senate Bill S5986B

Enacts the "freeze unsafe closures now act" to delay the closure and consolidation of state facilities operated by the office of mental health and the office for people with developmental disabilities

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 15 / Nov / 2013
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • 09 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • 09 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 5986A
  • 11 / Mar / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • 11 / Mar / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 5986B
  • 17 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 17 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1440
  • 17 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 17 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 17 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO WAYS AND MEANS

Summary

Enacts the "freeze unsafe closures now act" to delay the closure and consolidation of state facilities operated by the office of mental health and the office for people with developmental disabilities until April 1, 2017.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8294B
Versions:
S5986
S5986A
S5986B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Mental Hygiene
Laws Affected:
Amd Part J §§20 & 21, Part O §§2 & 4, Chap 56 of 2012

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5986B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 56 of the laws of 2012, amending
the mental hygiene law and other laws relating to the office for people
with developmental disabilities and the office of mental health, in
relation to delaying the closure and consolidation of facilities oper-
ated by such offices

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill will postpone the closures and consolidation of state facili-
ties operated by the Office of Mental Health and the Office of People
with Developmental Disabilities until April, 1, 2017.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 enacts the "The Freeze Unsafe Closures Now Act".

Section 2 includes legislative findings on the Executive's proposed
closures and consolidation of facilities operated by the Office of
Mental Health and the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.

Section 3 amends sections 20 and 21 of part J of Chapter 56 of the Laws
of 2012 to ensure that no state operated mental hygiene shall be closed
or consolidated before April 1, 2017.

Section 4 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

The Commissioners of the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of
People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) recently announced a plan
to close numerous facilities operated by them.

The Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Committees have held multiple
hearings around the State on the effects that these closures will have
on our communities.

They've heard that the plan will overburden hospital emergency rooms,
inundate local correctional facilities with many new inmates and
increase local government expenditures for mental health services.

The closures at OMH would result in the creation of a "Thruway Mental
Health System" - a system based on facilities around the Thruway by
closing facilities in the Southern Tier and the North Country and basing
them in Syracuse and Utica. Family members of inpatients at these facil-
ities, including our most vulnerable consumers - children, would be
forced to drive to Syracuse or Utica to see their loved ones under.
care. Imagine having your child being treated for an illness and being
forced to drive 2 hours to visit them.

This plan will result in the loss of much needed inpatient beds in
communities throughout New York without adequate community based alter-
natives for consumers. Emergency rooms for people with mental illness in
the Southern Tier are already overcrowded and the influx of new patients
who seek needed services from the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency
Program operated by United Health Services will mean consumers aren't
receiving much needed services. The OPWDD plan will cut the safety net
for people with developmental disabilities. Families will struggle to
care for children or siblings that currently receive care in the state
system. Some of these consumers have violent tendencies. These consumers
may end up in the correctional system rather than receiving the care
they need.

The Agencies' proposals will have unforeseen impacts by forcing state
employees to move to new communities. Some communities will lose their
only access to specialized professionals like psychiatrists. The
Commissioners have based this plan on the Olmstead Decision of the
United States Supreme Court But the Olmstead Decision says that individ-
uals with mental disabilities have the right to live in the community if
"the State's treatment professionals have determined that community
placement is appropriate, the transfer from institutional care to a less
restrictive setting is not opposed by the affected individual, and the
placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the
resources available to the State and the needs of others with mental
disabilities." The plan introduced by OMH and OPWDD fails these tests.

Therefore the Senate has introduced legislation to put a moratorium on
the closures until April 1, 2017. This will give the Agencies time to
make a more detailed plan and work with the local communities to make
sure that the appropriate safety nets are in place.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

None to the State for this fiscal year, but this bill would stop signif-
icant costs to local governments when they are required to absorb new
mental hygiene consumers who have been released from State care in their
local mental hygiene system and jails.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 5986--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            November 15, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  LIBOUS,  RITCHIE,  BONACIC,  BOYLE,  DeFRANCISCO,
  FARLEY,  FLANAGAN,  GALLIVAN,  HANNON,  LAVALLE,  LITTLE,  MARCELLINO,
  MARCHIONE,  MAZIARZ,  O'MARA, SEWARD, ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules --
  recommitted to the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental  Disa-
  bilities  in  accordance  with  Senate  Rule  6,  sec.  8 -- committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to said committee  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT  to  amend  chapter  56 of the laws of 2012, amending the mental
  hygiene law and other laws relating to  the  office  for  people  with
  developmental  disabilities  and  the  office  of  mental  health,  in
  relation to delaying the closure and consolidation of facilities oper-
  ated by such offices

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "freeze unsafe closures now act".
  S 2. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds that the state
has recently announced its intent to downsize and close numerous facili-
ties operated by the office of mental health and the office  for  people
with  developmental  disabilities.    These facilities provide inpatient
services to individuals with serious  mental  illness  or  developmental
disabilities  who  are  very frail, who are dangerous or violent, or who
are children and adolescents.  The stated purpose of these  closures  is
to  achieve  full community integration of the mentally ill and develop-
mentally disabled individuals residing throughout the state  in  accord-
ance with the Supreme Court decision in Olmstead.  Olmstead v. L.C., 527
U.S.  581  (1999),  is  a  United  States  Supreme  Court case regarding
discrimination against people with mental disabilities, which held  that
under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with mental

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13050-06-4

S. 5986--B                          2

disabilities  have  the  right  to  live in the community rather than in
institutions, if in the words of the opinion of the court, "the  State's
treatment  professionals  have  determined  that  community placement is
appropriate,  the transfer from institutional care to a less restrictive
setting is not opposed by the affected individual, and the placement can
be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources  available
to  the  State  and  the needs of others with mental disabilities".  The
court also stated that "We emphasize that nothing  in  the  ADA  or  its
implementing  regulations condones termination of institutional settings
for persons unable to handle or benefit from community settings".
  These closures would result in the loss of much-needed inpatient  beds
without  adequate  planning for community-based, state-provided alterna-
tives. This plan also reduces innovative programs  that  include  family
involvement or behavior modification for the mentally ill and the devel-
opmentally  disabled.    For  mentally  ill and developmentally disabled
consumers, their safety net has been cut.  The termination  of  services
to these individuals by the state will have a dramatic unforeseen impact
by  forcing  state employees to move to new communities, disrupting care
for fragile consumers, increasing incidents of individuals with  violent
tendencies to victimize children and others, the overburdening of hospi-
tal  emergency  rooms, and inundating local correctional facilities with
many new inmates.
  The legislature hereby finds that closure of these facilities  is  not
required  by the Olmstead decision and other federal mandates to achieve
full community integration of the mentally ill and  the  developmentally
disabled.    The  state will not achieve significant savings by shutting
the doors of these vital facilities;  unfortunately,  there  is  a  very
significant chance the individuals being affected by these closures will
turn up in our criminal justice system and/or health care facilities.
  The  purpose of this act shall be to postpone action providing for the
closure of facilities operated by the office of mental  health  and  the
office for people with developmental disabilities until April 1, 2015 so
more adequate planning and collaboration can occur.
  S  3.  Sections 20 and 21 of part J of chapter 56 of the laws of 2012,
amending the mental hygiene law and other laws relating  to  the  office
for  people  with  developmental  disabilities  and the office of mental
health, are amended to read as follows:
  S 20. The commissioner of [the office for people  with]  developmental
disabilities  shall  provide  notification to the temporary president of
the senate and the speaker  of  the  assembly  sixty  days  prior  to  a
reduction in capacity of twenty persons or more or closure of a develop-
mental  center  or  other institutional setting which is subject to such
reduction or closure pursuant to such commissioner's planned  downsizing
and closing of institutional capacity.  PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO STATE
OPERATED  FACILITY  SHALL BE REDUCED IN CAPACITY OR CLOSED BY THE OFFICE
FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES PURSUANT TO THIS ACT PRIOR TO
APRIL 1, 2017.
  S 21. This act shall take effect immediately, provided  however,  that
on or before May 31, 2012 the office for people with developmental disa-
bilities  shall submit a report to the temporary president of the senate
and the speaker  of  the  assembly  on  implementation  related  to  the
restructuring of developmental disabilities services offices. The office
shall  also publish the report on the office's website. The report shall
include but not be limited to: the plan timeline for transition of  each
of  the  developmental  disabilities  service offices into a state oper-
ations offices of the office for people with developmental disabilities;

S. 5986--B                          3

the location of each state operations office, its catchment area, and  a
list  of  services that will be administered under its jurisdiction; and
the location of each developmental  disabilities  regional  office,  its
catchment  area,  and  a  list  of  programs under its jurisdiction; and
provided further that section twenty of this act  shall  expire  and  be
deemed repealed on [March 31, 2013] APRIL 1, 2017.
  S  4.  Sections  2  and 4 of part O of chapter 56 of the laws of 2012,
amending the mental hygiene law and other laws relating  to  the  office
for  people  with  developmental  disabilities  and the office of mental
health, section 4 as amended by section 2 of part H of chapter 56 of the
laws of 2013, are amended to read as follows:
  S 2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions  (b)  and  (e)  of
section  7.17  of  the  mental  hygiene law, section 41.55 of the mental
hygiene law, or any other law to the  contrary,  the  office  of  mental
health is authorized, ON AND AFTER APRIL 1, 2017, to close, consolidate,
reduce,  transfer  or  otherwise  redesign  services of hospitals, other
facilities and programs operated by the office of mental health, and  to
implement  significant service reductions and reconfigurations according
to this section as shall be determined by  the  commissioner  of  mental
health to be necessary for the cost-effective and efficient operation of
such  hospitals,  other  facilities  and programs. One of the intents of
actions taken that result in closure, consolidation, reduction, transfer
or other redesign of services of hospitals is to reinvest  savings  such
that,  to the extent practicable, comparable or greater levels of commu-
nity based mental health services  will  be  provided  to  persons  with
mental  illness  in  need of services within the catchment areas of such
hospitals, as determined by  the  commissioner  of  mental  health  with
approval from the director of the division of the budget.
  (a) In addition to the closure, consolidation or merger of one or more
facilities,  the  commissioner  of  mental  health is authorized, ON AND
AFTER APRIL 1, 2017, to perform any significant service reductions  that
would  reduce  inpatient  bed  capacity  by  up to 400 beds, which shall
include but not be limited to, closures of  wards  at  a  state-operated
psychiatric  center  or the conversion of beds to transitional placement
programs, provided that the commissioner provide at least 45 days notice
of such reductions to the temporary president  of  the  senate  and  the
speaker  of  the  assembly  and simultaneously post such notice upon its
public website. In assessing which  significant  service  reductions  to
undertake,  the  commissioner  shall  consider data related to inpatient
census, indicating nonutilization or under utilization of beds, and  the
efficient operation of facilities.
  (b)  At  least 75 days prior to the anticipated closure, consolidation
or merger of any hospitals named in subdivision (b) of section  7.17  of
the  mental hygiene law, the commissioner of mental health shall provide
notice of such closure, consolidation or merger to the temporary  presi-
dent  of  the  senate,  and speaker of the assembly, the chief executive
officer of the county in which the facility is located, and  shall  post
such  notice  upon its public website. The commissioner shall be author-
ized to conduct any and all preparatory actions which may be required to
effectuate such closures during such 75 day period.  In assessing  which
of  such hospitals to close, the commissioner shall consider the follow-
ing factors: (1) the size, scope and type of services  provided  by  the
hospital; (2) the relative quality of the care and treatment provided by
the  hospital,  as  may  be  informed by internal or external quality or
accreditation reviews; (3) the current and  anticipated  long-term  need
for  the types of services provided by the facility within its catchment

S. 5986--B                          4

area, which may include, but not be limited to, services for  adults  or
children,  or other specialized services, such as forensic services; (4)
the availability of staff sufficient to address the current  and  antic-
ipated  long  term  service  needs; (5) the long term capital investment
required to ensure that the facility meets relevant  state  and  federal
regulatory  and capital construction requirements, and national accredi-
tation standards; (6) the proximity of the facility to other  facilities
with space that could accommodate anticipated need, the relative cost of
any  necessary renovations of such space, the relative potential operat-
ing efficiency of such facilities, and the  size,  scope  and  types  of
services provided by the other facilities; (7) anticipated savings based
upon  economies  of  scale or other factors; (8) community mental health
services available in the facility catchment area  and  the  ability  of
such  community  mental  health  services  to meet the behavioral health
needs of the impacted consumers; (9) the obligations  of  the  state  to
place persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than
in  institutions,  when  appropriate; and (10) the anticipated impact of
the closure on access to mental health services.
  (c) Any transfers of inpatient capacity or any resulting  transfer  of
functions  shall  be authorized to be made by the commissioner of mental
health and any transfer of personnel upon such transfer of  capacity  or
transfer  of  functions  shall  be  accomplished  in accordance with the
provisions of section 70 of the civil service law ON AND AFTER APRIL 15,
2017.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately and  shall  be  deemed  to
have  been in full force and effect on and after April 1, 2012; provided
that the date for any closure or  consolidation  pursuant  to  this  act
shall  be  on a date certified by the commissioner of mental health; and
provided further, however, that SECTION TWO OF this act shall expire and
be deemed repealed [March 31, 2013] APRIL 1, 2017.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately and  shall  be  deemed  to
have been in full force and effect on and after March 31, 2013.

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