Our View of the Legislature – Virginians with Disabilities Act

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The legislature 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.

The bill was approved by the House before crossover and was approved by the Senate on March 5th, but it has not yet been sent to the Governor. Nonetheless, we expect that the Governor will have the same deadline for review as other bills passed late in the session, April 8th.

Under the Constitution, the Governor should have 30 days to act on a bill passed late in the session. The reconvened session is scheduled for April 17th.

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. We are available to educate policymakers about the potential impact of legislative proposals. Please let us know of any legislative proposals or budget 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 1-804-225-2042.