Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 208

Public Act No. 16-167

AN ACT CONCERNING TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING CHANGES AND UPDATES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS STATUTES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 27-102l of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There shall be a Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs. The [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility, as defined in subsection (b) of section 27-103, as amended by this act, shall be within the department and [shall be] located in Rocky Hill. The department head shall be the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, who shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-5 to 4-8, inclusive, as amended by this act, with the powers and duties prescribed therein.

(b) The commissioner may appoint a [unit head] manager to administer [a veterans' advocacy and assistance unit] an Office of Advocacy and Assistance for the aid and benefit of veterans [,] and their spouses, [and] eligible dependents and family members. [Such unit] The office shall conduct an annual training course for any city or town employee designated a veterans' service contact person pursuant to subsection (b) of section 27-135. The [unit] office shall have a staff of not less than eight men and women, including six veterans' service officers, and clerical personnel. The [unit head and the] manager and veterans' service officers shall be veterans, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, as amended by this act, or veterans who were awarded the armed forces expeditionary medal for service by the armed forces. At least one of the veterans' service officers shall be a woman having a demonstrated interest in the concerns of women veterans, who shall be responsible for addressing those concerns, and, effective upon the next opening of a veterans' service officer position occurring on or after July 1, 2010, at least two of the veterans' service officers shall be individuals having bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish, within existing authorized positions. Each veterans' service officer shall successfully complete a course in veterans' benefits within one year of commencement of employment and shall be assigned to one of the five congressional districts of the state.

(c) In addition to the powers and duties prescribed under section 4-8, the commissioner shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To prepare studies and collect information concerning facilities and services available to members of the armed forces, veterans [,] or their spouses, [or] eligible dependents or family members, including facilities and services for veterans who may have been exposed to a Vietnam herbicide during their periods of military service;

(2) To conduct interviews in the nursing homes or hospitals throughout the state to determine the number of veterans admitted and ascertaining which benefits such veterans are currently receiving and are entitled to receive;

(3) To cooperate with service agencies and organizations throughout the state in disseminating and furnishing counsel and assistance of benefit to residents of this state who are or have been members of the armed forces, their spouses or eligible dependents, which will indicate the availability of: (A) Educational training and retraining facilities; (B) health, medical, rehabilitation and housing services and facilities; (C) employment and reemployment services; (D) provisions of federal, state and local laws affording financial rights, privileges and benefits; and (E) other matters of similar nature;

(4) To assist veterans [,] and their spouses, [and] eligible dependents and family members in the preparation, presentation, proof and establishment of such claims, privileges, rights and other benefits accruing to them under federal, state and local laws;

(5) To cooperate with all national, state and local governmental and private agencies securing or offering services or any benefits to veterans, their spouses or dependents;

(6) To develop and prepare a long-range plan and mission statement for the [Veterans' Home and the veterans' advocacy and assistance unit] Veterans Residential Services facility and Office of Advocacy and Assistance;

(7) To review all appeals made by veterans [,] or their spouses, [or] eligible dependents or family members and render the final decision thereon regarding the denial of admission to any program or the refusal to render any service or benefit which is administered by the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, the discharge or transfer from any such program or any disciplinary action taken while participating in any such program; and

(8) If the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility closes or ceases to provide housing to veterans, to provide or arrange for housing to any veteran residing at [the home or the health care facility within the home] said facility or receiving care or treatment at the Healthcare Center, as defined in subsection (b) of section 27-103, as amended by this act, on the date of such closure or on the date [the Veterans' Home] said facility ceases to provide housing to veterans.

(d) The commissioner shall adopt, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, and enforce [,] such regulations and procedures for the operation, administration and management of the department and all programs and services under the jurisdiction of the department, including, but not limited to, procedures relating to admission and discharge or transfer of veterans in the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility, a per diem fee schedule for programs, services and benefits provided by [the Veterans' Home] said facility, and the participation of eligible family members in programs or services provided by [the home] said facility. The commissioner shall amend such regulations as necessary, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to allow residents of [the Veterans' Home] said facility and relatives or authorized representatives of such residents to file a written complaint regarding policies, procedures and administrative decisions of said [home] facility. Such amended regulations shall include a procedure for filing such complaints, including deadlines by which complaints must be received, investigated and acted upon. The commissioner shall submit proposed regulations for public comment pursuant to section 4-168 not later than ninety days after July 1, 2015.

Sec. 2. Section 27-102n of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There shall be a Board of Trustees for the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs. On and after July 1, 2015, the board shall be comprised of eighteen voting members who by education or experience shall be qualified in health care, business management, social services or law and who shall have a demonstrated interest in the concerns of veterans. A majority of the members of the board shall be veterans, including veterans of armed conflicts authorized by the President of the United States. The members shall include (1) [two residents of the Veterans' Home, one of whom shall be] the president of the [home's veterans'] Veterans Residential Services facility's veterans council, [and one of whom shall be] (2) the president of the [home's health care facility] Healthcare Center's council, and [(2)] (3) sixteen members appointed in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Sixteen members shall be appointed as follows: (1) Ten by the Governor, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor, and (2) one each by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the House of Representatives, whose terms shall be coterminous with the term of the appointing authority. Any vacancy on the board shall be filled by the appointing authority in the same manner as the original appointment, for the unexpired portion of the term. Members shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties. They shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for their reasonable expenses in the performance of their duties.

(c) The Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, or the commissioner's designee, shall serve as a nonvoting, ex-officio member of the board and shall attend the meetings of the board.

(d) The Governor shall appoint a chairperson from among the membership of the board. The board shall meet at least quarterly and upon the call of the commissioner, the chairperson or a majority of the board members. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. On and after January 1, 2016, any board member, except the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, absent from (1) three consecutive meetings of the board, or (2) fifty per cent of such meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from the board, effective immediately.

(e) The board shall advise and assist the commissioner in the operation of the [Veterans' Home, the veterans' advocacy and assistance unit] Veterans Residential Services facility, the Office of Advocacy and Assistance, the administration, expansion or modification of existing programs and services of the department and the development of new programs and services.

(f) The board shall (1) review and approve any regulations prior to adoption by the commissioner concerning: (A) Procedures relating to admission and discharge or transfer of veterans in the [home] Veterans Residential Services facility; (B) a per diem fee schedule for programs, services and benefits provided therein; and (C) the participation of eligible family members in programs or services provided by [the home] said facility, and (2) review and comment on (A) the budget for the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs; and (B) major policies relating to the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility.

(g) The Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall provide the board with information necessary for the board to monitor the performance of the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs. Such information shall be provided to the board in a timely manner and shall include, but not be limited to, (1) the department's budget for each fiscal year; (2) quarterly reports on the department's actual revenue and expenditures for the preceding four months; (3) quarterly reports on the staffing levels at the [Veterans' Home, including] Veterans Residential Services facility, direct care staffing at the [health care facility within the Veterans' Home] Healthcare Center and case manager to resident ratios [,] for the preceding four months; (4) [facilities and fleet] resources management, including current projects and planned projects; (5) quarterly summaries of applications for admission to, departures from and occupancy rates at [the home] said facility and admissions to and discharges from the Healthcare Center for the preceding four months; (6) program performance, including programs for employment assistance and assistance to veteran residents interested in securing housing outside of [the Veterans' Home] said facility; (7) results of annual resident satisfaction surveys conducted by the department; (8) quarterly reports summarizing incident rates at the [health care facility within the Veterans' Home] Healthcare Center for the preceding four months; (9) reports on the number of rules violations against residents of [the Veterans' Home] said facility and patients of the Healthcare Center and penalties issued therefor; (10) performance reports on programs operated by the Office of Advocacy and Assistance within the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs; (11) annual customer satisfaction reports from veterans who request assistance from [such] said office; (12) caseload figures for veterans' service officers; (13) results of any federal and state inspections; [and] (14) quarterly reports summarizing by type, frequency and resolution, concerns raised by residents of the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility and patients of the Healthcare Center, petitions and complaints filed by any such residents [of the Veterans' Home and] or patients and any relatives or authorized representatives of such residents or patients received by the commissioner under subsection (d) of section 27-102l-54 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies for the four preceding months and copies of any such petitions and complaints; and (15) the bylaws, minutes of meetings and list of officers of the Veterans Residential Services facility's veterans council for the previous quarter.

(h) All board meeting notices, minutes and reports bearing a date of January 1, 2012, or later shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the department's Internet web site. Minutes from board meetings held on or after July 1, 2015, shall be posted to such Internet web site not later than seven days after each such meeting is held. If applicable, minutes shall contain a statement that such minutes are considered draft minutes until approved by the board.

(i) Not later than February fifteenth of each year, the board shall submit an annual report to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to veterans' and military affairs, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on its activities during the previous calendar year, progress in fulfilling its mission based on programmatic outcomes and recommendations, if any, for improving the delivery of services to veterans and the addition of new programs.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 27-103 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) As used in this part, ["home" means the Veterans' Home maintained by the state] "Veterans Residential Services facility" means the Veterans Residential Services facility in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs that provides temporary and other supported residential services for qualifying veterans; "hospital" means any incorporated hospital or tuberculosis sanatorium in the state and any state chronic disease hospital, or hospital for persons with mental illness; [,] "Healthcare Center" means the hospital in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs; "veteran" means any veteran, [who served in time of war,] as defined in subsection (a) of this section, [and] who is a resident of this state, provided, if he or she was not a resident or resident alien of this state at the time of enlistment or induction into the armed forces, he or she shall have resided continuously in this state for at least two years; "eligible dependent" means any parent, wife or husband, or child of a veteran who has no adequate means of support; and "eligible family member" means any parent, brother or sister, wife or husband, or child or children under eighteen years of age, of any veteran whose cooperation in the program is integral to the treatment of the veteran.

Sec. 4. Section 27-106 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The commissioner shall adopt and enforce such rules as may be necessary to ensure order, enforce discipline and preserve the health and ensure the comfort of the residents in the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility and patients in the Healthcare Center, and shall discipline or dismiss any officer or resident of [the home who disobeys or infringes upon] said facility or patient in the Healthcare Center who violates such rules. The commissioner shall (1) appoint, subject to the provisions of chapter 67, such officers and employees as are necessary for the administration of the affairs of [the home, shall] said facility and the Healthcare Center, (2) prescribe the relative rank, if any, of such officers and employees, and [shall] (3) commission each such officer, who shall wear such uniform, if any, as is prescribed by the commissioner.

(b) The chief fiscal officer shall submit a semiannual plain language report to each resident of the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility and patient of the Healthcare Center detailing the manner in which the institutional general welfare fund was used over the previous six months to directly benefit veterans, [or the Veterans' Home] said facility or the Healthcare Center. Such report shall include a prominently displayed statement encouraging residents to submit suggestions for projects to be funded by the institutional general welfare fund and [shall include] a form for such submissions.

(c) The chief fiscal officer shall submit an itemized list of expenditures made from the institutional general welfare fund to the commissioner at intervals not greater than two months. Such list shall include all such expenditures made during the two-month period preceding its submission. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4-56, the commissioner shall prescribe procedures to limit and specify the uses for which expenditures may be made from the institutional general welfare fund so that only expenditures [which] that, in the opinion of the commissioner and the board of trustees for the department appointed pursuant to section 27-102n, as amended by this act, directly benefit veterans, [or the Veterans' Home] the Veterans Residential Services facility or the Healthcare Center are permitted.

(d) In addition to the estimate of expenditure requirements required under section 4-77, the commissioner shall submit an accounting of all planned expenditures for the next fiscal year from the institutional general welfare fund to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies at the time such estimate is submitted.

(e) The Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall annually hold suitable exercises in the [Veterans' Home annually] Veterans Residential Services facility on November eleventh recognizing resident veterans for their military service.

Sec. 5. Section 27-106a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any special act, the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, on behalf of any facility operated by the commissioner and established by the state for the care of veterans, may apply to the Department of Public Health for: (1) A license for a chronic and convalescent nursing home, as defined in section 19a-521; (2) a license for a rest home with nursing supervision, as defined in section 19a-521; or (3) a license for an assisted living services agency, as defined in section 19a-490.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any special act, in the event the commissioner applies for a license under subsection (a) of this section, the [Veterans' Home] Department of Veterans Affairs may retain [such home's] the chronic disease hospital license for the Healthcare Center.

(c) The Department of Public Health shall process an application for any license submitted under subsection (a) of this section in an expedited manner.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 319y and the regulations of Connecticut state agencies, any [Veterans' Home] Department of Veterans Affairs project undertaken pursuant to a license application as provided in subsection (a) of this section shall not be subject to certificate of need application and approval requirements applicable to nursing home services, including beds, additions and capital expenditures.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any special act, [the Veterans' Home] any Department of Veterans Affairs project undertaken pursuant to a license application as provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be exempt from the requirements for approval of a request or application provided for in section 19a-638.

Sec. 6. Section 27-107 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall assign one or more state policemen for duty [at the Veterans' Home] upon the grounds of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Rocky Hill as may be requested by the [commissioner] Commissioner of Veterans Affairs.

(b) The Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, subject to the approval of the Office of the State Traffic Administration, may: (1) Prohibit, limit, restrict or regulate the parking of vehicles; (2) determine speed limits; (3) install stop signs; (4) restrict roads or portions thereof to one-way traffic; (5) designate the location of crosswalks on any portion of any road or highway upon the grounds of the [Veterans' Home] Department of Veterans Affairs; and (6) erect and maintain signs designating such prohibitions or restrictions. Security officers or institutional patrolmen appointed to act as state policemen under the provisions of section 29-18 may arrest or issue a summons for violation of such restrictions or prohibitions. Any person who fails to comply with any such prohibition or restriction shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars, and the court or traffic or parking authority having jurisdiction of traffic or parking violations in the town of Rocky Hill shall have jurisdiction over violations of this section.

Sec. 7. Section 27-108 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) Any veteran, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, who meets active military, naval or air service requirements, as described in 38 USC 101, may apply for admission to the [home] Veterans Residential Services facility or Healthcare Center; and any such veteran who has no adequate means of support, and who, from disease, wounds or accident, needs medical or surgical care and treatment or who has become mentally ill, may be admitted to any hospital and receive necessary food, clothing, care and treatment therein, at the expense of the state, unless other funds or means of payment are available. Whenever a person is admitted to a hospital, such person shall be asked if he or she is a veteran. Before a hospital submits a bill for services pursuant to this section, such hospital shall take sufficient steps to determine that no other funds or means of payment are available to cover the cost of services rendered to the veteran. The Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall make available to hospitals a list of payment options and benefits available to cover hospital costs of veterans.

(b) Any member or former member of the armed forces, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, who is a resident of this state and is entitled to retirement pay under 10 USC Chapter 1223, may apply for admission to the home.

(c) Any such veteran desiring care or treatment under the provisions of this chapter shall make application under oath to the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs; but, if, by reason of his or her physical condition, he or she is unable to make such application, some other veteran may make such application in his or her behalf. Said commissioner, or his or her designee, shall have sole power to determine whether such veteran is entitled to admission to the [home] Veterans Residential Services facility or to a hospital, including the Healthcare Center, and such veteran, if admitted, may, upon application to the commissioner, receive transportation at the expense of the state from his or her place of residence to [the home] said facility or such hospital. No veteran so admitted shall be discharged from [the home] said facility except upon the approval of the commissioner or his or her designee. The commissioner shall have sole power to remove from any hospital to another hospital any veteran whose care and treatment is paid for by the state [from any hospital to another] and shall appoint such agents as are necessary to see that veterans admitted to hospitals are receiving necessary food, clothing, care and treatment.

(d) Such veterans who are able to pay in whole or in part for such program or services, as determined by the applicable fee schedule adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of section 27-102l, as amended by this act, shall receive a monthly bill for such services rendered.

(e) In the event that a bill of a veteran remains unpaid and past due, the chief fiscal officer, with the approval of the commissioner, shall require the veteran to assign his or her right to receive payment of income, from whatever source, to the commissioner until (1) such account is made current, and (2) the veteran demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner a reasonable likelihood of more prudent financial management for the future. Any veteran shall be provided an opportunity for a hearing when an order of assignment is issued.

(f) Payment of amounts determined by the commissioner as provided by subsection (c) of this section shall be deposited in the institutional general welfare fund of the [Veterans' Home] Department of Veterans Affairs established in accordance with sections 4-56 to 4-58, inclusive, and shall be available for expenditure from said fund for the operation of the [Veterans' Home] department in accordance with procedures prescribed by the commissioner and the Comptroller.

(g) In the event that a veteran dies, still owing money for services rendered, the commissioner, with the aid of the Attorney General's office, may submit a claim against such veteran's estate and any amounts collected shall be deposited in the institutional general welfare fund in accordance with section 4-56.

Sec. 8. Section 27-128 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Governor may transfer, from time to time, as may be found expedient, [funds] moneys existing in the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Fund and [funds of the Veterans' Home] moneys appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs from one of said funds to the other of said funds.

Sec. 9. Section 3-2b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall cause to be erected at the grave of any person who has served as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller, Attorney General or member of the General Assembly of this state and who died or dies subsequent to January 1, 1971, a footstone, marked with the seal of the state, the name of the deceased, the date of his death and the office or offices in which he served and the dates such service was rendered. The commissioner shall also provide for such grave a flag holder and a Connecticut state flag. At the request of the next of kin of any such Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller or Attorney General, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall provide an honor guard of six state policemen to attend the funeral and burial of such officer. At the request of the next of kin of any such member of the General Assembly, the executive director of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management shall direct the chief of police of the Office of State Capitol Police to provide an honor guard of State Capitol police officers to attend the funeral and burial of such member.

Sec. 10. Section 3-38 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) Prior to July 1, 2005, the Treasurer is directed to hold the fund known as the posthumous fund of Fitch's Home for the Soldiers in trust, to credit the income from said fund to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs to be used for the welfare and entertainment of the patients of the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility or any other home established by the state for the care of veterans and to pay from the principal thereof any claim which may be lawfully established against the same.

(b) Effective July 1, 2005, the Treasurer shall consolidate the posthumous fund of Fitch's Home for the Soldiers and the Fitch Fund. The name of the consolidated fund shall be the Fitch Fund. On and after July 1, 2005, the Treasurer shall hold the Fitch Fund in trust, to credit the income from said fund to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs to be used for the welfare and entertainment of the residents of the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility or any other home established by the state for the care of veterans and to pay from the principal thereof any claim that may be lawfully established against said fund.

Sec. 11. Subsection (k) of section 3-65a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(k) In the event military medals are presumed abandoned pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of section 3-57a, a banking or financial organization shall transmit such medals to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs in accordance with procedures established by the Treasurer. The Treasurer and Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall enter into a memorandum of understanding concerning the handling of such medals and the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall hold such medals in custody pursuant to such memorandum. The Treasurer may make any information obtained pursuant to this section, including any photograph or other visual depiction of a military medal but excluding Social Security numbers, available to the public to facilitate the identification of the original owner of such medal or such owner's heirs or beneficiaries.

Sec. 12. Section 4-5 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

As used in sections 4-6, 4-7 and 4-8, the term "department head" means Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, Commissioner of Administrative Services, Commissioner on Aging, Commissioner of Revenue Services, Banking Commissioner, Commissioner of Children and Families, Commissioner of Consumer Protection, Commissioner of Correction, Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, State Board of Education, Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Public Health, Insurance Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Commissioner of Social Services, Commissioner of Developmental Services, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, Commissioner of Transportation, Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, Commissioner of Housing, Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, the Commissioner of Early Childhood and the executive director of the Office of Military Affairs. As used in sections 4-6 and 4-7, "department head" also means the Commissioner of Education.

Sec. 13. Section 4-38c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

There shall be within the executive branch of state government the following departments: Office of Policy and Management, Department of Administrative Services, Department on Aging, Department of Revenue Services, Department of Banking, Department of Agriculture, Department of Children and Families, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Correction, Department of Economic and Community Development, State Board of Education, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Board of Regents for Higher Education, Insurance Department, Labor Department, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Developmental Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs.

Sec. 14. Subsection (d) of section 4-61bb of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(d) On or before January 1, 2016, each licensing authority shall, within existing budgetary resources, publish on its Internet web site a link to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs informational Internet web site established pursuant to section 27-100f and the Internet web site maintained by the executive branch listing resources and opportunities available to veterans.

Sec. 15. Subsection (a) of section 4a-12 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The Commissioner of Administrative Services shall be responsible for the following: (1) Investigation, determination, billing and collection of all charges for support of persons aided, cared for or treated in a state humane institution, as defined in section 17b-222, and enforcement of support obligations of the liable relatives of such persons; (2) investigation, determination, billing and collection of all charges for services covered under the Medicaid or Medicare programs provided to persons aided, cared for or treated by the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs; (3) billing and collection of any money due to the state in public assistance cases, and enforcement of support obligations of liable relatives in such cases; (4) collection of benefits and maintenance of trustee accounts therefor; and (5) such collection services for other state agencies and departments as shall be agreed to between said commissioner and the heads of such other agencies and departments.

Sec. 16. Subsection (c) of section 4b-21 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) Not later than thirty days after receipt of such notification from the secretary, the following agencies shall determine and notify the secretary in writing if the land, improvement or interest serves the following needs: (1) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, whether it can be used or adapted for economic development or exchanged for property that can be used for economic development; (2) the Commissioner of Transportation, whether it can be used for transportation purposes; (3) the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, whether it can be used for open space purposes or to otherwise support the department's mission; (4) the Commissioner of Agriculture, whether it can be used for farming or agricultural purposes; (5) the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, whether it can be used for veterans' housing; (6) the Commissioner of Children and Families, whether it can be used to support the department's mission; (7) the Commissioner of Developmental Services, whether it can be used to support the department's mission; (8) the Commissioner of Administrative Services, whether it can be used to house state agencies or can be leased; and (9) the Commissioner of Housing, whether it can be used as an emergency shelter or transitional living facility for homeless persons, or used for the construction, rehabilitation or renovation of housing for persons and families of low and moderate income. Not later than thirty days after receipt of such notification from the secretary, any state agency, department or institution that is interested in utilizing the land, improvement or interest shall submit a plan to the secretary that sets forth the proposed use for the land, improvement or interest and a budget and timetable for such use. If one or more agencies, departments or institutions submit a plan for such land, improvement or interest to the secretary within such thirty-day period, the secretary shall analyze such agency, department or institution plan or plans and determine whether custody and control of the land, improvement or interest shall be transferred to one of such agencies, departments or institutions, in which case the agency, department or institution having custody of the land, improvement or interest shall make such transfer.

Sec. 17. Subdivision (1) of subsection (e) of section 12-217pp of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(e) (1) To be eligible to claim the credit, a taxpayer shall apply to the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of this section. The application shall be on a form provided by the commissioner and shall contain sufficient information as required by the commissioner, including, but not limited to, the activities that the taxpayer primarily engages in, the North American Industrial Classification System code of the taxpayer, the current number of employees employed by the taxpayer as of the application date, and if applicable, the name and position or job title of the new, qualifying or veteran employee. The commissioner shall consult with the Labor Commissioner, the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services or the Commissioner of Developmental Services, as applicable, for any verification the commissioner deems necessary of unemployment compensation or vocational rehabilitation services received by a qualifying employee, or of service in the armed forces of the United States by a veteran employee. The commissioner may impose a fee for such application as the commissioner deems appropriate.

Sec. 18. Section 13b-50b of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Connecticut Airport Authority, in consultation with the Labor Department and the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, shall, in administering the program established pursuant to subdivision (4) of section 13b-50a, set aside not less than thirty per cent of the projects or contracts for such program for veterans with service in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, except that for the purposes of this section, "service in time of war" shall not include time spent in training. To be eligible for such set aside, the contracting entity shall be a veteran certified in weatherization and insulation techniques through a training program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or a company that employs such certified veterans.

Sec. 19. Subsection (e) of section 14-36h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(e) Any person who is a veteran may submit a request to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs to have his or her status as a veteran contained on his or her motor vehicle operator's license or identity card. Said department shall, not later than thirty days after receipt of such request, verify whether such person is a veteran and, if so, notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of such request and verification. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall indicate such person's status as a veteran on any motor vehicle operator's license or identity card issued to such person upon original issuance or renewal of a motor vehicle operator's license or identity card or upon issuance of a duplicate motor vehicle operator's license or identity card.

Sec. 20. Subsection (i) of section 17a-451 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(i) The commissioner shall be responsible for the coordination of all activities in the state relating to substance use disorders and treatment, including activities of the Departments of Children and Families, Correction, Public Health, Social Services and [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, the Judicial Branch and any other department or entity providing services to persons with substance use disorders.

Sec. 21. Section 17a-453d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Families and the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, shall provide behavioral health services, on a transitional basis, for the dependents and any member of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States who has been called to active service in the armed forces of the state or the United States for Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. Such transitional services shall be provided when no Department of Defense coverage for such services is available or such member is not eligible for such services through the Department of Defense, until an approved application is received from the [federal Department of Veterans'] United States Department of Veterans Affairs and coverage is available to such member and such member's dependents.

Sec. 22. Subsection (a) of section 17a-485c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in collaboration with the Commissioners of Social Services, Correction, Children and Families, Housing, Developmental Services and [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch, shall establish permanent supportive housing initiatives to provide additional units of affordable housing and support services to eligible persons. Individuals and families with special needs and individuals and families that are homeless or at risk for homelessness shall be eligible for such permanent supportive housing initiatives.

Sec. 23. Subsection (b) of section 17b-59a of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) The Commissioner of Social Services shall (1) develop, throughout the Departments of Developmental Services, Public Health, Correction, Children and Families, [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs and Mental Health and Addiction Services, uniform management information, uniform statistical information, uniform terminology for similar facilities, uniform electronic health information technology standards and uniform regulations for the licensing of human services facilities, (2) plan for increased participation of the private sector in the delivery of human services, (3) provide direction and coordination to federally funded programs in the human services agencies and recommend uniform system improvements and reallocation of physical resources and designation of a single responsibility across human services agencies lines to eliminate duplication.

Sec. 24. Section 18-87j of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

There is established a Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission which shall be within the Office of Policy and Management for administrative purposes only. The commission shall consist of the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division within the Office of Policy and Management, the Chief Court Administrator, the Commissioner of Correction, the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Chief State's Attorney, the Chief Public Defender, the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, or their designees, the executive director of the Court Support Services Division or other designee of the Chief Court Administrator and the following members, each of whom shall be appointed by the Governor: Three government officials, a police chief, three persons representing offender and victim services within the private community and two public members. In addition, the Labor Commissioner and the Commissioner of Social Services, or their designees, shall be members of the commission with authority to deliberate and vote on matters concerning employment and entitlement programs available to adult and juvenile offenders who are reentering the community, the Commissioner of Children and Families and the Commissioner of Education, or their designees, shall be members of the commission with authority to participate and vote on matters concerning juvenile justice and the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, or his or her designee, shall be a member of the commission with authority to deliberate and vote on matters concerning veterans within the criminal justice system including the reentry needs of incarcerated veterans. The undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division shall serve as chairperson of the commission. The commission shall meet at such times as it deems necessary.

Sec. 25. Subsection (c) of section 19a-490b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) Each institution licensed pursuant to this chapter shall maintain information regarding each patient's status as a veteran, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103. Said information shall be made available, upon request, to any duly authorized representative of the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs.

Sec. 26. Subsection (a) of section 22-26l of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The Department of Agriculture shall establish and administer a Connecticut Farm Link program to establish a database of farmers and agricultural land owners who intend to sell their farm operations or agricultural land. The database shall be maintained by the Department of Agriculture and shall be made available to the public on the department's web site. Persons interested in starting an agricultural business or persons interested in expanding a current agricultural business may notify the department and have their names, contact information and intentions regarding such businesses placed on the web site. The department shall make reasonable efforts to facilitate contact between parties with similar interests, including, but not limited to, growing and processing crops as feedstock for biodiesel heating and transportation fuels. The Department of Agriculture may collaborate with the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service and the Labor Department to encourage and assist veterans in starting or expanding an agricultural business and to provide education and training opportunities to veterans concerning farming or agricultural operations.

Sec. 27. Subsection (c) of section 27-61a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) The Adjutant General, in consultation with the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall include procedures for verification of eligibility of an eligible member or veteran and for the application for and payment of the amounts specified in this section.

Sec. 28. Section 27-73e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs in conjunction with the Adjutant General shall award a ribbon and medal to each veteran who served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, and who either (1) was a resident of this state at the time he or she was called to active duty for such service, or (2) is domiciled in this state on the date of such award. The commissioner in conjunction with the Adjutant General shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, setting forth the process for designing the ribbon and medal, identifying veterans who are eligible for the ribbon and medal under this section and establishing procedures for distributing the ribbon and medal to each eligible veteran. The cost of the ribbons and medals shall be paid from the funds appropriated to the military assistance account within the Military Department. Within existing budgetary resources, awards under this section may be made posthumously for veterans who died on or after January 1, 2000.

Sec. 29. Section 27-83 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

Separation allowances for such dependents shall be paid on a basis of not more than twenty dollars per month to the spouse of such soldier, sailor or marine and not more than six dollars per month for each minor child, under sixteen years, of such soldier, sailor or marine, provided, if such soldier, sailor or marine has neither a spouse nor a child, but has actually and solely dependent upon him or her for support a father or brother who is unable to support himself by his own labors, or a mother or sister so solely and actually dependent, or, if such soldier, sailor or marine has such father, brother, mother or sister actually and solely dependent upon him in addition to a spouse or child or children or both, it shall be within the discretion of the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs to pay a separation allowance or separation allowances to such additional dependents, or to such spouse or children, or to both, provided no separation allowance paid to all dependents of one soldier, sailor or marine under the terms of this chapter shall amount in the aggregate to more than fifty dollars per month, and provided no person shall receive a separation allowance as a dependent of more than one soldier, sailor or marine.

Sec. 30. Section 27-84 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

Whenever a person enlists in the armed forces of the state, either in the National Guard or other troops, he or she shall certify to the enlistment officer the name, sex and age of each person who, in the event of his or her being called upon to do active military or naval service, will be dependent upon him or her within the meaning of this chapter. Such information shall be filed with the commander of the unit to which such soldier, sailor or marine is assigned and with the Adjutant General of the state, to be made a part of the state military records. When any member of the National Guard or other troop of the state becomes responsible for the care of more dependents than have been previously certified to by him or her, such member shall give notice to the commander of the unit of the state forces to which he or she is attached, and such commander shall inform the Adjutant General and also certify to the same in his own company records. All records of persons entitled to receive separation allowances under this chapter shall be based upon such information filed by Connecticut soldiers, sailors or marines with their organization commanders and with the Adjutant General as herein described unless the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs finds such information to be incorrect, and separation allowances shall be paid to other persons only if in the opinion of said commissioner injustice will be done the bona fide dependents of Connecticut soldiers, sailors or marines if they are not so paid.

Sec. 31. Section 27-100c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) As used in this section, (1) "department" means the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, (2) "service member" means a member of the armed forces, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, including the Connecticut National Guard, (3) "veteran" has the same meaning as provided in subsection (a) of section 27-103, and (4) "committee" means the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to veterans' and military affairs.

(b) The Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall develop and maintain a service members' and veterans' contact list, consisting of only the names and mailing addresses of service members and veterans who reside in this state, using information in the department's records and information submitted to the department by (1) the Military Department, as provided in subsection (c) of this section, (2) the assessor of each town, as provided in subsection (d) of this section, and (3) service members or veterans, as provided in subsection (e) of this section.

(c) On or before September 1, 2005, the Military Department shall submit to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs a list of the name and mailing address, but no other information, of each service member who is a resident of this state that is in the records of the Military Department.

(d) On or before the sixtieth day following the date on which an exemption pursuant to subdivision (19) of section 12-81 takes effect, as provided in section 12-95, the assessor of each town that granted any such exemption shall submit to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs a list of the name and mailing address, but no other information, of each individual who has such exemption.

(e) A service member or veteran who is a resident of this state may add his or her name and mailing address to the contact list by submitting such information to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs in person or by mail. A service member shall include a copy of his or her military identification card and a veteran shall include a copy of his or her military discharge document, as defined in section 1-219.

(f) Any individual who is included in the contact list may cause his or her name to be removed from the contact list by notifying the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs in writing.

(g) (1) The Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the Military Department may use the contact list solely for the purposes of notifying service members or veterans of benefits, proposed or enacted legislation that affects service members or veterans or their families, or other information that the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the Military Department believes will be helpful to service members or veterans or their families. The Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall provide a copy of the contact list to the Military Department, upon receipt of a written request signed by the Adjutant General.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1-210, the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs and the Military Department shall not disclose any information in the contact list to any person other than as provided in this subsection. No person shall use the contact list for any purpose other than as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

Sec. 32. Section 27-100d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall provide a toll-free telephone number for use as a clearinghouse by active members of the armed forces in this state, including the National Guard, and their families to obtain, in response to their requests about benefits or services that may be available to such members or their families, referrals to entities that provide such benefits or services. The toll-free telephone number shall be staffed by employees of or trained volunteers working at the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs on weekdays during regular business hours, and on weekends and holidays from nine o'clock a. m. to five o'clock p. m.

Sec. 33. Section 27-100f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) On or before July 1, 2012, the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall publish on the department's Internet web site an informational page listing any benefits, services or programs offered to veterans or their families by any state or federal agency, department or institution. The department shall maintain the informational page after said date and shall update the informational page annually. The department shall publish on the informational page any information concerning the eligibility requirements and application process for such benefits, services or programs, the name and contact information of any entity offering such benefits, services or programs, and a link to the Internet web site for such entity.

(b) On and after July 1, 2013, the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, or the commissioner's designee, shall, within available appropriations, publish a list of qualified veterans' charitable organizations. The commissioner shall place any qualified veterans' charitable organization on such list for a period of three years. Organizations may apply and reapply to the commissioner for inclusion on the list by submitting information regarding such organization's status to the commissioner, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, and any additional information the commissioner deems necessary to determine whether such organization constitutes a qualified veterans' charitable organization. A qualified veterans' charitable organization is one which: (1) Holds itself out to be established for any benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, scientific, patriotic, social welfare or advocacy purpose relating to or on behalf of veterans; and (2) has been (A) a nonstock corporation, organized under chapter 602, or any predecessor thereto, for three or more years, or (B) a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time, for three or more consecutive years. The list of qualified veterans' charitable organizations, a link to such organization's Internet web site, and the qualifications for inclusion on such list set forth in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, shall be published on the informational Internet web site established in this section and shall bear a disclaimer as follows: "This list is prepared for the public solely for the purpose of information. The state of Connecticut provides no warranty about the content or accuracy of the content herein. ".

Sec. 34. Section 27-100g of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall establish, within available resources, a Connecticut women veterans' program to (1) conduct outreach to women veterans for the purpose of improving awareness of eligibility for federal and state veterans' benefits and services; (2) conduct assessments of the needs of women veterans with respect to benefits and services; (3) review programs, research projects and other initiatives designed to address or meet the needs of Connecticut's women veterans; (4) submit recommendations for improving benefits and services available to women veterans to the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs and, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to military and veterans' affairs on January 15, 2016, and annually thereafter; and (5) incorporate women veterans' issues in strategic planning concerning benefits and services. The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to supplement and implement the provisions of this section. For the purposes of this section, "veteran" means any person who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable from active service in the armed forces and "armed forces" has the same meaning as provided in section 27-103, as amended by this act.

Sec. 35. Section 27-119 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

When the grave of any person who, in time of war, served in the military or naval forces of the English colonies in America, prior to 1776, or the grave of any veteran, which is located in this state, is unmarked by a suitable headstone, or is marked by a bronze marker erected by this state, the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall, upon application made not later than two years after the death of such veteran or two years from the interment of the remains of such veteran from abroad, provide payment for the costs of erecting headstones provided by the federal government and shall furnish transportation costs, where none are provided, for said headstones from the nearest destination point to which the federal government will deliver such headstones, to the gravesite, provided such payment is requested not later than one year from the date of the approval of such application. The expense of transportation and the erection or installation of such headstone to an amount not exceeding an amount prescribed by the commissioner, shall be paid by the Comptroller.

Sec. 36. Subsection (a) of section 27-140cc of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The commission shall advise the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs on (1) medical, administrative and social assistance needed for veterans who were exposed to Vietnam herbicides, (2) recommendations for legislation and (3) information that should be provided to veterans about epidemiological or other studies relating to Vietnam herbicide exposure which are being conducted by the state or federal government.

Sec. 37. Section 27-140dd of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The department, in conjunction and consultation with the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, and within available appropriations, may: (1) Establish, promote and maintain a public information program on Vietnam herbicides which shall include, but not be limited to, an extensive effort to identify and contact veterans who may have been exposed to such herbicides; (2) establish, maintain and promote a reporting process for veterans who were exposed to Vietnam herbicides; (3) initiate education for health professionals to assist them in understanding the potential risks and state-of-art knowledge with regard to detection, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic symptoms associated with Vietnam herbicide exposure, and (4) refer veterans to appropriate state and federal agencies for the purpose of filing claims to remedy medical and financial problems caused by exposure to Vietnam herbicides. The commissioner may enter into agreements with nonprofit veterans' organizations in the state to provide these services.

Sec. 38. Subsection (a) of section 27-140ee of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) A physician who has primary responsibility for treating a veteran who believes he may have been exposed to Vietnam herbicides while serving in the armed forces of the United States, shall, at the request of the veteran, submit a report to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs. If there is no physician having primary responsibility for treating the veteran, the hospital treating the veteran shall, at the request of the veteran, submit the report to the commission. Any report of a physician or hospital shall include: (1) Any symptoms of exposure to a Vietnam herbicide; (2) diagnosis of the veteran; and (3) methods of treatment prescribed.

Sec. 39. Subsection (b) of section 27-140ii of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) On and after October 1, 2005, the Adjutant General and the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs shall assist any eligible member or veteran who (1) has been assigned a risk level I, II or III for depleted uranium exposure by his or her branch of service, (2) is referred by a military physician, or (3) has reason to believe that he or she was exposed to depleted uranium during such service, in obtaining federal treatment services, including a best practice health screening test for exposure to depleted uranium using a bioassay procedure involving sensitive methods capable of detecting depleted uranium at low levels and the use of equipment with the capacity to discriminate between different radioisotopes in naturally occurring levels of uranium and the characteristic ratio and marker for depleted uranium. No state funds shall be used to pay for such tests or such other federal treatment services.

Sec. 40. Section 36a-42 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

A financial institution may not disclose to any person, except to the customer or the customer's duly authorized agent, any financial records relating to such customer unless the customer has authorized disclosure to such person or the financial records are disclosed in response to (1) a certificate signed by the Commissioner of Administrative Services or the Commissioner of Social Services pursuant to the provisions of section 17b-137, (2) a lawful subpoena, summons, warrant or court order as provided in section 36a-43, (3) interrogatories by a judgment creditor or a demand by a levying officer as provided in sections 52-351b and 52-356a, (4) a certificate issued by a medical provider or its attorney under subsection (b) of section 17b-124, provided nothing in this subsection shall require the provider or its attorney to furnish to the financial institution any application for medical assistance filed pursuant to an agreement with the IV-D agency under subsection (c) of section 17b-137, (5) a certificate signed by the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs pursuant to section 27-117, (6) the consent of an elderly person or the representative of such elderly person provided to a person, department, agency or commission pursuant to section 17b-454, provided the financial institution shall have no obligation to determine the capacity of such elderly person or the representative of such elderly person to provide such consent, (7) a request for information served upon a financial institution in accordance with subsection (e) of section 12-162, or (8) a request for information made by the Commissioner of Revenue Services pursuant to section 12-39cc.

Sec. 41. Subsection (l) of section 36a-261 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(l) Subject to such regulations and restrictions as the commissioner finds necessary and proper, and subject to the limitations, restrictions and privileges contained in this subsection, Connecticut banks are authorized to make and invest in any loan which the Administrator of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs guarantees, makes a commitment to guarantee, or insures pursuant to Title III of an Act of Congress entitled "Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944", as amended, without regard to the limitations and restrictions of this title. (1) Each such loan shall be subject to the provisions of this title prescribing the maximum limits, in amount, of: (A) A loan or loans to or total liability of any one individual, and (B) a loan upon the security of real estate, with relation to the appraised value of such real estate. (2) Each such loan shall be secured by a mortgage on real estate, except that a loan pursuant to Section 501, 502 or 503 of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, as amended, for the purpose of repairing, altering or improving a building or buildings, and a loan pursuant to Section 505(a) of said act, need not be secured by a lien on real property.

Sec. 42. Section 45a-131 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

In any proceeding in the Probate Court in which the state is interested through the Department of Social Services, the Department of Administrative Services or the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, any employee of any such department shall be permitted to participate fully in the proceeding in the same manner as any other interested party before the court. The judge of the court shall not require that the state be represented by an attorney-at-law as a condition of participation.

Sec. 43. Section 45a-355 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The application for admission of a decedent's will to probate or for administration of a decedent's estate shall state whether the decedent, or the spouse or children of the decedent received aid or care from the state, including aid or care from the former Veterans' Home and Hospital Commission or the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs. A copy of any application which states that the decedent, or the spouse or children of the decedent did receive such aid or care shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the Court of Probate to the Department of Administrative Services or the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, or both, as the case may be, and if the Department of Administrative Services or the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs fails to present its claim to the fiduciary within ninety days from the date of mailing of such notification or the date of the appointment of the fiduciary, whichever is later, the Department of Administrative Services or the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs, as the case may be, shall be forever barred from asserting or recovering on such claim from the fiduciary, the estate of the decedent or any creditor or beneficiary of the state.

Sec. 44. Subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 45a-649 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(3) The court shall order such notice as it directs to the following: (A) The applicant; (B) the person in charge of welfare in the town where the respondent is domiciled or resident and, if there is no such person, the first selectman or chief executive officer of the town if the respondent is receiving assistance from the town; (C) the Commissioner of Social Services, if the respondent is in a state-operated institution or receiving aid, care or assistance from the state; (D) the Commissioner of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs if the respondent is receiving veterans' benefits or the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility, or both, if the respondent is receiving aid or care from [such home] said facility, or both; (E) the Commissioner of Administrative Services, if the respondent is receiving aid or care from the state; (F) the children of the respondent and if none, the parents of the respondent and if none, the brothers and sisters of the respondent or their representatives; (G) the person in charge of the hospital, nursing home or some other institution, if the respondent is in a hospital, nursing home or some other institution.

Sec. 45. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 54-56i of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) The court, after consideration of the recommendation of the state's attorney, assistant state's attorney or deputy assistant state's attorney in charge of the case, may, in its discretion, grant such application. If the court grants such application, the court shall refer such person (1) to the Court Support Services Division for confirmation of the eligibility of the applicant, (2) to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for evaluation and determination of an appropriate drug education or substance abuse treatment program for the first or second time such application is granted, and (3) to a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program for evaluation and determination of an appropriate substance abuse treatment program for the third time such application is granted, except that, if such person is a veteran, the court may refer such person to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, as applicable, for any such evaluation and determination. For the purposes of this subsection and subsection (d) of this section, "veteran" means any person who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable from active service in the armed forces as defined in section 27-103, as amended by this act.

(d) (1) (A) Upon confirmation of eligibility and receipt of the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section, such person shall be placed in the pretrial drug education and community service program and referred by the Court Support Services Division for the purpose of receiving appropriate drug education services or substance abuse treatment program services, as recommended by the evaluation conducted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and ordered by the court, to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or to a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program for placement in the appropriate drug education or substance abuse treatment program, except that, if such person is a veteran, the division may refer such person to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, subject to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(B) Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the first time shall participate in either a fifteen-session drug education program or a substance abuse treatment program of not less than fifteen sessions, as ordered by the court on the basis of the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the second time shall participate in either a fifteen-session drug education program or a substance abuse treatment program of not less than fifteen sessions, as ordered by the court based on the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for a third time shall be referred to a state-licensed substance abuse program for evaluation and participation in a course of treatment as ordered by the court based on the evaluation and determination required under subsection (c) of this section.

(C) Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program shall also participate in a community service program administered by the Court Support Services Division pursuant to section 53a-39c. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the first time shall participate in the community service program for a period of five days. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for the second time shall participate in the community service program for a period of fifteen days. Persons who have been granted entry into the pretrial drug education and community service program for a third or additional time shall participate in the community service program for a period of thirty days.

(D) Placement in the pretrial drug education and community service program pursuant to this section shall not exceed one year. Persons receiving substance abuse treatment program services in accordance with the provisions of this section shall only receive such services at state-licensed substance abuse treatment program facilities that are in compliance with all state standards governing the operation of such facilities, except that, if such person is a veteran, such person may receive services from facilities under the supervision of the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, subject to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(E) Any person who enters the pretrial drug education and community service program shall agree: (i) To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime; (ii) to a waiver of such person's right to a speedy trial; (iii) to complete participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program, as ordered by the court; (iv) to commence participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program not later than ninety days after the date of entry of the court order unless granted a delayed entry into the program by the court; and (v) upon completion of participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program, to accept (I) placement in a treatment program upon the recommendation of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or a provider under the supervision of the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or (II) placement in a treatment program that has standards substantially similar to, or higher than, a program of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, if the Court Support Services Division deems it appropriate.

(2) The Court Support Services Division may only refer a veteran to the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for the receipt of services under the program if (A) the division determines that such services will be provided in a timely manner under standards substantially similar to, or higher than, standards for services provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services under the program, and (B) the applicable department agrees to submit timely program participation and completion reports to the division in the manner required by the division.

Sec. 46. Subsection (e) of section 54-56l of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(e) Upon confirmation of eligibility and consideration of the treatment plan presented by the Court Support Services Division, the court may grant the application for participation in the program. If the court grants the application, such person shall be referred to the division. The division may collaborate with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of [Veterans'] Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, as applicable, to place such person in a program that provides appropriate community supervision, treatment and services. The person shall be subject to the supervision of a probation officer who has a reduced caseload and specialized training in working with persons with psychiatric disabilities.

Sec. 47. Section 20-248 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit any [patient] resident of the [Veterans' Home] Veterans Residential Services facility at Rocky Hill from practicing the occupation of a master barber in said [home] facility. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent any person holding a registered hairdresser and cosmetician's license under the provisions of chapter 387 from cutting the hair of any person, or to prevent any person licensed under the provisions of chapter 387 from carrying on the occupation of hairdresser and cosmetician. Nothing in this chapter or in chapter 387 shall be construed to prevent a licensed registered hairdresser and cosmetician from working in a barber shop or a licensed master barber from working in a hairdressing and cosmetology shop.

Sec. 48. Section 27-140 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

All money so paid to and received by the American Legion shall be expended by it in furnishing temporary income; subsistence items such as food, wearing apparel, shelter and related expenses; medical or surgical aid or care or relief to, or in bearing the funeral expenses of, soldiers, sailors or marines who performed service in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, in any branch of the military service of the United States, including the Connecticut National Guard, or who were engaged in any of the wars waged by the United States during said periods in the forces of any government associated with the United States, who have been honorably discharged therefrom or honorably released from active service therein, and who were citizens or resident aliens of the state at the time of entering said armed forces of the United States, including the Connecticut National Guard, or of any such government, or to their spouses who are living with them, or to their widows or widowers who were living with them at the time of death, or dependent children under eighteen years of age, who may be in need of the same. All such payments shall be made by the American Legion under authority of its bylaws, which bylaws shall set forth the procedure for proof of eligibility for such aid, provided payments made for the care and treatment of any person entitled to the benefits provided for herein, at any hospital receiving aid from the General Assembly unless special care and treatment are required, shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 17b-239, and provided the sum expended for the care or treatment of such person at any other place than a state-aided hospital shall in no case exceed the actual cost of supporting such person at the [Veterans' Home] Healthcare Center in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs, unless special care and treatment are required, when such sum as may be determined by the treasurer of such organization may be paid therefor. Upon the completion of the trust provided for in section 27-138, the principal fund shall revert to the State Treasury.

Sec. 49. Section 38a-502 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

No individual health insurance policy delivered, issued for delivery or renewed in this state on or after October 1, 1988, may exclude coverage for services provided by the [Veterans' Home] Healthcare Center in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sec. 50. Section 38a-529 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

No group health insurance policy delivered, issued for delivery or renewed in this state on or after October 1, 1988, may exclude coverage for services provided by the [Veterans' Home] Healthcare Center in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Approved June 7, 2016