Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 82
152nd General Assembly (Present)
House Administration 6/29/23
Committee Hearing takes place within twelve legislative days.
Rep. K. Williams
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO IMPROVING COMMUNICATION ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY AND DISABILITIES.
This Act is a Substitute for Senate Bill No. 82. Both this Act and SB 82 require State programs to provide annual reports to the General Assembly about compliance with federal and State law and regulation that require meaningful access to services for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) and effective communication for individuals with disabilities. Both this Act and SB 82 provide support for language and communication assistance for individuals renting or purchasing a home or facing eviction or foreclosure. This Act and SB 82 create a short-term program within the Office of the Manufactured Housing Ombudsperson and the Department of Justice. This program will provide special language and communication assistance support for individuals with limited English proficiency and individuals with disabilities to better understand and participate in matters related to residential leases and evictions and home purchases and foreclosures. The Department of Justice is not required to spend more than $48,500 on translation and interpretation services, and auxiliary aids, in the fiscal year following 30 days after enactment. This Act differs from SB 82 as follows: (1) Some definitions are updated to conform more closely to federal law. Additionally, this Act narrows the definition of "individual with a disability" to be someone with a disability affecting communication, since this Act is designed to gather data and provide support related to effective communication. (2) This Act narrows the scope of agency programs about which reporting must occur. Instead of collecting information about agency-wide compliance, this Act will gather preliminary information about compliance by obtaining reports about a sample of agency programs. This Act requires the secretaries and directors of various departments and divisions to select and report about at least 2 operations, units, or services provided by their department or division. Certain enumerated entities under § 10604(b) of Title 29 will be required to report about their compliance. Also, the Department of Justice shall select 5 programs that will be required to submit reports. (3) In SB 82, programs had to complete narrative reports for the first 3 years after enactment. Beginning 4 years after enactment, the reporting programs were required to submit reports that required data collection. This Act keeps only the narrative reports. (4) Revises the special language and communication assistance program to allow the Department of Justice to create 1 program to fulfill its obligations under this Act to provide support for language and communication assistance for individuals renting or purchasing a home or manufactured home or facing eviction or foreclosure, as well as limits the program’s obligations to the extent of the appropriated funds received. (5) In SB 82, the special language and communication assistance program was to sunset 2 years after enactment unless otherwise extended, while the reporting requirements were to continue. In this Act, the entire Act sunsets 2 years after enactment unless extended by an act of the General Assembly.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law