2023 Tennessee Legislation
We are very closely watching several bills this session, which is currently underway here in TN. Stay updated here and in the state-wide TN Down Syndrome Policy Network Facebook Group, so that you can be aware and advocate for the issues that affect your family.
HB0371/SB0363 - ABLE Estate Recovery – This bill would prohibit the state from seeking estate recovery (clawback) of funds in an ABLE account following the death of a beneficiary, beyond what is required by federal law. Many families of children w/DS have not pursued ABLE accounts for their loved ones, specifically because of the clawback stipulation. We are hopeful to see this passed this year, making TN only the 2nd state to accomplish such and removing even more obstacles for those w/DS to earn and save money while still protecting their Medicaid benefits.
UPDATE: This bill passed the Senate Health and Welfare and House Insurance Subcommittee this week! Next up is the House Insurance full committee (Feb 21st) and Senate Calendar
HB0127/SB0141 - Mechanical Restraint for Students w/Disabilities - This bill would allow a school resource officer, school security officer, or other law enforcement officer who is trained and certified for completing a behavior intervention training program to use a mechanical restraint (such as handcuffs or zip ties) on a student receiving special education services in an emergency situation.
Currently, school resource officers (SRO’s), who are actual police officers contracted into the school, are allowed to use mechanical restraint in “emergency situations,” but bill extends that authority to school security officers. Of course, it is our preference that rather than giving additional people this right, the state look to better train school staff to meet the behavioral needs of students with disabilities, thus reducing the need for any physical or mechanical restraint, which can be dangerous, cause lasting trauma and is not a best-practice behavior intervention.
Tennessee Disability Day on the Hill 2023
DSAMT is a sponsor and partner with The TN Disability Coalition's Disability Day on the Hill and advocacy activities this year, giving all of us multiple opportunities to tell our stories with our lawmakers. If you need assistance scheduling a meeting with your legislators, please contact email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or the Tennessee Disability Coalition.
We hope you will joining DSAMT at the Community Party on March 7th and will invite your legislators to meet you there and/or also attend Disability Day on the Hill on March 8th to discuss your concerns with your legislators. DSAMT is prepared to help you in any way we can - from helping to schedule your meetings, help you prepare talking points, etc. The most important thing is that YOU PARTICIPATE!