South Carolina General Assembly
125th Session, 2023-2024
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)
TO AMEND THE SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS BY AMENDING SECTION 1-30-35, RELATING TO THE COMPOSITION AND GOVERNANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE HEADED BY A DIRECTOR WHO IS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR UPON THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE; BY AMENDING TITLE 44 BY REMOVING CHAPTER 20 AND INSERTING IT INTO TITLE 43; TO AMEND CHAPTER 20 TO ELIMINATE THE COMMISSION AS THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE DEPARTMENT; TO REENACT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT AND ITS POWERS AND DUTIES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT'S ADMINISTRATIVE HEAD IS A DIRECTOR APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE; TO TRANSFER THE POWERS AND DUTIES VESTED IN THE COMMISSION TO THE DIRECTOR; TO TRANSFER FROM THE COMMISSION OF THE DEPARTMENT THE AUTHORITY TO PROMULGATE REGULATIONS; TO MAKE CONFORMING CHANGES; AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS; AND BY REPEALING CHAPTER 20, TITLE 44.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Section 1-30-35. (A) Effective on July 1, 1993, the The following agencies, boards, and commissions, including all of the allied, advisory, affiliated, or related entities as well as the employees, funds, property and all contractual rights and obligations associated with any such agency, except for those subdivisions specifically included under another department, are hereby transferred to and incorporated in and shall be administered as part of the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, which was to be initially divided into divisions for Intellectual Disability, Head and Spinal Cord Injury, and Autism; provided, however, that the board of the former Department of Mental Retardation as constituted on June 30, 1993, and thereafter, under the provisions of Section 44-19-10, et seq., shall be is the governing authority for the department.:
(A) (1) Department of Mental Health Autism programs, formerly provided for at Section 44-9-10, et seq.;
(B) (2) Head and Spinal Cord Injury Information System, formerly provided for at Section 44-38-10, et seq.;
(C) (3) Department of Mental Retardation, formerly provided for at Section 44-19-10, et seq.
(B) The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is headed by a director who is appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate. The director may be removed from office by the Governor in the manner provided for in Section 1-3-240(B).
Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
Section 43-20-10. There is created the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, which has authority over all of the State's services and programs for the treatment and training of persons with intellectual disabilities, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. This authority does not include services delivered by other agencies of the State as prescribed by statute. The department must be comprised of an Intellectual Disability Division, an Autism Division, and a Head and Spinal Cord Injuries Division. The department may be divided into additional divisions as may be determined by the director. The responsibility for all autistic services is transferred to the department from the Department of Mental Health.
Section 43-20-20. (1) "Applicant" means a person who is believed to have intellectual disability, one or more related disabilities, one or more head injuries, one or more spinal cord injuries, or an infant at high risk of a developmental disability who has applied for services of the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
(2) "Client" is a person who is determined by the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs to have intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury and is receiving services or is an infant at risk of having a developmental disability and is receiving services.
(3) "County disabilities and special needs boards" means the local public body administering, planning, coordinating, or providing services within a county or combination of counties for persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, or spinal cord injuries and recognized by the department.
(4) "Day programs" are programs provided to persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, or spinal cord injuries outside of their residences affording development, training, employment, or recreational opportunities as prescribed by the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
(5) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
(6) "Director" means the administrative head of Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
(7) "Disabilities and special needs services" are activities designed to achieve the results specified in an individual client's plan.
(8) "High risk infant" means a child less than thirty-six months of age whose genetic, medical, or environmental history is predictive of a substantially greater risk for a developmental disability than that for the general population.
(9) "Least restrictive environment" means the surrounding circumstances that provide as little intrusion and disruption from the normal pattern of living as possible.
(10) "Improvements" means the construction, reconstruction of buildings, and other permanent improvements for regional centers and other programs provided by the department directly or through contract with county boards of disabilities and special needs, including equipment and the cost of acquiring and improving lands for equipment.
(11) "Intellectual disability" means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.
(12) "Obligations" means the obligations in the form of notes or bonds or contractual agreements issued or entered into by the department pursuant to the authorization of this chapter and of Act 1377 of 1968 to provide funds with which to repay the proceeds of capital improvement bonds allocated by the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.
(13) "Regional residential center" is a twenty-four-hour residential facility serving a multicounty area and designated by the department.
(14) "Related disability" is a severe, chronic condition found to be closely related to intellectual disability or to require treatment similar to that required for persons with intellectual disability and must meet the following conditions:
(a) It is attributable to cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or any other condition other than mental illness found to be closely related to intellectual disability because this condition results in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of persons with intellectual disability and requires treatment or services similar to those required for these persons.
(b) It is manifested before twenty-two years of age.
(c) It is likely to continue indefinitely.
(d) It results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care, understanding and use of language, learning, mobility, self-direction, and capacity for independent living.
(15) "Residential programs" are services providing dwelling places to clients for an extended period of time with assistance for activities of daily living ranging from constant to intermittent supervision as required by the individual client's needs.
(16) "Revenues" or "its revenues" means revenue derived from paying clients at regional residential centers and community residences but does not include Medicaid, Medicare, or other federal funds received with the stipulation that they be used to provide services to clients.
(17) "State capital improvement bonds" means bonds issued pursuant to Act 1377 of 1968.
(18) "Department" shall mean the State Department of Administration as constituted pursuant to Chapter 11, Title 1.
Section 43-20-30. The department is a member of the Governor's executive cabinet. The department's administrative head is a director who is to be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Sente. The director is subject to removal from office by the Governor pursuant to Section 1-3-240(B).
Section 43-20-40. (A) The director shall administer the department's programs and operations as established by law and regulations. The director may appoint and, at his discretion, remove all other officers and employees of the department.
(B) The director, and his designees, shall educate the public and state and local officials as to the need for the funding, development, and coordination of services for persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries and shall promote the best interest of persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
(C) The director may appoint advisory committees as necessary to assist in the effective conduct of his responsibilities.
Section 43-20-50. The department is authorized to promulgate regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter and other laws related to intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, or spinal cord injuries. In promulgating these regulations, the department must consult with the advisory committee of the division for which the regulations shall apply, if the director has established an advisory committee for the division in question.
Section 43-20-60. The department shall coordinate services and programs with other state and local agencies for persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. The department may negotiate and contract with local agencies, county boards of disabilities and special needs, private organizations, and foundations in order to implement the planning and development of a full range of services and programs for persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries subject to law and the availability of fiscal resources. The department has the same right to be reimbursed for expenses in providing disabilities and special needs services through a contractual arrangement as it has to be reimbursed for expenses provided through direct departmental services. The department shall develop service standards for programs of the department and for programs for which the department may contract and shall review and evaluate these programs on a periodic basis.
Section 43-20-70. (A) Upon execution of the deed as provided in subsection (B) of this section, ownership of the tract of real property in Richland County described in Section 1 of Act 1645 of 1972 is confirmed in the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs as the successor agency to the South Carolina Department of Mental Retardation.
(B) The State Department of Administration shall cause to be executed and recorded an appropriate deed conveying the tract to the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
(C) Proceeds of a subsequent sale of the tract that is the subject of this section may be retained by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
Section 43-20-80. The department, with funds available for these purposes, may conduct research to determine the causes, proper treatment, and diagnosis of intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries and may use facilities and personnel under its control and management for carrying out the research so long as the rights of the client are preserved and prior consent is obtained pursuant to Section 44-26-180.
Section 43-20-90. The department is designated as the state's intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries authority for the purpose of administering federal funds allocated to South Carolina for intellectual disability programs, related disability programs, head injury programs, and spinal cord injury programs. This authority does not include the functions and responsibilities granted to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control or to the South Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation or the administration of the "State Hospital Construction and Franchising Act".
Section 43-20-100. The department may negotiate and contract with an agency of the United States or a state or private agency to obtain grants to assist in the expansion and improvement of services to persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, or spinal cord injuries and may expend the grants under the terms and conditions of the award.
Section 43-20-110. The director or his designee may employ at regional centers security guards who are vested and charged with the powers and the duties of peace officers. They may arrest felons and misdemeanants, eject trespassers, and, without warrant, arrest persons for disorderly conduct who are trespassers on the grounds of the regional center and have them tried in a court of competent jurisdiction. Officers so employed must be bonded and under the direct supervision of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and shall report directly to the director or his designee.
Section 43-20-120. The department may acquire motor vehicle liability insurance for employees operating department vehicles or private vehicles in connection with their official departmental duties to protect against liability.
Section 43-20-130. The department may sell timber from its forest lands with the proceeds from the sales to be deposited in the general fund of the State. Before a sale, the Department of Administration shall consult with the State Forester to determine the economic feasibility of the sale, and a sale must not be made without the approval of the department.
Section 43-20-140. The department or any of its programs may accept gifts, bequests, devises, grants, and donations of money, real property, and personal property for use in expanding and improving services to persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries available to the people of this State. However, nothing may be accepted by the department with the understanding that it diminishes an obligation for paying care and maintenance charges or other monies due the department for services rendered. The director may formulate policies and promulgate regulations governing the disposition of gifts, bequests, devises, grants, and donations. If they are given to a specific service program of the department, then they must remain and be used for that program only or to its successor program.
Section 43-20-150. The department may grant easements, permits, or rights-of-way on terms and conditions it considers to be in the best interest of the State, across, over, or under land held by the department for the construction of water, sewer, drainage, natural gas, telephone, telegraph, and electric power lines.
Section 43-20-160. (A) A person, hospital, or other organization may provide information, interviews, reports, statements, written memoranda, documents, or other data related to the condition and treatment of a client or applicant to the department, and no liability for damages or other relief arises against the person, hospital, or organization for providing the information or material.
(B) All records pertaining to the identity of a person whose condition or treatment has been studied by the department are confidential and privileged information. However, upon the written request of the client, the client's or applicant's parent with legal custody, legal guardian, or spouse with the written permission of the client or applicant or under subpoena by a court of law, the department may furnish pertinent records in its possession to appropriate parties.
Section 43-20-170. (A) Reasonable reimbursement to the State for its fiscal outlay on behalf of services rendered by the department or any other agency authorized by the department to offer services to clients is a just obligation of the person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury, his estate, or his parent or guardian under the conditions and terms provided in this section.
(B) The department or an agency authorized by the department to offer services to clients may charge for its services. However, no service may be denied a client or his parent or guardian because of inability to pay part or all of the department's or other agency's expenses in providing that service. Where federal reimbursement is authorized for services provided, the department initially shall seek federal reimbursement. No charge or combination of charges may exceed the actual cost of services rendered. The director shall approve the procedures established to determine ability to pay and may authorize its designees to reduce or waive charges based upon its findings.
(C) Parents, guardians, or other responsible relatives must not be charged for regional center or community residential services provided by the department for their child or ward. However, a person receiving nonresidential services or his parent or guardian may be assessed a charge for services received, not to exceed cost. The department may determine for which services it charges.
(D) The department shall establish a hearing and review procedure so that a client or his parent or guardian may appeal charges made for services or may present to officials of the department information or evidence to be considered in establishing charges. The department may utilize legal procedures to collect lawful claims.
(E) The department may establish by regulation charges for other services it renders.
Section 43-20-180. The department shall assess and collect a fee on all Intermediate Care Facilities for the persons with intellectual disability, as defined in Section 44-7-130(19). Providers holding licenses on these facilities shall pay to the department a fee equal to eight dollars and fifty cents a patient day in these facilities. The department shall pay all proceeds from the fee into the general fund of the State.
Section 43-20-190. (A) The physical boundaries of Midlands Center, Coastal Center, Pee Dee Center, and Whitten Center are designated as independent school districts. These facilities may elect to participate in the usual activities of the districts, to receive state and federal aid, and to utilize other benefits enjoyed by independent school districts in general.
(B) The department operates as the board of trustees for these districts for administrative purposes, including the receipt and expenditure of funds granted to these districts for any purpose.
Section 43-20-200. No regional center of the department may be closed except as authorized by the General Assembly by law in an enactment that specifies by name the regional center to be closed.
(1) notify applicants when they have qualified under the provisions of this chapter;
(2) establish standards of operation and service for county disabilities and special needs programs funded in part or in whole by state appropriations to the department or through other fiscal resources under its control;
(3) review service plans submitted by county boards of disabilities and special needs and determine priorities for funding plans or portions of the plans subject to available funds;
(4) review county programs covered in this chapter;
(5) offer consultation and direction to county boards;
(6) take other action not inconsistent with the law to promote a high quality of services to persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, or spinal cord injuries and their families.
(B) The department shall seek to develop and utilize the most current and promising methods for the training of persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. It shall utilize the assistance, services, and findings of other state and federal agencies. The department shall disseminate these methods to county boards and programs providing related services.
Section 43-20-220. (A) There is created in each county of the State a county department of disabilities and special needs, referred to in this chapter as the county department, and in each county a county board of disabilities and special needs, referred to in this chapter as the county board, to be composed of not less than three nor more than nine members. Each county board serves in an advisory capacity to the director of the county department of disabilities and special needs. The members of each county board must be appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of a majority, including the Senator, of the county legislative delegation. The terms of the members are for three years and until their successors have been appointed and qualify. In case of a vacancy caused by death, removal, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy must be filled as provided in this section, but only for the unexpired term.
(B) County boards of disabilities and special needs established before December 31, 2023, shall continue to exist, operate, and function as they existed on January 1, 1991, until created by ordinance pursuant to subsection (A).
(C) In Berkeley County, appointments made pursuant to this section are governed by the provisions of Act 159 of 1995.
(D) In Dorchester County, appointments made pursuant to this section are governed by the provisions of Act 512 of 1996.
(E) In Georgetown County, appointments made pursuant to this section are governed by the provisions of Act 515 of 1996.
(F) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A), a county legislative delegation, in its sole discretion, has the authority, by written resolution, to terminate its respective county board of disabilities and special needs by a two-thirds vote, based on weighted voting percentages of the county legislative delegation.
Section 43-20-230. Members of the county boards shall receive the same mileage as is provided by law for state boards, committees, and commissions for travel in attending meetings and a per diem, the total per diem not to exceed seventy-five dollars per year.
Section 43-20-240. The members of the respective county boards shall elect one of their members as chairman. Each county board shall meet not less than once a month on regular dates fixed by it unless the director shall designate other regular dates for the various county board meetings. A simple majority of the members shall constitute a quorum and may decide all matters. Each county board may adopt its own rules of procedure unless the state department shall promulgate uniform rules for all county boards to observe.
Section 43-20-250. (A) The director shall select a director for each county department, referred to in this chapter as the county director, to discharge the duties of such office and may select regional directors to oversee the county directors. The salaries of county directors and any regional directors shall be fixed by the director. In fixing these salaries the director shall consider the individual qualifications of the respective directors and the possibilities of their individual positions. The county director shall be the chief executive officer of the county department and shall perform duties as are directed by the director, regional director, or as directed by law.
(B) Regional and county directors serve at the pleasure of the Director of the State Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
Section 43-20-260. Each county board may create a county advisory council of social services to consider and advise with the county board on its problems and the remedies therefor, such council not to exceed five members. Members of such councils shall serve without compensation or allowance for expenses.
Section 43-20-270. The respective county directors shall act as the representatives of the director in administering appropriate community services within the county as are provided for by law or as are directed and required by the director when not otherwise provided for by law. Each of such county directors shall see that all laws are enforced for the development of appropriate community services to meet the needs of persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, or spinal cord injuries and their families. Subject to the rules and regulations of the state department, each of the county directors may use any funds supplied by the county in which the county department operates for such purposes as may be directed by law, in addition to their other duties. Each county director shall serve as the agent of the state department in the performance of such functions as the director may delegate to it.
Section 43-20-280. The governing authorities of each county shall provide office space and facility service, including janitorial, utility and telephone services, and related supplies, for its county Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
Section 43-20-290. Each county director shall submit to the state director at such times as the latter shall require the director's estimate of the necessary administrative expenses and expenditures in the county, which, when approved by the state director, shall be authority for the county director to engage such other agents and employees as may be necessary in executing the duties and activities delegated to the county director. All such agents and employees shall measure up to the standards fixed by the state director as to education, training, fitness, and experience in assisting persons with intellectual disability, related disabilities, head injuries, or spinal cord injuries and their families.
Section 43-20-300. Each county director shall prepare and submit to the state director, as required by the latter, an estimated budget for carrying out the duties and functions delegated to the county director and shall maintain an accurate record of the county department's activities and all funds received and expended by it.
Section 43-20-310. The respective county directors shall maintain such standards of work, procedure and records as are required by the state director in the discharge of their functions or in the use of any funds provided by the state department.
Section 43-20-320. The records and accounts of each county shall be maintained as prescribed by the director and shall be subject to inspection, supervision, and audit by the state department and in the same manner and with the same effect as may be provided by law for the examination of other public offices.
Section 43-20-330. Each county director shall furnish such reports to the director as the latter shall require, including reports of all receipts and disbursements for assistance, which shall be made in such manner and upon such forms as the director may require. Each county director shall make an annual report of the county department's activities, receipts, and disbursements to each member of the county legislative delegation, to the foreman of the county grand jury and to the clerk of court, who shall file such report in his office as a public record. Each county director shall furnish such reports and data as may be required by the state department or the federal government, through its appropriate agency or instrumentality, concerning conditions within its county, the county department's activities and functions and the administration of funds received by the county department.
Section 43-20-340. (A) In order to provide assistance to families and individuals the department shall provide an initial intake and assessment service to a person believed to be in need of services and who makes application for them. An assessment must be provided through diagnostic centers approved by the department. If upon completion of the assessment, the applicant is determined to have intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury and be in need of services, he may become a client of the department and eligible for services. A service plan must be designated for each person assessed. A person determined to have intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury and who chooses to become a client of the department, must be provided with the delivery or coordination of services by the department. A person determined not to have intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury may be provided by the department with referral and assistance in obtaining appropriate services or further evaluation.
(B) Service plans must recommend the services to assist the individual in developing to the fullest potential in the least restrictive environment available. The department shall determine the "least restrictive environment" and may contract with individuals or organizations for a reasonable sum as determined by the department to provide the services. The department shall review service plans of its clients at least periodically according to standards prescribing the frequency to ensure that appropriate services are being provided in the least restrictive environment available. The parents, the legal guardian, the client, and other appropriate parties must be included in the review. The department shall develop standards prescribing the service plan review.
(C) No individual believed to have intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury may be admitted to the services of the department until he has been examined at a diagnostic center of the department or a diagnostic center approved by the department and certified by the department on the basis of acceptable data to have intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury or unless he is an infant at risk of a developmental disability and in need of the department's services.
(D) The applicant shall meet residency requirements in at least one of the following categories:
(1) The applicant or his spouse, parent, with or without legal custody, or legal guardian is domiciled in South Carolina.
(2) The applicant or his spouse, parent, with or without legal custody, or legal guardian lives outside South Carolina but retains legal residency in this State and demonstrates to the department's satisfaction his intent to return to South Carolina.
(3) The applicant or his spouse or parent, with or without legal custody, or legal guardian is a legal resident of a state which is an active member of the Interstate Compact on Mental Health and qualifies for services under it.
Section 43-20-350. Upon the written request of the person, the person's parents, parent with legal custody, or lawful custodian or legal guardian and subject to the availability of suitable accommodations and services, a person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury may be admitted to the services of the department for evaluation and diagnosis and shall remain in the residential services of the department for that period required to complete the diagnostic study. However, this period may not exceed thirty days except upon approval of the director or his designee. Individuals admitted under the provisions of this section are subject to the same regulations and departmental policies as regular admissions. The department may prescribe the form of the written application for diagnostic services.
Section 43-20-360. A person who is determined to be eligible for services is subject to the following considerations regarding his order of admission to services and programs:
(1) relative need of the person for special training, supervision, treatment, or care; and
(2) availability of services suitable to the needs of the applicant.
Section 43-20-370. The director or his designee may designate the service or program in which a client is placed. The appropriate services and programs must be determined by the evaluation and assessment of the needs, interests, and goals of the client.
Section 43-20-380. The director or his designee has the final authority over applicant eligibility, determination, or services and admission order, subject to policies adopted by the director.
Section 43-20-390. Subject to the availability of suitable services and programs and subject to the provisions of "Requirement for Admission to Services", "Order in which Person May be Admitted", and "Final Authority over Eligibility", the director or his designee may admit a client to the services of the department upon the written request of the parents of the person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury, a parent with legal custody, spouse, lawful custodian or legal guardian, or the person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury seeking to be admitted to the department's services if the person is twenty one years of age or over and competent to make the decision. The department shall prescribe the form of the application for services.
Section 43-20-400. (A) Proceedings for the involuntary admission of a person with intellectual disability or a related disability to the services of the department may be initiated by the filing of a verified petition with the probate or the family court by:
(1) the spouse;
(2) a relative;
(3) the parents;
(4) a parent with legal custody;
(5) the legal guardian of the person;
(6) the person in charge of a public or private institution in which the individual is residing at the time;
(7) the director of the county department of social services of the county in which the person resides; or
(8) a solicitor or an assistant solicitor responsible for the criminal prosecution pursuant to Section 44 23 430(2).
(B) Upon filing of the petition, the judge shall set a date for a hearing on it and ensure that the client has an attorney who represents him. The parents, parent with legal custody, spouse, guardian, or nearest known relative of the person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability and in whose behalf the petition has been made and in the discretion of the court, the individual alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability and the department must be served by the court with a written notice of the time and place of the hearing, together with a written statement of the matters stated in the petition. If no parent, spouse, legal guardian, or known relative of the person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability is found, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability, and the notice must be served upon the guardian. If the parent, spouse, guardian, or known relative of the person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability is found, he must be notified of the right to an attorney at the hearing.
(C) The hearing on the petition may be in the courthouse or at the place of residence of the person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability or at another place considered appropriate by the court. The person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability does not need to be present if the court determines that the hearing would be injurious or detrimental to the person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability or if the person's mental or physical condition prevents his participation in the hearing. However, his attorney must be present.
(D) A report of the person in charge of the examination of the person alleged to have intellectual disability or a related disability at the diagnostic center referred to in "Requirement for Admission" must be submitted to the court at the hearing. The court may not render judgment in the hearing unless this report is available and introduced.
(E) If the court determines that the evidence presented by the examiners at the diagnostic center, along with other evidence presented to the court, is to the effect that the person does not in fact have intellectual disability or a related disability to an extent which would require commitment, it shall terminate the proceeding and dismiss the petition.
(F) If the person is found by the court to have intellectual disability or a related disability and be in need of placement in a facility or service program of the department, the court shall order that he be admitted to the jurisdiction of the department as soon as necessary services are available and include in the order a summary of the evidence presented and order of the court.
(G) The department shall inform the court as soon after the date of the order as practical that suitable accommodations and services are available to meet the needs of the person with intellectual disability or a related disability. Upon notification, the court shall direct the petitioner in these proceedings to transport the person with intellectual disability or a related disability to a program the department designates.
(H) A party to these proceedings may appeal from the order of the court to the court of common pleas, and a trial de novo with a jury must be held in the same manner as in civil actions unless the petitioner through his attorney waives his right to a jury trial. Pending a final determination of the appeal, the person with intellectual disability or a related disability must be placed in protective custody in either a facility of the department or in some other suitable place designated by the court. No person with intellectual disability or a related disability must be confined in jail unless there is a criminal charge pending against him.
Section 43-20-410. (A) A person admitted or committed to the services of the department remains a client and is eligible for services until discharged. When the department determines that a client admitted to services is no longer in need of them, the director or his designee may discharge him. When the only basis of the department's provision of services to a client is that he is a person with intellectual disability or a related disability and it is determined that he is no longer in that condition, the director or his designee shall discharge him as soon as practical. A client of the department who is receiving residential services may be released to his spouse, parent, guardian, or relative or another suitable person for a time and under conditions the director or his designee may prescribe.
(B) When a client voluntarily admitted requests discharge or the person upon whose application the client was admitted to the department's services requests discharge in writing, the client may be detained by the department for no more than ninety six hours. However, if the condition of the person is considered by the director or his designee to be such that he cannot be discharged with safety to himself or with safety to the general public, the director or his designee may postpone the requested discharge for not more than fifteen days and cause to be filed an application for judicial admission. For the purpose of this section, the Probate Court or Family Court of the county in which the facility where the person with intellectual disability or a related disability resides is located is the venue for judicial admission. Pending a final determination on the application, the court shall order the person with intellectual disability or a related disability placed in protective custody in either a facility of the department or in some other suitable place designated by the court.
Section 43-20-420. (A) The department may return a nonresident person with intellectual disability or a related disability admitted to a service or program in this State to the proper agency of the state of his residence.
(B) The department is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with the proper agencies of other states to facilitate the return to the state of their residence persons admitted or committed to services for persons with intellectual disability or a related disability in this State or other states.
(C) The department may detain a person with intellectual disability or a related disability returned to this State from the state of his commitment for not more than ninety six hours pending order of the court in commitment proceedings in this State.
(D) The expense of returning persons with intellectual disability or a related disability to other states must be paid by this State, and the expense of returning residents of this State with intellectual disability or a related disability must be paid by the state making the return when interstate agreements to that effect have been negotiated.
Section 43-20-430. When the department determines that the welfare of a client would be facilitated by his placement out of the home, the client must be evaluated by the department, and the least restrictive level of care possible for the client must be recommended and provided when available. The department shall determine which levels of care are more restrictive and is responsible for providing a range of placements offering various levels of supervision. The department may pay an individual or organization furnishing residential alternatives to clients under this section a reasonable sum for services rendered, as determined by the department.
Section 43-20-440. (A) When the department determines that a client may benefit from being placed in an employment situation, the department shall regulate the terms and conditions of employment, shall supervise persons with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury so employed, and may assist the client in the management of monies earned through employment to the end that the best interests of the client are served.
(B) The department may operate sheltered employment and training programs at its various facilities and in communities and may pay clients employed in these settings from earnings of the program or from other funds available for this purpose.
(C) Clients who receive job training and employment services from the department must be compensated in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
Section 43-20-450. When a client is absent from a facility or program and there is probable cause the client may be in danger, the director or his designee may issue an order of confinement for the client. This order, when endorsed by the judge of the probate, family, or Circuit Court of the county in which the client is present or residing, authorizes a peace officer to take the client into custody for not more than twenty-four hours and to return him or cause him to be returned to the place designated by the director or his designee.
Section 43-20-460. Placement of a person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury in a program of the department does not preclude his attendance in community based public school classes when the individual qualifies for the classes.
Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
Licensure and Regulation of Facilities
Section 43-20-470. No day program in part or in full for the care, training, or treatment of a person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury may deliver services unless a license first is obtained from the department. For the purpose of this article, "in part" means a program operating for ten hours a week or more. Educational and training services offered under the sponsorship and direction of school districts and other state agencies are not required to be licensed under this article.
Section 43-20-480. The department shall establish minimum standards of operation and license programs provided for in "Facilities and Programs must be Licensed".
Section 43-20-490. In determining whether a license may be issued, the department shall consider if the program for which the license is applied conforms with the local and state service plans and if the proposed location conforms to use.
Section 43-20-500. No day program may accept a person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury for services other than those for which it is licensed. No program may serve more than the number of clients as provided on the license. An applicant for a license shall file an application with the department in a form and under conditions the department may prescribe. The license must be issued for up to three years unless sooner suspended, revoked, or surrendered. The license is not transferable and must not be assigned.
Section 43-20-510. The department shall make day program inspections as it may prescribe by regulation. The day programs subject to this article may be visited and inspected by the director or his designees no less than annually and before the issuance of a license. Upon request, each program shall file with the department a copy of its bylaws, regulations, and rates of charges. The records of each licensed program are open to the inspection of the director or his designees.
Section 43-20-520. Information received by the department through licensing inspections or as otherwise authorized may be disclosed publicly upon written request to the department. The reports may not identify individuals receiving services from the department.
(1) failure to establish or maintain proper standards of care and service as prescribed by the department;
(2) conduct or practices detrimental to the health or safety of residents or employees of the day program; or
(3) violation of the provisions of this article or regulations promulgated under it.
(B) This item does not apply to healing practices authorized by law.
Section 43-20-540. (A) The department shall give written notification to the governing board or if none, the operator of a program of deficiencies, and the applicant or licensee must be given a specified time in which to correct the deficiencies. If the department determines to deny, suspend, or revoke a license, it shall send to the applicant or licensee by certified mail a notice setting forth the reason for the determination. The denial, suspension, or revocation becomes final fifteen calendar days after the mailing of the notice, unless the applicant or licensee within that time gives written notice of his desire for a hearing. If the applicant or licensee gives that notice, he must be given a hearing before the department and may present evidence. On the basis of the evidence, the determination must be affirmed or set aside by the director, and a copy of the decision, setting forth the findings of fact and the reasons upon which it is based must be sent by registered mail to the applicant.
(B) If an existing program has conditions or practices which, in the department's judgment, provide an immediate threat to the safety and welfare of the person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury served, the department may immediately suspend or revoke the license of the program. Notification of the program board or operator by certified mail of the license suspension or revocation also must include the reasons or conditions. A person operating a program which has had its license suspended or revoked must be punished as provided in "Injunctions; Penalties".
Section 43-20-550. The procedures governing hearings authorized by "Notice of Deficiencies" must be in accordance with regulations promulgated by the department. The director may appoint a review team, including consumers, to assist in the collection of information pertinent to the hearing.
Section 43-20-560. An applicant or licensee who is dissatisfied with the decision of the department as a result of the hearing provided for by "Procedures Governing Disciplinary Hearings" may appeal to a South Carolina administrative law judge as provided in Article 5, Chapter 23, Title 1.
Section 43-20-570. (A) The department, in accordance with the laws of the State governing injunctions and other processes, may maintain an action in the name of the State against a person for establishing, conducting, managing, or operating a day program for the care, training, and treatment of a person with intellectual disability, a related disability, head injury, or spinal cord injury without obtaining a license as provided in this article. In charging a defendant in a complaint in the action, it is sufficient to charge that the defendant, upon a certain day and in a certain county, provided day program services without a license, without averring more particular facts concerning the charge.
(B) A person violating the provisions of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars for a first offense and two thousand dollars for a subsequent offense. Each day the day program operates after a first conviction is considered a subsequent offense.
Section 43-20-580. Licensing by the department must be done in conjunction with and not in place of licensing by an agency having responsibilities outside the department's jurisdiction. However, nothing in this section prevents the department from entering into cooperative agreements or contracts with an agency which has or may have licensing responsibilities in order to accomplish the licensing of programs.
Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
Capital Improvements for Disabilities and Special Needs
Section 43-20-670. The department has authority for all of the State's disabilities and special needs services and programs.
Section 43-20-680. The department may raise monies for the construction of improvements under the terms and conditions of this article.
Section 43-20-690. The aggregate of the outstanding principal amounts of state capital improvement bonds issued for the department may not exceed twenty million dollars.
Section 43-20-700. If the department determines that improvements are required for a residential regional center or community facility, it may make application for them to the State Fiscal Accountability Authority or Department of Administration, as appropriate. The application must contain:
(1) a description of the improvements sought and their estimated cost;
(2) the number of paying clients receiving services from the department, the amount of fees received from the clients during the preceding fiscal year, and the estimated amount to be received from them during the next succeeding fiscal year;
(3) the revenues derived from the paying clients during the preceding three fiscal years;
(4) a suggested maturity schedule, which may not exceed twenty years, for the repayment of monies to be made available to the department for state capital improvement bonds;
(5) a statement showing the debt service requirements of other outstanding obligations.
Section 43-20-710. The State Fiscal Accountability Authority or Department of Administration, as appropriate, may approve, in whole or in part, or may modify an application received from the department. If it finds that a need for the improvements sought by the department exists, it may contract to make available to the department funds to be realized from the sale of state capital improvements bonds if it finds that the revenues for the preceding fiscal year, if multiplied by the number of years, which may not exceed twenty, contemplated by the suggested or revised maturity schedule for the repayment of the monies to be made available to the department, result in the production of a sum equal to not less than one hundred twenty five percent of the aggregate principal and interest requirement of all outstanding obligations and all obligations to be incurred by the department.
Section 43-20-720. Upon receiving the approval of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority or Department of Administration, as appropriate, the department shall obligate itself to apply all monies derived from its revenues to the payment of the principal and interest of its outstanding obligations and those to be issued and to deliver to the board its obligations.
Section 43-20-730. (A) Following the execution and delivery of its obligations, the department shall remit to the State Treasurer all its revenues, including accumulated revenues not applicable to prior obligations, for credit to a special fund. The special fund must be applied to meet the sums due by the department under its obligations. These monies from the special fund must be applied by the State Treasurer to the payment of the principal of and interest on outstanding state capital improvement bonds.
(B) If the accumulation of revenues of the department in the special fund exceeds the payment due or to become due during the then current fiscal year and an additional sum equal to the maximum annual debt service requirement of the obligations for a succeeding fiscal year, the State Fiscal Accountability Authority or the Department of Administration, as applicable, may permit the department to withdraw the excess and apply it to improvements that have received the approval of the authority or department, as applicable, or to transfer the excess out of the special fund for contract awards to local disabilities and special needs boards for needed improvements at the local level and for nonrecurring prevention, assistive technology, and quality initiatives at the regional centers and local boards.
SECTION 5. Chapter 20, Title 44 of the S.C. Code is repealed.
SECTION 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on March 07, 2023 at 03:18 PM