State Representative Kathy LaNatra (D-Kingston) has announced that the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to create a registry of care providers who have harmed a person or persons with an intellectual or developmental disability, with a goal of preventing these providers from being hired for programs funded or operated by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
The legislation, An Act to Protect Persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities from Abuse, will create a registry of care providers against whom the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DCCP) has made a final decision regarding “substantiated findings” of acts resulting in serious physical or emotional injury of a person with an intellectual or developmental disability. The legislation requires care provider employers to check the registry prior to hiring or retaining any person as a care provider and prevents employers from hiring or retaining any provider who appears on the registry. Those employers include those with DDS licenses for day services, those that have contracts with DDS, and those receiving funding from DDS. Under the bill, DCCP imposes monetary fines or other penalties on any employer that fails to comply. The legislation also includes due process protections for care providers. Representative LaNatra said, “I’m proud that the House of Representatives voted unanimously to take this important step, to further ensure the well-being of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.” The bill now advances to the Senate for consideration.
Her district includes all of Halifax, Kingston and Plympton, as well as residents of Precincts 1, 11 and 13 in Plymouth; Precinct 1 in Middleboro; and Precinct 1 in Duxbury. She maintains regular office hours throughout the district.