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Advocacy Center 2021 Legislative Session

 

Federal Advocacy

H.R.3733: The Essential Caregivers Act

H.R. 3733 Q&A (Claudia Tenney)

H.R. 3733 Q&A (Consumer Voice)

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3733?s=1&r=1

 

H.R. 3733: The Essential Caregivers Act, led by U.S. Representatives Claudia Tenney and John

B. Larson, allows essential caregivers access to long-term facilities to provide care and support

to a facility resident during any public health emergency. It is vital that we as a society recognize

the critical role that family members play in the care and wellbeing of residents in long-term care

facilities. For more than a year, residents in these facilities were separated from their loved ones

– far too many lost their will to survive, and many others have suffered untold emotional,

psychological, and physical pain as a result of this separation. This bill would ensure that in any

future health emergency under Section 319, designated essential caregivers are always able to

access their loved ones in a manner consistent with all applicable health and safety protocols.

 

Take Action - Speak Up! Contact Your Representative Today

Find Your Representatives

My Representatives Contact Sheet

How to Write an Effective Letter - Template Format

 

State Advocacy

 

The Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program wants to make sure that as we enter the 2021 legislative session our legislators, public health officials and key decision makers across the state are able to hear from their constituents regarding issues that matter to them. We have created this web page as a central resource to help streamline that process.  We encourage readers to check this page regularly for updates as we try to keep our finger on the pulse of the legislative session and will provide weekly tracking logs of long term care related bills, but also suggest to use the resources listed to make your voices heard. We recommend confirming committee public hearing schedules for key bills related to key topics and taking opportunities to let your legislators know how you think they should vote when it comes to issues that matter most. For a quick summary and overview of the legislative process click here, or find out how a bill becomes a law here in Connecticut

 

END CT LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY 2021

The 2021 CT regular legislative session began on January 6th and ended on June 9th, a every other year long legislative session devoted to passage of a two-year budget bill. The session started after months of an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with its significant hardships and restrictions for nursing home residents, family members, staff, and citizens alike.  And just a few weeks after the Covid-19 vaccines started to become available to nursing home residents.  A Nursing Home and Assisted Living Oversight Working Group, established in fall 2020 in response to these hardships and including residents, family members, advocates, legislators, providers and others, submitted recommendations to the legislature in early January 2020 and many of these resident and family-friendly legislative recommendations were passed into law this session.  The E-Board strongly advocated this session for all nursing home residents including thru remote legislative testimony.  A recent article in Kaiser Health News highlights the E-Board role - https://khn.org/news/article/zooming-into-the-statehouse-nursing-home-residents-use-new-digital-skills-to-push-for-changes .

 

A summary of key nursing home measures passed includes:  rights to use technology of resident choice including video cameras with appropriate safeguards, protections and access rights;  required resident and family council notification on regulations or legislative proposals impacting long term care facility residents and right to testify remotely as needed;  improved DPH minimum required direct care staffing levels and improved social worker and recreation staffing requirements;  a personal needs allowance increase from $60/month to $75/month for eligible residents;  rights of essential caregivers to visit residents even during certain visit restrictions;  required two-month supply of needed nursing home personal protective equipment (PPE);  improved infection control staff and other requirements; required staff at least on-call each shift,, to start an IV line;  staff required to be educated on best practices to ensure resident social, emotional and mental health needs and addressed thru person-centered care and assure opportunities for social connection and strategies to minimize social isolation;  increased dementia special care unit requirements;  required support from nursing homes to promote family councils;  visitation protocols to be provided in writing and easy to understand format; care plan requirements to include resident visitation and support needs;  and DPH required to submit report to the legislature by 1/1/22 regarding state or federal funds that may be available to support infrastructure improvements in nursing homes.  Effective bill implementation dates vary.  Specific bill information is listed below and residents can go to the CT General Assembly website at www.cga.ct.gov and highlight “quick bill search” and insert the bill number in the search box to  get detailed bill info.

 

Quick Links to Some Key Bills passed from CT 2021 Session

AN ACT CONCERNING ESSENTIAL SUPPORT PERSONS AND A STATE-WIDE VISITATION POLICY FOR RESIDENTS OF LONGTERM CARE FACILITIES.
https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/PA/PDF/2021PA-00071-R00HB-06634-PA.PDF - Public Act No. 21-71 | Previously H.B. 6634

 

AN ACT CONCERNING NURSING HOMES AND DEMENTIA SPECIAL CARE UNITS. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/pa/pdf/2021PA-00185-R00SB-01030-PA.pdf - Public Act No. 21-185 | Previously S.B. 1030

 

AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE BILLS OF RIGHTS FOR LONGTERM CARE RESIDENTS AND AUTHORIZING THE USE OF RESIDENT TECHNOLOGY FOR VIRTUAL VISITATION AND VIRTUAL MONITORING. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/PA/PDF/2021PA-00055-R00SB-00975-PA.PDF  - Public Act No. 21-55 | Previously S.B. 975

 

AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE VOICE OF RESIDENTS AND FAMILY COUNCILS. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/PA/PDF/2021PA-00194-R00SB-00973-PA.PDF - Public Act No. 21-194 | Previously S.B. 973

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE THIRTIETH, 2023, AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR, AND MAKING DEFICIENCY AND ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE THIRTIETH, 2021. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/SA/PDF/2021SA-00015-R00HB-06689-SA.PDF - Special Act No. 21-15 | Previously House Bill No. 6689

 

AN ACT CONCERNING PROVISIONS RELATED TO REVENUE AND OTHER ITEMS TO IMPLEMENT THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2023. - (Personal Needs Allowance Addressed In Section 353 and 354) https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/TOB/S/PDF/2021SB-01202-R00-SB.PDF | Previously S.B. 1202

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH STATUTES. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/ACT/PA/PDF/2021PA-00121-R00HB-06666-PA.PDF - Public Act No. 21-121 | Previously House Bill 6666

 

AN ACT REQUIRING DRIVERS OF PARATRANSIT VEHICLES TO REPORT SUSPECTED ABUSE, NEGLECT, EXPLOITATION OR ABANDONMENT OF ELDERLY PERSONS. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/pa/pdf/2021PA-00122-R00SB-00763-PA.pdf - Public Act 21-122 | Previously S.B. 763

 

AN ACT CONCERNING SENIOR CENTERS AND SENIOR CRIME PREVENTION EDUCATION. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/Pa/pdf/2021PA-00007-R00SB-00817-PA.PDF - Public Act 21-7 | Previously S.B. 817

 

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH STATUTES. https://cga.ct.gov/2021/act/pa/pdf/2021PA-00026-R00SB-01083-PA.pdf - Public Act 21-26 | Previously S.B. 1083

 

AN ACT EQUALIZING COMPREHENSIVE ACCESS TO MENTAL, BEHAVIORAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH CARE IN RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/Pa/pdf/2021PA-00035-R00SB-00001-PA.PDF - Public Act No. 21-35 | Previously S.B. 1

 

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A COMMISSION ON THE DISPARATE IMPACT OF COVID-19. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/Sa/pdf/2021SA-00037-R00HB-05614-SA.PDF - Special Act 21-37 | Previously H.B. 5614 

 

AN ACT CONCERNING DECLARATIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND CIVIL PREPAREDNESS EMERGENCIES AND THE CREATION OF A BIPARTISAN COMMISSION TO STUDY STATUTES GOVERNING THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH DECLARATIONS. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/Sa/pdf/2021SA-00005-R00HB-05653-SA.PDF - Special Act 21-5 | Previously H.B. 5653

LTCOP Bill Tracker
  • During each legislative session, The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program continues to track and highlight a selection of priority focus bills as they relate to individuals who receive their Long Term Services and Supports in settings such as Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities and Residential Care Homes. The Bill Tracker is Updated Weekly and can be Accessed Here.  
CGA Website: How to Create Your Own Bill Tracker

 

LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY
Watch Public Hearing and Committee Meetings Live

CGA Training: How to View Meetings/Hearings Virtually  

To watch any public hearing and committee meeting live, visit the main website www.cga.ct.gov and check out the schedule of events / calendar on the front page. Click on the one you'd like to watch as the event occurs. 

The General Assembly has established a Youtube channel for each committee (also accessible at cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/broadcastmedia.asp under the "CGA Live Streaming Feeds" heading).

 

How to Testify Virtually Online

 

CGA Training: How to Testify Virtually Online

CGA Website: A Guide on How to Contact Legislators and Testify Remotely

 

What to Expect When Testifying Remotely

Joining the Meeting: When you request to testify on a particular bill, you will be sent a calendar invite with a zoom meeting for the date/time of the event. Then, on the day of the event you will log into and join the zoom meeting and be placed in a holding room, but should still be able to see the meeting taking place. While in this waiting room/holding room. You will be on mute and your camera will not show. As the meeting progresses they will ultimately start accepting testimony from those who are approved and call them name by name to speak. Eventually it will be your turn to testify and they will call your name. When they call your name you will see rotating circle that says "Re-entering the meeting". At that time you should unmute and turn your camera on. You will then be allowed to speak. 

How to Start Your Testimony: At the beginning of your testimony you will address the committee. Your testimony should begin with:

"Good afternoon Senator (CHAIR last name) , Representative (CHAIR last name),  and distinguished members of the (Name of the Committee) Committee.  My name is (your name)  and I am here today to testify regarding (BILL NUMBER X) or (BILL NUMBERS X, Y, Z)." 

If only testifying on behalf of one bill, say the bill number and full title and then tell your story or why your are for or against the bill. If you are testifying for multiple Bills, you can go through them one at a time by stating the bill number and full title of the bill and then the reasons why you are testifying on behalf of each one individually.

How to End Your Testimony: End by thanking them for hearing you today and let them know you welcome any questions.

*NOTE: Keep in mind each speaker has a total of 3 min to testify, so it is helpful to time and practice your testimony ahead of time so you know you wont be rushed and can get to all of your points during your delivery.

 

Upcoming Public Hearings

 

 

Connecticut General Assembly Resources

Connecticut General Assembly Main Page Link

Contact Info for Key Committees

Find Testimony Opportunities By Following Committee Public Hearing Agendas Page

House/Senate Journal

 

The Nursing Home and Assisted Living Oversight Working Group (NHALOWG)

The Nursing Home and Assisted Living Oversight Working Group (NHALOWG) was formed to make recommendations on proposed legislation for the 2021 session addressing lessons learned from COVID-19, based upon the Mathematica final report (A Study of the COVID-19 Outbreak and Response in Connecticut Long-Term Care Facilities) and other related information, concerning:

  • Structural challenges in the operation and infrastructure of nursing homes and assisted living facilities; and
  • Changes needed to meet the demands of any future pandemic

 

 
Connecticut CT-N Network
  • Connecticut CT-N Network Link
  • CT-N Educational Video Programs Link

 

2021 Legislative Priority Issues by Topic
Election and Absentee Ballot Information

Absentee Voting Information

Absentee Ballot Fact Sheet

Election Calendar

 

Further Information About the Legislative Process

The Legislative Process

How a Bill Becomes a Law

 

Take Action - Speak Up! Contact Your Local Representative Today

Find Your Representatives

My Representatives Contact Sheet

How to Write an Effective Letter - Template Format

 

Other Ways to Advocate on Issues In Your Home

Participate In Your Care Plan Meeting

Resident and Family Councils