Well, Governor Jodi M. Rell has proposed a pretty bold budget in order to get the State's deficit under control. There are two components to the proposal that have a profound impact to the elderly here in Connecticut.
First is a big shake-up for our probate court system. The "consolidation" drum has been beating on-and-off for years, but it has never reached this level of discussion. The proposal calls for choppng down the number of courts from 117 to 36, with the reconfiguration based on state Senate districts. Service and business hours for all of the courts would be standardized and judges would have to be attorneys with at least 10 years of experience (currently you don't have to be a lawyer to be a probate judge in Connecticut...never understood that one).
I think some consolidation would be a good thing for the probate court system, but I'd love to find out how they decided to base it on state Senate districts which, if I'm not mistaken, would nonsensically send residents of the same town to different probate courts. I hope our legislators take a long, hard look at that before they finalize it.
Second, the budget would increase funding for Medicaid and other health programs, but calls for co-pays for many Medicaid recipients. Also, legal noncitizens who have been in the U.S. for less than five years would not be eligible for state-funded medical assistance.
So...those are the proposals. We'll just have to see how the legislative process goes and hope that our political leaders do the right thing!