CTCDD: Policy Meeting 2-6-12

Policy Meeting 2-6-12


Not Approved       DRAFT MINUTES       Not Approved


CT Council on Developmental Disabilities

Legislation, Policy and Program Committee Meeting

February 6, 2012


A.J. Pappanikou Center of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities, 270 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT


Members in attendance:  Bill Knight, Chair; Gabriela Freyre-Calish; David King; Zuleika Martinez; Mark Keenan

Absent: Laura Marcinauskis; Fred Frank

Staff Present:  Molly Cole; Cathy Adamczyk


Mr. Knight called the meeting to order at 10:12 AM.


1.                  Motion to amend the agenda.  A motion was made by Mr.  King to amend the agenda to allow for a discussion of pending legislation by Ms. Cole.  Ms. Martinez seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously, and the agenda was amended.


2.                  Discussion of Pending Legislation.


a.     Statutory language establishing the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities.   Ms. Cole informed the Committee that she has been in contact with Chris Drake, an attorney at the Governor’s Office.    The Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities is the only Council that is not established by state statute or Executive Order.  ADD discussed this with Ms. Cole in September, and encouraged the Council to pursue an official designation from Connecticut.    The Governor is introducing a large bill that includes the consolidation or elimination of many council and boards. This bill will also include language that officially establishes the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities in state statute.  The language includes a provision that will reduce the number of Council members from 29 to 24.  This will make it easier to establish a quorum for meetings.  Currently, we have 27 Council members appointed, and three are currently scheduled to retire on September 30, 2012.  Since this will be effective on passage, those members may be asked to retire earlier than September.  All Council members would have to resign from the Council, and the Governor would then re-appoint Council members in a staggered rotation schedule consistent with their current terms.  The language is consistent with the language in the DD Act.  The Council would be made up of five people with disabilities, five people who are parents, relatives or guardians of persons with disabilities, five people who are parents, relatives or guardians of persons with disabilities or people with disabilities, two people from non-profit agencies that serve people with disabilities, and seven required state agencies, as stated in the DD Act.  Mr. Knight asked where the Council currently gets its legal authority to function as a Council.  Mrs. Cole indicated that it is from a letter from Governor Thomas Meskill from 1974, and that we are not “illegal”, but rather that this proposed language officially establishes the Council in statute in the state.   

b.     Combining the Office of Protection and Advocacy with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  In a separate part of this very large bill is language that will combine the Office of Protection and Advocacy with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity (CHRO).  If this consolidation occurs, the Office of Protection and Advocacy would lose their ability to function as an independent advocacy entity, and their effectiveness as a strong advocate for persons with disabilities will be significantly compromised. 


Action:  Ms. Martinez made a motion to support the portion of the Governor’s bill that would establish the DD Council in state statute, and to oppose the portion of the Governor’s bill that would consolidate the Office of Protection and Advocacy with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity.   Mr. Knight seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


Mrs. Cole left the meeting.


3.                 Approval of the minutes from January 11, 2011.   Mr. Knight and Ms. Freyre-Calish were the only members in attendance who were at the January 11, 2011 meeting.  Mr. Knight made a motion to vouch for the veracity of the minutes, but Ms. Freyre-Calish did not feel comfortable to vote on such a motion. Over a year has gone by since that meeting, and she couldn’t remember what happened.  Mr. Knight withdrew his motion, and Mr. Keenan recommended that the Committee members review the draft minutes of 1/11/2011 for agreement with the decisions that were voted on during that meeting. Members reviewed the minutes and  agreed with the following as outlined in those draft minutes:


·     Formation of a Rapid Response Team

·     Forgo  Robert’s Rules when necessary to act quickly

·     Support accessible taxis


Since everyone reviewed and agreed with the draft minutes, Mr. Keenan moved to make the following motion: “Since we all reviewed the draft minutes and motions that passed, and agree with the decisions made, I move  that we enter the entire draft minutes dated 1/11/2011 into the minutes as part of our historical record.”  Mr. Knight seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. 


4.                 Discussion of Committee Challenges. 

a.      Turnover of committee members. 

b.     A lot of time has passed since the last meeting, and different people are on the committee.

c.      Transportation/finding accessible meeting space/demands on everyone’s time   

Mrs. Adamczyk said she would identify accessible meeting space and arrange the transportation.  It was suggested that items requiring committee votes should occur in the first half hour of the meeting in order  to ensure a quorum; conference calls should be utilized and meeting time should be shorter.  It was recommended that Council staff conduct a “mock” conference call to ensure that committee members know how to dial in to the conference call, and to establish proper etiquette on a call (such as letting people know when you have to leave the phone).  The frequency of conference calls/meetings will depend on the demands of the number of bills that require committee attention.  It was recommended that Mrs. Adamczyk send out a list of potential dates for a mock conference call.


5.                 Election of new Vice Chair. Mr. Keenan stated that he felt the new Vice-Chair should not be a state agency representative because a parent or self advocate brings a different perspective to the position which is more beneficial.

A motion was made by Mr. King to nominate Zuleika Martinez.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Keenan.  The motion carried unanimously.  As a result of her election as Vice Chair of LPP, Ms. Martinez is now a member of the Executive Committee as well.


At this point Ms. Freyre-Calish left the meeting.


6.                  Physically Helpless Bill.    Mr. Knight indicated that this bill passed in the Senate in two sessions, but didn’t pass in the House.  The bill was raised after a specific incident in which a person was arrested, but won on appeal.  The Bill was blocked in the House of Representatives because the Chair refused to raise the bill.  Mr. Keenan asked why this bill is being opposed, and who is opposing it.  There is a clause regarding statutory rape bill in this bill.  The bill implied that when someone is defined as being “physically helpless” they can’t have sex,  which  would deprive the person with a disability of choice regarding sexual or intimate relationships. The bill does not define “physically helpless”.


Mr. Keenan made a motion that Mrs. Adamczyk provide the committee with additional information about the bill.  Mr. King seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


7.                  Executive Order 10 regarding unionization of Personal Care Assistants. Mr. King indicated that if someone else trains a Personal Care Attendant, then that person is not “personal”. He wants to have total control of who he chooses and how he chooses to train them, because his needs are different from everyone else’s needs.  Mr. Keenan isn’t sure how unionization of PCA’s can work.  The committee discussed going to the media to oppose Executive Order 10.  Mr. King made the following motion:  To empower the LLP Committee to collaborate with the APIE committee to oppose Executive Order 10, by writing an Op-ed or using other media to communicate the Council’s  opposition to Executive Order 10.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Keenan.  The motion carried unanimously.


8.                 Old Business.  Mr. Keenan made the following motion:  Since the Rapid Response Team system is working, the LLP Committee should continue to use it.

The motion was seconded by Mr. King.  The motion carried unanimously.


9.                  New Business.   Mr. Reed (not present) asked the Committee to review the Fair Wages for People with Disabilities Act, HR3086. Mr. Keenan made a motion to direct the Chairs of LLP and APIE to draft a letter on behalf of the Council in support of HR3086 to be sent to all senators and congressmen/women.  Mr. King seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


10.             Agenda for next meeting:  Mr. Keenan indicated that the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee did a selective Program Review Investigation on DDS, and recommended that we obtain a copy of the report.  This would provide the Committee with information about funding for DDS as well as information about what is working and what is not working regarding state vs. privately funded programs.  It seems that DDS will not consider closing Southbury as an option, but is suggesting closing a regional center.  The issues of private funding, supports in the community vs. costs at Southbury, client choice and safety are all issues. It was also suggested that the committee review legislation regarding the use of aversives, restraints and seclusions specifically related to the current case in Middletown.


11.                Adjourn.  Mr. King made a motion to adjourn.  Ms. Martinez seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 11:59 AM


Minutes were recorded by Cathy Adamczyk





Content Last Modified on 2/10/2012 9:32:56 AM