January 18, 2018 – Legislative Highlights

2018 Virginia General Assembly
Legislative Highlights
January 18, 2018

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.

We are monitoring bills in the General Assembly that relate to our mission. The Virginia legislature is considering several bills that will impact persons who are under guardianship:

HB 216 (Krizek) provides courts with the authority to sanction a guardian who fails to file an annual report with the court, and adds an additional requirement that the guardian report include an assessment by a medical professional concerning the continued need for a guardianship.  That bill is assigned to the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions.

SB 156 (Edwards) is the senate companion to HB 216 above.  The bill was heard in the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services who debated the bill briefly, and then referred it to Courts of Justice.

HB 406 (Levine) creates a right for those who are under guardianship to have visitors, unless the guardian petitions the court for restrictions on visitation.  The bill essentially shift the burden to the guardian to prove a need for limiting an individual’s ability to have visitors.  The bill was heard by a subcommittee of House Courts of Justice on Wednesday, and was approved by the subcommittee.

HB 477 (Reid) creates a procedure by which a court should consider whether or not to limit the ability of a person under guardianship to have visitors.  This bill was stricken in subcommittee in favor of HB 406 above.

The disAbility law Center of Virginia will be monitoring developments in the legislature that may be of interest to people with disabilities.  We are available to educate policymakers 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.