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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #110

Governor James J. Florio

See EO #103 Florio and EO #108 Whitman

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992, enacted on October 29, 1992, and known as Public Law 102-569, the State of New Jersey is mandated to establish a State Rehabilitation Advisory Council composed of concerned citizens with disabilities, and is to be consumer-controlled so as to provide individuals with disabilities a stronger and more substantive role in shaping the programs and services established to support their employment goals and aspirations; and

WHEREAS, the Advisory Council must be in place in order for a state to receive Federal funds under Title I of the Act for the vocational rehabilitation and the client assistance programs under Part B, and the innovation and expansion program under Part C; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992 enacted on October 29, 1992, and known as Public Law 102-569, the State of New Jersey shall name and establish the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services Rehabilitation Advisory Council to carry out the duties set forth in Title I, Part A, Section 101(a)(36) and 105 of Public Law 102-569;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES J. FLORIO, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The New Jersey Advisory Board for Vocational Rehabilitation of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services shall hereby be reconstituted and henceforth be known as the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services Rehabilitation Advisory Council, hereinafter referred to as the "Council." The Council shall be established as a separate entity, apart from any State agency, and this Council shall responsibly carry out the duties set forth in Title I, Part A, sections 101(a)(36) and 105 of Public Law 102-569. The Council shall be established as a separate entity in, but not of, the New Jersey Department of Labor.

2. The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in the Department of Labor, hereinafter referred to as the "Division," shall be the designated state unit in New Jersey providing vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities, with the exception of those who are blind and visually impaired, pursuant to Title I section 105(a)(2) of Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992.

3. The Council shall consist of no more than 23 members appointed by the Governor. The composition shall reflect a majority of qualified persons with disabilities representing the interest of New Jersey's cross-disabilities population. All members, including those from the business, disability, and advocacy communities, shall have knowledge of vocational rehabilitation concepts, programs, policies, and services.

a. The Council shall consist of:

(1) A majority of individuals with disabilities, the majority are not to be employed by the designated state unit;

(2) At least one representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council;

(3) At least one representative of a parent training and information center established pursuant to section 631(c)(9) of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (20 U.S.C. 1431(c)(9));

(4) At least one representative of the Client Assistance Program;

(5) Vocational rehabilitation counselors with knowledge of and experience with vocational rehabilitation programs, who, if employed by the State agency, shall serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the Council;

(6) At least one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers;

(7) Four representatives of business, industry, and labor;

(8) Representatives of disability advocacy groups representing a cross section of individuals with disabilities, and parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty in or are unable to represent themselves due to their disabilities;

(9) Current or former applicants for, or recipients of Division vocational rehabilitation services; and

(10) The Director of the Division is to be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Council.

4. The Council members shall serve for a term of three (3) years, except for those first appointed, five shall serve for a term of one (1) year, five shall serve for a term of two (2) years, and the remainder shall serve for a term of three (3) years. Council vacancies from among the members shall be filled by appointment by the Governor or his designee for the remainder of the unexpired term.

a. Each member of the Council is to serve for a term of not more than three (3) years, except that:

b. A member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of a member's term is to be appointed for the remainder of the term;

c. The terms of service of the member initially appointed are to be set by the appointing authority so that expiration of terms will occur on a staggered basis;

d. No member of the Council can serve more than two consecutive full terms;

e. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council is to be filled in the same manner as an original appointment, and the vacancy is not to affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council (Section 105(b)(6) and (7) of the Act); and

f. The Council shall designate the Chairperson of the Council.

5. The overall function of the Council is advisory in nature and specific functions identified in the Amendments include:

a. Review, analyze, and advise the Division regarding the performance of its responsibilities under Title I, particularly responsibilities relating to:

(1) Eligibility (including order of selection for services);

(2) Extent, scope, and effectiveness of services provided; and

(3) Functions performed by the Division that affect the ability of individuals with disabilities in achieving rehabilitation goals and objectives under Title I;

b. Advise the Division, and, at the discretion of the Division, assist in the preparation of applications, the State plan for vocational rehabilitation services, the strategic plan, and amendments to the plans; reports, needs assessments, and evaluations required by Title I;

c. Conduct, to the extent feasible, a review and analysis of the effectiveness of and consumer satisfaction with:

(1) The performance of functions of the Division and other public and private entities responsible for performing functions for individuals with disabilities; and

(2) Vocational rehabilitation services provided or paid for from funds made available under the Act or through other public or private entities responsible for providing vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;

d. Prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor, the Commissioner of the Department of Labor, and Director of the Division on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the State, and make the report available to the public;

e. Coordinate with other councils within the State, including the Statewide Independent Living Council, the advisory panel established under section 613(a)(12) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and the State Mental Health Planning Council;

f. Advise the Division and provide for coordination and the establishment of working relationships between the Division and the Statewide Independent Living Council and centers for independent living within the State; and

g. Perform such other functions consistent with the purpose of Title I, as the Council determines to be appropriate and that are comparable to the other functions performed by the Council (Section 105(c) of the Act).

6. The Council, in performing its duties, may consult with existing agencies in planning, coordination, and delivery of vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities and their families at the State, county, and local levels.

7. No member of the Council is to vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under State law (Section 105(e) of the Act).

8. The Council, consistent with State law, is to supervise and evaluate staff and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out its functions. While assisting the Council in carrying out its responsibilities, staff and other personnel are not to be assigned duties by the Division or any other agency or office of the State that would create a conflict of interest.

9. The Council is to convene at least four meetings a year in such places as it determines to be necessary to conduct Council business. It may also convene forums or hearings as it determines appropriate and necessary to carry out its duties.

10. Public meetings are to be announced and open and accessible to the general public, unless there is a valid reason for an executive session (Section 105(f) of the Act).

11. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this
29th day of October in the Year of Our
Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and
Ninety-Three, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred
and Eighteenth.

/s/ James Florio
Governor

Attest:

/s/ Scott A. Weiner
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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