Senate passes Chairman DiPalma’s bill to create an Olmstead plan commission


            STATE HOUSE – The Senate approved legislation on May 21, sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Louis P. DiPalma, that would create an Olmstead plan commission to establish a permanent, renewable, and working five year “Integration for all” plan for people vulnerable to unnecessary institutionalization in Rhode Island.

            The Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that states must make services available to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible. That decision was in 1999. While this administration – and prior administrations – have worked toward compliance, Rhode Island remains the only state in New England, and one of just a few in the nation, that lacks a plan.

            “Frankly, the fact that Rhode Island does not have an Olmstead plan decades after the Supreme Court required one is completely unacceptable.  We have been consistently failing some of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable residents for far too long and now is the time to rectify this terrible injustice,” said Chairman DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton).

            According to the legislation (2024-S 2618), the commission would be responsible for establishing, maintaining and periodically updating a continuum of care that allows all Rhode Islanders vulnerable to unnecessary institutionalization to receive adequate services and supports in the least restrictive environment.

            The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration where Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced the legislation (2024-H 7821).



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