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Action Taken On Measures Co-Sponsored By Assemblyman Chivukula

Franklin Township Council Reorganization Meeting 1-1-1423

State Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula speaks at the Franklin Township Council reorganization meeting, Jan 1, 2014.

Measures co-sponsored by state Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, D-17, that support granting Filipino nationals Temporary Protected Status in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan and would allow for pediatric respite facilities in the state saw action recently.

The Assembly on Jan. 6 passed a resolution that would urge the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to grant the TPS status to visitors from the Philippines in the wake of the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

“Many Filipinos have lost everything,” Chivukula said in a press release about the resolution. “Deportation possibly puts more lives at risk.  The United States prides itself through its humanitarian work all over the world and temporarily ceasing the process would be of great help to some citizens of the Philippines.”

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a country, or portions of a country, for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) when conditions exist such as an ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster in the country that temporarily prevents the country’s nationals from returning safely, according to the release.

The measure urges the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to grant TPS to the Philippines to allow nationals residing in the United States temporary relief from possible deportation or removal proceedings, the release said. If the United States grants the request, the Philippines will join El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Honduras that were placed under TPS after experiencing similar natural disasters.

The second measure, a bill that would enable facilities that provide comprehensive care to children with limited life expectancies or complex illnesses, is awaiting action by the state Senate.

The bill was released by a Senate panel in December. It was passed by the state Assembly last June.

“Community-based, comprehensive, family-centered pediatric respite care facilities in other states have enhanced the quality of life for very ill children and for their families,” Chivukula said in a release about the bill. “Similar pediatric respite care facilities should be authorized to operate in this state to ensure that children and their families receive the best possible support.”

The bill defines “pediatric respite care facility” to mean a facility licensed by the Department of Health that provides home-like care in a facility for two weeks or less of respite care, or as necessary for end-of-life care or as medically necessary for children up to age 21 with limited life expectancies or complex, life-limiting illnesses and support for their families, the release said.

The facilities would also employ an interdisciplinary team to assist in providing curative treatment when possible, palliative care, and supportive services to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual, social and economic needs of children and their families during illness, as well as during dying and bereavement if no cure is attained, according to the release.

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