February 1, 2017 – Legislative Highlights

2017 Virginia General Assembly
Legislative Highlights
February 1, 2017

Of the many bills considered by the General Assembly regarding systemic oversight of allegations of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities, only one (with a version in the Senate and in the House) survives.

HB 1508 (Hope) and SB 894 (Favola) require the Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to provide to the disAbility Law Center of Virginia all reports of critical incidents in community providers licensed by the Department. This will bring community providers on the same level with state operated institutions. SB 894 was approved by the full Senate. A subcommittee for House Health Welfare and Institutions approved HB 1508 yesterday; it will be heard by the full committee Thursday morning. The bill has a “fiscal impact statement,” requiring it to be considered by the House Committee on Appropriations.

HJ 675 (Landes) called for the Joint Commission on Health Care to study whether the Commonwealth should have a registry of cases of abuse or neglect of individuals being served under a Medicaid waiver. It was tabled by the House Committee on Rules.

HB 2061 (Watts, Marshall) would have required the Department of Social Services to produce an annual report of findings of abuse or neglect, including the names of individuals who were subject to criminal charges as a result of the alleged abuse or neglect. It was tabled in subcommittee.

We have also been following a bill to protect the rights of parents who are blind or vision impaired. There were two proposals seeking to protect the rights of parents who are blind, but only one of the bills survives: SB 1199 (Favola) was approved by the Senate Committee on Courts of Justice today. HB 2273 (LaRock) was tabled in subcommittee earlier in the session.

The disAbility law Center of Virginia monitors activities in the legislature that may be of interest to people with disabilities. We are available to educate policy makers about the potential impact of legislative proposals. Please let us know of any legislative proposals or budget issues that you think we should be following. Contact us at info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042.

The mission of the disAbility Law Center of Virginia is to advance independence, choice and self-determination; protect legal, human and civil rights; and eliminate abuse, neglect and discrimination of people with disabilities through zealous and uncompromising legal advocacy and representation.