Status message

Active context: kki_bg_colors_green

Maryland June Legislative Update

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger closely monitors proposed laws that affect people living with developmental disabilities each year during the Maryland General Assembly legislative session. Of note from the 2014 session, parents will benefit from a new law that requires upfront, clear information about the IEP process. Additional legislation that passed in 2014 is summarized below.

Education Law

HB 413: Individual Education Program (IEP) Parental Notice Requirements and Service

Requires parents to be provided with a verbal and written explanation of their rights and responsibilities, and a Procedural Safeguards Notice at the initial IEP meeting. These documents must be in “plain language,” so that they are accessible to parents.

HB 1/SB 64: Children in Need of Assistance – Education Stability

Requires courts to determine the educational stability of a foster child at certain types of hearings.

HB 297/SB332: Prekindergarten Expansion Act of 2014

Requested by the Office of the Governor, this bill expands the provision of prekindergarten services to four-year-olds at up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. This bill also lays out the specifications for qualifying programs, including class size and teacher-student ratio.         

Early Care

HB 428: Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program

Extends eligibility for the program until the beginning of the school year following the child’s fourth birthday. Also requires each county to publically post a list of its special education programs on its website.

SB 654: Down Syndrome – Required Information

Requires health facilities and healthcare providers that provide prenatal care, postnatal care, or genetic counseling to provide DHMH-approved information about Down syndrome to expectant parents who have had a positive prenatal test result for Down syndrome, or parents of a child with Down syndrome.           

This bill was amended to make provision of the information to current or expectant parents permissive rather than mandatory.

Services

SB 418/HB 556: Low Intensity Support Services

Lowers the funding cap from $3,000 per person annually to $2,000 per person annually. This reduction would allow more individuals to be served.

HB 798/SB 701: Children with Disabilities – Habilitative Services Information

Requires local school systems to provide written and verbal information about access to habilitative services to the parents of a child with a disability at the meeting for transition into the school system, the initial and annual IEP meetings, and upon approval or denial of a request for related services.

Miscellaneous

HB 1019: Prince George's County - Adults With Developmental Disabilities Citizen's Advisory Committee - Sunset Repeal PG 421-14

Repeals the sunset provision (automatic termination date) of the law establishing the Adults with Developmental Disabilities Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

HB 440/SB58: Authorized Riders in School Vehicles

Stipulates the types of people authorized to board and ride on a school bus or other vehicle. Specifically allows an authorized school vehicle attendant for a child aboard, and a nurse, aide, or other individual authorized to work with a student by an IEP, 504, or other plan.

HB 294/SB 542: Christopher’s Law

Would have required training for entrance-level and annual in-service police officers in CPR, proper level and use of force, cultural and gender diversity sensitivity, and interacting with individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities.

Amended to require only entrance-level training and also include training on “psychiatric disabilities.”

Please note: the Maryland General Assembly’s 2014 legislative session ended on April 7, 2014. At the time of publication, all information about the proposed bills was current; some bills were still pending signature by the governor.

This article was written by the Center’s 2014 legislative extern, Viola Woolums, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.