A bill making a number of changes in how the state treats its disabled citizens has passed the House.
HB 555 combines a number of ideas. Some of the bill’s main features reflect a stark reality of state government; slumping revenue and tight budgets. Comprehensive rehabilitation services would be offered to those suffering from traumatic brain injuries if the state can afford it. Likewise, Missouri Healthnet benefits would include hearing aids, if legislators agree the money is there and appropriate it.
It would establish a state income tax check-off to contribute to the Developmental Disabilities Waiting List Equity Trust Fund to reduce disabled Missourians waiting for state services.
A person with a disability would not have his parental rights terminated, because of the disability. References in state law to “mentally retarded”, “mental retardation” or “handicapped” would be replaced by “developmentally disabled”, “developmental disability” or “disabled”.
The bill has been sent to the Senate.