October 1, 2012
NEW LAWS TAKING EFFECT TO HELP SENIORS, CHILDREN
AND VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
State Representative Chris Perone announced that a number of new state laws go into effect today that will help seniors, children and victims of domestic violence.
Rep. Perone said one new law (Public Act 12-140) improves access to quality end-of-life hospice care for families around the state. By adjusting the state’s regulations to make them consistent with federal hospice standards, the law encourages hospices to offer residential services in places like Norwalk where they are not currently available.
It will also be easier for grandparents and their grandchildren to connect because of another new law (Public Act 12-137) that 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. The law is in response to a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that denied a visitation petition, which had previously been approved by a lower court.
Seniors who benefit from the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), which helps with co-pays and deductibles, can now rest easier according to Rep. Perone. He explained that the program’s income eligibility requirements have been adjusted to account for recent Social Security cost of living increases. This change in law (Public Act 12-1) took effect earlier this year.
Rep. Perone explained that Connecticut has almost 6,000 children in foster care and many can wait for years to find permanent placement with families eager to have them, so another law (Public Act 12-82) creates a new 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.
Also going into effect is a law (Public Act 12-112) made famous by the 2008 disappearance of Caylee Anthony in Florida. Connecticut’s Caylee’s Law makes it a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to $2,000, or both, to knowingly fail to report the disappearance of a child under age 12.
The state’s domestic violence laws were also strengthened (Public Act 12-114) to better protect victims and hold abusers accountable by taking steps to create a standard police approach to family violence crimes. Access to–and enforcement of–protective and restraining orders were also improved.