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News from State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr.

February 26, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 3200
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420
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Expanding Access to Home Care

seniorsNearly 90 percent of seniors want the option to live in their own homes as they grow older. Unfortunately, delays in approval for Medicaid during a healthcare crisis can lead to costly and preventable institutionalization. Last year, I joined the Department of Social Services in launching a "Fast Track" pilot program to streamline applications and promote timely home care accessibility that aims to reduce taxpayer spending on more costly institutional care. This year, I will be supporting the extension of the "Fast Track" pilot program to continue to expedite access to home and community-based health services for seniors who do not want to enter a nursing home.

I believe strongly that expediting home care access will improve the quality of life for hundreds of seniors around Connecticut and save our state money that might otherwise be spent on nursing home or hospital stays. The average Medicaid cost per day for home care is $58 compared to an average daily cost of $205 for a nursing home stay. It is my hope that expedited home care approval will become a statewide fixture so that all of Connecticut's seniors will have the option to receive care at home without experiencing excessive delays.

Promoting Pollinator Health

beesNext week, the Environment Committee will hold a public hearing at which we will discuss legislation to improve the health of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators here in Connecticut. Pollinator populations around the world have seen an alarming decline in recent years and their impact cannot be understated. Connecticut's agriculture industry is dependent on these insects pollinating crops. Bee pollination is necessary for the production of nearly one third of crops grown in the United States. Without pollination, this country stands to see a serious food shortage and billions of dollars in financial losses. I will be working very hard on this and other issues as the legislative session progresses. Please contact my office if you have any suggestions or thoughts on this issue.

Taking Steps to Fight Animal Abuse

Violence against animals is one of our society's most despicable crimes, but far too often it goes unpunished. This week, I joined my colleagues on the Environment Committee in passing a bill out of committee that establishes increased penalties for animal cruelty so that individuals committing these acts will be held responsible for their actions. Far too many people guilty of animal abuse have their charges dismissed. By passing this legislation, we will ensure that law enforcement is able to hold these individuals accountable and intervene before they commit future violence against animals and people.

House Bill 5147 increases the maximum penalty for maliciously and intentionally maiming, mutilating, torturing, wounding or killing an animal. A first offense of violence against an animal is currently a class D felony. This bill makes any subsequent offense a class C felony. Second and subsequent offenses will no longer be eligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program, which is intended for crimes not of a serious nature and allows the charge to be dismissed and no record kept of the crime. Violence against animals is a terrible crime which also has a direct link to violence against people. Multiple studies have made it very clear that people who commit acts of violence against animals are very likely to go on to harm other people.


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My mailing address is:
Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., Legislative Office Building, Room 3200, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Capitol telephone: 860-240-0455, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

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