CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 6-15-10

CTCDD Meeting 6-15-10


The 164th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.


Council Members Present: Joyce Baker; Stephen Belske; Larry Carlson; Kathryn duPree; Fred Frank; Gabriela Freyre-Calish; Mark Keenan; Hayley Kelley; Bill Knight; Maryann Lombardi; Jennifer Lortie; Zuleika Martinez; Sabra Mayo; Peter Morrissette; Dwayne Paul (via speakerphone); Frank Reed, Interim Vice Chair; Monica Smyth; Anita Tremarche; Acting Chair; and Patricia Tyler.


Excused Absence:  Leo Germain; Tom McCann; Perri Murdica; Al Piehl; Leslie Prior; Sarah Rafala; and Nancy Taylor.


Absent:  David King;


Guests Present:  James Gorman, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, UCONN Health Center; Justin Hill, Intern, Department of Public Health; guest of Sabra Mayo and two (2) personal assistants and a meeting assistant.


Staff Present:  Mary-Ann Langton and Ed Preneta.


Ms. Tremarche called the CT Council meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. 




          Ms. Lortie moved to approve the minutes of May 11, 2010.  Ms. Mayo seconded.  The motion passed with Mr. Frank abstaining.


Budget Update


            With the departure of a staff person and the inability to fill that position before September 2010, the surplus in the salaries and fringe benefits line items should total about $15,900, however, it is unknown how much the severance or payout will total.  Council staff has been officially exempted from future furlough days.  About $1,000 will be moved from various line items to salaries and fringe benefits line items for the July 2, 2010 furlough day.  All operational expenses seem to be on track and within budget, however, it is expected the addition of a July 20, 2010 Council meeting will add about $5,200 in unplanned expenses (stipends and other reimbursements, transportation, the room and catering, general office supplies and mailing, and a meeting assistant).  All initiatives have been implemented, except for the transportation feasibility study with the Housatonic Area Regional Transportation (HART).  HART has put a signed memorandum of understanding in the mail.  A personal services agreement (PSA) state contract with First Experience Communications has been re-written 5 times and is being hand delivered today to the state system of approval.  Since Connecticut Community Care, Inc. (CCCI) held an emergency preparation conference on June 9, 2010, Council funds for an emergency preparation conference were moved to the Undesignated line item.  CCCI also carried over $40,010 of 2009/2010 funds for use in 2010/2011.  A balance of $134,709 remains in the undesignated line item for initiatives postponed to federal fiscal year 2011:  Grassroots Intensive Parent Training, Internships in Business for Youth and Youth Advocacy. 

          CCCI’s application for 2010/2011 totaled $103,497, which is less than the $118,000 budgeted.  The application expanded the possibility of  sustainability of service brokers (now called Community Living Consultants) in the Personal Care Assistance Medicaid waiver, and possibly other Medicaid waivers, but eliminated peer mentors.  The Department of Social Services did not find peer mentors as workable or sustainable.  There was discussion regarding disappointment with the elimination of peer mentors, even though the Council is changing the Medicaid waiver system with the addition of Community Living Consultants.

          Mr. Preneta also said implementation of reprinting the Education Toolkit is being postponed until a new Disability Policy Specialist is hired.  There was discussion regarding spreading staff duties, re-setting priorities, exploring interns and Council members volunteering.  Mr. Preneta said it is not possible to pick up all the work left by the sudden, unplanned departure of a staff person.  He will begin filing paperwork after June 23, 2010 to refill the position.


Old Business


Committee Reports


Advocacy, Public Information and Education Committee


          Mr. Paul deferred to Committee Vice Chair Lortie for a report.  Ms. Lortie reported the Committee elected Mr. Paul and Chair and that she was elected Vice Chair.  The Committee was awaiting the implementation of the contract with First Experience Communications (FEC) so that a meeting with FEC could be held.  Mr. Preneta reported that the start date of the contract has been moved from July 1, 2010 to July 15, 2010, and could be pushed back further if the contract does not pass the state review.  The Committee planned to schedule a joint meeting with the Legislation Policy and Planning Committee to discuss overlapping issues, such as letters-to-the-editor and fact sheets for legislators.  A letter-to-the-editor on aging in place was published by The Hartford Courant. 


Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee


Ms. Kelley reported that, with the loss of a staff person, the distribution of Restraint and Seclusion Warning Signs for Parents will be put on hold while several Committee members explore how they may help.  Committee members will contact various sources regarding their willingness to distribute or post the Warning Signs.  The Warning Signs will also be posted on the Council’s Web and Blog. 

          Letters to school districts polling their process for notifying parents about CT’s restraint and seclusion reporting requirements and district out-of-state placements will be put on hold until the Fall when the contact list of local school district superintendents can be updated.  A position paper on Aversives, Restraint and Seclusion was drafted and shared with Council members for comment. 

Ms. Kelley reported that legal counsel for the Governor’s Office called on Friday to say that she studied the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) issue for a couple of months.  They are aware that there are 2 adults at JRC who have been there for a couple of decades.  There are no CT children and state agencies are not permitted to send anyone to JRC.  State law also prohibits the use of the “treatment” used by JRC by all CT facilities.  Because the families of the 2 adults at JRC insist on keeping them there, the Gov’s Office will defend those decisions.  Those placements are heavily monitored by CT officials.  The Governor’s Office appreciated the Council’s “heads up” letters.  JRC is considered a national issue.  The Administration on Developmental Disabilities and advocates are awaiting the US Justice Department investigatory report on JRC.  She also reported that a position paper specifically on JRC will not be pursued in order to avert the possibility of litigation.

Ms. Kelley reported that the Court denied litigation filed to change CT’s physician assisted suicide legislation.  The Court said changing the legislation was the responsibility of the CT General Assembly.  It is expected the Committee will be part of organizing in the Fall to address this issue during the 2011 session of the General Assembly.  The Committee also expects to be part of resubmitting legislation on the state definition of physically helpless.  Federal legislation on restraint and seclusion passed the U.S. House of Representatives but still has to pass the Senate.  The Committee will hold on strengthening CT’s restraint and seclusion law until it is addressed by the U.S. Senate.

The next Committee meeting is at 9:30 a.m., on September 14, 2010, just prior to the Council meeting.


Membership and Support Committee


Mr. Preneta reported in Mr. McCann’s absence that while 6 candidates for Council membership have been invited for interviews, only one has scheduled an interview.  The Council has 3 vacancies for people with developmental disabilities and 2 for parents who have children with developmental disabilities.  Council members have been asked to spread the word and encourage people to submit an application.


Other Reports


Transition Committee


          Mr. Reed reported that the Committee was meeting on June 17, 2010 to address transition to a new Director and the loss of a staff person.


Bylaws Task Force


          Mr. Reed reported that the Bylaws Task Force distributed proposed amendments to the bylaws for the Council’s consideration and discussion.  The amended bylaws will be presented to the Council for a vote at the Council’s July 20, 2010 meeting.

          Ms. Baker noted the need to capitalize the spelling of Developmental Disabilities Act.

          Ms. Smyth expressed concern that the new Sections 7 and 8 under Article 5 did not address all the email conversations Council members have on various subjects that are not reported to the Council.  There was considerable discussion about what constitutes a meeting and a quorum, the time required for meeting notices, and U.S. Constitutional protection of freedom of speech and the right to assembly.  No changes were made to the amendments.

          Ms. Tyler moved to strike “exclusive of representatives of agencies” from Section 1, Article VI.  Ms. Baker seconded.  The motion passed with Mr. Paul abstaining.

          It was noted that this change, with other amendments, in theory could result in all people with disabilities, or all parents or all agency representatives elected as Chair and Vice Chair of standing Committees and, thereby, dominate representation on the Executive Committee.  It was decided that the probability of this happening was very low.

          The amended bylaws, as further amended, will be presented for a vote at the Council’s July 20, 2010 meeting.


New Business


2010/2011 Projected Budget

2010 State Plan Amendments

Retreat Follow Up


          These 3 items were combined for discussion since they are all impacted by the 2010/2011 Projected Budget.

          Mr. Preneta reported that the Council will have to make some major decisions at the July 20, 2010 Council meeting regarding priorities in order to make up for a projected $138,000 deficit.  He reported that there were 5 interrelated reasons for the projected deficit, including new information that the Council’s 2011 federal formula grant could be reduced by 2.3% and the 2012 federal formula grant an additional 5%.   It is unlikely the Council will be able to do any new initiatives in 2011 or 2012. 


Mr. Belske moved to adjourn.  Ms. Mayo seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.



                                                                   Respectfully submitted,




                                                                   Ed Preneta

Content Last Modified on 9/15/2010 4:26:24 PM