House passes Nicky’s Law to protect disabled residents

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Wednesday, state representatives approved a bill that would create a registry of anyone found abusing the developmentally disabled.

After sorting out their differences around the bill’s language, state representatives voted to approve the bill and provide additional protections for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

“So people who try to abuse others we know about that and we can take that into consideration when we’re hiring and we can make sure that they’re not put in positions where they can harm vulnerable people,” Rep. Sabadosa of Northampton said.

The bill isn’t designed to stop people from working in the caregiver industry, its intention is to stop known abusers from hurting anyone else.

“We’re going to be able to stop repeated abusers from working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the DDS system which is enormous,” Maura Sullivan told 22News.

Nicky’s family, which prompted this policy change said they were thrilled to see the bill pass after witnessing the abuse their son endured.

“We’re really excited, this whole community, the energy is extraordinary and you know we’re going to go celebrate now even though we know that the work isn’t done, we’ve got much more to do to keep those that we love safe,” Nicky’s mom Cheryl said.

The bill passed unanimously which means, the Senate will have to approve the new language before it is sent to Governor Baker’s desk to be signed into law.

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