Matt Talhelm, who wrote a piece on our story earlier this year, followed up with Jacqueline Carney, Delegate Robert Bell - Patron of HJR118, and Doris Gelbman, Elder Law Attorney, this week to discuss the House Joint Resolution No. 118 to study regulating Independent Living Facililities.
"We need to make sure they know what they’re getting, what they’re not getting and what the safeguards are. This is a study and will give us a chance to look at this new thing and help us decide how we want to handle it." -- Delegate Robert Bell
Since arbitration ended, the family has been working to change the criminal and civil laws of Virginia. Meetings occurred with: the General Assembly representatives for Diane’s district, Robert Bell and Creigh Deeds, General Assembly representatives for Jacqueline’s district, Robert Bell and David Toscano, Albemarle County’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office, Robert Tracci, and the Office Of The Virginia Attorney General, Chief Section Counsel, Steven Buck.
Robert Bell and Creigh Deeds have now proposed House Joint Resolution No. 118 for the 2018 General Assembly, which requests a study by the Department of Social Services "regarding potential regulations and oversight may help to ensure that residents of such independent living communities are adequately protected" in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Please reach out to your Representatives to voice your support for this resolution - you can find info to contact your Representatives using the Who's My Legislator tool.
Steven Buck and his task force are currently drafting legislation to criminalize acts or omissions that lead to elder abuse and/or neglect like that which Diane suffered, and we will continue to update as this effort makes progress.
We are hopeful that our voices are being heard and Virginia will lead the way towards reform of the independent living industry and in the protection of the elderly.