Human Services Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5257

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING REPORTS OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT OF PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY OR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.

Vote Date:

3/22/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/13/2018

File No.:

Disclaimer: The following Joint Favorable Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Human Services Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

Reducing the amount of time a mandated reporter has to file a report of suspected abuse or neglect for those with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder from 72 to 48 hours.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Jordan A. Scheff, Commissioner, Department of Developmental Services; Supports the legislation but expressed concerns on many of the points. The Commissioner points out that while DDS appreciates all efforts to protect persons with disabilities from abuse or neglect, they have concerns with shortening the time frame allowing for reporting of abuse or neglect by mandated reporters. As there is a penalty which can be imposed for not reporting abuse or neglect, the Department is concerned about the costs incurred with tracking such a short timeframe to determine whether it fell within the required time limit. Additionally, the Commissioner states that mandatory reporters may be discouraged from reporting if they were, for whatever reason, not able to report within the time frame and then fear monetary or professional sanctions afterwards.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Kathleen McCarthy, 38th Dist. State Representative, House Republicans; in support of this legislation and subsequently supported the substitute language adjustment.

Win Evarts, Executive Director, ARC of Connecticut; in support of this legislation and emphasizes that shortening the reporting time could increase the ability to save the individual additional abuse or neglect, which should be prioritized.

Marion Leist, Vice President of Advocacy and Business Development, HARC Inc.; supports the concept of the bill but opposes the limitations placed on reporters due to such a short timeframe (the initial proposed timeframe was 24 hours, which was adjusted to 48 hours in substitute language.) Ms. Leist emphasizes that being a mandated reporter is a complex process and warns against rushing an allegation of abuse or neglect.

Julia Wilcox, Manager of Advocacy and Public Policy, The Alliance; in support of this bill and suggested amendments which were changed in substitute language.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

No opposing testimony was submitted.

Reported by: Kayleigh Royston

Date: 03/27/2018