Disabled and Elderly Alaskans Gain Independence with Bill Passage
Millett’s House Bill 336, “The Supported Decision-Making Agreements Act” will help the elderly and Alaskans with disabilities live happier and healthier lives
Friday, May 11, 2018, Juneau, Alaska – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill which will provide elderly Alaskans and those experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities, a new tool to live happier, fuller, more self-directed and individualized lives. House Bill 336, sponsored by Representative Charisse Millett (R – Anchorage), is designed to provide an alternative to full guardianship. Under HB 336 individuals will be empowered to make decisions alongside a trusted friend, family member or group.
“This bill has widespread support throughout the disability community,” said Rep. Millett. “Alaskans with disabilities and their families are excited to begin using supported decision-making agreements to transform their lives in a positive manner.”
Rep. Millett introduced the bill to address the growth of guardianship, which takes away some of a person’s rights and has doubled in the past seven years. Guardianship should only be used as a last resort.
HB 336 centers on allowing an Alaskan to have self-determination and individual decision making. Individuals who are empowered in this way are healthier, more independent, well-adjusted and better able to recognize and resist abuse. Supported decision-making, as implemented under HB 336, will create a meaningful alternative for thousands of Alaskans.
The bill passed 39-1 from the House and 19-0 in the Senate. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.
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For more information, contact Representative Millett’s staff Hans Rodvik at 907-465-3879