We have historic news for people with disabilities and our allies in California:
Governor Newsom has signed AB 1663 into law!
This groundbreaking civil rights bill for people with disabilities reforms the probate conservatorship system, which has been in the news since Britney Spears’ case brought to light the many systemic abuses that are all too common. AB 1663 also writes supported decision-making (SDM) into state law. That means Californians who need support when making choices can get it – without the court taking their rights away.
Disability Voices United President Judy Mark released the following statement today following the bill signing:
“AB 1663 is landmark legislation that gives people with disabilities a right to support without involving the courts and prevents the abuse and overuse of conservatorships. This law affirms that conservatorships should be rare and the last resort. The default should be that people with disabilities retain their rights and get support when they need it. We deeply thank Governor Newsom for signing the bill and Assemblymember Maienschein for his leadership and unwavering commitment to people with disabilities.”
We are so grateful to Assemblymember Maienschein and his staff for their tireless championing of this bill, to our allies and coalition members for their determined and dynamic work supporting this bill’s passage, and to every single one of you who called in to a committee meeting or wrote your representatives asking them to pass this important bill.
Read Governor Newsom’s press release here. >>
Assembly Bill 1663:
The Probate Conservatorship Reform
and Supported Decision-Making Act
A Groundbreaking Civil Rights Bill for People with Disabilities
AB 1663, introduced on January 19, 2022 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, changes the probate conservatorship system so that people with disabilities do not end up in conservatorships unnecessarily. It also recognizes supported decision-making as a way that people with disabilities can get support from people they trust without losing their rights.
- Deflects people with disabilities from unnecessary conservatorships by recognizing alternatives, like supported decision-making (SDM), and creates a SDM Technical Assistance Project to provide outreach and training.
- Diverts people with disabilities from unnecessary conservatorships by requiring courts to consider alternatives and by creating a Conservatorship Alternatives Program to counsel potential conservatees who may benefit from alternatives.
- Dissolves conservatorships without a court hearing when both the conservator and conservatee agree on termination, and provides an easier path for conservatees to request their conservatorship be changed or ended.
- Ensures decisions are made by the person with a disability to the greatest extent possible, even when they are under a conservatorship, and asks the conservator to take the person’s wishes into consideration unless it endangers their health or safety.