Tiffiney Veloudis says her 3 year old son needed a lot of help…after being diagnosed with cerebal palsy.
“Our therapist would show up at our home, Cooper would start screaming,” Veloudis told lawmakers Wednesday in the House standing committee on local government.
So they put up the playhouse…and she says Cooper’s life changed.
“Cooper walks stairs now….almost like any other kid,” she said.
Their neighborhood association said the house didn’t meet their requirements and ordered it taken down. Now several months into a legal fight….state lawmakers were asked to intervene. But not everyone agreed.
“I oppose House Bill 160…I think it’s based on false
premises….misleading statements and emotions, said Dr. Deborah Slaten, a retired special needs educator and UK professor who says she wanted to testify as a citizen.
She also said, however, she lives in the Andover Forest Subdivision where the Veloudis family also resides.
Dr. Slaton questioned if the house itself truly helped him.
“It’s not the playhouse itself….it is the features inside it,” she told lawmakers.
Not enough lawmakers cast affirmative votes to move it out of committee. 6 voted “yes” and two voted “no” but 6 passed on it.
Some questioned why the issue needs state action.
“This is a local issue that has just gotten blown up,” said Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville.
Yet the sponsor said the bill could help many others.
“(I’ve had) correspondence with numerous…dozens…of families who felt like they would utilize this piece of legislation,” said Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville.
But with it failing to get out of committee, it appears it will stay a local issue.