The measure, which Knox describes as "exciting," is backed by the CBA's new law librarian section.
Another measure could ease some real estate transactions.
Fairfield lawyer Matthew Cholewa, a lawyer at Stewart Title, is treasurer of the CBA's Real Estate Section. He's also the primary drafter of a bill that is designed to make house closings far less complicated if a common driveway is involved. Recently, the Federal National Mortgage Association, "Fannie Mae" included a requirement in its guidelines that all such "common rights of way" be either subject to a maintenance agreement between owners, or subject to a state law that spells out the maintenance and snow removal duties.
If a mortgage didn't comply, it would not be eligible for bundling and resale in securitized form, making it unattractive to lenders, Cholewa said. In his experience, problems with common driveways, and rights-of-way serving multiple homeowners, has been a deal-breaker in some refinancing and house closings. Sometimes the title company can provide a solution, but often the closing attorneys had to negotiate a fresh agreement among the various owners. "It could get complicated, fast, especially if there were not just two owners, but five," he said.
With the help of a law school classmate who worked at Fannie Mae, Cholewa was encouraged to base his proposed bill on California's statute. He created a simplified model, with input from other Real Property section members. He expects public hearings on the matter later this month at the Judiciary Committee. "We have a proposed statute, it hasn't come up yet, but it's in the hopper."
Another new initiative is a bill to create a title system for marine vessels, which Connecticut now lacks, said Knox.
"The Commercial Law and Bankruptcy section is supporting this," said Knox, "because it will remove a perceived impediment to financing vessels in Connecticut."
The elder law practice section deals with some of the state's neediest residents. With that vulnerable population in mind, the section is supporting an increase in the personal needs allowance for nursing home residents on Medicaid from $60 a month back to $69, restoring a painful reduction. "The section is concerned that it is often difficult for these individuals to get haircuts, clothes, birthday gifts for close family on $60 a month," said Knox. "Nursing home residents are responsible for paying for a phone, television, postage it doesn't go far," she noted.
The section is also opposing any new grounds for discharging a resident from a nursing home, and supports legislation to increase home and community-based services for the elderly.
With 19 positive and negative agenda objectives, the Family Law Section far outstrips any other section in legislative issues. All 19 are in opposition to solutions generated from the battleground of divorce, alimony and custody.