2001-S 539 am
Enacted 07/13/2001

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Introduced By:  Senators Walaska and Walton Date Introduced:  February 13, 2001

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 23-1.8-1 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-1.8 entitled "Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing" is hereby amended to read as follows:

23-1.8-1. Purpose -- Creation of commission. -- (a) In view of the barriers and disadvantages which deafness and hearing impairments impose on those individuals so affected, and in view of the testimony on deafness received by a legislative study commission, it is hereby proposed that a permanent Rhode Island commission of the deaf and hard-of-hearing be established. This commission shall be composed as follows: a nine (9) thirteen (13) member commission, seven (7) eleven (11) of whom are appointed by the governor, one representative appointed by the speaker of the house and one senator appointed by the senate majority leader. Four (4) of the governor's appointments shall be initially appointed for a term to expire July 1, 1995 and three (3) members shall be appointed for a term to expire July 1, 1994. Thereafter the commissioners shall serve staggered two-year terms, each member serving until his or her successor is appointed. These commissioners shall be responsible for the establishment of policies and the appointment of an executive director who shall be in the unclassified service and other staff as are needed and for whom appropriations are available. They shall meet not less than four (4) times per year, and shall not be paid for their services, except for reimbursement of expenses incurred by their service. The commissioners may elect their own officers.

(b) The members appointed by the governor shall include two (2) five (5) individuals who are deaf who use American Sign Language, one (1) individual who is deaf who does not use American Sign Language, two (2) three (3) who are hard-of-hearing, and two (2) who are hearing. and one who is either deaf or hard-of-hearing. Commission members shall select their own chairperson. Five (5) members shall constitute a quorum.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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