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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 15A: License for program offering residential or day care services to the public and providing treatment for persons with a developmental disability; standards and requirements; protection of individuals served by program from exploitation

Section 15A. (a)(1) The department shall issue a license, for a term of 2 years, to any program that offers residential or day care services to the public and provides treatment for persons with a developmental disability; provided, that prior to issuing or renewing a license the department shall determine whether the program is responsible, suitable and meets applicable licensure standards and requirements.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the department may license programs that provide care but not treatment for persons with a developmental disability.

(3) The department shall not require a license under this section where such residential or day care treatment is provided within an institution or facility licensed by the department of public health under chapter 111. The department may grant the type of license which it deems suitable for a program. The department shall fix reasonable fees for licenses and the renewal thereof. The department shall promulgate regulations for the operation of programs licensed under paragraphs (1) and (2).

(b) Each program licensed pursuant to this section shall: (i) maintain and make available to the department such statistical and diagnostic data as may be required by the department and (ii) be subject to the supervision, visitation and inspection of the department.

(c) The department may refuse to grant or renew a license and may suspend, revoke, limit or restrict the applicability of a license granted under this section, subject to the procedural requirements of section 13 of chapter 30A for a violation of its regulations or standards concerning such program. The department may temporarily suspend a license prior to a hearing in cases of emergency, if it deems that such suspension would be in the public interest; provided, however, that upon request of an aggrieved party, a hearing shall be held after the license is suspended. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the department under this section may appeal under section 14 of said chapter 30A.

(d) No program, for which a license is required under paragraph (a), shall provide residential or day care services for the treatment or care of persons with a developmental disability unless it has obtained a license under this section. The superior court sitting in equity shall have jurisdiction, upon petition of the department, to restrain any violation of this section or to take such other action as equity and justice may require. Whoever violates this section shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years in a house of correction.

(e) Each individual served by such a program shall be granted protection from commercial and private exploitation. No person shall be video taped, audio taped, photographed, interviewed or exposed to the public without express written consent from the individual or the individual's legal guardian. Whoever violates this paragraph shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 21/2 years in a house of correction or by imprisonment for not more than 5 years in the state prison.

(f) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) to (e), inclusive, a child care center, family child care home, family child care system, family foster care or group care facility, as defined in section 1A of chapter 15D, shall not be subject to this section.