Bill planned for committee will prohibit discrimination for Alabamians with disabilities

Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 4:42 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama lawmakers return to the state house this week to resume the regular legislative session. Two bills planned for the session are designed to eliminate discrimination against those with disabilities.

Lopez and other advocates rallied in from the state house to support two bills - the Colby Act and Exton’s Law.

“Just because we take medicines, or we don’t, can’t talk, can’t speak, can’t walk,” said Lopez. “You are just as equal as anybody else.”

The bills are designed to stop discrimination against those with disabilities.

Named after Colby Spangler, The Colby Act allows an adult with disabilities to have a decision-making agreement with an individual or group instead of a guardianship or conservatorship.

“We can choose what church, we can advocate, we can vote,” said Spangler.

Representative Cynthia Almond, R-Tuscaloosa, prefilled the bill.

“Make sure these agreements are supported, decision-makers are honored,” said Almond.

And Exton’s law would prohibit discrimination against those with disabilities from receiving organ transplants.

“Exton has Down syndrome, but he also is medically complex,” said Exton’s mom Savannah Black.

Black says that discrimination isn’t happening in Alabama and the law would keep it that way.

“What this law really does is it doesn’t let us jump ship and go to the top of the line. It lets us just get the requirements and meet the requirements without them investigating their mental competence,” said Black.

Exton’s law has not been filed yet, but The Colby Act will be in a house committee this Wednesday.

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