|SAME AS||SAME AS S08357|
|Add Art 19-E §§460 - 467, rpld Art 25, §559, Exec L; rpld Art 23-A, Ed L; rpld Art 25, Priv Hous Fin L|
|Establishes the Office of Community Living to advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities and assure that persons with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to exercise all of the rights and responsibilities accorded to citizens of the state of New York and to promote and fund services that assist persons with disabilities to live independently in their home communities.|
|02/10/2017||referred to governmental operations|
|01/03/2018||referred to governmental operations|
|05/09/2018||amend and recommit to governmental operations|
|05/09/2018||print number 5597a|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5597A SPONSOR: Weprin
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing the office of community living; and to repeal certain provisions of the executive law, the education law and the private hous- ing finance law relating thereto   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Since the Office of the Advocate of Persons with Disabilities was elimi- nated, there has been no state agency charged with addressing the needs of the disabled community. The creation of an Office on Community Living would provide a focal point within state government to address the community integration needs of people with disabilities and it would be a powerful force to ensure that people with disabilities receive needed supports and services without being forced into institutions.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Establishes purpose, powers, and responsibilities of the Office of Community Living. This section outlines the general responsi- bilities of the director, additional powers of the Office of Community Living, the most integrated setting coordinating council, the role of independent living centers, and the New York access to home program. Section 2: Repeals Article 25 of the executive law. Section 3: Repeals Section 559 of the executive law. Section 4: Repeals Article 23-A of the education law. Section 5: Repeals Article 25 of the private housing finance law. Section 6: Effective date of April 1, 2017, provided that the governor is authorized to take whatever steps are necessary to effectively and efficiently transfer the functions transferred to the Office of Communi- ty Living from other agencies of the state so that the Office may fully operate on the effective date of this act.   JUSTIFICATION: Last year's budget (2015-16 SFY) called for a stakeholder process, under the leadership of the Commissioner of the Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), to discuss the creation of a new Office on Community Living (OCL), with a focus on furthering the Governor's Olmstead Plan and strengthening the No Wrong Door approach to service delivery. That stakeholder process resulted in a report, which identified a number of gaps in existing services and areas for improvement in coordination of service delivery. The study also highlighted the fact that - since the elimination of the Office of the Advocate of Persons with Disabilities - there has been no state agency charged with addressing the needs of the disability commu- nity. Additionally, during the stakeholder process, the state did not present any model of what the OCL could look like or how it could operate. Consequently, the lack of specifics - combined with misinformation on the proposal - caused some stakeholders to fear that the OCL was merely an attempt to eliminate NYSOFA. Stakeholders from the disability commu- nity presented models to both the aging community and the state in which NYSOFA would be preserved. Ultimately the disability community - which, again, has no state agency dedicated to its unique needs - came to the conclusion that that the state really needs to create OCL as an inde- pendent office dedicated to the needs of the disability community, leav- ing NYSOFA as a freestanding state office. In fact, at the public hear- ing the Task Force sponsored last fall on this issue, advocates called upon the Assembly to strongly consider the creation of an independent OCL to resolve the issue. The office would bring together the Independent Living Centers from the Department of Education, Access to Home from the Division of Homes and Community Renewal, the TRAID program from the Justice Center, and commu- nity integration programs from the Department of Health. The Office would also assume coordination of the Most Integrated Setting Coordinat- ing Council (MISCC) currently under the auspices of the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The creation of an Office on Community Living would provide a focal point within state government to address the community integration needs of people with disabilities and it would be a powerful force to ensure that people with disabilities receive needed supports and services with- out being forced into institutions. Furthermore, creating the Office on Community Living as part of the budget process, without making changes to NYSOFA, would address the significant and vital concerns being raised by the disability community while preserving the vital independent role that NYSOFA plays.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 02/10/17 referred to governmental operations 01/03/18 referred to governmental operations   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective date of April 1, 2019, provided that the governor is author- ized to take whatever steps are necessary to effectively and efficiently transfer the functions transferred to the Office of Community Living from other agencies of the state so that the Office may fully operate on the effective date of this act.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5597--A 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY February 10, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. WEPRIN, LIFTON -- read once and referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations -- recommitted to the Committee on Governmental Operations in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing the office of community living; and to repeal certain provisions of the executive law, the education law and the private housing finance law relating thereto The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new article 19-E 2 to read as follows: 3 ARTICLE 19-E 4 OFFICE OF COMMUNITY LIVING 5 Section 460. Purpose. 6 461. Office of community living. 7 462. Director; general responsibilities. 8 463. Additional powers of the office of community living. 9 464. Most integrated setting coordinating council. 10 465. Independent living centers. 11 466. New York access to home program. 12 467. Other responsibilities of the office of community living. 13 § 460. Purpose. Persons with disabilities comprise a major segment of 14 the state of New York's population and their particular needs and 15 concerns must be considered as an integral part of the planning and 16 implementation of all state programs and services affecting their lives 17 and well-being. The office of community living shall advocate on behalf 18 of persons with disabilities and assure that persons with disabilities 19 are afforded the opportunity to exercise all of the rights and responsi- 20 bilities accorded to citizens of this state, and will promote and fund EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09713-04-8A. 5597--A 2 1 services that assist persons with disabilities to live independently in 2 their home communities. 3 § 461. Office of community living. There is hereby established within 4 the executive department an office of community living. The office of 5 community living shall advise and assist the governor in developing 6 policies designed to help meet the needs of persons with disabilities 7 and to encourage the full participation of persons with disabilities in 8 society. The office of community living shall be the state's coordina- 9 tor for implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and, as 10 such, is charged with coordinating state activities which insure that 11 state programs do not discriminate against and are accessible to persons 12 with disabilities. The office of community living shall also coordinate 13 the state's efforts to comply with the United States Supreme Court's 14 Olmstead decision. In its 1999, Olmstead v. L.C. decision, the United 15 States Supreme Court ruled that New York, like all states, in accordance 16 with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), have an obligation to 17 provide services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated 18 setting appropriate to their needs. A comprehensive Olmstead implementa- 19 tion plan that will address integrated housing, employment, transporta- 20 tion, community services and other important issues will affirm New 21 York's position as a national leader on disability rights. As such, the 22 office of community living will assume responsibility of chairmanship of 23 the most integrated settings coordinating council. The office for commu- 24 nity living shall also be responsible for funding services that promote 25 and advocate for independence and community living for persons with 26 disabilities. 27 § 462. Director; general responsibilities. The head of the office of 28 community living shall be the director, who shall be appointed by the 29 governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate. The director 30 shall receive a salary to be fixed by the governor within the amount 31 appropriated therefor. The director, subject to rules prescribed by the 32 governor, may appoint and fix the compensation of subordinates and 33 employees of the division within the amounts appropriated therefor. 34 § 463. Additional powers of the office of community living. The office 35 of community living shall have the following additional powers: 36 1. Submission, reviews and recommendations. (a) Each division within 37 the executive department and all other departments of the state shall 38 submit to the office of community living for review proposed legis- 39 lation, regulations, orders and plans which may significantly affect the 40 lives or well-being of persons with disabilities in the state. Such 41 matters shall, in the case of proposed legislation, be submitted at 42 least thirty days prior to submission to the legislature and, in the 43 case of regulations, orders and plans, at least thirty days prior to the 44 effective date of this article. 45 (b) The office of community living shall review and report upon all 46 matters of significance submitted to it. The office shall submit reports 47 or other comments where appropriate to the division or department which 48 referred such matter evaluating (i) the impact of the proposed legis- 49 lation, regulation, order, or plan upon persons with disabilities; (ii) 50 the relationship and impact of such proposals on existing programs 51 affecting persons with disabilities; (iii) the desirability of such 52 proposals; and (iv) modifications that would enhance the impact of the 53 proposal upon persons with disabilities or aid in the implementation of 54 the new proposal. 55 2. Cooperation. All state agencies contemplating actions that would be 56 subject to review under this order shall inform the office of communityA. 5597--A 3 1 living as early as possible in the process of developing such proposals 2 and shall cooperate with the office of community living in carrying out 3 these responsibilities to assure that appropriate consideration is given 4 the needs and concerns of persons with disabilities. 5 § 464. Most integrated setting coordinating council. 1. Legislative 6 findings and intent. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires the 7 state of New York to ensure that people of all ages with disabilities 8 reside and function in the most integrated setting possible. This 9 requirement was recognized and upheld by the Supreme Court in the case 10 of Olmstead, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Human Resources, et al. 11 v. L.C., by Zimring, Guardian ad litem and Next Friend, et al. (138 F. 12 3d 893). While the state of New York provides community supports for 13 people of all ages with disabilities and while the state of New York 14 does operate a home and community-based waiver Medicaid program, the 15 legislature hereby finds that the state of New York has no centralized 16 mechanism in place to determine whether or not people of all ages with 17 disabilities are residing in the most integrated setting possible. In 18 order to ensure that the state of New York is in compliance with the 19 requirements of the Olmstead decision, the legislature hereby finds that 20 it is incumbent upon the state of New York to develop and implement a 21 plan to reasonably accommodate the desire of people of all ages with 22 disabilities to avoid institutionalization and be appropriately placed 23 in the most integrated setting possible. 24 2. Definitions. As used in this section the following terms shall have 25 the following meanings: 26 (a) "Council" means the most integrated setting coordinating council. 27 (b) "Disability" means, with respect to an individual: 28 (i) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or 29 more of the major life activities of such individual; 30 (ii) a record of such an impairment; or 31 (iii) being regarded as having such an impairment. 32 (c) "Most integrated setting" means a setting that is appropriate to 33 the needs of the individual with the disability and enables that indi- 34 vidual to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possi- 35 ble. 36 3. Most integrated setting coordinating council; organization. (a) The 37 most integrated setting coordinating council is continued within the 38 executive department to have and exercise the functions powers and 39 duties provided by the provisions of this article and any other 40 provision of law. The council shall be comprised of the director of the 41 office of community living, and the commissioners of: the department of 42 health, the office of persons with developmental disabilities, the 43 office of mental health, the department of transportation, the office of 44 children and family services, the office of alcohol and substance abuse 45 services, the department of education, and the division of housing and 46 community renewal. In addition, the council shall consist of the direc- 47 tor of the office for the aging, a representative from the justice 48 center for persons with special needs, six consumers of services for 49 individuals with disabilities, two to be appointed by the governor, two 50 to be appointed by the temporary president of the senate, and two to be 51 appointed by the speaker of the assembly, three individuals with exper- 52 tise in the field of community services for people of all ages with 53 disabilities, one to be appointed by the governor, one to be appointed 54 by the temporary president of the senate, and one to be appointed by the 55 speaker of the assembly, and three individuals with expertise in or 56 recipients of services available to senior citizens with disabilities,A. 5597--A 4 1 one to be appointed by the governor, one to be appointed by the tempo- 2 rary president of the senate, and one to be appointed by the speaker of 3 the assembly. 4 (b) The director of the office of community living shall be the chair- 5 person of the council. 6 (c) The council shall meet as necessary to carry out its functions, 7 powers and duties, but such meetings shall occur at least once each 8 quarter. 9 4. Functions, powers and duties of the council. (a) The council shall 10 develop, update and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive state- 11 wide plan for providing services to individuals of all ages with disa- 12 bilities in the most integrated setting. Such plan shall include, but 13 not be limited to: 14 (i) the number of individuals of all ages with disabilities who are 15 currently institutionalized and are eligible for services in community- 16 based settings, the number of individuals residing in the community who 17 are dependent on the assistance of community-based services to avoid 18 institutionalization and any improvements necessary to be made to 19 current data collection systems or any new data collection initiatives 20 necessary to obtain such information; 21 (ii) the current assessment procedures utilized to identify individ- 22 uals of all ages with disabilities who could benefit from services in a 23 more integrated setting and the development of a single assessment proc- 24 ess for individuals of all ages with disabilities in need of services, 25 to be implemented by one community-based agency in each county with 26 expertise in community-based services for people of all ages with disa- 27 bilities through the use of a uniform assessment tool; 28 (iii) the identification of what community-based services are avail- 29 able to individuals of all ages with disabilities in the state of New 30 York and an assessment of the extent to which these programs are able to 31 serve people in the most integrated settings; 32 (iv) the identification of what improvements need to be made to the 33 system of community-based services to ensure that the system is compre- 34 hensive, accessible, meets the needs of persons who are likely to 35 require assistance in order to live in the community and provides high 36 quality, adequate supports for individuals of all ages with disabili- 37 ties; 38 (v) an evaluation of the supports and services available to assist 39 individuals of all ages with disabilities who reside in their own homes 40 with the presence of other family members or other informal caregivers 41 and an evaluation of the supports and services available to address the 42 needs of individuals of all ages with disabilities who reside in their 43 own homes without family members or other informal caregivers; 44 (vi) an examination of how the identified community-based supports and 45 services integrate individuals of all ages with disabilities into the 46 community; 47 (vii) a review of what funding sources are available to increase the 48 availability of community-based services and an analysis of how the 49 varied funding sources available to meet the needs of individuals of all 50 ages with disabilities in the most integrated setting can be organized 51 into a coherent system of long term care which affords people reasonable 52 and timely access to community-based services; 53 (viii) an assessment of how well the current service system works for 54 different populations, including but not limited to, elderly people with 55 disabilities, people with physical disabilities, people with develop- 56 mental disabilities, people with mental illness, and people with HIV andA. 5597--A 5 1 AIDS, and a review of changes that might be desirable to make services a 2 reality in the most integrated setting for all populations; 3 (ix) an examination of waiting lists for community-based services and 4 what might be done to ensure that waiting lists are created and accu- 5 rately maintained and that people are able to come off waiting lists and 6 receive needed community-based services at a reasonable pace; 7 (x) an examination of what information, education, outreach and refer- 8 ral systems might be useful to ensure that individuals of all ages with 9 disabilities receive the information necessary to make informed choices 10 regarding how their needs can best be met, including the evaluation of 11 the creation of a toll free hotline with information on community-based 12 services for individuals of all ages with disabilities; 13 (xi) an evaluation of how quality assurance and quality improvement 14 can be conducted effectively as more people of all ages with disabili- 15 ties live in community settings; and 16 (xii) an examination of how the overall system of health and long term 17 care can best be managed so that placement in the most integrated 18 setting becomes the norm. 19 (b) The council shall contract with an independent organization with 20 expertise in the provision of community-based services for individuals 21 of all ages with disabilities and with expertise in the area of program 22 evaluation research to conduct an evaluation of the council's plan 23 created pursuant to subdivision one of this section and the implementa- 24 tion of such plan. 25 (c) Each commissioner and director serving on the council shall ensure 26 that his or her agency implements every aspect of the plan developed 27 pursuant to subdivision one of this section which falls under the 28 responsibilities of his or her agency. The council shall oversee the 29 implementation of the plan created pursuant to subdivision one of this 30 section and shall update such plan as necessary to ensure that waiting 31 lists for community-based services for people of all ages with disabili- 32 ties are moving at a reasonable pace and to ensure that the state of New 33 York is developing a system of long term care that allows individuals of 34 all ages with disabilities to reside and function in the most integrated 35 setting. 36 (d) The council shall provide an annual report to the governor, the 37 temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly. Such 38 report shall detail the plan developed pursuant to subdivision one of 39 this section, any changes made to such plan, all steps taken to imple- 40 ment such plan and their outcome, and any future actions planned. 41 (e) The plan to be developed under this article shall not be construed 42 to increase, decrease, or change the statutory authority of any person 43 or entity and shall be implemented consistent with all otherwise appli- 44 cable law. 45 § 465. Independent living centers. 1. Declaration of intent. Independ- 46 ent living centers greatly assist persons with disabilities to integrate 47 and live more independently in the community. Since their inception, 48 service centers for independent living have enhanced the ability of 49 persons with disabilities to pursue an independent and active lifestyle 50 within their community. In order to achieve this, it is necessary for 51 the state to provide funding to maintain existing service centers 52 designed to promote independent living and to encourage the establish- 53 ment of new centers. To maximize the effectiveness of these centers in 54 promoting independent living for persons with disabilities, and to opti- 55 mally utilize independent living centers in helping the state to meet 56 its obligations to persons with disabilities, the responsibility forA. 5597--A 6 1 independent living should be transferred from the education department 2 to the office of community living. 3 2. Independent living centers; purpose and duties. An independent 4 living center shall be a community-based, non-residential program 5 designed to promote independent living for persons with disabilities. 6 (a) Such center shall: 7 (i) be a private not-for-profit corporation, pursuant to subparagraph 8 five of paragraph a of section one hundred two of the not-for-profit 9 corporation law; provided, however, that persons with disabilities 10 comprise at least fifty-one percent of the membership of the board of 11 directors; 12 (ii) be staffed by persons with persons with disabilities and other 13 persons experienced in assisting persons with disabilities; 14 (iii) provide services designed to meet the needs of persons with 15 disabilities, including such services as assisting persons with disabil- 16 ities to obtain housing, employment referral, transportation referral, 17 attendant care, independent living skills, peer counseling, advocacy 18 services, job training, health care, homemaker services, and other such 19 services as approved by the director; 20 (iv) train personnel for the purpose of attendant care in assisting 21 and serving persons with disabilities; and 22 (v) serve persons with disabilities. 23 (b) Such center may also, but need not limit itself to, provide disa- 24 bility awareness programs, peer counseling, role modeling and any other 25 appropriate services within elementary and secondary schools. 26 (c) Such service centers shall not be established or operated as a 27 residential or housing facility. 28 (d) Such service centers shall make maximum use of existing resources 29 available to persons with disabilities and shall not duplicate any 30 existing services or programs, to the extent that such services or 31 programs are available through other state sources to meet the needs of 32 persons with disabilities. Such centers shall however provide necessary 33 information and referral to assist a person with a disability in obtain- 34 ing such services and coordinate where possible the delivery of such 35 services to persons with disabilities. 36 (e) Such service centers shall be in compliance with all applicable 37 local laws and ordinances. 38 3. Office of community living; responsibilities. The office shall 39 assist individuals and organizations in the planning and establishment 40 of such service centers. The office shall ensure program accountability 41 and shall monitor and evaluate such centers. 42 4. Regulations. The office shall promulgate rules and regulations 43 necessary for the implementation of this article. 44 5. Distribution of funds. (a) Independent living centers shall be 45 funded out of appropriations available for such purposes to the extent 46 of the entire approved budget of such centers. 47 (b) Budgets submitted by independent living centers shall be approved 48 in accordance with regulations of the office. 49 (c) Independent living centers shall be located in the cities of Alba- 50 ny, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, White Plains, Binghamton, King- 51 ston, Poughkeepsie, Jamestown, Yonkers, the counties of Queens, Kings, 52 Nassau, Bronx, Richmond and New York and the township of Brookhaven with 53 a satellite center in Central Islip in the county of Suffolk. 54 (d) Additional independent living centers shall be located in the 55 cities of Niagara Falls, Olean, Troy, Amsterdam, Newburgh, Corning, 56 Ithaca, Cortland, Auburn, Watertown, Plattsburgh, Batavia, Massena andA. 5597--A 7 1 Glens Falls, the counties of Delaware and Rockland, the county of 2 Orange, in either the city of Middletown or Port Jervis or in the town 3 of Deerpark, Greenville, Mount Hope, Warwick or Wawayanda or in the 4 village of Goshen, in the county of New York to serve the Harlem commu- 5 nity, and in the counties of Putnam, Sullivan and Herkimer. 6 § 466. New York access to home program. 1. Statement of legislative 7 findings and purpose. The legislature hereby finds and declares that 8 there exists in the state of New York a serious need for financial and 9 technical resources to assist renters and property owners to make dwell- 10 ing units accessible for low and moderate income persons with disabili- 11 ties. Providing assistance with the cost of adapting homes will enable 12 many New Yorkers with disabilities to safely and comfortably continue 13 to, or return to, live in their residences instead of residing in an 14 institutional setting. To best accomplish this, the responsibility for 15 the program is transferred to the office of community living. 16 2. Definitions. As used in this article: 17 (a) "Office" shall mean the office of community living. 18 (b) "Eligible applicant" shall mean a city, town, village or not-for- 19 profit corporation in existence for a period of one or more years prior 20 to application, which is, or will be at the time of award, incorporated 21 under the not-for-profit corporation law and has substantial experience 22 in adapting or retrofitting homes for persons with disabilities. 23 (c) "Disabled veteran" shall mean a veteran who is certified by the 24 United States department of veterans affairs or the department of 25 defense as entitled to receive disability payments upon the certif- 26 ication of such department for a disability incurred by him or her in 27 time of war. 28 (d) "Access to home programs" or "programs" shall mean a series of 29 activities by an eligible applicant to administer funds to provide 30 either loans or grants to homeowners and renters and to oversee the 31 adaptation or retrofitting of eligible properties. 32 (e) "Eligible property" shall mean a housing unit that is the primary 33 residence of a person with a physical disability and a total household 34 income that does not exceed eighty percent of median income or a disa- 35 bled veteran who has a total household income that does not exceed one 36 hundred twenty percent of median income. A property shall not be consid- 37 ered an eligible property if the owner of the property is otherwise 38 obligated by federal, state or local law to provide the improvements 39 funded under this article. 40 3. Access to home contracts. (a) Within the limit of funds available 41 in the access to home program, the office is hereby authorized to enter 42 into contracts with eligible applicants to provide financial assistance 43 for the actual costs of an access to home program. The financial assist- 44 ance shall be either in the form of grants or loans, as the office shall 45 determine. No more than fifty percent of the total amount awarded pursu- 46 ant to this article in any fiscal year shall be allocated to access to 47 home programs located within any single municipality. 48 (b) The total payment pursuant to any one contract shall not exceed 49 five hundred thousand dollars and the contract shall provide for 50 completion of the program within a reasonable period, as specified ther- 51 ein, which shall not in any event exceed three years from its commence- 52 ment. Upon request, the office may extend the term of the contract for 53 up to two additional one year periods for good cause shown by the eligi- 54 ble applicant.A. 5597--A 8 1 (c) The office may authorize the eligible applicant to spend up to 2 seven and a half percent of the contract amount for approved administra- 3 tive costs associated with administering the program. 4 (d) The office shall require that, in order to receive funds pursuant 5 to this article, the eligible applicant shall submit a plan which shall 6 include, but not be limited to, program feasibility, impact on the 7 community, budget for expenditure of program funds, a schedule for 8 completion of the program, affirmative action and minority business 9 participation. 10 § 467. Other responsibilities of the office of community living. The 11 office of community living is also responsible for administering the 12 following programs, some of which are being transferred from the justice 13 center for persons with special needs: 14 1. Information and referral services. Information and referral 15 services, including the toll-free information and referral telephone 16 line. 17 2. Technology-related assistance for individuals with disabilities 18 (TRAID) program. The TRAID program's mission is to coordinate statewide 19 activities to increase access to and acquisition of assistive technology 20 in the areas of education, employment, community living and information 21 technology/telecommunications. The program serves individuals of all 22 ages and disabilities. The program supports regional TRAID centers 23 (RTCs) which provide information, training, device demonstration, reuse, 24 exchange, and loans. The TRAID program also provides technical assist- 25 ance and advocacy on how to obtain and use assistive technology services 26 and devices. 27 3. Adult home advocacy program. The adult home advocacy program, 28 which has been in operation since 1995, is now under the jurisdiction of 29 the office of community living. The program assists individuals with 30 mental health disabilities who reside in adult homes in the city of New 31 York and Long Island in understanding their legal rights and promotes 32 and protects their rights, including legal and non-legal advocacy 33 services, training on residents' rights supporting self-advocacy and 34 leadership initiatives, and the development and support of resident 35 councils is provided by qualified non-profit agencies which are awarded 36 contracts through a competitive bidding process. 37 4. Advocacy. Advocacy is a core function of the office of community 38 living. Advocacy is an active process with the goal of making the social 39 system, public and community-based or private entities more responsive 40 to the needs of persons with disabilities who are served by that system. 41 Advocacy is not a singular approach, but a continuum of strategies 42 including: self-advocacy, citizen advocacy, and systems advocacy. 43 § 2. Article 25 of the executive law is REPEALED. 44 § 3. Section 559 of the executive law is REPEALED. 45 § 4. Article 23-A of the education law is REPEALED. 46 § 5. Article 25 of the private housing finance law is REPEALED. 47 § 6. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding 48 the date on which it shall have become a law, provided, however, that 49 the governor is authorized to take, notwithstanding any law to the 50 contrary, whatever steps are necessary to effectively and efficiently 51 transfer the functions transferred to the office of community living 52 from other agencies of the state so that the office of community living 53 may fully commence operation on the effective date of this act.