STATE LEGISLATURE PASSES PROTECTION OF PEOPLE
WITH SPECIAL NEEDS ACT
The State Assembly and State Senate passed landmark legislation on Wednesday to protect people with special needs and disabilities throughout the State of New York. The legislation, “The Protection of People with Special Needs” is the Governor’s Program bill to implement major reforms throughout the State’s human services system including the creation of a new state entity: The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.
The Justice Center will administer a statewide, toll-free hotline for the reporting of abuse, neglect and maltreatment of individuals with special needs and disabilities as well as maintain a central register and worker registry when cases of abuse, neglect and maltreatment have been reported. The Justice Center will investigate such cases and will be statutorily granted prosecutorial powers.
The legislation also contains significant reforms with regard to workforce, including tiered employee disciplinary standards as well as the adoption of a Code of Conduct for all employees who have, or will have regular or direct contact with individuals with special needs and disabilities.