February 12, 2018: A Bill to Weaken the ADA
- The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on HR. 620, a bill which will weaken ADA protections.
HR. 620 - ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017
The House of Representatives is expected to take up HR. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, late this week. The sponsors of HR. 620, including Scott Peters (D-CA-52) claim that it is designed to reduce the number of predatory lawsuits. However, by increasing notice requirements and allowing longer delays to compliance, the bill only further burdens people with disabilities and would not deter predatory lawsuits. Additionally, vague language in the bill would prohibit civil actions for noncompliance as long as "substantial improvement" can be shown, without specifying what constitutes substantial improvement—this could potentially allow unscrupulous business owner to avoid making their businesses accessible to disabled people indefinitely. It is also notable that Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee voted down four amendments offered by Democrats which would have narrowed the scope of the bill to apply only to predatory lawsuits (see list below).
- Official bill information
- Defending Our Future's info page
- Congress Wants to Change the Americans With Disabilities Act and Undermine the Civil Rights of People With Disabilities (ACLU)
- Myths and Truths About the "ADA Education and Reform Act" (ACLU)
- Will the US Weaken its Disability Laws? (Human Rights Watch)
- Conyers Amendment (defeated 9-19)
- Cohen Amendment (defeated 9-17)
- Cicilline Amendment (defeated 8-19)
- Swalwell Amendment (defeated by voice vote)
Look up your US House Representative's contact information here: contactingcongress.org
Call Script for Members of Congress:
"Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent in [your city/town]. My ZIP code is [zip code]. I'm calling to urge [MOC's name] to vote against HR. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. HR. 620 hurts people with disabilities by making it harder to enforce ADA accessibility requirements, and it does nothing to reduce frivolous lawsuits. We should be doing more to protect our vulnerable communities, not punish them. Thank you.