Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NCGA: Legislative Update 3 - The Arc of NC Legislative Agenda Wrap Up

In today's installment we are going to highlight a joint advocacy effort with the Self-Advocates of North Carolina, the People First bill:

This legislation required bi-partisan negotiations with key Senators. Some of the concerns raised were with the changing of language that could affect Medicaid funding, criminal laws that contain specific federal or state definitions, and civil laws that contain specific rulings that incorporate definitions. These concerns are the same that were raised in all of the states where this legislation has been presented.

After multiple negotiations a model bill was created. The Arc of North Carolina feels that our legislation will answer many of the questions that other states are debating regarding People First and can become a model for other states.

This bill directs the Legislative Services Office to incorporate into its drafting training of legislative drafters the preference to avoid language that implies that a person as a whole is disabled, equates a person with his or her condition, or is regarded as derogatory or demeaning.

To avoid any unintended consequences of altering existing legislation or creating legislation that would be in conflict with existing legislation; this bill will direct the General Statues Commission to recommend to the 2010 reconvened session of the General Assembly and to the 2011 Regular Session of the General Assembly any statutory changes and drafting policies needed to make the General Statutes and administrative rules refer to a person with a disability as a person first.

Vote History: This bill passed the Senate 45 in favor to 0 opposed and passed the House 114 in favor and 2 opposed. The governor signed this bill into law on July 2, 2009.

No comments: