Home > Virginia Special Education
February 8, 2010: This week, the Virginia Senate will again consider SB 689, which would severely limit the ability of people with disabilities to access the court system through the Virginia Protection & Advocacy system. Please contact your Virginia Senators TODAY! and ask them to vote NO on the bill.
Many people with developmental disabilities cannot afford their own lawyers and the P&A is one of the few avenues for them to seek justice in court. Ordinarily, clients decide whether to litigate in consultation with their attorneys. But, SB689 will take away that right and give that decision to VOPA’s Board. If the Board says no, a case will not be filed. This could make the decision about whether to litigate purely political, since the VOPA Board is politically appointed. The needs of the individual would take the back seat.
Recently, VOPA filed Arc of Virginia v. Kaine, an action to enjoin the state from building a new segregated state institution for 75 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, all of whom could live in the community. We need to protect the rights of people with disabilities to file these kinds of actions, rather than allowing them to become political footballs.
Please contact your Virginia Senator immediately - call today, Monday, February 8. Calls are the most effective way to contact your legislators.
How to contact Virginia Senators:
Below are the Senators on the Committee on General Laws, which will consider SB 689. The cities provided are the sites of their local offices. If you know one of them is your Senator, please call or email. If you need to look up your Virginia Senator, go to http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform
The patron of SB 689 is Senator Blevins firstname.lastname@example.org (Chesapeake, (804) 698-7514)
Senator John Miller is also a supporter of the bill email@example.com (Newport News, (804) 698-7501)
Members of the committee on General Laws are:
Senator Mamie Locke (chair) firstname.lastname@example.org (Hampton, (804) 698-7502)
Senator Chap Peterson email@example.com (Fairfax, (804) 698-7534)
Senator George Barker firstname.lastname@example.org (Alexandria, (804) 698-7539)
Senator David Marsden email@example.com (Burke, (804) 698-1041)
Senator Charles Colgan firstname.lastname@example.org (Manassas, phone 804-698-7529)
Senator Edward Houck email@example.com (Spotsylvania, (804) 698-7517)
Senator William Wampler firstname.lastname@example.org (Bristol (804) 698-7540)
Senator Walter Stosch email@example.com (Glen Allen, (804) 698-7512)
Senator Stephen Martin firstname.lastname@example.org (Chesterfield, (804) 698-7511)
Senator Frank Ruff email@example.com (Clarksville, (804) 698-7515)
Senator Frank Wagner firstname.lastname@example.org (Virginia Beach, (804) 698-7507)
Senator Mark Herring email@example.com (Leesburg, (804) 698-7533)
Senator Robert Hurt firstname.lastname@example.org (Chatham, (804) 698-7519)
Senator Jill Vogel email@example.com (Winchester, (804) 698-7527)
Senator John Miller firstname.lastname@example.org (Newport News, (804) 698-7501)