(a) There is hereby established within the office the autism spectrum disorders advisory board. Such board shall consist of nineteen members, ten of whom shall be appointed and nine of whom shall serve ex officio. Of the ten appointed members, two shall be appointed by the governor, two shall be appointed by the temporary president of the senate, two shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly, two shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate and two shall be appointed by the minority leader of the assembly. Of the two members appointed by each appointing authority, one member shall have expertise of work as a professional in the field of autism and one member shall be a family advocate or self-advocate in the community that such advocate resides. A representative from each of the following state agencies shall serve ex officio: the office for people with developmental disabilities; the department of education; the office of mental health; the office of children and family services; the department of health; the developmental disabilities planning council; the council on children and families; and the office of vocational and educational services for individuals with disabilities. The chair of the board shall be selected by the governor.
(b) Members of the board shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Members of the board shall receive no compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within amounts appropriated therefor.
(c) The board shall have the following tasks and duties:
(1) Study and review the effectiveness of supports and services currently being provided to people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders;
(2) Identify legislative and regulatory activity which may be required to improve existing service systems that support people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders;
(3) Identify methods of improving interagency coordination of services and maximize the impact and effectiveness of services and agency functions;
(4) Identify strategies and methods of improving outreach and coordination of services associated with autism spectrum disorders for minority group members including, but not limited to, African American, Latino and Asian children; and
(5) Such other matters as may be deemed appropriate by the members of the board.
At the discretion of the chair, the board may consult with stakeholders for the purpose of carrying out its tasks and duties in accordance with this subdivision.
(d) Such board shall meet at least quarterly. Special meetings may be called by the chair. The agenda and meeting place of all regular or special meetings shall be made available to the public in advance of such meetings.
(e) The advisory board shall submit a written report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly by no later than October first of the year next succeeding the effective date of this section and annually thereafter, setting forth the recommendations and activities of the council on matters within the scope of its duties as set forth in this section.
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