Here are some bills of interest to people with developmental disabilities and allies:
SB 482 (Favola) creates the Developmental Disabilities Mortality Review Team to review deaths in community providers licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Approved by the Senate and by the Behavioral Health subcommittee of House Health, Welfare and Institutions.
HB 659 (Hope) requires the Department of Corrections to develop guidelines for inmates with developmental disabilities. Approved by the House and assigned to the Senate Rules Committee.
HB 1503 (Ward) and SB 1031 (Barker) require insurance providers to cover treatment for autism spectrum disorder, even in individual and small group markets. The Northam Administration has suggested that the expansion needs further study. HB 1503 has been approved by the House and by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. SB 1031 has been approved by the Senate and will be considered by the House Committee on Commerce and Labor. The bills have some differences, so we anticipate, after the Senate version is approved, that they will be sent to “conference” to resolve.
HB 134 (Runion) and SB 186 (Dunnavant) both direct the Department of Education to develop guidelines for IEP teams to include age-appropriate sex education for children with disabilities. Both bills have been approved by their chamber of origin. HB 134 has been approved by the Senate, as well. SB 186 has been approved by the House Committee on Education; we expect it to be approved by the full House later this week. (Once approved, it may take a few days before the bill is sent to the Governor.) Congratulations to the Arc of Virginia and its allies for persistent advocacy success with this bill!
Find additional discussion of special education legislation, see our February 10, 2020 highlight: https://www.dlcv.org/our-view-special-education-2020-4
No Longer Active
HB 828 (Sullivan) would have prohibited any group home or assisted living facility that is within a half mile of another facility. The proposal was a clear violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and was defeated in the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions.
HB 829 (Sullivan) would have required an extensive notice and public hearing requirement before any group home may receive a license. The proposal was a clear violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and was defeated in the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions.
HB 855 (Murphy) defines a group home to include providers licensed by the Department of Social Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, but does not include providers licensed by the Department of Health. The bill was “left” in Health, Welfare and Institution, meaning it is now dead.
HB 1381 (Leftwich) would have prohibited non attorney advocates from assisting families in Due Process hearings. The bill was opposed by numerous advocates and organizations and was defeated in the House Committee on Courts of Justice. For further discussion, see https://www.dlcv.org/our-view-special-education-2020-4.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042 if you know of something we should be tracking. 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.