April 7, 2013





     Parents, children, and supporters who braved the last big winter snowstorm to testify, and those who electronically submitted their testimony, against SB374, An Act Requiring Behavioral Health Assessments for Children, including homeschooled children, are to be congratulated!  Their efforts were successful.  SB374 died in committee on April 5, 2013, the deadline for the Public Health Committee to have given its approval.  We should celebrate that victory.


     NHELD urges caution, however, because anything can happen until the current legislative session is over.  Any legislator can propose an amendment to any bill that is proceeding to a floor vote.  Although it appears unlikely that legislators will attempt to adopt an amendment that mirrors the content of SB374, we have to be ever watchful until the session is over.


     In addition, NHELD is also watching other bills that may affect the rights of parents, including parents who have children enrolled in a public or a private school, as those bills are working their way to a floor vote.  In addition, the Governor has signed into law Public Act 13-3, An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety, which, among many other things, sets up a task force to make recommendations for conducting behavioral health screenings of public school children, and allows DCF to establish and implement a regional behavioral health consultation and care coordination program for primary care providers who serve children.  Also, the state agencies involved may adopt administrative regulations implementing this new law, and implementing other bills that are adopted as law by the end of the legislative session.  Whether or not parents should be concerned, as always, depends on the exact language that is contained in each bill adopted.  So, for now, be comforted about SB374, but be ever vigilant about what next will happen.


Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson

P.O. Box 704, Southbury, CT  06488