California’s protection & advocacy system

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2008 Legislative achievements

The closing year of the 2007-2008 two-year legislative session began with a huge budget deficit and proposals for cuts to vital programs for people with disabilities. The threats continue, but the year was not without success. See Disability Rights California’s 2008 legislative achievements here ... and see the Summary of 2008 public policy advocacy excerpted from our 2008 Annual Report ...

Outcomes of our sponsored legislation

Disability Rights California sponsored three bills in 2008: SB 1515, SB 1198, and AB 2424.

We sponsored SB 1515 (Kuehl), to regulate the use of seclusion and restraint. SB 1515 would have established standards for the use of restraint in schools and would have prohibited the use of seclusion in schools except in very narrow circumstances. The bill was vetoed by the Governor. We plan to reintroduce legislation this year.

SB 1198, cosponsored with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, would have required health care plans to offer coverage for Durable Medical Equipment under group policies, with the same limits applied to other basic medical services. Both of these measures made it through the legislative process, only to be vetoed by the Governor.

Cosponsored with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, AB 2424 would have increased the number of Cal-ifornians with developmental disabilities in the workforce. Due to the fiscal situation and the legislative environment, the bill failed in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

We helped to defeat legislation to limit the rights of individuals with disabilities to bring physical access lawsuits. The proposed bill required that businesses be given written notice and an opportunity to fix the problem before going to court. We were able to, instead, work as part of a bi-partisan effort to improve accessibility while reducing the exposure of businesses to expensive litigation over access violations. The governor signed this bill, SB 1608, into law at the end of the legislative session.

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