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Sun Gazette: Bill fails, but Hope finds some success in forced-sterilization measure Print

Created:  Tuesday, February 10, 2015 12:00PM


Del. Patrick Hope didn't get legislation through the House of Delegates, but did find some success in his efforts to compensate those who were forcibly sterilized over a 55-year period in state-run medical facilities.

The House of Delegates set aside $400,000 as a compensation fund, with the possibility of more funding being approved by the state Senate, Hope (D-47th) told the Sun Gazette.

If the two bodies agree on providing funds, but disagree on the amount, the measure will go to a conference.

State officials say they do not know how many residents were impacted by the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act from 1924-79, but a study conducted by the University of Vermont estimated the total at about 7,300.

Hope introduced legislation that would have provided payments of up to $50,000 per victim. Virginia officials estimate that about 722 victims of forced sterilization might be alive and qualify for compensation under Hope's bill, which would have led to a possible total payout of $36.1 million, with additional costs to staff the program.

The Hope bill was killed by the House Committee on Appropriations.