Our View of the Legislature: Technology

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Now that the session is over, we will continue to update you as the Governor makes decisions about bills and as the legislature tries to resolve their differences on budget amendments. Here is the status of some technology-related bills that we reported to you on February 1:

  • HB 1512 (Adams), dealing with power wheelchairs, has been approved by both the House and the Senate. We are also waiting to see if it will be included in the budget. The bill modifies the state plan for medical assistance services to allow 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 the bill will cost $1.4 million in state matching dollars.
  • HB 1833 (Walker) eliminates certain licensing requirements for the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, in the hope of making those hearing aids more affordable. Both the House and the Senate approved the bill.
  • HB 2207 (Tran) would have updated the Information Technology Access Act to promote digital accessibility for all persons with disabilities, not merely those with vision impairments. The bill would have required agencies to designate a digital accessibility coordinator and to be responsible for developing and implementing effective digital accessibility policies. The bill was approved by the House Committee on Communications and Technology and by the Committee on Appropriations but was defeated in the full House. This bill had been promoted by the National Federation for the Blind of Virginia and was supported by many in the community.
  • 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 Institution but tabled in Appropriations. It did not pass!

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.