Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council
55 Utley Drive, Camp Hill, PA 17011
The Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council’s Legislative and Public Awareness Committee respectfully asks for your support on the following State bills:
Short Title: An Act relating to the delivery of services and programs to persons with disabilities; conferring powers and duties on the Office of the Governor; establishing the Office for People with Disabilities and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities; and providing for the powers and duties of the office and advisory committee and for funding of the office. Prime Sponsor: Senator TARTAGLIONE
Co-Sponsors: TARTAGLIONE, TEPLITZ, GORDNER, BREWSTER, BLAKE, COSTA, VULAKOVICH, HUGHES, SMITH, LEACH, RAFFERTY and BROWNE
Printer’s No.: 171*
Memo: Co-Sponsorship of Legislation: Office for People with Disabilities
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation, formerly S.B. 280 of 2013-2014, which would create the Office for People with Disabilities within and to be administered by the Office of the Governor. While this office has been established by Executive Order, my legislation would make the office permanent by statute. The Office for People with Disabilities provides essential services for people with disabilities and their families. Through the expertise of its members, the office supports and empowers Pennsylvania’s disabled population by undertaking basic, but necessary, functions, such as identifying gaps and funding deficits in disability services and programs, advocating for increased availability of and access to those services and planning for program improvements statewide. Related Bill: HB1183
Last Action: Referred to STATE GOVERNMENT, Jan. 20, 2015 [Senate]
Short Title: An Act amending the act of October 27, 1955 (P.L.744, No.222), known as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, further providing for the title of the act, for findings and declaration of policy, for right to freedom from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation, for definitions, for unlawful discriminatory practices, for prohibition of certain real estate practices, for powers and duties of the commission, for educational program, for construction and exclusiveness of remedy and for cooperation of State agencies.
Prime Sponsor: Representative KAMPF
Co-Sponsors: SCHLOSSBERG, THOMAS, PASHINSKI, BISHOP, DRISCOLL, BOYLE, LEWIS, MURT, SCHWEYER, D. COSTA, WARD, DiGIROLAMO, BRADFORD and WATSON
Printer's No.: 2442*
Memo: Amending the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to remove the word “handicap”
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to remove the word “handicap” while leaving in place disability as a protected class. As a matter of law, this is a technical change that does not change the scope or meaning of the Act. However, it is an important change to remove antiquated language and to use best practices in discussing people with disabilities in law. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act National Network, “‘handicapped’ is an outdated and unacceptable term to use when referring to individuals or accessible environments.” In fact, “handicap” does not appear in the Americans with Disabilities Act at all. While it may have been a common term decades ago when the PHRA was drafted, it is now outdated. This revision to the PHRA is a natural next step after the unanimous passage of House Resolution 305 in June. Introduced by Representative DiGirolamo, HR 305 resolved that the House recognizes “that the use of language that is not person-first language with respect to people with disabilities hinders their integration, inclusion, participation and respect in society and negatively influences government decisions, policies and laws” and that the House urges “adoption and utilization by the Commonwealth of person-first language with respect to people with disabilities.” Throughout the act, “handicap” and “disability” are used interchangeably. My bill will simply remove “handicap” where it is found and leave disability intact to cover the totality of the protected class.
Last Action: Laid on the table, Feb. 8, 2016 [House]
The PaRC supports this legislation, but recommends that the legislation includes the word “employment”.
Short Title: An Act establishing a bill of rights for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and conferring powers and duties on the Department of Human Services.
Prime Sponsor: Representative MURT
Co-Sponsors: MURT, ACOSTA, BARRAR, BOYLE, V. BROWN, BROWNLEE, CALTAGIRONE, COHEN, D. COSTA, DAVIS, DeLUCA, FRANKEL, GOODMAN, KAVULICH, MILLARD, O'NEILL, C. PARKER, SCHLOSSBERG, STURLA, GIBBONS, SAMUELSON, MOUL, R. BROWN, BIZZARRO, FLYNN, SCHWEYER, KILLION, TOOHIL, KORTZ and BARBIN
Printer’s No.: 2078*
Memo: Bill of Rights for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled People (Prior HB 1114) I plan to introduce legislation that will establish a bill of rights for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This legislation affirms that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have full rights to enjoy the opportunity to live and participate in their homes and communities; independently make choices about their lives; contribute to society; and experience full integration and inclusion in the mainstream of society in this Commonwealth. Funding for services will be made available across Pennsylvania taking into account the resources available to the Commonwealth and the needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Last Action: Laid on the table, Feb. 8, 2016 [House]
Short Title: An Act relating to the delivery of services and programs to persons with disabilities; conferring powers and duties on the Office of the Governor; establishing the Office for People with Disabilities, Cabinet for People with Disabilities and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities; and providing for their powers, duties and funding.
Prime Sponsor: Representative COHEN
Co-Sponsors: COHEN, BISHOP, V. BROWN, CALTAGIRONE, DRISCOLL, HARKINS, J. HARRIS, KINSEY, KIRKLAND, McNEILL, MURT, PASHINSKI, ROEBUCK and THOMAS
Printer’s No.: 1525*
Memo: Office for People with Disabilities
I invite your co-sponsorship of legislation providing for the Office for People with Disabilities (HB 1183 of 2013). Currently, the Governor’s Cabinet and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities exists within the Department of Human Services through Executive Order signed by Governor Rendell in 2006. I am reintroducing this bill as companion legislation to SB 271, introduced by Senator Christine Tartaglione, making the Cabinet and Advisory Committee permanent through enabling legislation. My bill would incorporate changes developed by members of the Legislative Workgroup currently serving on the Advisory Committee, and includes a member of my staff, Kathy Seidl. Specifically, this legislation would move the Cabinet and Advisory Committee from its current location within the Department of Human Services to the Office of the Governor, eliminating any stigma currently felt by people with disabilities in its affiliation with the Department of Human Services and give this committee the same standing as other advisory committees and commissions established by the Governor. The duties essentially would remain the same, serving as liaison between the Governor and people with disabilities, supporting and empowering people with disabilities in Pennsylvania through the expertise of its members by identifying gaps and funding deficits in disability services and programs, advocating for increased availability of and access to those services, and planning for program improvements statewide. Related Bill: SB271
Last Action: Referred to HUMAN SERVICES, May 11, 2015 [House]
Short Title: A Resolution urging the Governor to issue a proclamation to observe January 30, 2015, as "Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Day" in Pennsylvania, and requesting the Governor to appoint a committee to investigate and recommend how the Commonwealth can best commemorate "Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Day" on an annual basis to recognize residents with disabilities who have distinguished themselves and this Commonwealth in the spirit of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Prime Sponsor: Representative MATZIE
Co-Sponsors: MATZIE, SNYDER, BIZZARRO, READSHAW, D. COSTA, MAHONEY, SCHWEYER, BISHOP, KINSEY, FREEMAN, LONGIETTI, DAVIS, SCHLOSSBERG, DRISCOLL, THOMAS, HARHART, MACKENZIE, DEASY, KORTZ, MURT, FRANKEL, CALTAGIRONE, DAY, J. HARRIS, COHEN, KAUFFMAN, DAVIDSON, DONATUCCI, O'BRIEN, O'NEILL, RAVENSTAHL, STURLA, GRELL, KAVULICH, McCARTER, HENNESSEY, KOTIK, WATSON, GIBBONS, BROWNLEE and V. BROWN
Printer’s No.: 154*
Memo: Request for Co-Sponsorship: Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Day (Prior HR 43) Act 71 of 1988 (P.L. 413, No. 71) initially designated January 30, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s birthday, as the “Day of the Disabled” in Pennsylvania. Then, Act 14 of 1993 (P.L. 44, No. 14) amended Act 71 of 1988 to rename the day as “Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Day.” However, the current law does not establish any actions by the Commonwealth to properly observe the holiday. Approval of this resolution and further action by the Governor to appoint a committee would establish an efficient process to receive recommendations for amending the law so that the Commonwealth can best commemorate Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Day on an annual basis.
Last Action: (Remarks see House Journal Page), Feb. 3, 2015 [House]
Latest update: August 23, 2016