Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nixon signs package of legislation impacting disabled Missourians

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law a package of legislation impacting disabled residents of the state.

The governor calls the measures monumental.

Among other changes, the bills require more accessible parking in new or re-striped lots, including spots for lift vans.

State statutes will be scrubbed of the words mentally retarded and handicapped.

And parents with disabilities can no longer lose custody of their children unless officials can prove that the disability puts the child at risk.

Freshman Republican representative Thomas Long, from the Springfield area, fought for that provision.

"We are better as a state when you fully participate," Long said. "And we need everyone in this state participating to the fullest that they can."

Gov. Nixon signed the measures at the headquarters of Paraquad, which is one of the largest organizations dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities live independently.

Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio


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