Check here regularly for the latest information on hearings (the public only receives 5 days notice including weekends and holidays), rallies, lobby days, and any other time-sensitive alerts that you need to know about in order to continue to educate, advocate and otherwise participate in Coalition activities! If you have further questions/for the most time-sensitive issues, please call KTP directly at: (800) 215-3021; (860) 882-0236 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your experiences, delivered in an effective way, create change and make a difference in many lives throughout CT!
Connecticut Legal Rights Project to suspend intake on Housing related issues
This is to inform you that CLRP will suspend intake on all housing issues effective May 1st. This means that no new housing cases can be accepted after the end of the business day on Tuesday, April 30th.
CLRP has found it necessary to take this action because it appears that funding for the program’s housing advocacy will be reduced by nearly 50% based on the budget approved by the Appropriations Committee. While we are grateful that the committee restored cuts proposed in the Governor’s budget, it had been anticipated that funds to cover six months of housing advocacy provided in last year’s budget would be annualized. They have not been and this, combined with cuts from the Governor’s rescission in 2012, has created a substantial gap in CLRP’s budget.
We regret this action, but hope that clients can access legal services through Greater Hartford Legal Aid, New Haven Legal Assistance, or Connecticut Legal Services which has offices in Bridgeport, New Britain, New London, Stamford, Waterbury and Willimantic. They can be reached through their central intake system operated by Statewide Legal Services at 800-453-3320 or their website at www.slsct.org which has an on line application for legal aid. There is also a self-help web site available at www.CTlawHelp.org
Please take time this week to THANK the Appropriations Committee leadership and members for RESTORING important funding for mental health services and PROPOSING NEW FUNDS for mental health services in their proposed budget.
Below are suggested areas for you to specifically highlight in your thank you messages:
The Appropriations Budget would restore funding for numerous services and programs including the following:
• School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) expansion (as was originally appropriated in 2013), plus additional funding of $5 million in each fiscal year 2014-15 to support SBHCs in five school districts
• Connecticut Legal Rights Project (CLRP) legal services (partial restoration of funds)
• Medicaid for HUSKY Parents with income of between 133-185% of FPL
• DMHAS grants greatly reduced cuts – restored $48 of the proposed $63 million in cuts
• Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for the Aged, Blind and Disabled
The Appropriations budget would fund the mental health services provisions of the newly passed law, Public Act 13-3, including:
• Three additional assertive community treatment (ACT) teams
• Case management and care coordinating services for people involved in the probate court system
• Mental health first aid training for school climate coordinators
• Establishment of a regional behavioral health consultation and care coordination program for primary care providers of children (consultation team includes child psychiatrist, social worker and care coordinator)
Funding for specific children’s/youth programs to supplement the services that would be offered under Public Act 13-3:
• Expansion of Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TB -CBT)
• Expansion of home-based services (IICAPS, MST, MST-PSB)
Funding some local initiatives to supplement the services that would be offered under Public Act 13-3:
• Early intervention programs
• Family support programs
• Outreach and peer support programs
• Emergency mobile psychiatric services
Pressure is high to change this proposed budget during negotiations in the coming weeks which is why it is crucial to send thank you messages to the Appropriations Committee members this week.
Appropriations Committee leadership phone numbers:
Co-Chair Senator Toni Harp: 860-240-0393 | 1-800-842-1420
Co-Chair Representative Toni Walker: 860-240-8585 | 1-800-842-8267
Vice-Chair Senator Joan Hartley: 860-240-000 | 1-800-842-1420
Vice-Chair Representative Mae Flexer: 860-240-8585 | 1-800-842-8267
Vice-Chair Representative Patricia Billie Miller: 860 240-8585 | 1-800-842-8267
Vice-Chair Representative Elaine O’Brien: 860 240-8585 | 1-800-842-8267
Your calls made a difference when we asked committee members to restore funding and create new funds – let’s keep up the great work and thank our legislators for doing just that!
Please call your legislators on the JUDICIARY COMMITTEE this week and urge them to VOTE ON and PASS:
Raised HB 6684 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTAKE, REFERRAL AND INTERVENTION SYSTEM RELATING TO THE PROVISION AND DELIVERY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
This bill would enhance access to services for adults with mental illness that have been shown to support stability and reduce hospitalization.
For Talking Points, please click here
You can also share how some of these programs have supported you or you have seen how these services have worked for others, including housing services, peer support programs, respite care and advance directives .
Numerous advocates testified at Monday’s public hearing in support of this bill.
NOW, committee members need to hear from you, how important the enhancements in this bill are to you and why they need to vote on and pass HB 6684.
For the bill language, click here
If your legislator(s) are members of the Judiciary Committee, call them directly.
If neither your representative nor your senator is on the Judiciary Committee, call the committee co-chairs Senator Eric Coleman and Representative Gerald Fox.
For contact information of the Judiciary Committee members, please click here
THANK YOU for your invaluable and persistent advocacy efforts – your calls will make a DIFFERENCE!
We need people to testify before the Judiciary Committee IN SUPPORT of Raised HB 6684 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTAKE, REFERRAL AND INTERVENTION SYSTEM RELATING TO THE PROVISION AND DELIVERY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
This bill would enhance access to services for adults with mental illness that which been shown to support stability and reduce hospitalization.
For Talking Points, please click here
You can also share how some of these programs have supported you or that you have seen how these services have worked for others, including housing services, peer support programs, respite care and advance directives .
For the bill language click here
Co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee are Senator Eric Coleman and Representative Gerald Fox.
For details of the hearing please see below:
The Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. in Room 2C of the LOB. Please submit 45 copies of written testimony to Committee staff, preferably any day prior to the hearing, but no later than one hour prior to the start of the hearing in Room 2500 of the LOB. Electronic testimony may be sent to Jud.Testimony@cga.ct.gov for posting on the Committee’s website. Testimony submitted after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing. Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related bill number(s). Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 8:00 A.M. and conclude at 9:30 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB. Speaker order will be decided by a lottery system. Anyone wishing to testify after the drawing is closed must sign up in the hearing room and be placed at the end of the list. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the bills on the agenda.
If you would like to testify, but cannot make it to the LOB in time to sign up, please communicate with and email a copy of your testimony to Daniela Giordano, by Saturday, 4/13 at 5 p.m. at the LATEST and we will assist you in signing up and handing in your testimony. Daniela can be reached at email@example.com or by phone 860-882-0236 at x 30 (phone availability ends Friday at 6pm). Additionally, if you are unable to testify, your voice can still be heard by writing letters/emails to your legislators. Please contact Daniela for further details.
If you are able to sign yourself up or if you are submitting electronic testimony only, please also e-mail a copy of your testimony to Daniela so we can keep track of and acknowledge people who are participating in this important advocacy effort.
Thank you for your invaluable advocacy efforts and we hope to see many of you this coming Monday!
IT’S TIME TO CONTACT LEGISLATORS ABOUT MAINTAINING HUSKY COVERAGE FOR PARENTS!
Calling priorities are the Appropriations Committee and legislative Leadership.
For a list with contact information click here
- Cutting parents with incomes between 133% and 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) from Medicaid will result in parents AND CHILDREN losing health care coverage. – Even parents who buy plans through the Health Insurance Exchange will not get needed health care because of required co-pays and deductibles. – Purchasing private insurance will also mean: o Less comprehensive coverage of mental health services o Loss of dental and vision coverage o Loss of non-emergency medical transportation – Lawmakers should consider increased revenue from wealthy individuals and corporations before trying to save money by eliminating Medicaid for HUSKY parents. (Projected savings from this change are $6 million in first year of budget and $60 million in second year. Half of this is federal money; state savings are $3 million and $30 million, respectively.).
Please click here for details on revenue options and corresponding talking points.
NOTE: It is helpful to contact the Senators and Representative who represent you even if they aren’t on Appropriations or leadership. Ask them to talk to their leaders about this issue.
• For a FACT SHEET on cuts to HUSKY A (HUSKY Parents) including information about costs in the Health Insuring Exchange, please click here
• For a summary of the findings of the University of Massachusetts’ RESEARCH BRIEF and supporting organizations, please click here
JOIN A RALLY TO PROTEST THESE CUTS, organized by the Caring Families Coalition, ON WEDNESDAY APRIL 17TH 10-11:30AM AT THE CAPITOL NORTH STEPS
For the Rally Flyer, click here
Thanks for having your voice heard and engaging in advocacy that supports and impacts thousands of people!
Connecticut Health Foundation Press Release: Policy Analysis of Potential Impact of Governor’s Budget Proposal on HUSKY Parents
March 12, 2013
The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) today announced the release of a policy analysis paper on the Consequences of Proposed Eligibility Reduction of HUSKY A Parents. The analysis examines the potential impact of Governor Malloy’s budget proposal to change HUSKY A (Medicaid) eligibility requirements in 2014 and 2015, affecting parents of children who are enrolled in HUSKY A and who have an income in the range of 138-185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. HUSKY parents would instead be eligible to purchase federally subsidized private insurance through Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, Access Health CT.
To Read the entire Press Release, click here
To read the “Consequences of Proposed Eligibility Reduction of HUSKY A Parents” doc, click here
It is time to call members of the Appropriations’ Health&Hospitals Subcommittee and request that they restore funding to DMHAS’ grants for Mental Health Services.
With the message that:
• These proposed cuts to outpatient services will hurt real people.
• Access to services and quality of care would be seriously impacted.
The governor’s budget proposal includes severe funding cuts to grants for mental health services for the next biennium fiscal years 2014-15. We are concerned about the impact those cuts would have on the access and quality of care for people, mainly outpatient services.
For a list of the Appropriations’ Health&Hospitals Subcommittee members and their contact information, please click here.
Please call your legislator(s) this week, if he or she is a member of the Appropriations’ Subcommittee. This can followed-up with an e-mail.
If you have any questions, please contact Daniela Giordano at 860-882-0236, ext. 30 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Members of the Public Health Committee AND TELL THEM WHY YOU OPPOSE SB 262 and HB 5992!
We urge you to oppose:
Proposed S.B. No. 262 AN ACT REQUIRING NOTICE BY PSYCHIATRISTS CONCERNING PATIENTS THAT MAY POSE A THREAT TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS
This bill would require psychiatric professionals to provide notice to authorities when a patient is a threat to him or herself or to other persons.
We oppose this proposal because case law already covers these circumstances and because this could create distrust between a doctor and a patient/a psychiatrist and a client, which would impact this important relationship in a deeply negative manner.
Proposed H.B. 5992 AN ACT CONCERNING THE TREATMENT OF PERSONS WITH PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES
This bill would 1) allow certain health care providers to obtain medical records for the treatment of patients in facilities for persons with psychiatric disabilities, and 2) allow persons involved in formulating the patient’s discharge plan to communicate with the patient’s family members concerning the plan, which would normally not be permitted due to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA law.
We oppose this proposal as it would violate the privacy of people with psychiatric disabilities and discriminate based on people’s diagnoses as this proposal does not apply to any other (non-psychiatric) illness or disease.
THE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE WILL HEAR FROM THE PUBLIC ON THESE BILLS AT A PUBLIC HEARING ON FRIDAY (SEE DETAILS BELOW), BUT WE ALSO NEED YOU TO CALL LEGISLATORS ON THE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE THIS WEEK AND NEXT, TO TELL THEM WHY YOU OPPOSE THESE BILLS.
Have your voice heard and contact the members of the Public Health Committee!
Contact information for the Public Health Committee members: Click HERE
For details of the hearing, please see the next section, below:
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who participated in the Appropriations Committee Public Hearings regarding the budgets of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF)!!
Between the two budget hearings, over thirty-two people testified in person while another almost ten submitted testimony. Nearly thirty people supported their fellow-advocates and provided visibility at the hearings.
YOUR VOICE, YOUR PRESENCE, AND YOUR SUPPORT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
Keep up the great participation and support!
Opportunities to speak up in regards to specific bills is right around the corner!
Now is the time to call your local legislative letting them know that you are opposed to Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC) and forced medication as it would do more harm than good to Connecticut’s already challenged mental health system.
Two weeks ago we asked you to call legislative leadership to oppose IOC.
Now is the time to call your Local Legislators letting them know that you are opposed to Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC) and forced medication as it would do more harm than good to Connecticut’s already challenged mental health system.
IOC is not a substitute for the housing, treatment services, and other supports necessary to promote stability and sustain a person’s recovery.
For detailed reasons to oppose such measure click here for a letter from a broad-based group of mental health advocates organizations. This IOC opposition letter was sent to legislators.
Have your voice heard and contact your Local Legislators!
How to find the Contact information for your local legislators:
1. Go to the CT General Assembly (CGA) website http://www.cga.ct.gov/
2. On the left side, click on ‘House’
3. Click on ‘Find your Legislator’ and follow the prompts
Thank you for your participation in this crucial matter!