Our View of the Legislature – Virginians with Disabilities Act

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All possible bills have been made public at this point. Virginia’s two legislative bodies are attempting to complete all bills this week that may have a fiscal impact. Monday, February 5th is the last day for bills to be referred to the budget committees.

The House of Delegates has acted favorably on a bill to strengthen the Virginians with Disabilities Act. HB 1165 (Sickles) bill adds definitions to state law to align it more closely with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill defines “path of travel,” “place of public accommodation,” “public entity,” “private entity,” and “readily achievable.” The bill requires places of public accommodation to ensure that barriers to accessibility, including along a path of travel, are removed when the removal is readily achievable. This bill will now move to the Senate for consideration, but most likely, not until after February 13th, known as “cross over.”

Our 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.

If you know of something you think we should be watching, please let us know at ga@dlcv.org or info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 1-804-225-2042. The disAbility Law Center of Virginia is available to educate policymakers about the potential impact of these and other legislative proposals.