OPA: 2010 Annual Legislative Report

Office of Protection and Advocacy

 for Persons with Disabilities

2010 Annual Legislative Report

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Prepared by: Beth A. Leslie, Legislative and Regulations Specialist

Beth.Leslie@po.state.ct.us

860-297-4369

www.opa.ct.gov

 

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INTRODUCTION

The 2010 legislative session formally ended on May 5, 2010.  The Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to come back into session on Monday, June 21, 2010 to consider overriding vetoes issued by Governor Rell.  Governor Rell vetoed 13 bills this year.  This report details legislation passed during the 2010 legislative session that affects people with disabilities.

 

STAY INFORMED / FOLLOWING THE LEGISLATURE

Copies of bills, public acts and special acts are available on the legislative website at: www.cga.ct.gov .  The top right corner of the first page of the legislative website allows you to enter the bill number. You are then brought to a screen that shows the bill number and title as well as the status of the bill and links to various documents including the Public Act. The Public Act is the official wording of the law.

The legislature also has an Office of Legislative Research (OLR) that contains summaries of Public Acts as well as reports and information on a wide variety of topics. You can do searches on specific topics or browse the list of reports that are available.  The OLR website address is www.cga.ct.gov/olr . On the OLR home page, click on "NEW" in the top left corner to see research reports created this month.  Clicking on "Archives" will bring you to reports from past months and other items of interest.

HOW THIS REPORT IS ORGANIZED / SUMMARIES BY OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH

Bills are listed under general subject headings.

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research produces summaries of all bills and public acts. The summaries in this report are taken from the Office of Legislative Research.  Only the portions of legislation affecting people with disabilities are summarized in this report.  For detailed information please consult the full language of the legislation—which can be accessed on the Internet at the legislative website: www.cga.ct.gov

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ACCESSIBILITY

see under “BULDING CODE Public Act 10-56 (HB 5372) AN ACT CONCERNING VISITABLE HOUSING

BUDGET

Public Act 10-3 (HB 5545) AN ACT CONCERNING DEFICIT MITIGATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2010.

Disability-related sections are summarized below:

Section 8 requires the same co-payments under HUSKY B as those in effect for active state employees enrolled in a point of enrollment (POE) health care plan. The act limits the combined co-payments and premiums to no more than the family's annual aggregate cost-sharing requirement in law, which is 5% of a family's gross income in both state and federal law.  Currently, families in HUSKY B, Band 2 (incomes between 236% and 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL)) pay a maximum of $1,360 per year, regardless of where they are on the income continuum. This includes $ 760 for co-payments and $ 600 for premiums. Families with incomes between 185% and 235% of the FPL pay only co-payments, with a maximum of up to $760 annually.

Section 9 eliminates payment of attorney fees for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) appeals. Under current law, State Administered General Assistance (SAGA) cash assistance recipients and individuals eligible for both the State Supplement to SSI and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) can appeal a decision denying or proposing to deny SSI benefits. The act eliminates DSS' payment of the attorney fees for legal representation that begins after the bill passes. In addition, it requires DSS to also notify Social Security beneficiaries of their right to appeal and the availability of legal counsel. The payment of attorney fees for successful appeals can reduce the state's expenditures in the SAGA program since SSI replaces SAGA and is fully federally funded. SAGA is entirely state-funded.

Section 12 of the act provides that, regardless of any other law to the contrary, beginning May 1, 2010, DSS will stop paying for OTC drugs in any of its medical assistance programs, except for insulin and insulin syringes and anything else federal law requires. Federal Medicaid law requires states to pay for OTC drugs for children under age 21, so HUSKY A children can still get these drugs. EFFECTIVE DATE: May 1, 2010

NOTE: Section 50 of Senate Bill 501 of the June 21, 2010 Special Session made the following changes to this act:  The exemption is expanded from insulin and insulin syringes and drugs that must be covered under federal law to also cover nutritional supplements for individuals who must be tube fed or cannot safely ingest nutrition in any other form. (Children under age 21 who are Medicaid-eligible can still get these drugs.)  EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Sections 22 and 27 establish a statutory definition of “medically necessary” and “medical necessity” in DSS' medical assistance programs. The definition is: “Those health services required to prevent, identify, diagnose, treat, rehabilitate, or ameliorate an individual's medical condition, including mental illness, or its effect, in order to attain or maintain the individual's achievable health and independent functioning…”  Under the bill, clinical and medical policies, clinical criteria, or any other generally accepted clinical practice guidelines used to assist in evaluating the medical necessity of a requested health services may be used solely as a guideline and cannot be the basis for a final medical necessity determination.

The bill provides that if a request for authorization of services is denied based on medical necessity, the individual must be notified that, upon request, DSS will provide a copy of the specific guideline or criteria, or portion thereof, other than the medical necessity definition that DSS or any other entity acting for it considered when making a medical necessity determination.

The bill increases from three to four, the number of members the Governor must appoint to the Medical Inefficiency Committee. It also specifies that the House Speaker and Senate President must jointly select the committee chairs from among its members. By law, the committee must advise DSS on the amended definition of “medically necessary” and “medical necessity” and its implementation, and provide feedback to DSS and the legislature on its impact.

Section 23 requires the DSS commissioner to submit a Medicaid state plan amendment to the federal Medicaid agency to extend Medicaid coverage to individuals currently enrolled in the state-funded SAGA medical assistance program. (The commissioner did this on April 6, 2010). If the amendment is approved, the commissioner must implement the coverage expansion. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act permits states to extend Medicaid coverage to childless adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL, $ 14,403 annually for a single person), and states may begin this coverage as early as April 1, 2010. Currently, the SAGA medical assistance program covers individuals with income up to about 70% of the FPL. The bill permits DSS to implement policies and procedures to administer these changes while in the process of adopting them in regulations.

Section 28 of the act prohibits DSS, to the extent federal law allows, from paying for more than one pair of eyeglasses per year under any of its medical assistance programs. Current Medicaid regulations state that DSS will pay for glasses when prescribed by a medical provider (e.g., physician or optometrist), so clients who lose or break glasses can get another pair if they have a prescription. The act also requires DSS to use its best efforts to reduce optical device and service cost in these programs.

Section 29 of the act requires the education commissioner and the vocational-technical school system superintendent to establish and administer licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs at six vocational-technical schools by January 1, 2011. The school locations must be distributed on an equitable geographic basis throughout the state. The requirement applies unless the education commissioner notifies the Education Committee by November 1, 2010 that he will not establish the programs and the reasons why. If the appropriation for the programs is too little to cover their costs, the bill allows program tuition to be increased to cover the shortfall.

Section 32 of the act requires the Department of Children and Families, by April 15, 2011 and in consultation with the Children's, Human Services, and Appropriations committees, to submit a plan to the General Assembly on the future of Riverview Hospital for Children and Youth. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage unless otherwise noted above.

Public Act 10-155 (HB 5163) AN ACT REQUIRING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SEARCHABLE DATABASE FOR STATE EXPENDITURES.

This act requires the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis to develop an on-line searchable database that contains state expenditures, including contracts and grants.  This must be accomplished on or before July 1, 2011.

Public Act 10-179 (SB 494) AN ACT MAKING ADJUSTMENTS TO STATE EXPENDITURES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2011.

This is the State Budget.  The following sections of the budget bill are summarized by the Office of Fiscal Analysis (the legislature’s budget office):

Section 15 specifies that the Governor appoint a chairperson to the Medical Inefficiency Committee and has no fiscal impact.

Sections 20, 46, 47, and 61 - 78 allow the Department of Social Services DSS to convert the HUSKY program from a managed care model to an Administrative Services Organization (ASO) model. DSS will utilize the provider networks of the ASO. It is anticipated that this will result in an annual savings of $11. 7 million from reducing the per-member, per-month administrative costs from $21 to $18. Additionally, there will be a one-time savings of $65 million due to changing from a prospective payment system to a retrospective payment system.

Section 21 reduces the cost sharing requirements under the Connecticut Home Care program from the current 15% to 6%. This change is anticipated to cost $9.9  million in FY 11.

Section 22 increases the monthly premiums for HUSKY B recipients. Currently, premiums are $30 per child, with a monthly family cap of $50. This section raises this to $38 per child, with a family cap of $60. This is expected to save $576,000 annually.

Section 24 delays the establishment of the Department of Aging until July 1, 2011. This will result in administrative savings of $452,864 in FY 11.

Sections 25 and 26 make statutory changes that enable the Department of Motor Vehicles to achieve annual Other Expenses reductions of $1 million beginning in FY 11 (included in Section 1), including: (a) allowing AAA to renew non-driver's license identification cards and motor vehicle registrations; and (b) repealing the requirement for registration stickers.

Sections 28, 30 require the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to establish a program for homeless youth and youth at-risk of homelessness. The sum of $1 million has been provided within Section 1 of this bill to support this programming. Following implementation, the department will be able to produce the required results-based-accountability report card without incurring a fiscal impact.

Section 29 renders immune from civil or criminal liability any public agency serving a homeless child or youth, after making reasonable efforts to contact the parent/guardian for consent, unless consent is refused or withdrawn. This could result in savings for state or municipal entities by precluding litigation and/or judgment awards or settlements.

Section 35 allocates 50 rental assistance program certificates to individuals and families who are frequent users of state services. As this section allocates funded certificates rather than authorizing new certificates, there is no fiscal impact.

Section 63 eliminates the HUSKY Plus program, which provides supplemental health care coverage for children eligible for HUSKY B who have intensive physical or mental health needs. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

NOTE: Sections 32 through 34 of Senate Bill 501 of the June 21, 2010 Special Session made the following changes to this act: 

PA 10-179 repealed the HUSKY Plus program. This bill restores the program, which requires DSS to provide supplemental benefits to children enrolled in the HUSKY B program (1) in families with incomes no higher than 300% of the federal poverty level and (2) who have extraordinary physical health or behavioral health needs that exceed the standard HUSKY B benefit package. The program is run within available appropriations. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Section 147 repeals the ombudsman services provisions. Funding for the Correctional Ombudsman contract was eliminated in PA 10-3 (Deficit Mitigation).

BUILDING CODE & PUBLIC ACCOMODATIONS

Public Act 10-56 (HB 5372) AN ACT CONCERNING VISITABLE HOUSING

This bill authorizes the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), in consultation with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), to establish a program that encourages Connecticut developers to build residential homes that are easy for people with disabilities to visit (commonly known as visitable housing). It defines “visitable housing” as one-to-four family residential housing with “visitable features,” which are (1) interior doorways that provide a minimum 32-inch wide clear opening, (2) at least one accessible means of egress, and (3) at least one full or half bathroom on the first floor that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.

The bill exempts developers from a requirement to obtain a State Building Code variance or exemption to construct visitable homes. In addition, it authorizes municipal legislative bodies to adopt ordinances giving these developers a property tax abatement. Within available appropriations, the bill requires DECD to establish an informational webpage in a conspicuous place on its Internet website that provides links to available visitable housing resources.  EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010, and the property tax abatement provision is applicable to assessment years beginning on and after that date.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES & INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES, including MENTAL RETARDATION & AUTISM

Public Act 10-93 (HB 5448) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES

This act makes minor changes to the Department of Developmental Services' (DDS) Birth-to-Three program and several departmental advisory bodies. It also removes from the sunset review process the DDS abuse and neglect registry, which is scheduled to terminate on July 1, 2012 unless reestablished.

The act allows the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to provide DDS with limited abuse and neglect investigation records of children (who are already DDS clients) enrolled in the DDS Voluntary Services Program. Prior law allowed this only for program applicants.

The act expands the definition of “parent” under the Birth-to-Three Program to conform to the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Under the act, parent means a (1) biological, adoptive, or foster parent of a child; (2) a guardian, except the DCF commissioner; (3) an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent, including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative with whom the child lives; (4) an individual legally responsible for the child's welfare; or (5) an appointed surrogate parent.

The act allows an appointed member of the Council on Developmental Services who has served the maximum six years (or three years for the Southbury Training School board representative) to continue to serve until a successor is chosen. The council advises the DDS commissioner on state programs and can recommend legislation to the governor and General Assembly. The act allows the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and Children's Commission executive directors, the State Interagency Birth-to-Three Coordinating Council chair, and the child advocate to appoint designees to the Family Support Council. The council helps DDS and other state agencies identify and promote needed services and coordinate their activities.

The act removes from the membership of DDS' regional planning and advisory councils one practicing attorney in Connecticut familiar with mental retardation issues. Instead, it adds one member who is receiving DDS services. It also deletes obsolete language referring to the ARC of Connecticut.

Finally, the act replaces the Camp Harkness Booster Club representative from the Camp Harkness Advisory Committee with a representative of a tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation that promotes and supports the camp and its camping programs. It also deletes obsolete language referring to the ARC of New London County. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Under HEALTHCARE see Public Act 10-117 (SB 428) AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO PUBLIC HEALTH RELATED STATUTES AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EXCHANGE OF CONNECTICUT.  Regarding g-tube and j-tube feeding.

EDUCATION

Public Act 10-160 (SB 31) AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GOVERNOR CONCERNING THE EDUCATIONAL PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

This bill creates a presumption that it is in the best interest of a child the Department of Children and Families (DCF) places in out-of-home care under an emergency, temporary custody, or commitment order to continue to attend the school he or she attended before the placement. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Public Act 10-111 (SB 438) AN ACT CONCERNING EDUCATION REFORM IN CONNECTICUT.

The bill gives school authorities express authority to use a student's past disciplinary problems that have lead to the student being suspended or expelled as a criterion for determining whether an out-of-school suspension is warranted in a particular case. Before determining that an out-of-school suspension is appropriate, the school must have tried to address the problem through means other than an out-of-school suspension or expulsion, including through “positive behavioral support strategies.” (The bill does not define this term but it is generally considered to mean using research-based strategies to increase quality of life and decrease problem behavior by teaching new skills and making changes in a person's environment.)

Under current law, starting July 1, 2010, student suspensions must be in-school suspensions unless the school administration, at the required hearing on any suspension, determines that a student poses enough of danger to school property or is such a disruption to the educational process that he or she must be excluded from school during the suspension. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Public Act 10-62 (SB 456) AN ACT CONCERNING STUDENT ATHLETES AND CONCUSSIONS

This act requires anyone who has a coaching permit issued by the State Board of Education (SBE) and who coaches intramural or interscholastic athletics to be periodically trained in how to recognize and respond to head injuries and concussions. It also requires such a coach to take a student athlete out of any interscholastic or intramural game or practice if the athlete (1) shows signs of having suffered a concussion after an observed or suspected blow to the head or body or (2) is diagnosed with concussion. The coach must keep the athlete out of any game or practice until the athlete has received written clearance to return to the game or practice from a licensed medical professional.

SBE must develop or approve initial and refresher concussion training courses and annually review materials in consultation with (1) the governing authority for intramural and interscholastic athletics, which is the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), and (2) organizations representing licensed athletic trainers and county medical associations. SBE must develop or approve the initial course by July 1, 2010, the review materials annually starting by July 1, 2011, and the refresher course by January 1, 2014. Under the act, SBE may revoke the coaching permit of any coach who violates its requirements. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for the training requirements; July 1, 2010 for the requirement to remove students from games or practices until they receive medical clearance.

Public Act 10-175 (HB 5425) AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION.

Starting July 1, 2012, the bill requires school districts to use only behavior analysts licensed or certified in accordance with its requirements to provide applied behavior analysis for students with autism spectrum disorders who require the services (1) according to a special education individualized education program (IEP) or (2) under an educational plan established under section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The bill also establishes standards for people who may provide applied behavioral analysis services if the education commissioner finds there are not enough licensed or certified personnel available. The bill also revises the membership of and appointments to the Advisory Council for Special Education.

NOTE: Section 41 of Senate Bill 501 of the June 21, 2010 Special Session made the following changes to this act:  The Advisory Council for Special Education membership will have 31 members, the Education Commissioner’s appointments increases from 8 to 9, requires the commissioner rather than the Senate president pro tempore to appoint a representative of a Connecticut higher education institution with a teacher preparation program, and requires the Senate president pro tempore to appoint a member of the Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Special Act 10-9 (HB 5426) AN ACT CONCERNING INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.

This act creates a task force to study individualized education programs (known as “IEPs”).  The purpose of the task force is to examine the existing processes and procedures for the development and administration of individualized educational programs; examine relevant federal laws and propose legislation that codifies such federal laws into state law; reevaluate existing individualized educational programs under federal law standards; examine the training required for personnel administering individualized educational programs and develop ways in which such training can be included in professional development for certified employees; develop a program for the auditing of individualized educational programs at the district level; and examine ways in which to address issues of noncompliance by personnel and districts in the administration of individualized educational programs.

The task force must submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the Education, Higher Education & Employment Advancement, and Human Services Committees no later than February 1, 2011. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or January 1, 2011, whichever is later.

NOTE: Section 45 of Senate Bill 501 of the June 21, 2010 Special Session made the following changes to this act:

The bill adds one member, appointed by the governor, to the task force to study individualized education programs for students eligible for special education, thus increasing the membership from 22 to 23. The bill requires the governor's appointee to be an adult who formerly received special education services. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

EMPLOYMENT—see LABOR

 

HANDICAPPED PARKING

 

Public Act 10-110 (SB 414) AN ACT MAKING REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES.

By law, persons with disabilities must present certain certifications to the commissioner verifying they are eligible for handicapped parking placards. They must include certification that they meet the definition of a person with a disability that limits or impairs their ability to walk. The certification must be signed by a licensed physician, an advance practice registered nurse, or a member of the handicapped driver training unit. The act adds a physician assistant to those who can issue the certification.

The act requires that people who make these certifications sign the application or renewal application under the penalty of second-degree false statement (CGS § 53a-157b). A person is guilty of this crime if he or she intentionally makes a false written statement under oath or on a form bearing notice to the effect that a false statement is punishable, which he or she does not believe to be true and is intended to mislead a public servant in his official function. Second-degree false statement is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $ 2,000, or both. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

HEALTH, HEALTHCARE (INSURANCE LEGISLATION LISTED UNDER “INSURANCE”)

Public Act 10-82 (HB 5290) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF VACCINES BY LICENSED PHARMACISTS

This act expands the authority of licensed pharmacists to administer vaccines to adults. Under existing law, pharmacists may administer flu vaccine to adults; the act allows them also to administer federally approved vaccines for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease and herpes zoster (shingles) and its after effects.

As under existing law, pharmacists must administer the vaccine according to a licensed health care provider's order and Department of Consumer Protection regulations. By law, these regulations must require that pharmacists administering flu vaccine complete an immunization-training course. The act expands this training requirement to pharmacists administering any of the above vaccines. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Public Act 10-166 (HB 5297) AN ACT CONCERNING STATE-WIDE EXPANSION OF THE PRIMARY CARE CASE MANAGEMENT PILOT PROGRAM.

This bill requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to expand the HUSKY Primary Care pilot program to include primary care providers in Putnam (by July 1, 2010) and Torrington (by October 1, 2010). The bill permits the DSS commissioner to seek a federal waiver to make these expansions. HUSKY Primary Care is the state's primary care case management program, which is an alternative care model available to HUSKY A enrollees. The commissioner must report on the program's expansion to the Human Services and Appropriations committees by July 1, 2011. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Public Act 10-23 (HB 5452) AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROVISION OF VOLUNTEER HEALTH CARE SERVICES ON A TEMPORARY BASIS

This act allows out-of-state, volunteer health care practitioners to provide health care services in Connecticut at (1) a free clinic or similar charitable medical event providing free health care services or (2) the Special Olympics or similar athletic event attracting a large number of out-of-state participants provided the practitioners meet certain criteria. The practitioner must: hold an unrestricted license or certificate in another state, territory, or the District of Columbia; not represent himself or herself as a Connecticut-licensed or Connecticut-certified health care practitioner; provide services only to patients or athletes participating in these events; provide only those services permitted by Connecticut law; provide services only under the supervision of a Connecticut-licensed or Connecticut-certified health care practitioner within the same licensure or certification category; and maintain, either personally or through the sponsoring organization, professional liability insurance or other professional malpractice insurance in an amount equal to or greater than that required for a comparable Connecticut licensee or certificate holder.

The act requires the organization conducting such events to ensure that any participating out-of–state practitioner fully complies with its provisions. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Public Act 10-122 (SB 248) AN ACT CONCERNING THE REPORTING OF ADVERSE EVENTS AT HOSPITALS AND OUTPATIENT SURGICAL FACILITIES AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION RELATED TO PENDING COMPLAINTS FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

This bill amends the state's adverse event reporting law by requiring that the Department of Public Health's (DPH) annual report to the legislature on adverse events include aggregate information, for each hospital and outpatient surgical facility. It also (1) requires the report to include contextual information about the hospital or facility and (2) allows these entities to provide informational comments relating to the adverse event reported which must be included in DPH's annual report.

The bill prohibits a facility from taking certain actions against an employee or job applicant for actions taken to further provisions of the adverse event law.

The bill requires DPH to provide patients access to information if they have filed complaints with the department alleging incompetence, negligence, fraud, or deceit by health care providers. It requires DPH to give the patients notice about their complaint's status and disposition. It also requires mandatory mediation for all civil actions involving allegations of negligence by health care providers resulting in personal injury or wrongful death. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010, except that the provisions on patient complaints are effective October 1, 2010.

Public Act 10-123 (SB 250) AN ACT CONCERNING ANATOMICAL GIFTS

This act replaces the 1987 Uniform Anatomical Gift Act with its 2007 successor. The act retains many provisions of the existing law, updates others, and introduces new provisions on organ and tissue procurement organizations and the role of the chief medical examiner. The act allows some minors, parents of any minor, and a donor's legally authorized agent to make anatomical gifts during a person's lifetime. It permits more people to make donations after a person dies and reorders the priority for their doing so. It makes it more difficult for others to override a donor's anatomical gift and creates rules for interpreting gift documents that lack specificity.

The act establishes standards for donor registries and requires cooperation between procurement organizations and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. It recognizes gifts made under the laws of other jurisdictions and allows for electronic records and signatures. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Public Act 10-72 (SB 281) AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN MEETINGS OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL AND THERAPEUTICS COMMITTEE

This act requires the Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics (P & T) Committee, which establishes and monitors the Department of Social Services' (DSS) preferred drug list, to ensure that its meetings include an opportunity for public comment.

By law, the committee (1) must provide notice of all of its meetings and (2) may seek public participation in its deliberations on an ad hoc basis. In practice, the committee's guidelines allow for public comment during the first half-hour of the committee's meetings. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Public Act 10-136 (SB 354) AN ACT CONCERNING BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH TRUST FUND RESEARCH GRANTS

This act expands the purposes for which the Department of Public Health (DPH) may make grants from the Biomedical Research Trust Fund to include Alzheimer's disease and diabetes research. DPH may already award grants from the fund for biomedical research in the fields of heart disease, cancer, and other tobacco-related diseases. By law, it may award the grants to: (1) nonprofit, tax-exempt colleges or universities or (2) hospitals that conduct biomedical research. The total amount of grants made during a fiscal year cannot exceed 50% of the total amount held in the fund on the date the grants are approved. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Public Act 10-117 (SB 428) AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO PUBLIC HEALTH RELATED STATUTES AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EXCHANGE OF CONNECTICUT.

Section 42 of this act contains the following language: “This chapter shall not prohibit unlicensed assistive personnel from administering jejunostomy and gastrojejunal tube feedings to persons who (1) attend day programs or respite centers under the jurisdiction of the Department of Developmental Services, (2) reside in residential facilities under the jurisdiction of the Department of Developmental Services, or (3) receive support under the jurisdiction of the Department of Developmental Services, when such feedings are performed by trained, unlicensed assistive personnel pursuant to the written order of a physician licensed under chapter 370, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-94a or a physician assistant licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-12d.”

HOUSING

Under BUILDING CODE see Public Act 10-56 (HB 5372) AN ACT CONCERNING VISITABLE HOUSING

PA 10-171 (HB 5255) AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL MANDATE RELIEF

This act requires a state marshal to deliver the possessions and personal property of an evicted tenant to a town-designated storage facility, rather than leaving them on the sidewalk or road to be picked up by the town and eliminates the town's responsibility to pay for the expense of moving these items.

The law allows the state marshal who executes an eviction order to move the tenant's possessions and personal property to the sidewalk or street. Under prior law, before doing so, the marshal notified the town's chief executive officer, who removed and stored the items for 15 days. The act requires the marshal to remove the items to a storage facility designated by the town's chief executive officer rather than putting them on the sidewalk or road for the town to remove and store. It eliminates (1) a requirement that the town's chief executive officer remove them and (2) the town's responsibility and reimbursement for removal expenses.

The act requires the marshal's execution notice given to the tenant to include instructions on how and where he or she can reclaim his or her possessions and personal effects, including a telephone number for arranging their release. The act also applies the same procedures to possessions and personal property of a person evicted in a foreclosure or similar action.  EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010 for the tenant and foreclosure provisions and October 1, 2010 for (1) the Internet posting provision and (2) the property tax provisions, which are applicable to assessment years beginning on and after that date.

HUMAN SERVICES

Special Act 10-5 (SB 316) AN ACT ESTABLISHING A COMMISSION ON NONPROFIT HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.

This special act creates a Commission on Nonprofit Health and Human Services. The commission shall examine the funding provided to nonprofit providers of health and human services under purchase of service contracts.  A purchase of service contract is a contract between a state agency and a private provider organization or a municipality to obtain direct health care and human services for agency clients.  Such contracts are not with an individual and are not for administrative or clerical services, material goods, training or consulting services.

The commission shall issue a preliminary report by January 1, 2011 and a final report by April 1, 2011.  The reports are to be sent to the Governor and the legislature’s Human Services and Appropriations Committees.

Both the preliminary and final report must include recommendations for budget, policy and statutory changes that can improve funding for nonprofit providers of health and human services under purchase of service contracts. Specifically, the reports need to compare the different costs for wages and benefits between services provided by state employees and private provider employees, as well as between union and non-union employees.  This report must also address the rise in costs from 2000 to 2009 and projected costs to provide services with private providers through December 21, 2014.  The report also must project the savings that would come from using community-based services instead of institution-based services.  Finally, this preliminary report must address sources of revenue for health and human services programs.

The commission shall terminate on the date that it submits such final report or April 1, 2011, whichever is later.

Public Act 10-126 (HB 5109) AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE OF REDETERMINATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

This act requires the Department of Social Services (DSS), when it sends its annual eligibility redetermination form to a person participating in the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE), to notify the access agency or area agency on aging (AAA) administering the program for that person. DSS contracts with three agencies in different areas of the state to provide coordination, assessment, and monitoring services for CHCPE: Connecticut Community Care, Inc., (the access agency), South Central AAA, and Southwestern AAA. Among other functions, they help people fill out the forms required for program participation. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

INSURANCE, INCLUDING MEDICAID AND MEDICARE

Public Act 10-39 (HB 5351) AN ACT CONCERNING PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS FOR VETERANS IN NURSING HOME FACILITIES

This act prohibits nursing home facilities from restricting patient access to prescription drugs from any U. S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) prescription drug program or health plan. It requires the facilities to dispense and administer prescription drugs obtained under any such plan or program to patients who request them, regardless of how the drugs are packaged. But it (1) does not prevent the facilities from dispensing or administering prescription drugs obtained from other sources when a patient needs them before they can be obtained from the VA program or plan and (2) allows the facilities to dispense and administer drugs patients receive under a VA program or plan in accordance with their policies, provided the policies conform to applicable state and federal laws. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Public Act 10-63 (SB 50) AN ACT CONCERNING ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENTS

This act requires certain health insurance policies that cover intravenously and orally administered anticancer medications prescribed by a licensed practitioner with prescribing authority to cover the orally administered medication on at least as favorable a basis as the intravenously administered medication. It prohibits insurers, HMOs, medical and hospital service corporations, and fraternal benefit societies from reclassifying anticancer medications or increasing the patient's out-of-pocket costs for the medications as a way to comply.

The act also broadens the applicability of several health insurance benefits required by law, including treatment of tumors and leukemia, reconstructive surgery, nondental prosthesis, chemotherapy, and wigs for chemotherapy patients. It does this by requiring all policies renewed, amended, or continued in Connecticut to include the benefits. Policies delivered or issued here already must include them.

Due to federal law, state insurance benefit mandates do not apply to self-insured benefit plans. EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2011

Public Act 10-65 (SB 141) AN ACT REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF OFFSETS IN GROUP LONG-TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE POLICIES

Group long-term disability (LTD) policies usually include a “benefit offset.” State law prohibits an insurer that issues, delivers, renews, or amends a group LTD policy in Connecticut from including an “offset proviso.” A “benefit offset” is a policy provision that reduces the amount of benefits available under the policy if benefits are also available from other sources (e. g., Social Security). An “offset proviso” is a policy provision that allows the insurer to reduce its liability by any increase in benefits available from the other sources that occurs after a claim begins under the policy. This act specifies that the increase in other benefits is limited to cost of living increases. The act requires an insurer, for each group LTD policy that contains a benefit offset, to disclose specified information to the policyholder. The act requires each policyholder to provide the disclosed information to each individual eligible for LTD benefits.

The act also extends its provisions to group LTD policies continued in Connecticut and makes technical changes. EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2011

Public Act 10-73 (SB 370) AN ACT CONCERNING MEDICAID LONG-TERM CARE COVERAGE FOR MARRIED COUPLES

This act makes two changes in the way the Department of Social Services (DSS) determines eligibility for Medicaid long-term care services. First, it requires the DSS commissioner to amend the Medicaid state plan to require that the spouse of someone in an institution, such as a nursing home, who remains in the community be allowed to receive the maximum amount of assets allowed by federal law. Previously, the spouse could keep one-half of the couple's combined assets, up to that maximum. The act also requires the commissioner to amend the plan to require that funds from reverse annuity mortgages not be treated as income or assets for purposes of Medicaid eligibility in certain circumstances. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Public Act 10-5 (HB 5006) AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL REVISIONS AND MINOR CHANGES TO THE INSURANCE AND RELATED STATUTES

The act broadens the applicability of several health insurance benefits required by law—general anesthesia and nursing care for complex dental conditions; ostomy   appliances and supplies; and treatment of tumors and leukemia, reconstructive surgery, non-dental prosthesis, chemotherapy, and wigs for chemotherapy patients. Due to federal law (ERISA), state insurance benefit mandates do not apply to self-insured benefit plans.

Also, the act prohibits individual and group health insurance policies continued in Connecticut on or after January 1, 2011 from excluding coverage for a bodily injury solely because it was caused by a work-related accident to a person who is not covered by the workers' compensation law.  EFFECTIVE DATE: The provisions extending the applicability of certain insurance benefit requirements are effective January 1, 2011.

Public Act 10-127 (HB 5113) AN ACT CONCERNING BILLING  FOR SERVICES COVERED BY LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE BY MANAGED RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES

This act requires a managed residential community (MRC) to help a resident, at his or her request, prepare and submit claims on a long-term care insurance policy. The resident must direct the insurer in writing to provide to the MRC (1) information about the resident's eligibility for insurance benefits and payments and (2) a copy of the insurer's decision on a benefit claim when it informs the resident of its decision. The act exempts this kind of assistance from the prohibition against MRCs controlling or managing residents' financial affairs. The act prohibits insurers and other entities that deliver, issue for delivery, renew, continue, or amend individual or group long-term care policies in Connecticut from refusing to accept or reimburse claims prepared or submitted by an MRC solely because of the MRC's assistance. And it requires them to give the MRC the information a resident directs them to provide and a copy of any claims decision. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Public Act 10-13 (HB 5219) AN ACT EXTENDING STATE CONTINUATION OF HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE

This act extends the period for which certain people and their dependents may continue group health insurance under the state's “mini-COBRA” law from 18 to 30 months. To qualify for the continued coverage, the person must have experienced a specified qualifying event, including a layoff, reduced hours, leave of absence, or termination of employment for other than death or gross misconduct.  The act's extended coverage provision applies to people who are already continuing coverage due to those qualifying events and people who elect to do so on and after the act's passage (i.e., May 5, 2010). By law, unchanged by the act, spouses and dependents who are continuing coverage for any other reason (e.g. death of employee or divorce) are permitted to continue coverage for 36 months under federal COBRA.

The act requires each insurer and HMO that has issued a group health insurance policy subject to the continuation requirements, in conjunction with their group policyholders, to provide notice of the extended coverage period to affected people within 60 days of the act's passage (i. e. , notice must be sent by July 4, 2010). Group policyholders include those with fewer than 20 employees. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Public Act 10-24 (HB 5235) AN ACT REQUIRING THE PROVIDING OF CERTAIN INFORMATION UPON CERTAIN DENIALS OF HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE

This act requires certain health insurers who deny coverage of a requested service because it is not (1) medically necessary or (2) a covered benefit to notify the insured of his or her ability to contact the Office of the Healthcare Advocate if the insured believes he or she has been given erroneous information. Insurers must also provide the insured with contact information for the healthcare advocate's office.  The act applies to each insurer, health care center, hospital or medical service corporation, or other entity that delivers, issues, renews, amends, or continues in Connecticut individual or group health insurance policies that cover (1) basic hospital expenses; (2) basic medical-surgical expenses; (3) major medical expenses; or (4) hospital or medical services, including coverage under an HMO plan.

Due to federal law (ERISA), state insurance benefit mandates do not apply to self-insured benefit plans.

The act also imposes a 45-day coverage determination and notice requirement on any of the above entities that continue an individual or group health insurance policy in Connecticut. The law already requires this for individual and group policies that are delivered, issued, amended, or renewed in the state. EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2011

JUDICIAL, INCLUDING CRIMINAL JUSTICE, LEGAL REPRESENTATION & DISCRIMINATION

Public Act 10-34 (HB 5406) AN ACT CONCERNING THE COURTS OF PROBATE.

This act allows the probate court administrator to make, and requires him to enforce, regulations governing record maintenance and eliminates his authority to use the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act to regulate some other areas and allows towns in the same probate district to agree on how to share costs associated with court operations. It also allows probate judges to conduct business in any location in Connecticut to facilitate a party's attendance. Current law limits their jurisdiction to towns in their district. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Public Act 10-184 (HB 5407) AN ACT CONCERNING PROBATE FEES AND THE RECORDING OF PROBATE PROCEEDINGS

This act makes several changes regarding probate court fees and related matters.  The act requires a probate judge to record probate proceedings not required by law to be recorded, upon the written request of a party or attorney. It provides that a proceeding recorded pursuant to such a request is not deemed to be an on-the-record hearing or matter for purposes of the statutory provisions regarding appeals of on-the-record probate proceedings. Any copying or transcript cost of such recordings is charged to the requesting person. The act also requires such recordings to be made and retained in a manner approved by the probate court administrator. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010 for the provision regarding the recording of probate proceedings.

Public Act 10-28 (HB 5247) AN ACT CONCERNING COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL

Among other actions, the law permits a court to place a criminal defendant it finds incompetent to stand trial in the custody of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) commissioner with instructions that DMHAS apply for civil commitment. This act expands courts' authority to order periodic re-examinations of incompetent defendants who it either (1) releases or (2) places in the commissioner's custody.

The act requires DMHAS to notify the court if it releases the defendant before the statute of limitations for prosecuting him or her has expired, if the court's commitment order indicates when this occurs. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Public Act 10-29 (HB 5249) AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS IN PSYCHIATRIC SECURITY REVIEW BOARD PROCEEDINGS

This act makes public certain mental health information about people under the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) after they are acquitted of a crime due to a mental disease or defect (acquittees). It applies to otherwise-confidential psychological or psychiatric information that either the acquittee or PSRB uses as evidence in a public hearing concerning the acquittee's release, conditional release, temporary leave, or confinement. Under prior law, such information was protected by the psychologist-patient privilege or psychiatrist-patient privilege (confidentiality) rules. There was no provision in prior statute concerning temporary leaves. The act also makes the same change for disclosure rules that apply to mental status examinations that acquittees must undergo while conditionally released into the community.

Finally, the act requires PSRB to hold a hearing before granting requests for a temporary leave. Previously, hearings were required only for decisions to discharge, conditionally discharge, or continue the acquittee's confinement. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Public Act 10-36 (HB 5542) AN ACT MAKING MINOR, TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING CHANGES TO CERTAIN STATUTES CONCERNING CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW AND PROCEDURE.

By law, a person convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of certain crimes must submit to the taking of a DNA sample. Current law allows someone whose DNA profile has been included in the data bank to request its expungement if his or her criminal conviction is reversed and the case dismissed. The act extends this provision to cases in which a finding of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect is reversed and the case dismissed. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

Public Act No. 10-43 (HB 5539) AN ACT CONCERNING JUDICIAL BRANCH POWERS AND PROCEDURES.

This bill allows a person with a disability to provide a letter from any licensed health care provider to the Jury Administrator stating the person cannot perform jury duty due to the disability.  Previously a licensed physician was the only health care provider who could provide the letter. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

LABOR / INCLUDING WORKERS' COMPENSATION & FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE and EMPLOYMENT

Public Act 10-189 (HB 5516) AN ACT CONCERNING A PILOT PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES.

This bill extends, from four to seven years, the duration of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) pilot program established to create and expand janitorial work opportunities for people with disabilities and disadvantages.

The pilot program consists of four janitorial work projects in state agencies that together must (1) create at least 60 full-time jobs or the equivalent at standard wages for the two target groups and (2) have a total market value of at least $ 3 million. Target employees include people with disabilities, except blindness, and those with a disadvantage. To qualify for the latter category, an individual must either (1) have income up to 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of four or (2) be eligible for employment services under the federal Workforce Investment Act as the Labor Department determines. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Public Act 10-37 (HB 5282) AN ACT CONCERNING FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE OFFICERS AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS PERTAINING TO CERTAIN DISEASES

Under this act, a paid municipal or volunteer firefighter, municipal police officer, constable, or volunteer ambulance service member is eligible for workers compensation benefits for diseases, including the following, if they arise out of and are in the course of employment: (1) hepatitis, (2) meningococcal meningitis, (3) tuberculosis, (4) Kahler's Disease (multiple myeloma), (5) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, (6) prostate cancer, or (7) testicular cancer. As with all workers' compensation claims, the disease must result in death or temporary or permanent total or partial disability in order to be eligible for benefits (i. e. , it must cause at least some loss of work time). Since workers' compensation law already covers any disabling injury or illness that arises out of and in the course of employment, it is unlikely that this act has any legal effect. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Public Act 10-88 (SB 62) AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO LABOR STATUTES.

This act requires a private-sector employee requesting military caregiver leave under the family and medical leave act (FMLA) to notify the employer at least 30 days before leave begins or provide notice as soon as practicable if a treatment date is sooner. The law already applied this notice requirement to employees requesting family and medical leave (1) due to their own serious health condition or that of a spouse, child, or parent or (2) to donate an organ or bone marrow. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

LONG TERM CARE

Special Act 10-7 (HB 5398)  AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO STUDY THE TRANSFER OF HOSPITAL PATIENTS WHO RECEIVE MEDICAID BENEFITS TO NURSING HOMES.

This act creates a task force to study the period of time Medicaid recipients “remain in acute care hospitals” before being transferred to a nursing home.  The study must at least include an examination of  (1) The reasons a Medicaid recipient may remain in an acute care hospital for an extended period of time; (2) the barriers preventing transfer of some Medicaid recipients to long-term care facilities; (3) the federal agency approvals and policy and procedure changes required to facilitate the transfer of Medicaid recipients from acute care hospitals to long-term care facilities in a timely manner; and (4) clinical standards and state licensure requirements that may prevent or facilitate such transfer of Medicaid recipients.”  The task force must submit findings and recommendations by October 1, 2010, to the legislature’s Human Services, Public Health, and Appropriations Committee.  EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

MENTAL HEALTH

Public Act 10-60 (SB 246) AN ACT CONCERNING ISSUANCE OF EMERGENCY CERTIFICATES AND THE SAFETY OF PATIENTS AND STAFF AT FACILITIES OPERATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES

This act permits clinical social workers and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are members of a Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DHMAS) certified community support program to issue emergency certificates directing a person with psychiatric disabilities to be taken to a hospital for evaluation. The law already allows social workers and APRNs who are members of a DMHAS-operated or funded mobile crisis team, jail diversion program, crisis intervention team, advanced supervision and intervention support team, or assertive case management support program to issue emergency certificates.

The act requires the DMHAS commissioner, within available appropriations, to operate a behavioral health recovery program serving Medicaid-eligible individuals with substance abuse disorders or psychiatric disabilities. DHMAS may provide residential substance abuse treatment, recovery support services, peer supports, housing assistance, transportation, food, clothing, and personal care items. Under the act, DMHAS is responsible for all services and payment related to the provision of these services.

The act also requires the DMHAS commissioner to (1) certify intermediate care beds in general hospitals to provide inpatient mental health services for adults with serious and persistent mental illness and (2) operate a behavioral health recovery program providing clinical substance abuse treatment, psychiatric treatment, and nonclinical recovery support services not covered under Medicaid.

Finally, the act allows the head of a psychiatric hospital, or his authorized representative, to restrict patient communication by mail and telephone if a patient (1) sends obscene mail to another person or (2) makes harassing telephone calls. It also makes a technical change to a statute regarding the Connecticut Valley Hospital Advisory Council. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010 except for the provision regarding intermediate care bed certification, which takes effect July 1, 2010, and the provision regarding the behavioral health recovery program, which takes effect upon passage.

Public Act 10-119 (SB 402) AN ACT CONCERNING THE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP

This act makes a number of changes, primarily technical, to add the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DHMAS) to the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership. The partnership is an integrated behavioral health system currently operated by the departments of Children and Families (DCF) and Social Services (DSS). By adding DHMAS to the partnership, the act requires the department to assume all partnership responsibilities, such as (1) designating a partnership director to coordinate its agency responsibilities, (2) developing clinical management policies and procedures, (3) completing annual evaluation and reporting requirements, (4) developing consumer appeal procedures, and (5) monitoring administrative services organizations with whom it contracts to administer behavioral health services.

It also allows the partnership, at the departments' discretion, to expand coverage to include (1) Medicaid recipients not enrolled in HUSKY Plan Part A and (2) Charter Oak Health Plan members. By law, the partnership already serves (1) children and families receiving services under the HUSKY program; (2) children enrolled in DCF's voluntary services program; and (3) at the DCF and DSS commissioners' discretion, other children and families DCF serves.

Finally, the act makes changes to the partnership's responsibilities, rate setting, clinical management committee, coordinated benefit policies, and oversight council. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Public Act 10-170 (HB 5244) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ISSUANCE OF EMERGENCY CERTIFICATES BY CERTAIN STAFF OF THE EMERGENCY MOBILE PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES PROGRAM

This act permits certain licensed clinical social workers, professional counselors, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to issue an emergency certificate, under certain conditions, to hospitalize a child for medical and psychiatric evaluation. Under prior law, only physicians could issue such certificates. The act gives children hospitalized by social workers, counselors, and APRNs the same rights as existing law gives those hospitalized by physicians. These include the right to consult with and be represented by an attorney and the right to a hearing.

Finally, the act requires DCF to collect data pertaining to certificates social workers, counselors, and APRNs issue. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

Under JUDICIAL, INCLUDING CRIMINAL JUSTICE, LEGAL REPRESENTATION & DISCRIMINATION  see PA 10-28 (HB 5247) AN ACT CONCERNING COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL

 

PUBLIC SAFETY, INCLUDING EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING

Public Act 10-50 (SB 149) AN ACT CONCERNING THE GOVERNOR'S POWER TO MODIFY OR SUSPEND STATUTES, REGULATIONS OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS DURING A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

This act allows the governor, when he or she declares a civil preparedness emergency, to modify or suspend statutes, regulations, or other requirements that conflict with the protection of the public health, not just those that conflict with the efficient and expeditious execution of civil preparedness functions.

The act explicitly allows the governor to take such actions when she or he declares a public health emergency, but it appears that he or she may do so only if he or she has declared a civil preparedness emergency. By law, the governor may already, during a civil preparedness emergency, take steps that are reasonably necessary to protect the health of state residents and may modify and suspend laws for certain occurrences, which may include situations affecting public health. Consequently, the legal effect of the new provision is unclear. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

TAXES & REVENUE

 

Under BUILDING CODE see Public Act 10-56 (HB 5372) AN ACT CONCERNING VISITABLE HOUSING

 

TRANSPORTATION / MOBILITY (HANDICAPPED PARKING LISTED SEPARATELY)

Public Act 10-110 (SB 414) AN ACT MAKING REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. [SEE ALSO UNDER HANDICAPPED PARKING FOR ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS]

By law, physicians may report to DMV, in writing, the name, age, and address of any patient with (1) a chronic health problem the physician believes will adversely affect his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle or (2) recurring periods of unconsciousness uncontrolled by medical treatment. The bill adds licensed physician assistants and advance practice registered nurses to those health professionals who may do so. The law similarly authorizes optometrists to report to DMV the name, age, and address of anyone the optometrist believes has a vision problem that would significantly affect his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The bill prohibits anyone from suing these physicians, physician assistants, advance practice registered nurses, and optometrists if they make a report to DMV in good faith. EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010

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Content Last Modified on 7/12/2010 2:51:37 PM