2020 Legislative Session Enactments
The 2020 legislative session faced unprecedented challenges, as the world combated a public health crisis with the emergence of COVID-19. Despite this, policymakers continued making progress in employment for people with disabilities. At least 20 states enacted 58 pieces of legislation relating to the Work Matters policy framework, including state hiring of people with disabilities, transportation, work-based learning, and private-sector capacity building. Below are few notable examples in each policy area. For all enactments, please refer to the disability legislation employment database.
State as a Model Employer
Tennessee SB 1642: Creates a committee on competitive integrated employment for people with severe disabilities.
Utah HB 378: Requires the Department of Health to identify barriers people with disabilities face in accessing services and develop an ombudsman position proposal for the purpose of addressing these barriers.
Washington HB 1783: Establishes the Office of Equity for the purpose of promoting access to opportunity and resources which reduce disparities among historically marginalized populations. The office shall assist agencies in applying an equity lens in all aspects of agency decision making, including service delivery, program development, policy development, and budgeting.
Getting to Work
Hawaii HB 2590: Establishes within the Department of Transportation an autonomous vehicle testing pilot program and requires a recommendation of whether autonomous vehicles are ready to fully deployed in the state.
New Jersey SB 2517: Establishes a program to adopt paratransit best practices, requires greater coordination among paratransit service providers, and establishes regional paratransit coordinating councils.
New York AB 8127: Requires the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to develop criteria for the purpose of determining how to best prioritize subway stations for accessibility improvements in its capital program plan.
Preparing for Work
Florida HB 901: Requires the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide preemployment transition services to eligible persons with disabilities.
New Jersey SB 973: Requires Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to establish an apprenticeship mentoring program for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.
Virginia HB 1252: Prohibits a sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program from discriminating against an apprentice or applicant for apprenticeship on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, or disability status.
Public and Private Sector Employment Strategies
Maine HP 1340: Eliminates exemptions from the minimum wage law that allow the payment of wages at less than the minimum wage rate to certain individuals with mental or physical disabilities.