ASSEMBLY, No. 2256

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 25, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman JOAN M. VOSS

District 38 (Bergen)

Assemblyman VINCENT PRIETO

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

Assemblyman JOSEPH J. ROBERTS, JR.

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman GARY S. SCHAER

District 36 (Bergen, Essex and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Coutinho and Scalera

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Establishes Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism in Department of the Public Advocate.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.


An Act establishing the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism and amending and supplementing P.L.2005, c.155.

 

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1. Section 38 of P.L.2005, c.155 (C.52:27EE-38) is amended to read as follows:

38. a. There is hereby established in the Department of the Public Advocate the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled to be under the supervision of the Director of the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled, appointed by the Public Advocate.

b. The division is hereby designated as the State's protection and advocacy agency for persons with developmental disabilities. The intent of this article is that the division shall have all the powers necessary to carry out its responsibilities as required to qualify for federal funding as the State protection and advocacy agency. Until such designation is effectuated, the division may take such action as it deems appropriate for the purpose of coordinating with the private entity designated the State's protection and advocacy agency for persons with developmental disabilities on the date of enactment of this act.

c. The division shall, with respect to persons with autism, discharge its responsibilities as the State's protection and advocacy agency for persons with developmental disabilities through the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism pursuant to section 2 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.2005, c.155, s.38)

 

2. (New section) a. There is established the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism within the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled in the Department of the Public Advocate. The office shall be under the supervision of a director who shall be appointed by the director of the division.

b. The provisions of sections 38 through 45 of P.L.2005, c.155 (C.52:27EE-38 through 45) concerning the objectives, functions, powers, duties, services, activities, eligibility for services, operational procedures, and employment status of staff of the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled shall, with respect to persons with autism, apply to the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism in accordance with the provisions of this section.

c. In addition to meeting the responsibilities of the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism as provided in subsection b. of this section, the office shall:

(1) coordinate its activities and services with those of other staff within the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled, as deemed appropriate by the director of the division or the director of the office;

(2) seek to provide leadership within the autism community in New Jersey to achieve objectives that serve the interests of persons with autism;

(3) work with the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services to promote policies that support the integration of persons with autism into the community;

(4) assist the families of persons with autism to obtain needed services that are provided by multiple agencies of government;

(5) promote greater awareness and education among the general public concerning the characteristics and needs of persons with autism;

(6) assist in the development of support networks for families of persons with autism through public and private entities;

(7) communicate directly with all of the various departments of State government that provide services which impact persons with autism in furtherance of its objectives;

(8) work with the business community Statewide to facilitate the accommodation of persons with autism and their families in various places of public accommodation, including hospitality, recreational, entertainment, and other commercial settings in which services are provided directly to the public; and

(9) carry out such other activities or perform such other services as the director of the division or the director of the office deems appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this section.

 

3. This act shall take effect on the 60th day after enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

This bill establishes the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism (OAPA) within the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled in the Department of the Public Advocate.

The bill provides specifically as follows:

   OAPA is to be under the supervision of a director who is appointed by the director of the division.

   The division, with respect to persons with autism, is to discharge its responsibilities as the State's protection and advocacy agency for persons with developmental disabilities through OAPA.

   The provisions of law concerning the objectives, functions, powers, duties, services, activities, eligibility for services, operational procedures, and employment status of staff of the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled will, with respect to persons with autism, apply to OAPA in accordance with the provisions of this bill.

   In addition to meeting the other responsibilities of OAPA as provided in the bill, the office is to:

-- coordinate its activities and services with those of other staff within the Division of Advocacy for the Developmentally Disabled, as deemed appropriate by the director of the division or the director of the office;

-- seek to provide leadership within the autism community in New Jersey to achieve objectives that serve the interests of persons with autism;

-- work with the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services to promote policies that support the integration of persons with autism into the community;

-- assist the families of persons with autism to obtain needed services that are provided by multiple agencies of government;

-- promote greater awareness and education among the general public concerning the characteristics and needs of persons with autism;

-- assist in the development of support networks for families of persons with autism through public and private entities;

-- communicate directly with all of the various departments of State government that provide services which impact persons with autism in furtherance of its objectives;

-- work with the business community Statewide to facilitate the accommodation of persons with autism and their families in various places of public accommodation, including hospitality, recreational, entertainment, and other commercial settings in which services are provided directly to the public; and

-- carry out such other activities or perform such other services as the director of the division or the director of the office deems appropriate to effectuate the purposes of the bill.

   The bill takes effect on the 60th day after enactment.