Advocacy Center 2023 Legislative Session
The Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program wants to make sure that as we enter the 2022 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. If you want to stay up to date and have updates sent right to your e-mail box, consider signing up for LTCOP Emails!
CONNECTICUT 2023 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
2023 Legislative Session Dates: The Connecticut General Assembly Convened on January 4th, 2023, and will adjourn on June 7th, 2023. The legislators serving in this session took office following the 2022 elections.
2023 Legislative Agenda: The Connecticut LTCOP believes that nursing home residents deserve the highest standard of care, and taxpayers deserve accountability for the state Medicaid funding that supports the nursing home industry. The Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program urges legislators to:
- Enforce staffing standards by prohibiting nursing homes from admitting new residents if they are not providing three hours of care per resident per day as required by law. Facilities should also be fined if they deliberately misrepresent their staffing levels in required reports or fail to post accurate daily staffing levels as required by state law.
- Improve funding transparency, such as requiring nursing facilities to provide uniform “plain language summaries” of the cost reports they submit to the Department of Social Services (DSS).
- Require all related parties that are identified in facility cost reports to disclose an audited financial statement.
- Improve Staffing to 4.1 hours of direct patient care per day
- Increase safeguards and protections for nursing facility and residential care home residents as well as increased access to home and community based services
- Establish Funding for increased LTCOP institution and community staffing
Connecticut General Assembly Resources
Connecticut General Assembly Main Page Link
A full and exhaustive list of all 2023 Legislative Committee Assignments can be found here. But direct links to get the contact information for key committee's and members is also listed below.
Contact Info for Key Committees
Find Testimony Opportunities By Following Committee Public Hearing Agendas Page
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
Take Action - Speak Up! Contact Your Representative Today
My Representatives Contact Sheet
How to Write an Effective Letter - Template Format
LOOKING BACK - END OF CT LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY 2022
2022 Legislative Session Dates: The Connecticut General Assembly Convened on February 9, 2022, and adjourned on May 4, 2022. The legislators serving in this session took office following the 2020 elections. Democrats won a 24-12 majority in the Senate and a 97-54 majority in the House. The party also controlled the governorship, creating a Democratic state government trifecta. A full and exhaustive list of all 2022 Legislative Committee Assignments can be found here. This was an every other year Short Legislative Session, Both State Chambers, House and Senate, continued to have Large Democratic Majorities with A Democratic Governor, Children’s Mental Health Issues Were Top Priority This Year Compared to Nursing Homes Last Year; There Was a Large State Budget Surplus and Large Rainy Day Fund Versus Budget Challenges A Few Years Ago, There Was Lots of Federal and State Pandemic Support to Nursing Homes, Residents and Staff the Last Couple Years - There Were Positive Legislative Advances on Long Term Care Issues This Legislative Session Though Not the Landmark Advances of Pandemic Legislative Relief seen in 2021. This year we saw measures for greater consumer and resident protection; rights; accountability; Social Work Staffing Clarification; training; and reporting requirements and timelines updates.
Key Bills Passed Including HB 5313, HB 5485, HB 5500, HB 5506, SB 9, SB 173, SB 286, HB 5205, and SB 217 – By Title and Public Act
HB 5313 - Temporary Nursing Services Agencies, Reporting of Involuntary Transfers and Discharges from Nursing Homes and Residential Care Homes, Elder Abuse Training, Legal Rights of Long-Term Care Applicants and A Study of Managed Residential Community Issues, Aging, Public Act 22-57
HB 5485 - Various Revisions To Public Health Statutes, PH, Public Act 22-92 (includes pain management and oral hygiene new required training)
HB 5500 - DPH’s Recommendations Re: Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes, PH, Public Act 22-58
HB 5506 - Act Adjusting The State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2023, Concerning Provisions Related to Revenue, School Construction and Other Items To Implement The State Budget and Authorizing and Adjusting Bonds of the State, Emergency Certification, Public Act 22-118 (includes Community Ombudsman provision)
SB 9 - Additional Adjustments to the State Budget for Biennium Ending June 30, 2023, A Community Ombudsman Program, Certain Municipal-Related Provisions, School Building Projects Grants, and High Deductible Health Plans, APP, Public Act 22-146 (see section 7)
SB 173 - Study of Cost-Feasibility of Permitting Community Spouse of Institutionalized Medicaid Recipient To Retain Maximum Amount of Allowable Assets, Aging, (see section 237 also Community Spouse Protected Amount/HB 5506 Budget Bill Passed), Public Act 22-121
SB 286 - Elder Abuse Reporting Deadlines, Temporary Family Assistance, Certificates of Need for Long-Term Care Facilities and Civil Penalties for Nursing Homes That Fail To Use Rate Increases for Employee Wage Enhancements, Public Act 22-145, (see amendment Sections 504 wage enhancement civil penalties possible and sections 505-508 CON for nursing homes)
HB 5205 - Fair Rent Commissions, HSG, Public Act 22-30 – statute expanded to require more towns above certain population level to have a Fair Rent Commission – greater opportunity for consumer protections to exorbitant rent increases and other landlord measures
SB 217 - Establish A Hate Crimes Investigative Unit Within Division of State Police and Require Development of A Reporting System, Best Practices and A Model Investigation Policy for Law Enforcement Units Regarding Hate Crimes, Public Act 22-9
LOOKING BACK - 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
Resident Virtual Monitoring Technology Consent Form and Instructions
Roommate Virtual Monitoring Technology Consent Form
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
Essential Caregivers Act
H.R.3733: The Essential Caregivers Act
H.R. 3733 Q&A (Claudia Tenney)
H.R. 3733 Q&A (Consumer Voice)
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.
Federal Call to Action (Milbank)
Issue Brief: A Call for Federal Action to Improve Nursing Facilities
- To address longstanding quality concerns and disparities in nursing facilities, CMS should link federal funding to quality improvement and promote value-based payment
- To spur improvement in nursing facilities, CMS should expand its nursing facility guidance and include structural measures like staff turnover in its Medicare and Medicaid certification requirements
- Nursing facility (NF) residents’ high infection rates and poor overall care experiences during the COVID-19 public health emergency have reinforced and amplified long-standing concerns about the quality and cost-effectiveness of NF care. In light of documented disparities in access, experience of care, and outcomes, these concerns are especially urgent for residents of color. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken some actions to promote a focus on quality, much more should be done to articulate federal policy and to inspire and incentivize improvement. Specifically, CMS should:
- Endorse linkage of any further public health emergency—related funding or other federal financial reimbursement to quality improvement.
- Align Medicare and Medicaid efforts to promote payment policies that are based on risk adjustment for complex care and incorporate value-based payment principles, eliminate unintended consequences of federal policies such as routine approval of nursing home bed taxes, and adopt a common foundation of quality measures.
- Expand existing guidance on rebalancing long-term services and supports.
- Enhance conditions of participation for nursing homes and hospitals by including structural measures such as census and staff turnover.
- Build out existing mechanisms like Care Compare to enhance public transparency, availability, and usability of cost report and ownership information and to provide timely and complete information on NF citations.
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
Listed on CGA Calendar of Events Page
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
Election and Absentee Ballot Information
Further Information About the Legislative Process
Take Action - Speak Up! Contact Your Local Representative Today
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