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NO. 113. AN ACT RELATING TO COMPOSITION OF BOARDS OF COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH AGENCIES.

(S.92)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. § 8909 is amended to read:

§ 8909. BOARDS OF DIRECTORS OF NONPROFIT CORPORATIONS

DESIGNATED AS COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH AGENCIES

(a) The board of a nonprofit corporation that is designated by the commissioner of developmental and mental health services to be a community mental health agency shall be representative of the demographic makeup of the area served by the agency. A majority of the members of the board shall be composed of both individuals who are or were eligible to receive services from an agency because of their disability, and family members of an individual who is or was eligible to receive services because of his or her disability. The board president shall survey board members on an annual basis and shall certify to the commissioner that the composition of the board is comprised of a majority as required by this section. This composition of the board shall be confirmed by the organization's annual independent audit. Annually, the board shall determine whether or not this disclosure shall be made available to the public on request. The board shall have overall responsibility and control of the planning and operation of the community mental health agency.

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(c) For the purpose of this section,

(1) "Disability" means, with respect to an individual,

(A) a physical or mental impairment, including alcoholism and substance abuse as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual;

(B) a record of such an impairment; or

(C) being regarded as having such an impairment.

(2) "Family member" means an individual who is related to the individual with a disability by blood, marriage or adoption or considers him or herself to be family basedupon bonds of affection, and who currently shares a household with the individual with a disability or has, in the past, shared a household with that individual. For the purposes of this section, "bonds of affection" means enduring ties that do not depend on the existence of an economic relationship.

Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 1998, and all boards of community mental health agencies shall be in full compliance with this act no later than July 1, 2000.

Approved: April 27, 1998