|Budget Issue:||Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit implementation (April Finance Letter #9)|
|Program:||Department of Transportation|
|Finding or Recommendation:||Approve the request, but require a supplemental report be provided after the final settlement is approved.|
The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) requests $3.6 million for three limited-term positions and contract resources to implement its ADA compliance program for 2010-11 and 2011-12. The department has preliminarily settled state and federal lawsuits for ADA violations. The terms of the settlement require Caltrans to perform various tasks related to identifying, prioritizing, and fixing Caltrans-owned facilities that are in violation of the ADA. The resources included in this request would provide staffing to develop and begin implementation of the department's new ADA compliance program, and contract resources to handle an increased number of complaints that the department expects under the new program.
In addition to this request, the 2010-11 budget includes funding to pay for attorney's fees related to the lawsuits. Funding to improve the department's ADA compliance efforts has also been approved in previous fiscal years. In light of these multiple budget requests, as well as additional funding that will likely be requested in future fiscal years, we recommend that the Legislature adopt language requiring Caltrans to report comprehensively on its new ADA program. Specifically, we recommend the following supplemental report language:
ADA Compliance Program Reporting. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) shall report annually for three years to the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office, information about the department’s American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance program and efforts related to the settlement of lawsuits regarding violations of the act. The first report shall be provided no later than 12 months after the final settlement has been approved by the presiding court. Two subsequent reports shall be provided annually thereafter. The reports shall provide the following: