Our View of the Legislature: Assisted Living Facilities

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We are now approaching the mid-point of the legislative session, known as “cross-over.”  As of Wednesday, February 16, 2022, the two houses of the legislature will only hear bills that originated in and passed out of the other house. If a bill has not been approved by its house of origin by that date, it is no longer under consideration.

Many bills have been defeated or tabled at this point, others have been amended or are otherwise moving along. Today we address the status of bills that affect the operation of Assisted Living Facilities. In Virginia, an Assisted Living Facility could be very luxurious or could be extremely basic, or anything in between. The ALFs that are less well supported are of special concern to dLCV, as those residences are usually occupied by individuals with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities, or both.

Some of the bills under consideration this year affecting Assisted Living facilities include:

HB 690 (Hope), SB 40 (Spruill) – establish protections for individuals in assisted living facilities against discharges. The bills are essentially similar – both require adequate notice to the individual and create an opportunity to challenge the decision to discharge. SB 40 was approved by the full Senate and now moves to the House. HB 690 was tabled by a subcommittee of House Appropriations and is likely dead, as there is not sufficient time to take the bill off the table and act on it before crossover.

HB 569 (Clark) – would have removed the section of code that said that assisted living facilities and other providers could not be held liable for provision or denial of COVID treatment. The bill was stricken from the docket in a subcommittee of House Courts of Justice.

SB 148 (Norment) – further expands the section of code that states that assisted living facilities and other providers can not be held liable to provision or denial of COVID treatment, except for gross negligence. The bill was approved by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and has been read twice on the floor of the Senate. We expect a final vote on Monday.

SB 100 (Hanger) – authorizes staff in programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services to honor a valid DNR order.  As assisted living facilities are not licensed by DBHDS, this bill would only impact assisted living facilities to the extent that an individual is also in a program licensed by DBHDS. This bill was approved by the full Senate and now moves to the House for consideration.

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia’s mission 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 available to educate policy makers about the potential impact of legislative proposals and budgetary considerations.  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.