Staneski & Ferraro champion bill to assist intellectually disabled families

Today was a historic day in Hartford as State Reps. Pam Staneski (R-119) & Charles Ferraro (R-117) sheparded through the House a bill that they championed which addressed concerns voiced by families of our intellectually disabled — residential waiting lists, multi-year planning, and notification when state-assisted care is to cease.

Working with the families of CT DDS Families First, an amendment, co-introduced by Reps. Staneski, Ferraro and Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) improves the information provided to families by the state Department of Developmental Services and addresses the need for multi-year planning.   

The legislation, SB-294: An Act Concerning Services for Individuals with Intellectual Disability does the following:

  • Establishes certain procedures for Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to follow regarding waitlists it maintains for individuals with ID.

  • Requires DDS to develop a five- and 10-year plan for each DDS client and provide certain information to individuals with ID and their legal representatives upon request.

  • Requires regional counsels to implement planning and resource allocation teams.

  • Requires DDS and the Department of Social Services to provide at least 90 days' notice to clients with ID before they became ineligible or stopped receiving care.

Both Staneski and Ferraro joined the Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (I/DD) bipartisan legislative caucus the first week they were sworn in as legislators.

Staneski said, “I am honored to be part of the I/DD bipartisan caucus with the express duty to advocate for those the caucus supports. I was drawn to the message I heard from the first forum I attended with the families of our developmentally disabled, and the young people themselves.  They wanted a plan, they wanted to know they mattered, they wanted help. Our actions today said that we heard them.”

“Information is crucial to families and paramount to long-term planning. The importance of this communication provides IDD families with transparent and consistent information to help them with these services,” said Rep. Ferraro.“Legislative work can be tedious and sometimes frustrating but today wasn't one of those days.  It felt really good being part of a solution that has plagued families who have members with intellectual and developmental disabilities for a very long time".