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December 15, 2023Press Release

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Statement on the Passage of Senate Bill 506, Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Guardianship Laws

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Statement on the Passage of Senate Bill 506, Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Guardianship Laws

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 15, 2023

Disability Rights Pennsylvania

301 Chestnut Street, Suite 300

Harrisburg, PA 17101

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Statement on the Passage of Senate Bill 506, Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Guardianship Laws

As a leader in the advancement of the civil rights of people with disabilities for over 45 years, Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) celebrates Senate Bill 506 being signed into law.  The reforms contained in this legislation are important and necessary to ensure that people with disabilities are not forced into unnecessary guardianship.  We thank Senator Lisa Baker and Senator Art Haywood and Representative Darisha Parker for their leadership on these reforms and advocacy to ensure the passage of this legislation.

Over the past forty years, the United States has moved away from institutionalization and segregation of people with disabilities.  Today, people with disabilities are integrated in and participate in their communities. Unfortunately, far too many adults have not retained decision-making authority based on misconceptions and concerns about abilities.  The full integration of the disability community means that people with disabilities must make their own decisions about their lives.

Senate Bill 506 contains several important reforms that are long overdue.  The changes include appointment of counsel for any individual who has not retained their own counsel, professional guardianship certification, and enforcing consideration of less restrictive alternatives. Together the changes will also ensure that guardianship is imposed only when it is necessary, and no other alternatives will work. DRP looks forward to the reforms in Senate Bill 506 being implemented so that people with disabilities can live the lives that they choose.

For more information about the rights of people with disabilities visit disabilityrightspa.org.