We are asking for your help to support three priority bills of The Arc that have recently been heard at Joint Committee hearings. We want to ensure these bills are voted out of committee favorably. Here is more information regarding the three bills.
- Higher Education Opportunities Bill (H1331/ S846, Joint Committee on Higher Education) – An Act creating higher education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities (IDD), autism, and other developmental disabilities. This bill allows persons with IDD and autism to access state colleges and universities to gain skills necessary to work and live independently in the community as adults and implements key recommendations of the legislative Task Force on College Inclusion.
- Accessory Dwelling Units Bill (H1370/ S908, Joint Committee on Housing) – An Act relative to accessory dwelling units. This bill would allow for the creation of an accessory apartment (an in-law apartment) that would be added to a single-family home for the benefit of a person with a disability, or an elderly person.
- Disability Commission on History of State Institutions (H2090/S1257, Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery) – An act establishing a special commission to study and report on the history of state institutions for people with developmental and mental health disabilities in the Commonwealth. This bill establishes a disability-majority state commission of 18 people that will be represented by state agencies and disability advocacy groups. It will investigate and report on things like the status of former institutional residents living independently today, the location of all documents from the former state institutions, the availability of such records to former residents, descendants, and the public, the location of burials for all residents who died in the care of the Commonwealth, and the potential for unmarked graves at former state institutions.
Please take a few minutes to reach out to your legislators using The Arc’s template below asking them to champion these bills and to contact the relevant Committee Chairs to pass them out of Committee.
Thank you for taking action! Stay tuned to The Arc for more information and next steps.