the executive director of the American School for the Deaf, [. The following members shall be voting members: The Commissioners of Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health, Education, Developmental Services, and Children and Families and the Labor Commissioner or their designees and eleven members appointed by the Governor. Of the members appointed by the Governor one shall be a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state and specializing in otolaryngology; one] or the executive director's designee; (7) a parent of a student in a predominantly oral education program; [, one] (8) a parent of a student at the American School for the Deaf; [and one a parent of a student in a public school hearing impaired program, and seven deaf persons, one of whom shall be a parent] (9) a person who is deaf; (10) a person who is hard of hearing; (11) a person who is deaf and blind; (12) an interpreting professional who serves deaf or hard of hearing persons; (13) a health-care professional who works with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing; (14) the Governor's liaison to the disability community; and (15) an educator who works with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, the Governor's liaison to the disability community and a member chosen by the majority of the board shall be the chairpersons of the advisory board.

(b) The [commission] advisory board shall meet at least quarterly or more often at the call of the [chairperson] chairpersons or a majority of the members. A majority of [the voting] members in office but not less than [seven] eight voting members shall constitute a quorum.

(c) Any appointed member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or who fails to attend fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. Vacancies occurring otherwise than by expiration of term in the membership of the [commission] advisory board shall be filled by the [officer authorized to make the original appointments] Governor.

[(d) The members of the commission shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.]

Sec. 3. Subsection (d) of section 2c-2h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) Not later than July 1, 2017, and not later than every ten years thereafter, the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of any of the following governmental entities or programs shall conduct a review of the applicable entity or program in accordance with the provisions of section 2c-3:

(1) Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing, established under section 20-88;

(2) Advisory and planning councils for regional centers for persons with intellectual disability, established under section 17a-273;

(3) Automotive Glass Work and Flat Glass Work Board, established under section 20-331;

(4) Electrical Work Board, established under section 20-331;

[(5) Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, established under section 46a-27;]

[(6)] (5) Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, established under section 31-376; and

[(7)] (6) Connecticut Marketing Authority, established under section 22-63.

Sec. 4. Subsection (g) of section 2c-2h of the general statutes is amended by adding subdivision (5) as follows (Effective from passage):

(NEW) (5) Advisory Board for Persons Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, established under section 46a-27, as amended by this act.

Sec. 5. Subdivision (2) of section 4-61aa of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(2) The [Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired] Advisory Board for Persons Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing;