This week I was privileged to join with 40 experts in the field of elder justice gathered in Washington, D.C. to put the finishing touches on a national road map to guide programs and services to address elder justice issues – preventing elder abuse, providing services for victims of elder abuse in all its forms, and building systems for prosecution of abuse, sexual assault and financial exploitation.  CSG was invited to the meeting to bring the perspective of state level policy makers to the...

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Since his state began to allow same-sex marriage earlier this year, Sen. Scott Dibble has been officiating weddings himself, including for Kansas and Wisconsin couples who traveled to Minnesota for the express purpose of getting married. Five years ago, it was Dibble who did the traveling — to California, so that he could marry his partner under that state’s marriage-equality law. But same-sex marriage has since come to the Midwest, first in Iowa due to a state Supreme Court ruling and now this year as the result of legislative actions in Minnesota and Illinois.

Stateline Midwest ~ April 2013

Within a few months, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases involving the volatile issue of same-sex marriage. In the meantime, two Midwestern states are being watched closely for the possibility of legislative action before a decision by the court.

Stateline Midwest ~ July.August 2012

Under a reworking of Indiana’s child support law, parents can stop paying child support once their child turns 19.

This Act enables courts to put requirements into child custody orders allowing divorced parents to visit their children by electronic communication. The Act defines "electronic communication" to mean contact, other than face-to-face contact, facilitated by electronic means, such as by telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, video teleconferencing, wired or wireless technologies by Internet, or other medium of communication."

This Act defines embryos and establishes criteria for legal custodianship of embryos.

This Act helps facilitate legal services to underserved communities. It defines and restricts how a person or organization can use the term "legal aid." The Act directs the state Judicial Council to set up a pilot program to appoint legal representation for unrepresented low-income parties in civil matters involving critical issues such as domestic violence, child custody, and elder abuse.

Illinois became the first state in the Midwest with a civil-union law for same-sex couples as the result of a bill (SB 1716) passed during the legislature’s fall veto session.

Suggested State Legislation: The new Uniform Parentage Act confronts the complicated issue of establishing legal parentage against the complications that technology provides. It brings genetic testing into modern parentage actions in a manner that is efficient, but that preserves due process rights for all concerned

Suggested State Legislation: In 1984 New York established a state Adoption Information Registry within the state department of health to enable adopted children to get identifying information about their biological parents. New York Chapter 435 of 2008 enhances awareness of that Registry by directing that a biological parent be given an Adoption Information Registry Birth Parent Registration Consent form at the time they surrender their child for adoption.

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