BREAKING: H4252 Enacted by House & Senate and Sent to Governor

  - promoted by david

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.



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5 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Urge Gov. to Sign Rep. Winslow's Bill

    This bill was a topic of an interesting BMG thread in November. It seems to me that this is a case where the Governor’s current position is too much influenced by his green-eyeshade folks and that he should take another look.

    The enactment of the bill is good news, but we are now in the “pocket veto” period (last 10 days before the end of a legislative session), when a decision by the Governor NOT to sign a bill is the equivalent of a veto. So in order for the bill to become law, the Gov must sign it. I hope he does.

  2. FYI, DDS has promulgated new, final regulations that

    tie the definition of intellectual disability to the clinical authority of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This is largely what Rep. Winslow’s bill would do, so the bill as written may no longer be needed. But, along with advocacy by COFAR, the DLC and other organizations, it appears this bill may have put some pressure on DDS to do the right thing.

    We’re gathering information on the final regs and will post something about them soon.

    • I probably shouldn't have stated above that Rep. Winslow's bill

      may no longer be needed just because DDS now has adopted new regulations that basically contain the same language as the bill. It’s important, I think, to have the definition on intellectual disability in the final regs written into the statute, which would make it a lot harder for DDS to change the regulations at some point in the future. So, I think I can safely say we’re on board with seeing this bill enacted into law.

      • Sign the bill

        It would help my sister and nephew considerably and thousands of forgotten families across our Commonwealth.

      • Statutes Trump Regulations

        If you have a choice between good policy by statute or good policy by regulation, take the statute any time. Especially if the underlying statute differs from the regulation which means that the regulation itself can be undermined. Regulations are creatures of the Executive branch and can change from Governor to Governor. Statutes are much more difficult to change against the people’s will. Any and all entreaties to the Governor’s team will be helpful. I am hopeful the Governor and Lt. Governor will support this long overdue legislation. As a fiscal conservative, I believe we have a moral obligation to appropriate the funds necessary to serve these citizens and I commit to do so.

        dan-winslow   @   Tue 1 Jan 6:49 PM

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