It may or may not take a village to raise a child, but it certainly takes a village to enact legislation. This afternoon, the Legislature gave final approval to House No. 4252, http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H04252, and the bill now rests on the Governor’s desk. If signed into law, Massachusetts would join a majority of states in defining intellectual disability (and eligibility for services) based on a person’s function rather than their IQ at age 18. Getting the bill to this point was a collective bipartisan effort by a lot of Representatives, Senators, advocates and families who care deeply about our fellow citizens. Getting the Governor to sign the bill into law would be a victory for many individuals and families who are hurt by the current obsolete definition and be a credit to all of us who care about human decency. I am hopeful that the Governor will sign the bill into law. I imagine he knows many of you better than he knows me, so please take the next few days to reach out to the Governor and Lt. Governor and urge their support. On a personal note, I just got off the telephone with the father who first called this issue to my attention and asked for help. There is no more compelling force to effect positive change than a parent’s love of his child. I am indebted to him for bringing this issue to the attention of the General Court.
Please share widely!