Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cuomo Proposes Changes in Regulating Care of Mentally Disabled

The New York Times reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed the creation of a new law enforcement and oversight agency to monitor people in state or private care who have developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and other brain-related conditions.  The governor, says the story, is also calling for tougher punishment of those who abuse people with developmental or other cognitive disabilities. Part of Governor Cuomo’s proposal reportedly would directly affect nonprofit transparency by expanding New York’s Freedom of Information Law to require nonprofits that house publicly supported patients to make abuse and neglect records public:

Under the proposal, the public could submit requests for abuse and neglect records to nonprofit groups that provide residential or even daytime activity programs. The new state agency would provide the legal staff to help the nonprofit organizations respond to such requests and redact documents as needed.

The Times also states that Governor Cuomo, keeping in step with other states, “intends to establish an independent nonprofit organization that would serve as an outside advocate for those with disabilities and mental illnesses and that could bring litigation against the state.”


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