2009 LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

I.New House Committee Chairs

New assignments were announced.(for 2009-2010).
Some include:
 
 
  • Elder Affairs - Alice Wolf(Chair)
  • Mental Health/Sub Abuse - Elizabeth Malia(Chair)
  • Ways & Means - Charles Murphy(Chair); Barbara L'Italien(Vice Chair)
     
 
 

II. MOVING MASSHEALTH OUT OF ELDER AFFAIRS

 
The Governor has decided to delay or put off this move. There remains a desire by the administration to make this move but there is now a willingness to talk with stakeholders about this effort. 
We'll inform you of the next step(s).
Please read below.
 
The Patrick Administration(in Mass) has decided to move the long term care section of Masshealth out of Elder Affairs and back to Medicaid. It was  separated from Elder Affairs (a number of years ago) in order to have more services for elders in one place. Historically,  services for elders from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been located in various places. This has made it difficult for elders and providers to access services.
 
If this move is made it will bring different parts of Medicaid together but services for elders will again be scattered around state agencies.
 
The Governor or Legislative Leadership(ex.- House Speaker, Senate President, et.al.) have the authority to change this initiative.
 
III.
 GUARDIANSHIP
 
Governor Patrick  signed the Probate Court Reform Bill. It includes provisions to make significant changes in Massachusetts Guardianship Procedures. See below for more information(# VII).
It will be in effect as of July1, 2009. Implementation and rules will be written by a committee of he Probate Court.
 
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IV.

Guardianship

This bill(S. 2622)now a law in the Mass  will:

1. Create a new standard for "incapacitated person" based on functioning(lack of capacity). Diagnosis will not be the only criteria.  
2. The guardian's powers will be limited(ex.- the  guardian will go to the Probate court when a nursing home placement is in the works).  
3. The guardian must submit detailed annual reports.
4. There is a requirement for a more comprehensive and integrated medical certficate.
 

It has been passed by the entire legislature and signed by the Governor.  

We will update when we have more information about the regulatory and implementation process.

It should be in place  7/09.  

 
 

V.

 RESIGNATION OF ELDER AFFAIRS SECRETARY Mike Festa, the Secretary of Elder Affairs , has announced his resignation from that position.  Ellie Shea Delaney will fill that post until a decision has been made  about someone to fill it on a permanent basis.    

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