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The governor was joined by legislative leaders, district attorneys, and people with disabilities at the state Capitol on Monday.
The legislation would create a new agency called the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs to oversee care of the disabled.
The reforms come after a series of articles in the New York Times detailed how disabled people were abused, neglected, and even died in state care.
The governor calls it a civil rights issue.
"They deserve human dignity. They deserve to be treated fairly."
The legislation would also create a Special Prosecutor who would have jurisdiction alongside local district attorneys to investigate allegations of abuse.