September 19, 2012
State Representative Elaine O’Brien is announcing changes in state laws that take effect on October 1, 2012 that will impact local families and children.
Rep. O’Brien said, “The new laws passed this year in the General Assembly were aimed at strengthening care to seniors and to preserve their relationships with grandchildren.”
- The Grandparent’s Bill of Rights. The new law strengthens the rights of grandparents seeking visitation by putting extra weight on evidence showing that a parent-like relationship exists and that a denial of visitation could cause harm to the child.
- Hospice care. This new law improves access to quality end-of-life care for families in our community. By adjusting the state’s regulations to make them consistent with federal hospice standards, the law will encourage hospices to offer residential services in areas of the state where they are not currently available, including Fairfield County.
- Preserving Medicare eligibility was another issue taken up during this year’s legislative session. Seniors who benefit from the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), which helps with co-pays and deductibles, can now rest easier. The program’s income eligibility requirements have been adjusted to account for recent Social Security cost of living increases. This change in law took effect earlier this year.
The legislature also approved a measure that restructures the legal adoption process for children in the custody and care of foster parents. The new adoption process permits the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to file adoption petitions in the Superior Court, instead of probate court.