February 27, 2014 Legislative Update

Substitute decision making is before the General Assembly this week.  The House approved a  Resolution to conduct a study of substitute decision making options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The Resolution is before the Senate Committee on Rules on Friday, February 28, 2014.  House Joint Resolution 190 (Landes) directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to study’s Virginia’s laws in comparison to other states and to make recommendations for strengthening the law. If approved, the report would be due by November 30, 2014.

In addition, the House version of the budget contains additional funding for the public guardianship program.  The House budget includes $316,126 annually, in addition to the more than $99,000 that was in the Governor’s introduced budget.  The Senate version of the budget does not contain and additional funding for the program beyond the Governor’s introduced budget.   The public guardianship program serves people, primarily elderly, who are indigent.  The program has a waiting list of nearly 900 hundred people and has identified 16 counties in Virginia where no services are available.

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia supports maximum independence and decision making by individuals with disabilities, the fullest extent possible. The mission of the disAbility Law Center of Virginia is, through zealous and effective advocacy and legal representation, to protect and advance legal, human, and civil rights of persons with disabilities; combat and prevent abuse, neglect, and discrimination; and promote independence, choice, and self-determination by persons with disabilities.  Contact us at info@dLCV.org or at 1-800-552-3962 for more information.