January 4, 2017 – Legislative Highlights

2017 Virginia General Assembly
Legislative Highlights
January 4, 2017

The 2017 legislative session in Virginia will begin on January 11th at noon.  This is a “short” session meaning that the legislature plans to be in session for 45 days, rather than the 60 days of the “long” session that meets on even-numbered years.

During the “short” session, the legislature will consider amendments to the already adopted two year budget, will request studies to be completed on different topics and will debate substantive changes to the Virginia code.

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 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.

Some proposed legislation has been “pre-filed,” and is available to the public already.   A few of interest to the disability community include:

HB 1483 (Richard P. Bell), which will add definitions of certain types of disability professionals to the code.

HB 1480 (Helsel) which will provide for mental health awareness training for law-enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel.

SB 894 (Favola) which requires the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to provide reports of critical incidents or death in the community to the disAbility Law Center.