WHEREAS, the state of Louisiana supports the efforts of its citizens with disabilities to live independently;
WHEREAS, these Louisiana citizens benefit from specialized services delivered by a network of independent living centers that provides high quality services which support and assist Louisiana citizens with disabilities to live independently in the community of their choice, and promotes and advocates for independent living services in Louisiana;
WHEREAS, the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.A. §701, et seq ., includes provisions for financial assistance to promote independent living; and
WHEREAS, to receive the benefits of such services and assistance, the state of Louisiana must establish a statewide independent living council in accordance with federal guidelines, 29 U.S.C.A. §796(d);
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Governor's Statewide Independent Living Council (hereafter "Council") is reestablished and recreated within the executive department, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 2: The duties of the Council shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Jointly develop and sign, in conjunction with the Office of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Department of Social Services (hereafter "LRS"), a state plan for independent living services;
B. Monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the state plan;
C. Coordinate activities with the State Rehabilitation Council and other councils which address the needs of specific disability populations and issues under federal law;
D. Ensure that all regularly scheduled meetings of the Council are open to the public and sufficient advance notice is provided; and
E. Submit periodic reports to the federal government, as required by law, regulation, and/or rule.
SECTION 3: The Council shall be composed of a maximum of twenty-one members, who unless otherwise specified, shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor. The membership of the Council shall be as follows:
A. One (1) director of a Center for Independent Living, selected by the directors of Centers for Independent Living in the state of Louisiana;
B. One (1) director of a Section 121 project in the state of Louisiana;
C. Two (2) representatives of Centers for Independent Living;
D. Two (2) representatives of parents and/or guardians of individuals with disabilities;
E. Eight (8) representatives of advocates of and for individuals with disabilities;
F. Three (3) representatives of private businesses in the state of Louisiana;
G. Two (2) representatives of organizations providing services for individuals with disabilities; and
H. Two (2) ex-officio members representing a state agency that provides services for individuals with disabilities, with one representing LRS.
SECTION 4: Council members shall be selected from all areas of the state of Louisiana and shall be knowledgeable about Centers for Independent Living and independent living services. The majority of the membership of the Council shall be Louisiana citizens with disabilities who represent a broad range of disabilities and who are not employed by a Center for Independent Living or a state agency.
SECTION 5: Council members shall serve a term of three (3) years, except members appointed to fill a vacancy. No member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive full terms.
SECTION 6: The Council shall not be an entity within any state agency, including LRS, and is independent of LRS and all other state agencies. The Council shall coordinate its activities with the Office of Disability Affairs, Office of the Governor. The executive director of the Office of Disability Affairs will provide administrative oversight to ensure that the Council is compliant with all rules and regulations of the state of Louisiana, including those concerning purchasing and procurement, hiring, firing, and evaluating staff, and ethical behavior and practices.
SECTION 7: The majority of the Council members shall not receive compensation, either directly or indirectly, for work performed on behalf of any Center for Independent Living or be employed by any state agency.
SECTION 8: A. Council members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem from the Office of the Governor for serving on the Council;
B. Council members who are employees or elected public officials of the state of Louisiana or a political subdivision thereof may seek reimbursement of travel expenses, in accordance with PPM 49, from their employing and/or elected department, agency and/or office; and
C. Council members who are also members of the Louisiana Legislature may seek a per diem from the Louisiana State Senate or House of Representatives, as appropriate, for their attendance.
SECTION 9: Support staff, facilities, and resources for the Council shall be provided by the Office of the Governor.
SECTION 10: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Council in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 11: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 21st day of May, 2004.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State