2003 -- S 0395 SUBSTITUTE A
RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT - GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION ON DISABILITIES
Introduced By: Senators Lanzi, Connors, Tassoni, Gallo, and F Caprio
Date Introduced: February 12, 2003
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 42-51-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-51 entitled "Governor's
Commission on Disabilities" is hereby amended to read as follows:
42-51-6. Duties. -- It shall be the duty of the commission to work in cooperation with the
national council on disability and other interested federal, state, and local agencies, organizations,
and employers in:
(1) Promoting on behalf of the people with disabilities and assuring, on behalf of the
state, that people with disabilities are afforded the opportunities to exercise all of the rights and
responsibilities accorded to citizens of this state;
(2) Arousing community interest in the concerns of people with disabilities through the
utilization of whatever community and state resources the commission may deem necessary to
accomplish the maximum in independent living and human development;
(3) Coordinating compliance with federal and state laws protecting the rights of
individuals with disabilities by
(4) Providing technical assistance to public and private agencies, businesses, and citizens
in complying with federal and state
laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities
(5) From time to time, but not less than once a year, to report to the legislature and the
governor, describing the investigations, proceedings, and hearings the commission has conducted
and their outcome, the decisions it has rendered, and the other work performed by it, and make
recommendations for further legislation concerning abuses and discrimination based on disability
that may be desirable.
SECTION 2. Chapter 42-51 of the General Laws entitled "Governor's Commission on
Disabilities" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following sections:
42-51-6.1. Hearing boards. – (1) The commission's chairperson shall appoint five (5)
commissioners as the hearing board for the purpose of conducting hearings and rendering
decisions on matters relating to the provisions of chapter 87 of title 42 and sections 37-8-15.1 and
42-46-13 within the jurisdiction of the commission.
(2) Three (3) commissioners shall constitute a quorum of a hearing board.
(3) The hearing board is empowered to:
(i) Receive, investigate, and act upon charges of unlawful practices within its jurisdiction;
(ii) In connection with any investigation or hearing held on any matter within its
jurisdiction to hold hearings, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath, and
to require the production for examination of any books and papers relating to any matter under
investigation or in question before the hearing board.
42-51-6.2. Committees and mediation teams. – (1) The commission is authorized to
create advisory committees and mediation teams to perform tasks within the jurisdiction of the
(2) The commission may itself, or it may empower these committees and mediation
(i) Study the concerns of people with disabilities in reaching the maximum in
independent living and human development and exercising all of the rights and responsibilities
accorded to citizens of this state;
(ii) Arouse community interest in the concerns of people with disabilities;
(iii) Foster through community effort or otherwise good will among the groups and
elements of the population of the state towards people with disabilities; and
(iv) Attempt by informal methods of conference, persuasion, and conciliation, to induce
compliance with matters within the jurisdiction of the commission.
(3) The committees and teams may make recommendations to the commission for the
development of policies and procedures in general.
(4) Advisory committees and mediation teams created by the commission shall be
composed of representative citizens serving without pay, but with reimbursement for actual and
necessary traveling expenses.
(5) Three (3) members of a committee constitutes a quorum for the purpose of conducting
the business of that committee.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.