Senate Bill #171 (2019)

AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- APPROPRIATE DISABILITY LANGUAGE

Ensures appropriate disability language is used in all job descriptions and statutes.

View latest version | View original version
View status on official RI website

Subscribe to email updates


Changes since original draft

  • 2019 – S 0171
  • 2019 – S 0171 SUBSTITUTE A
  • ========
  • LC000299
  • LC000299/SUB A
  • ========
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2019
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • S TATE OF RHODE IS L AND
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2019
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT – APPROPRIATE DISABILITY
  • LANGUAGE
  • LANGUAGE
  • Introduced By: Senators DiPalma, Sosnowski, Seveney, Coyne, and Valverde
  • Date Introduced: January 24, 2019
  • Referred To: Senate Labor
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Chapter 22-11 of the General Laws entitled "Joint Committee on Legislative Services" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
  • 22-11-3.6. Revision of statutes - Appropriate disability language.
  • The law revision director is authorized and empowered to amend statutes to ensure statutes use appropriate disability language as required by § 43-3-7.1.
  • SECTION 2. Section 36-3-5 of the General Laws in Chapter 36-3 entitled "Division of Personnel Administration" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 36-3-5. Powers and duties of the administrator.
  • In addition to the duties imposed upon the personnel administrator elsewhere in the law and the personnel rules, it shall be the duty of the personnel administrator:
  • (1) As executive head of the division of personnel administration, to direct, supervise, develop, and authorize all personnel related administrative and technical activities including personnel administration and personnel management.
  • (2) To prepare and recommend to the director of administration such rules as are deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of the law.
  • (3) To supervise the operation of the classification plan and to recommend to the director amendments and additions thereto.
  • (4) To supervise the operation of the pay plan and to recommend to the director amendments and additions thereto.
  • (5) To establish and supervise the maintenance of employment lists, promotion lists, and reemployment lists; to develop recruitment procedures, monitor agency recruitment processes for compliance with the statutes and policies, and make available to state agencies qualified candidates as vacancies occur; direct and supervise equal opportunity programs; manage employee benefit plans including the coordination of health insurance, prescription/vision care, group life insurance, dental care, prepaid legal services, deferred compensation and cancer programs, and any other programs established by the legislature related to employee benefits; and to manage career awards programs and state and local enforcement firefighters incentive training programs.
  • (6) To perform any other lawful act which he or she may consider necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter, and chapter 4 of this title, and the rules and to conduct innovative demonstration projects to improve state personnel management.
  • (7) The personnel administrator is authorized and empowered to revise job descriptions to ensure the use of appropriate disability language as required by § 43-3-7.1.
  • SECTION 3. Section 43-3-7.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 43-3 entitled "Construction and Effect of Statutes" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • It is enacted by the GeneralAssembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Section 22-11-3.4 of the General Laws in Chapter 22-11 entitled "Joint Committee on Legislative Services"is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 22-11-3.4. Duties of the law revision director.
  • (a) In addition to other duties assigned to the law revision director, he or she shall rearrange, rephrase, and consolidate the public laws andacts and resolves of the generalassembly so that redundancies may be avoided, obsolete enactments eliminated, contradictions reconciled, omissions supplied, and imperfections cured. The law revision director has no authority either to change the law or to alter the substance of the statutes but shall alert the general assembly annually to specific changes, which may be required. In addition, a report shall be filed annually with the general assembly which shall indicate which sections of the generallaws at the previous session had more than one amendment and displaying a copy of the finalversion of the statute on the first legislative day of the next subsequent session of the generalassembly.
  • (b) The law revision director shall, by February 1, 2020, file a report with the general assembly, proposing amendments to those sections of the generallaws that do not use appropriate disability language as required by § 43-3-7.1. The report shall also include a list of those statutes for which amendments are not being proposed pursuant to § 43-3-7.1 because the director had determined that such amendments could alter the intent of the statute. The report shall be prepared after consultation with the governor's commission on disabilities.
  • SECTION 2. Section 36-3-5 of the General Laws in Chapter 36-3 entitled "Division of PersonnelAdministration" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 36-3-5. Powers and duties of the administrator.
  • In addition to the duties imposed upon the personnel administrator elsewhere in the law and the personnelrules, it shall be the duty of the personneladministrator:
  • (1) As executive head of the division of personnel administration, to direct, supervise, develop, and authorize all personnel related administrative and technical activities including personnel administration and personnel management.
  • (2) To prepare and recommend to the director of administration such rules as are deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of the law.
  • (3) To supervise the operation of the classification plan and to recommend to the director amendments and additions thereto.
  • (4) To supervise the operation of the pay plan and to recommend to the director amendments and additions thereto.
  • (5) To establish and supervise the maintenance of employment lists, promotion lists, and reemployment lists; to develop recruitment procedures, monitor agency recruitment processes for compliance with the statutes and policies, and make available to state agencies qualified candidates as vacancies occur; direct and supervise equal opportunity programs; manage employee benefit plans including the coordination of health insurance, prescription/vision care, group life insurance, dental care, prepaid legal services, deferred compensation and cancer programs, and any other programs established by the legislature related to employee benefits; and to manage career awards programs and state and localenforcement firefighters incentive training programs.
  • (6) To perform any other lawfulact which he or she may consider necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter, and chapter 4 of this title, and the rules and to conduct innovative demonstration projects to improve state personnelmanagement.
  • (7) The personnel administrator is authorized and empowered to revise state job descriptions to ensure the use of appropriate disability language, as required by § 43-3-7.1.
  • SECTION 3. Section 43-3-7.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 43-3 entitled "Construction and Effect of Statutes"is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 43-3-7.1. Use of appropriate disability language.
  • (a) Whenever the terms "the handicapped", "handicap person", or "handicapped person" are used in the general laws, they shall be replaced with the words "persons with disabilities" or "person with a disability," inclusive, and whenever the term "handicap" is used in the general laws, it shall be replaced with the word "disability"; provided that this section shall not be applied retroactively but shall only be applied prospectively.
  • (b) Whenever the term "developmental disability" or "developmental disabilities" or "mentally retarded" or "retarded" are used in the general laws, they shall be replaced with the words "intellectual and developmental disability".
  • (c) Whenever the term "substance abuse" or "addict" are used in the general laws, they shall be replaced with the words "substance use disorder".
  • (b)(d) Whenever an act, resolution, statute, regulation, guideline, directive, job description, or other document of a governmental entity refers to people with disabilities, terms that stigmatize, like "the handicapped", "the disabled", "the blind", "the deaf", "the hearing impaired", "cerebral palsied", "paralytic", "epileptic", "confined to a wheelchair", "wheelchair bound", "lunatic", "idiot", "defective", "deformed", "victim", "suffers from", "mentally retarded", "retarded", "addict", "substance abuser", etc., shall not be used. Language that puts the "person first", rather than the impairment or assistive device, such as "person with a disability", "child who has mental illness", "worker who is deaf", "voter who uses a wheelchair", "person who is hard-of-hearing", shall be used.
  • SECTION 4. Chapter 42-64.13 of the General Laws entitled "Rhode Island Regulatory Reform Act" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
  • 42-64.13-13. Revision of regulations - Appropriate disability language.
  • The office of regulatory reform is authorized and empowered to ensure regulations use appropriate disability language as required by § 43-3-7.1.
  • SECTION 5. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2020. ======== LC000299 ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT – APPROPRIATE DISABILITY
  • LANGUAGE
  • ***
  • This act would ensure appropriate disability language is used in job descriptions and statutes.
  • This act would take effect on January 1, 2020. ======== LC000299 ========
  • (a) Whenever the terms "the handicapped", "handicap person", or "handicapped person" are used in the general laws, they shall the law revision director shall, unless they determine it could alter the intent of the statute, recommend that they be replaced with the words "persons
  • LC000299/SUB A - Page 2of 4 with disabilities" or "person with a disability," inclusive, and whenever the term "handicap" is used in the general laws, it shall the law revision director shall, unless they determine it could alter the intent of the statute, recommend that it be replaced with the word "disability"; provided that this section shall not be applied retroactively but shall only be applied prospectively.
  • (b) Whenever the term "developmental disability" or "developmental disabilities" or "mentally retarded" or "retarded" are used in the general laws, the law revision director shall, unless they determine it could alter the intent of the statute, recommend that they be replaced with the words "intellectual and developmental disability" or "person with an intellectual and developmental disability", if the context so requires.
  • (c) Whenever the term "substance abuse"or "addict"are used in the generallaws, the law revision director shall, unless they determine it could alter the intent of the statute, recommend that they be replaced with the words "substance use disorder" or "person with a substance use disorder", if the context so requires.
  • (b)(d) Whenever an act, resolution, statute, regulation, guideline, directive, or other document of a governmental entity refers to people with disabilities, terms that stigmatize, like "the handicapped", "the disabled", "the blind", "the deaf", "the hearing impaired", "cerebral palsied", "paralytic", "epileptic", "confined to a wheelchair", "wheelchair bound", "lunatic", "idiot", "defective", "deformed", "victim", "suffers from", "mentally retarded", "retarded", "addict", "substance abuser", etc., shall not be used. Language that puts the "person first", rather than the impairment or assistive device, such as "person with a disability", "child who has mental illness", "worker who is deaf", "voter who uses a wheelchair", "person who is hard-of-hearing", shall be used.
  • SECTION 4. Chapter 42-64.13 of the General Laws entitled "Rhode Island Regulatory Reform Act"is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
  • 42-64.13-13. Revision of regulations - appropriate disability language.
  • The office of regulatory reform is authorized and empowered to ensure allregulations use appropriate disability language, as required by § 43-3-7.1.
  • SECTION 5. This act shalltake effect on January 1, 2020.
  • ========
  • LC000299/SUB A
  • ========
  • LC000299/SUB A - Page 3of 4
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT – APPROPRIATE DISABILITY
  • LANGUAGE
  • ***
  • This act would ensure appropriate disability language is used in all job descriptions and statutes.
  • This act would take effect on January 1, 2020. ======== LC000299/SUB A ========
  • LC000299/SUB A - Page 4of 4

Votes

RIBIT does not have any votes for this legislation yet.
(Vote tracking on RIBIT is still a work-in-progress, so make sure to check the official RI website, too!)