PA 11-233 — SB 1127

Appropriations Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS INCLUDING NURSING HOME CLOSURES, STAFFING AT THE POLICE OFFICERS STANDARDS AND TRAINING COUNCIL, THE REPEAL OF PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE DIVISION OF SPECIAL REVENUE, HIGHWAY REST AREAS AND AN EXEMPTION TO THE ELECTRIC GENERATION TAX

SUMMARY:

This act makes various unrelated changes in statutes and 2011 public acts concerning:

1. exceptions to nursing home waiting list requirements,

2. the Police Officer Standards and Training Council's (POST) authority to recommend a training academy administrator,

3. the authority to appoint a chairperson for the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control,

4. the deadline for farmers to apply for certain property tax exemptions,

5. Medicaid rates for outpatient mental health services,

6. certain duties and responsibilities of the Division of Special Revenue (DSR) executive director,

7. an obsolete lottery settlement initiative program,

8. electronic service of wage withholding support orders,

9. a pilot employment opportunity program for people with child support obligations,

10. tourism services at the West Willington visitor welcome center, and

11. an exemption from the temporary electric generation tax in effect for FY 12 and FY 13.

The act also makes conforming and technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Various, see below.

1 — NURSING HOME WAITING LIST

Although the law generally requires nursing homes to admit residents on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of their payment source, nursing homes can bypass the waiting list law and admit someone who is being transferred directly from a nursing home that is closing.

The act also allows homes to bypass the waiting list and admit applicants (1) wishing to transfer from a home in which they were placed after the nursing home where they previously resided closes or (2) residing in a nursing home where they were placed after a home in which they previously resided is placed in receivership after the anticipated closure of the home.

Nursing homes receiving these transferring applicants may do this only when (1) the transfer from the second to the third home occurs within 60 days from the date the applicant was transferred from the home that closed and (2) the applicant submitted an application to the receiving nursing home at the time of the first transfer.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

2 — POLICE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING COUNCIL (POST)

PA 11-51 eliminated POST's authority to employ personnel but allowed it to make staffing recommendations to the emergency services and public protection commissioner. This act allows POST to make recommendations concerning a training academy administrator and requires the commissioner to appoint the recommended person.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

3 — COMMISSION ON FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL

By law, the governor appoints the chairperson and executive director, if any, to every Executive Branch board or commission, with certain exceptions. This act restores an exception, eliminated by PA 11-61, for the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control and thus takes away the governor's authority to appoint that commission's chairperson.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

4 — DEADLINE FOR APPLYING FOR PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR FARM MACHINERY, HORSES, AND BUILDINGS

The act changes the date by which farmers must annually apply to town assessors for property tax exemptions for farm machinery, horses, and buildings, from 30 days after the assessment date to November 1. In doing so, it aligns this deadline with the existing deadline for submitting personal property tax declarations to town assessors.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

5 — MEDICAID RATES FOR OUTPATIENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Consistent with PA 11-44, the act requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner to establish a service-specific Medicaid fee schedule for hospital outpatient mental health therapy services, except for partial hospitalization and other services, regardless of a separate state law that establishes Medicaid payments for outpatient clinics and emergency room visits. Under prior law, the Medicaid rate for these mental health services was that established for clinics and emergency room visits.

PA 11-44 authorizes the DSS commissioner to establish a uniform fee schedule for all Medicaid-covered outpatient hospital services. Under DSS' prior rate setting methodology, different hospitals were paid different rates for providing the same services.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

6 — DIVISION OF SPECIAL REVENUE PAMPHLET

Prior law required the DSR executive director to annually publish, on or before December 31st, a pamphlet containing all current DSR regulations and give copies to (1) every establishment authorized to engage in DSR-regulated activities and (2) any other person who wants one. The act eliminates the requirement that the director provide pamphlets to each establishment but continues to require that they be provided on request.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

7-11 & 18 — DSR ORGANIZATIONAL UNITS

PA 11-51 eliminated DSR and transferred its responsibilities to the Department of Consumer Protection. The act repeals the statute requiring the DSR executive director to establish organizational units within the division and makes conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

12 & 18 — LOTTERY SETTLEMENT INITIATIVE PROGRAM

The act repeals an obsolete statute that required the DSR executive director to establish a settlement initiative program for lottery sales agents who owe the state money from lottery ticket sales and makes conforming changes. Under prior law, the program ran from October 1 to December 31, 2010.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

13 & 14 — WAGE WITHHOLDING FOR SUPPORT ORDERS

Electronic Service

The act allows income withholding orders for the support of children, spouses, and former spouses that are served on employers on the state's behalf to be served electronically if the employer agrees to accept that form of service.

Defining “Issue”

The act also adds a definition of “issue” that applies to income withholding orders to support children, spouses, and former spouses. It defines the term as (1) completing an income withholding order form and serving it on the employer or other payer or (2) in the case of an income withholding order served electronically, transmitting electronic data sufficient to implement its withholding to an employer that agreed to receive electronic transmittal of such documents.

The act substitutes “enter” for “issue” in some provisions where the use of the term “issue” is inconsistent with the act's definition.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

15 — PILOT PROGRAM FOR PEOPLE WITH CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS

The act establishes a pilot program to provide employment opportunities for people legally obliged to provide child support. The program must operate in the Superior Court for family matters in Hartford, New Haven, and a third judicial district chosen by the chief court administrator. The act requires the administrator to report to the Judiciary Committee on the program's status and participation by July 1, 2012.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

16 — WEST WILLINGTON VISITOR WELCOME CENTER

This act restores the requirement, eliminated by PA 11-61, that the Department of Economic and Community Development station a full-time, year-round supervisor and a part-time assistant supervisor at the West Willington visitor welcome center to, among other things, provide tourism information and services.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

17 — ELECTRIC GENERATION TAX EXEMPTION

The act exempts electricity generated by customer-side distributed resources from the temporary electricity tax imposed by PA 11-6. The exemption applies to any generating unit with a rating of 65 megawatts or less located on a customer's premises within the electric transmission and distribution system. It includes fuel cells, photovoltaic systems, and small wind turbines.

The tax is of a cent per net kilowatt hour of electricity generated and uploaded into the regional bulk power grid at Connecticut facilities. It expires on June 30, 2013. PA 11-6 and PA 11-61 already exempt electricity generated through a fuel cell or an alternative energy system, such as a solar or wind system, or by a resources recovery facility.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

BACKGROUND

Related Act

The wage withholding provisions of this act are identical to PA 11-219, 9-10.

OLR Tracking: JSL: RP: PF: ro