Senate Bill 136
151st General Assembly (Present)
Ready for Governor for action
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14, TITLE 16, TITLE 29, AND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES.
This Act transfers responsibility for early intervention services for children ages birth to age 3 from the Department of Health and Social Services to the Department of Education and revises the Code to be consistent with federal law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, interagency, interdisciplinary early intervention services system for eligible infants and toddlers and their families. This Act requires that early intervention services be provided in compliance with all of the requirements of the IDEA, improves coordination between advisory bodies, and requires early intervention service providers to receive the same training on child abuse and the same background checks as school employees. Specifically, this Act does all of the following: Section 1. Creates a new Chapter 31A in Title 14 for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program. Section 2. Transfers responsibility for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program from the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) under Subchapter II, Chapter 2 of Title 16 to the Department of Education (DOE) under the new Chapter 31A of Title 14, and revises the Code as follows: 1. Aligns the Code with the requirements under the federal infants and toddlers program known as Part C of the IDEA. 2. Creates duplicate sections in Title 14 regarding the confidentiality of reports and prohibiting compulsory participation in the program consistent with existing sections in Title 16. 3. Adds standard organizational language for the Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC). 4. Requires the ICC to hold at least 1 joint meeting each calendar year with the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) because the ICC and the GACEC are the 2 Delaware agencies that advise the Department of Education on implementation of the IDEA. Section 3. Makes corresponding changes to Subchapter I, Chapter 2 of Title 16 to reflect the transfer of responsibility for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program to DOE. Section 4. Adds the chair of the ICC as a member of the Early Childhood Council (ECC) and makes corresponding changes to the membership of the ECC to reflect the transfer of responsibility for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program. Section 5. Requires the GACEC to hold at least 1 joint meeting each calendar year with the ICC because the ICC and the GACEC are the 2 Delaware agencies that advise the Department of Education on implementation of the IDEA. Section 6. Requires early intervention service providers to receive the same child abuse and child safety awareness, prevention, detection, and reporting training as school employees. Section 7. Makes corresponding changes to § 7904 of Title 29 reflecting the transfer of the authority to charge a fee for a service provided by Child Development Watch from DHSS to DOE. Section 8. Requires early intervention service providers to receive the same background checks as other child-serving entities and makes corresponding revisions to the procedures to obtain and review the information received from these background checks. Section 9. Delays the implementation of this Act until July 1, 2023 to provide time for the transfer of the program, including the promulgation of regulations. Section 10. Provides that this Act is known as the “Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Act”. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 11(a) of Article VIII of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to impose a fee.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law