Legislation Pases to Help Protect Persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities from Harm

Rep. Joseph McGonagle along with his colleagues in the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to create a registry of care providers who harmed a person or persons with an intellectual or developmental disability. The bill seeks to prevent those providers from being hired for programs funded or operated by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

The legislation, An Act to Protect Persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities from Abuse, creates a registry of care providers against whom the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DCCP) has made a final decision regarding “substantiated findings” of acts resulting in serious physical or emotional injury of a person with an intellectual or developmental disability.

“I’m proud that the House to action today to further ensure the safety and wellbeing of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities,” said Speaker DeLeo, (D – Winthrop). “Thank Chair Michlewitz and Chair Khan for their important work on this issue. This legislation will save lives.”

“One of the most important parts of being an elected official is to help those who cannot help themselves,” said McGonagle. “We must be advocates for our communities. Starting 2020 by passing a bill that protects those with intellectual or developmental disabilities is essential to the well-being of our society.”

The bill requires care provider employers to check the registry prior to hiring or retaining any person as a care provider and prevents employers from hiring or retaining any provider who appears on the registry.  Those employers include those with DDS licenses for day services, those that have contracts with DDS, and those receiving funding from DDS.  Under the bill, DCCP imposes monetary fines or other penalties on any employer that fails to comply. The legislation also includes due process protections for care providers.

The legislation builds on ongoing increased support for those departments serving adults and children with intellectual or developmental disabilities. From 2012 to 2020, DPPC funding has increased by 93 percent.

The bill will now go to the Senate.

Rep. Joseph McGonagle has served as the State Representative for the 28th Middlesex District, consisting of the City of Everett, since 2015. A Democrat, Rep. McGonagle is Vice-Chair for the Joint Committee on Housing, and also sits on the Joint Committee for Healthcare Financing and the Joint Committee for Transportation.

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