Developmental disabilities bill moves forward

Senator Scott Wilk of the 21st district.
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The Senate Human Services Committee unanimously passed Senator Scott Wilk’s bill aimed to help young adults who have developmental disabilities.

Currently, only people whose developmental disabilities occurred before they turned age 18 can get services from regional centers. Senate Bill 283 would raise the age of those eligible for services to those under 22 years old.

“This is really good news for the families and individuals who are impacted by these horrific situations,” Wilk said in a statement. “Waking up one day to learn your child or another loved one is now permanently disabled is something I can hardly imagine. What I can imagine is that this modernization of our law could make a world of difference to a person and his or her family with these types of disabilities.”

Under the federal government and 38 other states, people under 22 already qualify for developmental disability services.

James O’Hara, the father of someone who has a developmental disability, and Autism advocate Emily Iland testified at the committee hearing. Representatives from the California Medical Association and the Brain Injury Association of California also testified.

The bill will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee next.

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