dLCV is here to educate policy makers, and especially 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.
The 2021 session of the General Assembly continues to consider bills and the state budget, and is considering a potentially important bill that could impact individuals with disabilities and their rights to decision-making.
HB 2230, introduced by Delegate Rob Bell, would direct the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to develop and implement a program to educate individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and others regarding the availability of supported decision-making agreements. Supported decision-making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision-making capacity by choosing supporters to help them make choices. A person using SDM selects trusted advisors, such as friends, family members, or professionals, to serve as supporters. The supporters agree to help the person with a disability understand, consider, and communicate decisions, giving the person with a disability the tools to make her own, informed, decisions.
HB 2230 was unanimously reported out of the Behavioral Health Subcommittee of the House of Delegates’ Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions, with a recommendation to refer to the House Appropriations Committee. Bills are referred to Appropriations if there is a need to expend state funds if the bill passes; HB 2230 includes a provision that the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services hire a state employee to coordinate the education program. We expect the full House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions will vote on this bill on Thursday, January 28.
Please let us know of any legislative proposals or budget issues that you think we should be following. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042. Please continue to check back here for regular updates on developments in the legislature.