End of Legislative Session 2018 Update
Congratulations! Your hard work as a Social Work Advocate has been a success! Although it was a short legislative session, together we accomplished many incredible advances for Connecticut constituents. We could not have achieved these victories without your advocacy, support, and of course your membership!

We are happy to announce as of last week HUSKY A has been fully restored and the state budget was approved.

Here is a recap on issues and bills we have worked on:
Full Restoration of the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) - Passed!

Over 70,0000 seniors and disabled constituents of Connecticut were set to be cut from the Medicare Savings Program. Under the proposed guidelines anyone who has an income over 135% of the federal poverty level ($1,356/month for singles, $1,826 for couples) would have completely lost their eligibility. Anyone between 100%-135% ($1,005/$1,353) would have lost all of their cost-sharing coverage (Medicare deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays). Payments for Part B premiums would have also been automatically deducted from Social Security.

With your advocacy efforts this proposed cut was fully restored and helped saved thousands of elderly and disabled low income constituents from significant financial impact.

Restoring HUSKY A Parents Eligibility to 155% of the FPL - Passed!
The proposed budget originally would have cut 13,000 working parents and their families from Husky A coverage as of January 2019. It was an incredibly challenging advocacy effort to get the full restoration of Husky back for what would have been a tremendous loss for thousands of families in Connecticut. At the very last moments of the legislative session, Husky A was fully restored!

Inclusion of Funding in the Budget for Additional DCF Workers - Passed!
The original budget proposal for DCF was $259.2 million and the Governor approved a revised budget of just over $266.2 million which will allow DCF to hire over 100 more social workers and help reduce caseloads .

Maintaining Current Funding for School Based Health Clinics - Passed!
The original budget proposal for school based health clinics was set at 9.9 million and the Governor approved just over 10.7 million, which provides a slight increase in funding for school based health clinics .

HB 5210: Codifying ACA Essential Benefits - Passed!
“To (1) mandate insurance coverage of essential health benefits, (2) expand mandated health benefits for women, children and adolescents, and (3) expand mandated contraception benefits.”

HB 5148: Supporting Pregnant Patients Exercising Living Wills- Passed!
“To permit pregnant patients to exercise a living will.”

HB 5384: An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs - Passed!
“To impose additional disclosure and reporting requirements on pharmacy benefits managers, health carriers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, the Office of Health Strategy and the Insurance Department concerning prescription drug rebates and the cost of prescription drugs.”

SB 384: Enhancing Mental Healthy Parity- Died
"To expand mental health parity requirements, require that health carriers report additional data to the Insurance Department, and require that the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange submit a report to the General Assembly regarding the all-payer claims database.”

HB 5421: Joining the National Popular Vote Compact – Passed!
“To enter Connecticut into the Agreement among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote, thereby committing the state's votes in the Electoral College to the presidential candidate that wins the popular vote nationally, regardless of whether such presidential candidate wins the popular vote within the state.”

HB 5388: Increasing and Indexing the Minimum Wage - Died
“To provide more economic security to Connecticut families by increasing the minimum fair wage.”

HB 5408: Access to Original Birth Certificates for Adoptees - Died
“To allow an individual adopted prior to October 1, 1983, and his or her adult child or grandchild to obtain an uncertified copy of an original certificate of birth.”

HB 5542: An Act Concerning Bump Stocks and Other Means of Enhancing the Rate of a Firearm.- Passed!
“To ban the sale or transfer, possession, manufacturing or use of bump stocks or other accessories to increase the rate of fire of a firearm.”

SB 132: Combating Sexual Assault and Harassment- Died
“To combat sexual harassment and sexual assault.”

SB 13: Fair Treatment of Incarcerated Women – Passed!
This bill will prohibit restraints/shackling during labor or delivery at any time, prohibit leg and waist restraints of people who are pregnant or in the postpartum period, provide feminine hygiene products free of charge, create a system where prenatal, labor, and postpartum services and supports are given to women and provides people who are pregnant with maternity resources like education on prenatal nutrition, high-risk pregnancies, and addiction and substance abuse during pregnancy and childbirth. This bill will also provide further protection for transgender people who are incarcerated.
Please continue to advocate on behalf of those we serve and for the greater good of Connecticut and beyond. As always we thank you for your continued support and we encourage you to reach out to your legislators to also thank them for their hard work.
 
If you need information on resources in relation to advocacy and legislation please contact our office or visit our website. 

With much appreciation,

Stephen A. Karp, LMSW
Executive Director


Phone:860-257-8066 Website: http://naswct.org/