Substitute House Bill No. 7079

Public Act No. 99-271

An Act Concerning the Department of Mental Retardation Ombudsperson.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (a) The Commissioner of Mental Retardation shall establish an independent Ombudsperson Office within the Department of Mental Retardation that is responsible for receiving and making recommendations to the commissioner for resolving complaints affecting consumers under the care or supervision of the department or of any public or private agency with which the department has contracted for the provision of services.

(b) The director of the Ombudsperson Office shall report monthly to the Council on Mental Retardation established by section 17a-270 of the general statutes and by December 15, 1999, and annually thereafter, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health.

(c) Not later than September 1, 1999, the commissioner shall convene a special selection committee for advice and recommendations in the hiring or appointment of a director for the Ombudsperson Office established under subsection (a) of this section. The selection committee shall include self-advocates and family members of persons with mental retardation.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 1999.

Approved June 29, 1999