PRINTER'S NO. 788
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
648
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BARTOLOTTA, SCHWANK, LEACH, FONTANA, TARTAGLIONE,
FARNESE, BLAKE, COLLETT, YUDICHAK, BREWSTER, KILLION,
K. WARD, MENSCH, HUGHES, COSTA AND AUMENT, MAY 15, 2019
REFERRED TO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, MAY 15, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of December 19, 1990 (P.L.1372, No.212),
entitled "An act providing for early intervention services
for infants, toddlers and preschool children who qualify;
establishing the Interagency Coordinating Council and
providing for its powers and duties; and conferring powers
and duties upon the Department of Education and the State
Board of Education, the Department of Health and the
Department of Public Welfare," further providing for the
title of the act; in general provisions, further providing
for definitions, for State interagency agreement, for other
duties of State agencies and for council; and, in Statewide
system for provision of early intervention services, further
providing for requirements, for program regulations and
standards, for administration by Department of Public
Welfare, for administration by Department of Education and
for child identification, assessment and tracking system.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The title of the act of December 19, 1990
(P.L.1372, No.212), known as the Early Intervention Services
System Act, is amended to read:
AN ACT
Providing for early intervention services for infants, toddlers
and preschool children who qualify; establishing the
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Interagency Coordinating Council and providing for its powers
and duties; and conferring powers and duties upon the
Department of Education and the State Board of Education, the
Department of Health and the Department of [Public Welfare]
Human Services.
Section 2. The definitions of "eligible young child,"
"handicapped infants and toddlers," "lead agency" and "State
interagency agreement" in section 103 of the act are amended and
the section is amended by adding a definition to read:
Section 103. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Eligible young child." A child who is younger than the age
of beginners and at least three years of age and who meets any
of the following criteria:
(1) The child has any of the following physical or
mental disabilities: autism/pervasive developmental disorder,
serious emotional disturbance, neurological impairment,
deafness/hearing impairment, specific learning disability,
[mental retardation] intellectual disability, multihandicap,
other health impairment, physical disability, speech
impairment or blindness/visual impairment.
(2) The child is considered to have a developmental
delay, as defined by regulations of the State Board of
Education and the standards of the Department of Education.
"Handicapped infants and toddlers." Individuals ranging in
age from birth to two years of age, inclusive, who need early
intervention services for any of the following reasons:
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(1) They are experiencing developmental delays, as
defined by regulations of the Department of [Public Welfare]
Human Services and as measured by appropriate diagnostic
instruments and procedures in any of the following areas:
cognitive development, sensory development, physical
development, language and speech development, psycho-social
development or self-help skills.
(2) They have a diagnosed physical or mental condition
which has a high probability of resulting in developmental
delay under paragraph (1). This paragraph applies to
conditions with known etiologies and developmental
consequences. Examples of these conditions include Down
syndrome; other chromosomal abnormalities; sensory
impairments, including vision and hearing; inborn errors of
metabolism; microcephaly; severe attachment disorders,
including failure to thrive; seizure disorders; and fetal
alcohol syndrome.
* * *
"Lead agency." For early intervention services to eligible
children from birth to two years of age, inclusive, the
Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services; for early
intervention services to eligible young children, the Department
of Education.
* * *
"Postpartum depression." A major depressive episode with an
onset in pregnancy or within one year of the birth of a child.
"State interagency agreement." An agreement entered into by
the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the
Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services and any other
Commonwealth agency for the purposes of this act and of Part B
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and Part H.
Section 3. Sections 104(a) and (b), 105, 106(b), (f) and
(h), 301 introductory paragraph and (1), 302(a) introductory
paragraph, 303, 304(c) and 305 of the act are amended to read:
Section 104. State interagency agreement.
(a) Interagency agreement.--The Department of Education, the
Department of Health and the Department of [Public Welfare]
Human Services shall enter into and maintain a State interagency
agreement to enable the State and local agencies serving
infants, toddlers and eligible young children who are
handicapped to establish working relationships that will
increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their early
intervention services. The agreement shall outline the
responsibilities of those State and local agencies and shall
implement a coordinated service delivery system through local
interagency agreements.
(b) Components.--The State interagency agreement shall
address, at a minimum, the following issues:
(1) Responsibilities of State and local agencies.
(2) Eligibility determination and referrals.
(3) Establishment of local agreements.
(4) Fiscal responsibilities of the agencies.
(5) Dispute resolution between agencies.
(6) Payor of last resort.
(7) Maintenance of effort.
(8) Administrative management structure.
(9) Establishment and maintenance of local interagency
coordinating councils, which shall include, but not be
limited to, parents and private providers and which shall be
authorized to advise and comment on the development of local
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interagency agreements for their specified geographic area
and to communicate directly with the Department of Education,
the Department of Health, the Department of [Public Welfare]
Human Services and the council regarding the local
interagency agreement and any other matters pertaining to
this act.
(10) Plans by the Department of Health, the Department
of [Public Welfare] Human Services and the Department of
Education to work together to develop a coordinated system of
case management.
* * *
Section 105. Other duties of State agencies.
(a) Statewide system.--The Department of Health, the
Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services and the Department
of Education shall be responsible for the establishment and
maintenance of a Statewide system of early intervention services
as provided in Chapter 3.
(b) Rulemaking.--The Department of Health, the Department of
[Public Welfare] Human Services, the State Board of Education as
the regulatory authority for the Department of Education and the
Department of Education for standards shall submit draft
regulations and standards to the council relating to the
implementation of this act prior to formal promulgation in order
to receive the recommendations of the council. If
recommendations are not received by the appropriate State agency
within 60 days of receipt by the council, the respective
department or board may continue to develop and promulgate
regulations and standards.
(c) Annual reports.--By July 31, the Department of Health,
the Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services and the
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Department of Education shall submit annual reports to the
council on the status of early intervention services during the
preceding calendar year. These reports shall be used as the
basis for the report submitted by the council under section
106(f)(4).
Section 106. Council.
* * *
(b) Membership.--The membership of the council shall consist
of the following:
(1) Three parents of handicapped infants, toddlers or
eligible young children.
(2) One provider of a child development program, such as
Head Start.
(3) One parent of a child who has received early
intervention services and is now beyond six years of age.
(4) Three providers of early intervention services,
including one school district provider, one intermediate unit
provider and one private provider.
(5) One member from the General Assembly.
(6) One representative of the American Academy of
Pediatrics.
(7) One county [mental health/mental retardation] mental
health/intellectual disability administrator or designee.
(8) One individual involved in personnel preparation.
(9) The Secretary of Education or a designee.
(10) The Secretary of [Public Welfare] Human Services or
a designee.
(11) The Secretary of Health or a designee.
(12) As ex officio members, who shall not have voting
privileges: a representative of the Developmental
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Disabilities Planning Council and members appointed by the
chair of the council.
* * *
(f) Powers and duties.--The council has the following powers
and duties:
(1) To review and comment to the Department of Health,
the Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services, the
Department of Education and the State Board of Education on
draft regulations and standards for the implementation and
maintenance of a Statewide system of early intervention
services which are in accordance with the provisions of this
act and Parts B and H.
(2) To review and comment to the appropriate legislative
committees and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission
on regulations and standards proposed under this act.
(3) To assist and advise Commonwealth agencies in their
effort to carry out the provisions of this act. This
paragraph includes, but is not limited to:
(i) recommendations for the implementation and
maintenance of a Statewide comprehensive, coordinated,
multidisciplinary, interagency program, as described in
Chapter 3;
(ii) suggestions regarding sources of fiscal and
other support from Federal, State, local and private
sources, including insurance coverage; and
(iii) recommendations regarding in-service training
and personnel competencies.
(4) To prepare and submit, with the cooperation of the
Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Health and the
Secretary of [Public Welfare] Human Services, an annual
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report during the month of September to the Governor and the
Majority and Minority Chairmen of the Education Committee of
the Senate and the Education Committee of the House of
Representatives. This report shall include the number of
programs being provided by intermediate units, school
districts and public and private providers, including Head
Start; the number of children being served; the status of
compliance with State regulations and standards; descriptive
information on the programs; information on personnel needs;
any suggested changes in State statutes and regulations
governing these programs; any information the United States
Secretary of Education may require; and any other information
the council deems appropriate.
(5) To meet at least six times a year.
(6) To perform other functions required of a state's
interagency coordinating council under Part H.
* * *
(h) Staff.--Staff services for the council shall be provided
by the Department of Health, the Department of [Public Welfare]
Human Services and the Department of Education and shall include
the preparation and distribution of the annual report required
under subsection (f)(4).
Section 301. Requirements.
A Statewide system of coordinated, comprehensive,
multidisciplinary, interagency programs shall be established and
maintained by the Department of Health, the Department of
[Public Welfare] Human Services and the Department of Education
to provide appropriate early intervention services to all
handicapped infants, toddlers and their families and to eligible
young children. The system shall include the following minimum
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components:
(1) Compatible definitions of the term "developmental
delay" shall be promulgated and adopted by the Department of
[Public Welfare] Human Services, the Department of Health and
the Department of Education, with review and comment of the
council under section 106(f)(1). The definition shall provide
for the continuity of program services and shall be used in
implementing programs under this act.
* * *
Section 302. Program regulations and standards.
(a) [Public Welfare] Human Services.--The Department of
[Public Welfare] Human Services shall define and address the
following issues in developing regulations:
* * *
Section 303. Administration by Department of [Public Welfare]
Human Services.
(a) Assistance to counties.--From the sum appropriated to
the Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services for the
purposes of this act, the department shall distribute funds to
the county mental health and [mental retardation] intellectual
disability offices, under section 509 of the act of October 20,
1966 (3rd Sp.Sess., P.L.96, No.6), known as the Mental Health
and [Mental Retardation] Intellectual Disability Act of 1966,
for the provision of early intervention services to children
from birth to age two, inclusive. The county offices may meet
their obligation to assure appropriate early intervention
services to all eligible children through contracts with public
or private agencies that meet the requirements of the
regulations and program standards developed under this act. The
county offices shall assure annually that the service providers
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receiving funds are in compliance with the Commonwealth's
regulations and standards.
(b) Federal benefits.--Nothing in this act shall preclude
medical or other assistance available under Title V or XIX of
the Social Security Act (Public Law 74-271, 42 U.S.C. § 701 et
seq. or § 1396 et seq.) or any other benefits available under
Federal law.
(c) Education.--In order to facilitate the transfer of
responsibility for eligible children from the Department of
[Public Welfare] Human Services to the Department of Education
at one time each year, consistent with the beginning of the
school year, the Secretary of [Public Welfare] Human Services
may delegate responsibility for serving certain children under
three years of age to the Department of Education and may accept
a delegation of responsibility from the Secretary of Education
under section 304(c) to serve certain children over the age of
three.
(d) Use of funds.--From the sum of State funds appropriated
by the General Assembly to the Department of [Public Welfare]
Human Services for this act, the department shall use 2% to 4%
of the appropriation for personnel training and program
technical assistance.
Section 304. Administration by Department of Education.
* * *
(c) [Public welfare] Human services.--The Secretary of
Education shall provide for the transition of eligible children,
including handicapped infants and toddlers, who, prior to their
third birthday, received services under Part H. The Secretary of
Education is authorized to accept responsibility pursuant to
delegation from the Secretary of [Public Welfare] Human Services
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under section 303(c) for providing early intervention services
to children less than three years of age. The Secretary of
Education is authorized to delegate responsibility to the
Secretary of [Public Welfare] Human Services for providing
services for certain children over the age of three.
* * *
Section 305. Child identification, assessment and tracking
system.
(a) Development of system.--The Department of [Public
Welfare] Human Services, the Department of Education and the
Department of Health shall develop a Statewide system for
eligible child identification, assessment and tracking. This
system shall be developed and coordinated by the agencies to
assure that the system is compatible with the child-find system
as required by Part B.
(b) At-risk children.--For the purposes of child
identification, assessment and tracking for infants and
toddlers, the Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services
shall establish, by regulation, population groups to be included
in these activities. The population groups shall include, but
not be limited to, children whose birth weight is under 1,500
grams; children cared for in neonatal intensive care units of
hospitals; children born to chemically dependent mothers and
referred by a physician, health care provider or parent;
children who are seriously abused or neglected, as substantiated
and referred by the county children and youth agency under the
act of November 26, 1975 (P.L.438, No.124), known as the Child
Protective Services Law; children with confirmed dangerous
levels of lead poisoning as set by the Department of Health;
[and] children who are homeless[.]; and children who have a
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parent that is either at high risk for or is diagnosed as having
postpartum depression and who are referred by a physician,
health care provider or parent. The Department of [Public
Welfare] Human Services may establish other population groups by
regulation as it deems necessary.
(c) Components of system.--The system shall include, but
need not be limited to, the provision of the following
activities and services:
(1) The identification of eligible children and referral
to early intervention services as soon after birth as
possible.
(2) Referral services for families of eligible children.
(3) Continuing assessment of at-risk children from birth
through age of beginners.
(4) A description of agencies providing early
intervention services and the services provided by each
agency.
(5) Pertinent information regarding the exit of the
child from early intervention services.
(6) The orderly transfer of the accumulated information
to the appropriate provider upon the child's attainment of
age of beginners, except if the child has met exit criteria
contained in this act.
(d) Confidentiality.--Proper measures shall be developed and
implemented to assure the confidentiality of the data contained
in the system. Information shall be accessed only by appropriate
staff of the Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services, the
Department of Education and the Department of Health, including
the staff of each agency's local entities, such as county mental
health and [mental retardation] intellectual disability offices,
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school districts and intermediate units, which are responsible
for the provision of services either directly or through
subcontract to private providers. Nothing in this section is
intended to preclude the utilization of data to provide for the
preparation of reports, fiscal information or other documents
required by this act or the Education of the Handicapped Act;
but no information may be used in a manner which would allow for
the identification of an individual child or family.
Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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