Agenda Item 20
March 6, 2012
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Action: Bill 40-11, Group Homes - Developmentally Disabled Adults
Health and Human Services Committee recommendation (2-0, Councilmember
Navarro absent): enact as introduced.
Bill 40-11, Group Homes - Developmentally Disabled Adults - Licensing, sponsored by
the Council President at the request of the County Executive and Councilmember Ervin, was
introduced on December 6, 2011. A public hearing was held on January 24 (see testimony, ©9
18) and a Health and Human Services Committee worksession was held on February 9.
Bill 40-11 would exempt certain group homes for developmentally disabled adults which
are licensed by the state from the County group home licensing law. Reasons given in the hearing
testimony for repealing this requirement include duplication of effort by County and state licensing
agencies and cost savings for group home providers.
Why only "de-license" this category of group homes?
An issue raised by, among others, civic activist Max Bronstein (see letter, ©25) is what is
DHHS' rationale for no longer licensing this category of group homes (developmentally disabled
adults) while both the County and the state continue to license other types of group homes. Neither
DHHS nor the other advocates for this Bill addressed this issue in their hearing testimony.
Before the Committee worksession DHHS staff offered the following explanation:
Group homes for the developmentally disabled are unlike other group homes
licensed by the County in that we have a greater degree of local oversight and involvement
with them than we do with other group homes. Through our contractual arrangements with