Our View of the Legislature: Disability Services

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There are a few bills that seek to improve how state agencies and local governments support services for people with disabilities.

HB 595 (Krizek) creates a position of Special Assistant to the Governor to coordinate disability related services.  The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on General Laws.

HB 710 (Keam) requires local governments to give preference in hiring for people with disabilities.  This bill was requested by the National Federation for the Blind.  The bill was approved by a subcommittee of Counties, Cities and Towns this morning.

HB 1203 (Tata) directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a Mental Health Coordinator, specifically to address suicide prevention.  The bill was the House today and now moves to the Senate.

SB 615 (Lucas) creates a Secretary of Disability Services Coordination.  The bill was endorsed by the Senate Committee on General Laws and referred to Senate Finance.

SB 750 (Dunnavant) would remove all state-operated and private psychiatric hospitals from Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services oversight and create an independent Behavioral Health Authority. The bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Education and Health and referred to Senate Finance.

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.