Settlement Good News For Hundreds On Connecticut Waiting
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 20, 2004
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT--Community advocates in Connecticut received good news Monday in the form of a proposed court settlement with the Department of Mental Retardation that could mean community supports for hundreds of people currently on the state's waiting list.
According to the Associated Press, the settlement calls for more than 150 people in each of the next five years to receive funding for community-related services. The deal also would add extra money for about 100 people on the waiting list with urgent needs.
As of September, there were 1,064 on the waiting list for community supports. Some had been on the list for up to 15 years.
The agreement settling a class-action suit still must be approved by U.S. District Court.
If approved, the state Legislature would be compelled to approve funding for the settlement in the session that begins next month. State officials will also be seeking more federal Medicaid funds to cover some of the costs, estimated at $41 million over the next five years.
Earlier this year, lawmakers approved $4.6 million for the current fiscal year to provide community supports for 150 people with urgent needs, and to provide supports to families of another 100 people.
State Senator Cathy Cook, who has a son with mental retardation, told the AP that she was pleased with the agreement.
"I'm sorry that it had to come through a court case," Cook said. "What it will do is force the legislature to fund it. Now we'll have to put it in the budget."
"Settlement Could Trim DMR Waiting List" (Associated Press via Hartford Courant)