January 7, 2014 Legislative Highlights

The disAbility Law Center is a private nonprofit organization that advocates and advances the rights of people with disabilities in Virginia.  The dLCV is available to assist legislators and other policymakers in understanding the implications of legislative proposals for people with disabilities.

The General Assembly session begins at noon on January 8, 2014.  If you learn of a bill or a budget item that we should be monitoring, please let us know at info@dLCV.org.

We expect a lot of proposals dealing with mental health services this session.  For more information about mental health services, please see the report from the dLCV:  Broken Promises: the Failure of Mental Health Services in Virginia.

We are monitoring the development of proposed legislation as it relates to people with disabilities on these areas. Here is a sample of some of the bills we will be following:

HB 134 (Cole) – establishes requirements for public schools to have trained aides available to administer insulin to children with diabetes.

HB 75 (Simon) – allows for absentee voting without excuse.  Assigned to the Committee on Privileges and Elections.

HB 83 (Krupika) – clarifies that an unexpired driver’s license is valid identification for voting. Assigned to the Committee on Privileges and Elections.

HB 91 (Habeeb)  – enhances the fees to representing someone in a civil commitment proceeding.

HB 241 (Yost), SB 115 (Barker)   – extends the length of time a person can be held under a temporary detention order  from 48 hours to 72 hours.

HB 242 (Yost), HB 294 (Bell)  – extends the time under which a person can be held under an emergency custody order from four hours to as much as eight hours (four hours with two two-hour extensions).  There are significant differences in the bills being proposed.