OPA: 2012 Testimony before the General Assembly

2012 Testimony before the General Assembly

 
Testimony presented by the Executive and/or Assistant Director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities is available as an Adobe file, Word document, on-line and in alternative formats upon request.  OPA-Information@ct.gov 
 
 
H.B. 5016:  Sections 74 through 82 - "the Governor’s budget proposes to zero out funding for the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (OPA), and to consolidate our agency with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), forming a new agency to be called the Department of Human Rights, Protection and Advocacy.  The details of the consolidation are described in implementing language in sections 74 through 82 in H.B. 5016, which has been referred to your Committee along with the budget itself.   For a number of reasons I believe this proposal is ill considered, and that it will significantly weaken safeguarding protections for people with disabilities in Connecticut. "
 
Raised Bill No. 5357, An Act Concerning a Deaf Child Bill of Rights; and
Raised Bill No. 5353, An Act Concerning Individualized Education Programs and Other Issues Relating to Special Education.
 

Raised Bill No. 5347, An Act Concerning the Reporting of Children Placed in Seclusion.  This Bill would amend Chapter 814e of the General Statutes, which defines, and set limits on the use of “physical restraint, medication and seclusion of persons receiving care, education or supervision in a school, institution or facility.”  More specifically, it would clarify requirements for reporting incidents of restraint and seclusion by local and regional school districts to the State Board of Education (SBE), and make the reporting of restraint and seclusion-related injuries mandatory.  It would also require the SBE to produce an annual summary report on the frequency with which special education students have been restrained and secluded, which would be included in the State’s Annual Report Card on Policies and Programs Affecting Children. 

 

House Bill 5016 - Public Hearing Testimony   H.B. 5016, which proposes to consolidate a number of agencies, including, in Sections 74 through 82, the consolidation of our agency with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  The Bill proposes formation of a new agency to be called the Department of Human Rights, Protection and Advocacy.  For a number of reasons I believe this proposal is ill considered, and that it will significantly weaken safeguarding protections for people with disabilities in Connecticut.

 

Raised Bill No. 247,  An Act Concerning The Sexual Assault of Persons Whose Ability to Communicate Lack of Consent is Substantially Impaired This Bill would amend the sections of the criminal code that define and classify the crimes of second degree and fourth degree sexual assault.  In general, those crimes are defined by the status of the victim or by a relationship wherein the perpetrator has responsibility for, or authority over the victim.  The proposed changes would address practical problems that have arisen in pursuing prosecution of individuals who sexually assaulted people with disabilities.   Our Office supports both these measures.

Raised House Bill No. 5433 - An Act Creating a Procedure for Personal Care Attendants to Collectively Bargain with the State.

Raised Bill No. 5437, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITIONS OF MENTAL RETARDATION AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY.   This Bill updates the definition of the term “mental retardation” in Section 1-1g of the General Statutes, and clarifies that it has the same meaning as the term “intellectual disability”, which is used in a number of other statutory sections

 

Raised Bill No. 452 - An Act Concerning the Care and Treatment of Persons with Psychiatric DisabilitiesThis Bill would create a mechanism whereby conservators could be appointed and authorized by Probate Courts to consent to the administration of psychotropic drugs for up to 120 days following a person’s discharge from a psychiatric facility when that person either refuses to give consent to take psychotropic drugs, or has a history of not taking prescribed drugs.  It would authorize the conservator to call police and/or an ambulance to have the person transported to a location where drugs could be forcibly administered.   The Bill would also modify the definition of a treatment “facility” to include nursing homes, and would establish statutory permission for facilities that are involved in treatment and discharge planning to communicate, without the person’s consent, with other providers of treatment and with persons with whom the person has resided within the past twelve months.   Lastly, it would also reduce the number of physician reports needed in commitment proceedings from two to one.



Content Last Modified on 3/30/2012 8:38:25 AM