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5/30/2024 Senate passes de la Cruz bill to add supported decision making in limited guardianship and guardianship of adults
STATE HOUSE — The Senate today passed legislation (2024-S 2112) introduced by Minority Leader Sen. Jessica de la Cruz (R-Dist. 23, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Glocester) that would provide that supported decision-making pursuant to chapter 66.13 of title 42 be added to the Limited Guardianship and Guardianship of Adults forms section as one of the less restrictive alternatives to guardianship that have been explored.

The General Assembly passed the Supported Decision-Making Act back in 2019 as a possible alternative to guardianships. This legislation amends the Guardianship Statute to add supported decision-making to the list of alternatives to guardianship which must be explored, once a petition for guardianship is filed in Probate Court, as a “least restrictive alternative” for adult limited or full guardianship. Some of the other alternatives that are explored once the Decision-Making Assessment Tool is completed by a professional are Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Representative Payee, etc.
“In the 2019 law, supported decision making was defined as a process of supporting and accommodating an adult to enable the adult to make life decisions including decisions related to where the adult wants to live; the services, supports and medical care the adult wants to receive; with whom the adult wants to live; and where the adult wants to work, without impeding the self determination of the adult,” said Leader de la Cruz. “The reasons the court looks to the decision making assessment tool for less restrictive alternatives is because Guardianships could deprive the adult of significant legal rights.  When the adult needs the help and can assist the decision maker, this allows them to maintain some control over their lives.”
The measure now moves to the House, where companion legislation (2024-H 7239), introduced by Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Middletown, Portsmouth) was passed unanimously on March 19, 2024.

For more information, contact:
Lee Ann Sennick, Director of Communications for the Senate Minority Office
Senate Minority Office
Providence, RI 02903