(a) There is hereby established a developmental disabilities advisory council. The council shall consist of the commissioner, the chairman of the conference of local mental hygiene directors or his designee, and at least thirty-three members to be appointed by the governor. Members shall be appointed only if they have demonstrated an active interest in or have obtained professional knowledge in the care of persons with developmental disabilities or in the field of developmental disabilities generally. The governor shall designate one of the appointed members as chair. The council shall at all times include in its membership representatives of community service board developmental disabilities subcommittees, providers of services and non-governmental organizations concerned with services for persons with developmental disabilities. At least one-third of the membership of the advisory council shall consist of consumer representatives including persons with developmental disabilities, or their parents or guardians.
(b) Members shall be appointed for terms of three years provided, however, that of the members first appointed, one-third shall be appointed for one year terms and one-third shall be appointed for two year terms. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments for the remainder of the unexpired term. The designation of a member as chair shall be made bi-annually.
(c) The developmental disabilities advisory council shall have no executive, administrative or appointive duties. The council shall have the duty to foster public understanding and acceptance of developmental disabilities. It shall, in cooperation with the commissioner of developmental disabilities, provide recommendations for statewide priorities and goals for services for individuals with developmental disabilities and shall advise the commissioner on matters related to development and implementation of the statewide comprehensive plan as required under section 5.07 of this chapter. The advisory council shall have the power to consider any matter relating to the improvement of the state developmental disabilities program and shall advise the commissioner of developmental disabilities thereon and on any matter relating to the performance of their duties with relation to individuals with developmental disabilities and on policies, goals, budget and operation of developmental disabilities services.
1. The council shall establish such committees as deemed necessary by the chair with advice from the commissioner. Such committees shall consider matters related to the various service populations served, and programs certified by the office, as well as other matters, including planning, fiscal, and consumer affairs. The council shall prepare and issue such reports on its activities as deemed necessary.
2. The council shall meet at least four times in each full calendar year. The council shall meet at the request of its chair or the commissioner.
(d) Members of the advisory council shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for all expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties.
(e) At least thirty days prior to his or her final approval of regulations, other than emergency regulations, the commissioner shall submit proposed regulations to the council for its review. The council shall review all proposed regulations and report its recommendations on the proposed regulations to the commissioner within thirty days. Such period may be extended upon the agreement of the commissioner.
(f) The council shall assist the commissioner of developmental disabilities with the development and assessment of the triennial state developmental disabilities plan issued by the office. To ensure the full use of existing specialized and generic services in the community, to ensure that all providers and appropriate local governmental agencies are involved, and to ensure that local services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families are readily available and accessible, the council shall periodically assess the local planning process and make recommendations thereon to the commissioner and to the council for mental hygiene planning.
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