Las Vegas Sun

August 22, 2014

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Panel backs right of disabled to sue over fees

CARSON CITY -- A legislative committee recommended Monday that disabled persons using service animals be given the right to sue if they are required to pay additional fees for access to public transportation or public accommodations.

The Legislative Committee on Persons with Disabilities adopted more than 45 recommendations calling for increased services to the disabled, some of which would cost millions of dollars a year.

For instance, the committee, headed by Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, called for the state's Medicaid program to include in its budget changes to benefit children with autism that would cost about $2 million a year.

Another recommendation called for spending $1.2 million over the next two years to modify homes to provide such things as ramps and wheelchair lifts for the disabled. There is presently a four-year waiting list for home and vehicle modifications and other equipment.

Part of the committee's focus was on service animals needed by the blind and other disabled people.

The committee, in recommendations to be presented to the 2005 Legislature, wants to change the law to prohibit additional fees being charged disabled people with service animals or those training service animals to be on public transportation or in public accommodations, such as restaurants.

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