AIACC - Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council

Bylaws

ARTICLE l: Name and Authorization

Section 1 Name.

The name of the organization shall be the Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council (AIACC).

Section 2 Authorization.

This Council is established pursuant to Act 2009-295 of the Alabama State Code, the Riley Ward Alabama Autism Support Act, creating the Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council.

ARTICLE ll: Purpose, Duties, and Authority

Section 1 Purpose.

The purpose of the AIACC is to work in collaboration with the entities named in Act 2009-295 and other stakeholders to establish a long-term plan for a system of care for individuals with ASD and their families.

Section 2 Duties and Authority.

The Council has the following duties and authority:

A. Development of an annual and long term plan for a statewide, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, interagency system of care, and a coordinated program of services based on scientific research and best practices for individuals with ASD and their families;

B. Identification of barriers, duplicative or fragmented policies,and regulations which may require modification or amendment and to plan action directed at those issues;

C. Conduction of fiscal reviews and analyses, and to provide recommendations for state spending on programs and services;

D. Encouragement of interagency collaboration, public participation, and mutual sharing of information to facilitate policy decisions and implementation; and

E. Adoption of necessary rules to implement and administer Act 2009-592 providing for the establishment and monitoring of regional autism centers in accordance with the Act.

ARTICLE lll: Lead Agency and Responsibilities

Section 1 Lead Agency.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health shall be the Lead Agency as recommended by the AIACC and appointed by the Governor. The Lead Agency will be responsible for the general administration, supervision, and monitoring of all Council activities.

Section 2 Responsibilities.

The Lead Agency has the following responsibilities:

A. Lead Agency will provide administrative support and function as the secretary to the Council.

B. Representatives shall record the official minutes of the Council meetings and present said minutes for approval at the next Council meeting.

C. Lead Agency will provide notice of meetings and minutes to Council members in a timely manner (i.e., 30 days prior to next meeting).

E. Secretary/Lead Agency will work with the Chair and Co-chair to develop meeting agendas.

F. Lead Agency will be responsible for keeping records of Council proceedings and activities (e.g., work products), the maintenance and dissemination of proceedings, and other information to AIACC members and others as may be appropriate.

G. Alabama Public Records Law applies [Statues 41.13.1 - 41.13.44 of the Alabama legislature define the law].

H. Lead Agency will hire and maintain the Autism State Coordinator position.

ARTICLE IV: Council Composition and Terms

Section 1 Composition.

The composition of the Council shall reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban and rural, and economic diversity of the state.

The Council is composed of:

A. Three adult individuals with ASD 19 years of age or older, appointed by the Governor;

B. Three individuals who are parents or guardians of a child with ASD ASD who is 18 years of age or younger, appointed by the Governor;

C. Five individuals who are service providers, appointed by the Governor;

D. An individual who serves in an executive level capacity from a private health insurance carrier who addresses medical/health policy, appointed by the Governor;

E. One member of the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate;

F. One member of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House; and

G. The chief executive officer, or his or her designee of each of the following participating agencies:

a) Alabama Department of Children's Affairs;

b) Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind;

c) Alabama Department of Education;

d) Alabama Department of Human Resources;

e) Alabama Department of Insurance;

f) Alabama Department of Mental Health;

g) Alabama Department of Public Health;

h) Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services;

i) Alabama Medicaid Agency;

j) University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service;

k) Autism Society of Alabama;

l) Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities; and

m) Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Section 2 Terms.

A. When an appointed member’s term expires, the member will continue in his/her position until the Governor fills the vacancy.

B. Initial terms of appointed members of the Council shall be staggered. Subsequent appointed terms shall be for three years.

C. Non-State participating agency members may serve up to two consecutive terms of 3 years.

D. The chief executive officers of state agencies serving on the Council shall serve ex officio with voting privileges.

E. Recommendations to add new members to the Council shall come from the Bylaws/Membership Committee and be voted on by the membership of the Council according to established voting criteria.

ARTICLE V: Council Officers and Duties

AIACC Officers shall consist of a Chair and Co-chair and the terms of their office shall be for two (2) years.

Section 1 Council Chair.

A. The Governor shall appoint the Chair of the Council from among the membership.

B. The Lead Agency will submit the Council’s recommendation for the Chair to the Governor.

C. The Lead Agency shall not function as the Chair.

D. The Chair has the responsibility to lead all meetings and set the agenda in consultation with the Co-chair and Lead Agency.

E. The Chair can serve consecutive terms with a reappointment by the Governor.

Section 2 Council Co-chair.

A. The Co-chair is selected from and approved by the membership.

B. The Co-chair acts in the capacity of the Chair in his/her absence or incapacity.

C. The Co-chair can serve consecutive terms with approval from the membership.

ARTICLE Vl: Council Meeting and Attendance Requirements

Section 1 Council Meeting:

A. Regular meetings of the Council shall be held at least quarterly with a minimum of 30 days notice.

B. All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the Alabama Open Meetings Act (Statutes 36.25A.1 – 36.24A 11 of the Alabama legislature define the law).

C. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall be the parliamentary authority for all meetings of the Council, unless otherwise agreed to by a 2/3 majority of Quorum.

D. A change of a regularly scheduled meeting shall only occur when determined necessary by the Lead Agency in conjunction with the Chair.

E. The Chair or Lead Agency has the authority to call Special meetings of the Council which shall require a 30 day notice to the membership.

Section 2 Attendance Requirements.

A. Any Council member who fails to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the full Council without having given prior notice to the Council Chair will be recommended for termination from the Council membership, unless such termination is nullified by the Council for good cause.

B. Voluntary resignation by a Council member shall be effected by stating in writing their decision to resign, with effective date, and providing such notice to the Chair of the Council.

C. For representatives of member state agencies, the Chief Executive Officer of that agency will be contacted after a member has failed to attend two (2) consecutive meetings (of the full Council) without giving prior notice.

ARTICLE Vll: Quorums and Voting

Section 1 Quorums.

A. A majority of the membership, either present or represented by proxy, at any regular or special meetings, shall constitute a quorum in order to conduct business and pass motions.

B. Action Items requiring a vote shall be received by Council members a minimum of 15 days prior to the scheduled Council meeting.

C. A 2/3 majority of the Quorum is required to carry the vote.

Section 2 Voting.

A. A member of the AIACC may designate a proxy in writing to the Lead Agency. The proxy will have the full rights and privileges of the member represented.

B. An AIACC member may not serve as proxy for another member.

C. No member of the Council shall cast a vote on any matter which would provide direct financial benefit to that member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under state law.

ARTICLE Vlll: Executive Committee Membership, Duties, and Roles

Section 1 Membership.

The Executive Committee shall consist of the following:

A. Lead Agency Chief Executive Officer shall chair the Executive Committee.

B. Chief executive officers of state agencies as enumerated in the Act, whose authorizing legislation and promulgation of standards and regulations, provide for a substantial expectation of service provision to a population that includes persons with ASD. These agencies include the departments of Mental Health, Education, Rehabilitative Services, Human Resources, Public Health, and Medicaid;

C. Parent, appointed by the Governor, of a child with ASD 18 years of age or younger represented on the AIACC and elected by the Council;

D. Adult 19 years of age or older with ASD, represented on the AIACC and appointed by the Governor and elected by the Council; and two (2) individuals from one of the other duly appointed participant categories and elected by the Council.

E. AIACC Chair (or AIACC co-chair) in AIACC Chair’s absence shall serve as an ex officio, non-voting member.

Section 2 Duties.

A. The Executive Committee as established by the Act is the policy-making body for the AIACC.

B. The Executive Committee’s authority to set policy is limited to those broad policy areas which the Executive Committee has identified as having significant impact on the development of a coordinated, comprehensive, interagency, multidisciplinary system of care for individuals with ASD and their families and funding for such a system of care.

C. This Committee shall meet no less than once annually to ensure open lines of communication and address outstanding policy barriers in the development, funding, and implementation of this system of care for persons with ASD and their families.

D. The Executive Committee, after consultation of the full AIACC, has the authority to approve recommended policies. The need for policy review and revision, the development of the annual legislative report, and addressing of planning and funding needs shall be determined on an annual basis.

E. In the course of conducting the business of the Executive Committee, the Committee Chair may include Council members when resolving conflicts, promulgating standards, or setting policy that affects the respective agency which that member represents.

F. Other than its role in establishing appropriate policies for the AIACC, the Executive Committee does not constitute a body separate from the AIACC and, as such has no specific authority apart from the AIACC.

G. Regarding the advisory role for Executive Committee members and other AIACC members in non-policy matters, all members have equal voice and equal opportunity for participation in the deliberations and actions of the AIACC.

Section 3 Roles.

In addition to the authorities and responsibilities addressed above, the Executive Committee has the following roles:

A. To ensure interagency collaboration as the comprehensive statewide system of care for ASDs is developed and implemented;

B. To coordinate available resources related to developing and implementing a system of care for ASDs;

C. To identify areas of duplicative or fragmented policies and regulations which may require modification or amendment and to plan action directed at those issues;

D. To resolve interagency disputes; and

F. To coordinate state budget requests related to systems of care for individuals with ASD based on the studies and recommendations of the AIACC.

ARTICLE lX: Additional Committees

Additional standing committees of the Council shall be as follows:

A. Standards of Practice (Standing)

B. Bylaws and Membership (Standing)

C. Funding and Finance (Standing)

D. Special, Ad Hoc, and Interim

Section 1 Standards of Practice.

A. The Standards of Practice Committee will study and evaluate issues related to scientific research, evidence-based and best practices in the field of autism and the development of a system of care that may come before the Council.

B. The Committee shall make recommendations to the Lead Agency and Council regarding such issues, particularly those that would significantly change or affect the strategic plan and direction of the Council under the purview of the Act.

C. This Committee will work very closely with the Council as it establishes the expectations and roles of regional centers pursuant to Act 2009-592.

Section 2 Bylaws and Membership.

The Bylaws and Membership Committee has the following responsibilities:

A. To ensure that the composition of the Council reflects the racial, gender, geographic, urban and rural, and economic diversity of the state;

B. To develop a nomination process for Council membership and recommendations to the Governor for appointees that maintains the membership requirements outlined in the law;

C. To provide for adequate notice of Governor appointments and membership vacancies to the Chair and Council and solicit nominations for vacant positions (Candidates for appointments should be able to attend meetings, participate actively, and make an effective contribution to the work of the Council); and

D. To develop a process for review and recommendation of Bylaws additions, revisions, and/or amendments to the Council on an annual basis.

Section 3 Funding and Finance.

A. The Funding and Finance Committee will be responsible for analyzing issues related to fiscal support of a system of care for ASD and make recommendations to the AIACC for funding strategies and requests.

B. Approval from the Executive Committee is required for any financial recommendation that affects the budget request of State agencies.

Section 4 Other.

A. Chairs of the Council and Executive Committee may appoint special, ad hoc, and interim committees composed of Council members and other persons as they deem necessary to carry out the business of the Council.

B. Special Committees shall be appointed for a term of one (1) year and can be re-authorized by the Council if specific committee work is remaining.

C. Standing and Ad hoc committees shall be chaired by a member of the Council who is responsible for reporting committee activities to the Council at regularly scheduled meetings. Each committee shall include an individual with ASD or family member.

Nothing in the Bylaws is intended to change the existing authority and/or responsibility of any state agency as prescribed by Alabama law or that is in conflict with federal law and regulations.