BILL NUMBER: SB 345	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  MARCH 24, 2011

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Wolk

                        FEBRUARY 15, 2011

    An act to amend Section 9720 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code,   An act to amend Section 9710.5 of,
and to repeal Article 5 (commencing with Section 9740) of Chapter 11
of Division 8.5 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, 
relating to public social services.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 345, as amended, Wolk. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
   Existing law, as part of the Mello-Granlund Older Californians
Act, establishes the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in
the California Department of Aging. Existing law provides for the
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program under which funds are allocated to
local ombudsman programs to assist elderly persons in long-term
health care facilities and residential care facilities by, among
other things, investigating and seeking to resolve complaints against
these facilities. 
   This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to these
provisions. 
    Existing law requires the department to establish an
11-member advisory council for the office to provide advice and 
 consultation on issues affecting the provision of ombudsman
services.  
   This bill would delete the provisions relating to the advisory
council. 
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee:  no
  yes  . State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

   SECTION 1.    Section 9710.5 of the  
Welfare and Institutions Code   is amended to read: 
   9710.5.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
   (1) The position of State Ombudsman is extremely important to the
successful coordination of ombudsman services at the local level.
   (2) The position of State Ombudsman requires both an extensive
background in social or health services programs, and an ability to
manage and motivate individuals and groups.
   (3) Remuneration for the position of State Ombudsman should be
commensurate with the demands of the position.
   (b) The Legislature, therefore, encourages the Director of the
California Department of Aging, to do all of the following:
   (1) Provide widespread notification of the availability of the
position of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in order to reach the
greatest number of qualified candidates and hire the most capable
individual for the position.
   (2) Within 10 days of the occurrence of a vacancy, publicly
announce the vacancy and solicit candidates for the position.

   (3) Within 30 days of the occurrence of a vacancy, convene a
meeting with the advisory council established by Section 9740, for
the purpose of obtaining the advice, consultation, and
recommendations of the council regarding the selection of a
candidate. 
   SEC. 2.    Article 5 (commencing with Section 9740)
of Chapter 11 of Division 8.5 of the   Welfare and
Institutions Code   is repealed.  
  SECTION 1.    Section 9720 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code is amended to read:
   9720.  (a) The office shall investigate and seek to resolve
complaints and concerns communicated by, or on behalf of, patients,
residents, or clients of any long-term care facility. This
requirement shall not preclude the referral of other individuals'
complaints and concerns that a representative becomes aware are
occurring in the facility to the appropriate governmental agency.
Investigations of complaints shall be done in an objective manner to
ascertain the pertinent facts.
   (b) At the conclusion of any investigation of a complaint, the
findings shall be reported to the complainant. If the office does not
investigate a complaint, the complainant shall be notified in
writing of the decision not to investigate and the reasons for the
decision.