Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As always, I appreciate your support in fighting for East Haven at the State Capitol. Despite budget challenges, I was able to help keep East Haven’s share of state aid stable from FY2016 to FY2017, and prevent our town from being charged more than $250,000 in tuition for East Haven children attending out-of-town magnet schools. 

Although there were no easy budgetary solutions, we approved a budget that is balanced, without tax or fee increases, without borrowing, and without dipping into the Rainy Day Fund – that cuts $830 million from state government. 

Improving public health by addressing the opioid epidemic and encouraging financial security for everyone by creating the Connecticut Retirement Security Program were featured elements of some of the major bills approved by the legislature this year. Please read more for further information, and do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or need assistance.

Sincerely,

James Albis, State Representative


Magnet School Tuition

I drafted and sponsored an amendment that prevents municipalities with magnet schools from charging neighboring towns, like East Haven, for their students to attend the magnet schools. My efforts will save the East Haven Board of Education well over $250,000 in tuition costs.


Tackling CT’s Opioid Epidemic

In recent years Connecticut, has seen a heartbreaking increase in fatal opioid overdoses. Earlier this year, I sponsored groundbreaking legislation to combat this crisis. This lifesaving law will allow any licensed healthcare professional to administer drugs that reverse opioid overdoses, require municipalities to equip their first responders with the opioid reversal drug Narcan, and cap first-time opioid prescriptions at 7 days except for those with chronic conditions.


Veterans

We stand by our veterans. The legislature passed measures that will facilitate veteran employment with a resource network for specialized skills in the Department of Labor and preferences in state contract bidding for veteran-owned small businesses. We also broadened the scope of the law that bars discriminatory practices in our state’s armed forces, and approved a resolution to our nation’s leaders to recognize Blue Water Navy Veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange.


Combating Pollinator Decline

Honeybees don’t just give us delicious honey, as pollinators they’re also crucial to the environment and local agriculture which provides us food. That’s why I led the passage of legislation to address the collapse of bee colonies and to ensure our pollinators remain healthy. This legislation will prohibit the use of certain harmful pesticides and encourage the planting of pollinator-friendly vegetation.


Protecting our Firefighters

Firefighters risk their lives every day to protect citizens within their community, but the risk does not stop once the fire is out.  Each fire burns toxins into the air that firefighters absorb, even while wearing proper protective gear.  These toxins highly increase risk of certain cancers each time a firefighter is exposed.  Prior to this legislation, firefighters who contracted cancer had to return to work while still recovering because they did not have proper compensation as they already cannot receive short/long term disability or social security. During this session, the Legislature established a self-sustaining relief fund to cover lost wages, without raising taxes.  Now, both volunteer and career firefighters will be able to take necessary time to recover from cancer they’ve contracted while on the job, protecting us. Other legislation allows municipal property tax relief for retired volunteer firefighters, fire police officers and EMTs who volunteered at least 25 years of service.


Help with Legal Services

Everyone must be treated fairly under the law and ensuring reliable access to legal services is a keystone to that fundamental right. That’s why the legislature ensured funding for legal services for the poor.  Access to reliable counsel for criminal defendants has not been a problem, but the same has not been true in civil court. A newly established task force will examine this issue and report its finding to the General Assembly later this year.