"Billy's Law" Would Extend New York Oversight To Out-Of-State
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 11, 2005
ALBANY, NEW YORK--The New York Legislature passed a bill July 1 that would give state officials increased oversight of the treatment that more than 1,400 New York children and adults receive at out-of-state facilities.
The law, known as "Billy's Law", was named for Vito "Billy" Albanese, Jr., who has a brain injury and was sent to residential facilities in two different states, through funding provided by the state of New York. While at those facilities, according to Billy's father, he was beaten, physically restrained against his family's orders, and neglected. At one point he required 40 stitches after falling when he was not supervised.
"There are things that are happening in some of these places . . . that society wouldn't let happen to animals down at the animal shelter," Nancy Weiss, executive director of the disability advocacy group TASH, told the Associated Press.
If signed into law by Governor George Pataki, the measure would require New York officials from agencies such as the Education Department and the Commission on Quality Care to more closely monitor services provided outside the state for New York citizens with disabilities. The Associated Press noted that the bill would also call for the eventual return of those persons to programs in New York.
Vito Albanese, Sr. now cares for his cares for his 34-year-old son at home.
"Law Would Protect, Return Disabled Kids Sent Out Of State" (Associated Press via WNBC)