VAD Legislative Committee Report

March 27, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Thanks to: Virginia Association of the Deaf and Arva Priola.

VAD Legislative Committee Report

March 25, 2015 

The VAD Board were in favor of three bills below as noted at the VAD Board meeting in Roanoke, Saturday, January 24, 2015.

  1. There was a group of deaf people led by Arva Priola of Fredericksburg last Monday, January 19, at the General Assembly Building on the Capitol Square in Richmond.  The purpose of the visit was to meet some delegates or their legislative aides (about 14) for support to the House Bill 1956that involves hospitals in the Commonwealth.  The bill requires the Board of Health to include in regulations that each licensed hospital (1) develops a process for identifying patients who are deaf or hard of hearing and (2) takes steps to ensure that patients who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to effectively communicate with health care providers involved in their care.  We discussed with Delegate Robert Orrock, Sr., the patron of the bill, and asked him to include the deaf or hard of hearing caregivers in the bill. We also met Delegate Jennifer McClellan urging her to support the bill.  Supporters involved were Arva Priola, Tom Dowling, Star Grieser, Sallie Mae Pauley, Kathy Mutter, Otis Hill, and Gary Viall.

Updated:  Passed in the House 99 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/6/15 .
Passed in the Senate 38 –Yes, 0– No on 2/16/15.
Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/23/15; final Governor’s action by midnight on 3/30/15.
Approved by Governor on 3/16/15; the new law will become effective on 7/1/15.

  1. The second one is HB 1679by patron Delegate Richard Bell for information on services for students identified as hearing or visually impaired on the school division website.  The bill requires each local school board to annually post on the school division website information describing the educational and other services available through the VSDB, VHHDD, VDBVI and inform parents of its availability.  Current law requires distribution of physical copies of such information.

 Updated :  Passed in the House 98 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/5/15.
Passed  in the Senate 38 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/16/15.
Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/23/15; final Governor’s action by midnight on 3/30/15.
Approved by Governor on 3/10/15; the new law will become effective on 7/1/15. 

The third one is HB 2156 by patron Delegate K. Rob Krupicka for health insurance coverage for hearing aids and related professional services.  The bill requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids and other services prescribed or provided by a licensed audiologist. Past efforts to require insurance companies to provide coverage for hearing aids have not been successful.

Updated:  Left in the House Committee and Labor – no further action.