For those who have something to say about how mental health parity laws are being followed, here’s your chance: The Connecticut Insurance Department is soliciting written comments on how it can ensure that insurance companies comply with state and federal laws requiring that they treat mental health the same way they treat medical issues. The move is required by the law passed earlier this year in response to the events of 12/14. The legislation drew most attention for its provisions relating to firearms, but it also included several provisions related to mental health. The department has launched a website to accept electronic comments. People can also send comments by mail, hand deliver them or send them by courier. Comments will be accepted until October 15.
(AP) A state agency has told a Bridgeport business owner who coordinated the relocation of equipment from the Sandy Hook school where 26 people were fatally shot that it misused its logo and asked him to stop. The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports that Al Barbarotta of Conveo Energy was approached by the Malloy administration in December to coordinate relocating school equipment from Sandy Hook Elementary School free of charge. A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection told The Associated Press on September 13 that a lawyer for the state told Mr Barbarotta the agency’s logo may not be used for sales or marketing.
Lawmakers studying dozens of changes proposed to Massachusetts’ gun laws in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., said they hoped to craft a single comprehensive bill that balanced the desire to reduce gun violence with the rights of legitimate gun owners. The Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security held the fifth and final in a series of statewide public hearings Friday, September 13, drawing hundreds of people to the Statehouse. Among those who testified before the committee on Friday were Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden of Sandy Hook.
In conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations Child Passenger Safety Week, September 15–21, the Newtown Police Department will be conducting Child Safety Seat Enforcement. During the enforcement period, Newtown officers will be maintaining a high profile while enforcing child safety seat protection laws during all traffic stops. Officers will focus on proper use of child safety seats for children.
Absentee ballots are now available for the Saturday, October 5, referendum, which will be held from 6 am to 8 pm at the Newtown Middle School Gymnasium. The purpose of the vote is to register public consensus on the town accepting state financial assistance to remediate and demolish the Sandy Hook School building, and to design and build a new school in Sandy Hook.
President Obama has ordered that all American flags be lowered to honor the victims of this morning’s shootings at the Washington Navy Yard. A shooting took place at Navy command complex in Washington, D.C., Monday morning has reportedly left 13 people dead including one gunman. The President has ordered American flags to be lowered until sunset Friday, September 20.
In early 2013, the family of Catherine Violet Hubbard met with The Animal Center of Newtown to discuss the legacy of their daughter, a first grader lost 12/14 at Sandy Hook School. The family had asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Animal Center to honor Catherine’s love of animals, and the first seeds were planted to create The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. Today, nearly $500,000 has been raised to initiate the project, architectural designs have begun, and The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation has been created to fund and sustain the sanctuary.
School District and local Prevention Council representatives have teamed up to warn parents about a high-powered type of Ecstasy that has contributed to the deaths of four individuals in New York, Boston, and in Washington, D.C., since the beginning of September. Martha Shilstone, Newtown student assistant counselor, and Judy Blanchard, co-chair of the Newtown Prevention Council and district health coordinator for Newtown Public Schools say that parents may not be aware their children are consuming the drug, because they are acquiring and using it when they are attending concerts formerly known as “raves.”
As Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members put some finishing touches on their ongoing decennial update of the 2004 Town Plan of Conservation and Development, they note in the draft text of the 2014 town plan that the December 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School has left the town a changed place whose future will be affected by the tragedy.
A draft text of the 2014 town plan will be reviewed by town agencies in the coming weeks before the P&Z takes final action of the long-range planning document late this year. The 2014 town plan addresses the period extending to 2024.