Our View of the Legislature: Technology

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We are quickly approaching the halfway point in the session known as “crossover.”  Committees are dealing with bills, now, quite rapidly in order to clear their dockets in the next few days. The legislature has acted on a few bills that would impact access to and use of assistive technology by people with disabilities.

Delegate Adams’ HB 1512 modifies the state plan for medical assistance services to allow for Medicaid to pay for rehabilitative technology manual and power wheelchair bases as durable medical equipment for patients who reside in nursing facilities. The Administration estimates that the bill will cost $1.4 million in state matching dollars. The bill has been approved by the House Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions and by House Appropriations.

  • HB 1883 (Walker) eliminates certain licensing requirements for the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, in the hope of making those hearing aids more affordable. The bill was approved by a subcommittee of Health, Welfare, and Institutions.
  • HB 2093 (Mundon King) would have required the state Medicaid plan to include payment for cranial prostheses. Cranial prostheses are used by people with a diagnosis of alopecia or cancer with chemotherapy treatment. The bill was approved by Health, Welfare, and Institutions. Even though the projected fiscal impact is relatively small, the bill was tabled in Appropriations.
  • HB 1589 (Sullivan) would have allowed someone who is using an electric personal assistive mobility device on a roadway to follow the pedestrian Walk signal at an intersection when traveling in the direction of the signal. The bill was tabled in a House Transportation subcommittee.

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia is available to educate policymakers about the potential impact of legislative proposals. Please let us know of any issues that you think we should be following. Contact us at ga@dlcv.org or info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042.