Dear Friends and Neighbors,

House Democrats led the way in passing significant legislation during the 2016 session of the General Assembly to help protect and improve the quality of life for Connecticut families.

This was a session dominated by the budget. Although there were no easy 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 in state spending.

Improving public health, increasing public safety, and encouraging financial security for everyone were featured elements of some of the major bills approved by the legislature this year. 

Retirement Security
With over 600,000 private sector Connecticut workers lacking an employer-based retirement plan, we created a voluntary program to help encourage and assist people to save for retirement. There is no cost to taxpayers for the program, and the bill was a top priority of AARP. 

Keeping Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family is our ongoing responsibility, and though the 2016 legislative session presented one of the toughest budget challenges in decades, we succeeded to help move our state forward. 

Sincerely,


Labor Department and Veterans

Veterans and armed forces members are highly trained individuals with specific skill sets that can be valuable in a number of different professions. Requiring the Labor Commissioner to establish a Special Operations Resource Network will help these individuals find jobs that match their unique skill set. The Labor Department, Adjutant General and Veterans Commission will create a database that matches these skills against available jobs utilizing those skills. Once a veteran or service member’s application has been accepted, their information is cross-referenced with job opportunities. Anyone interested in hiring will contact the Labor Department who helps facilitate communication between the parties.


Establishing a Firefighter Cancer Relief Program and other Benefits for Firefighters

Veterans and armed forces members are highly trained individuals with specific skill sets that can be valuable in a number of different professions. Requiring the Labor Commissioner to establish a Special Operations Resource Network will help these individuals find jobs that match their unique skill set. The Labor Department, Adjutant General and Veterans Commission will create a database that matches these skills against available jobs utilizing those skills. Once a veteran or service member’s application has been accepted, their information is cross-referenced with job opportunities. Anyone interested in hiring will contact the Labor Department who helps facilitate communication between the parties.


 

Opioid Crisis

Opioid antagonists like Naloxone prevent the body from responding to opioids and are commonly used for treating opioid overdose. Amidst a nation-wide opioid epidemic this comprehensive new law improves access to Naloxone, places a limit on the number of opioids a doctor may prescribe at once, and implements a number of other important measures to combat the growing and deadly use and abuse of opioids. The law accomplishes the following:

  • Protects Professionals and Good Samaritans from Liability.
  • Improves Access to Naloxone.
  • Adds More Experts to Policy-Making Council.
  • Improves and Expands Practice and Treatment Options.
  • Caps Prescription Length To a Seven Day Supply.
  • Improves Upon the Prescription Monitoring Program.

Ending the Sales Tax on Parking in State Parks

Helping municipalities to meet their budgetary needs and keeping taxes in check have always been priorities - this measure accomplishes both. To relieve the cost associated with collecting the current sales tax on parking fees, we exempted seasonal parking lots with over 30 spaces or parking lots operated by the federal or state government from the sales and use tax. This not only aids the municipalities, but also will save consumers money.


Mill Rates & Car Taxes

As a result of legislation that I supported, Waterbury residents will soon see a significant drop in their motor vehicle taxes beginning July 1 of this year.

Currently, Waterbury’s mill rate is 60.21. Under recently passed legislation, the mill rate will be capped at 37 for the 2015 tax assessment year – your July 1, 2016 motor vehicle tax bill. What does this mean in terms of savings? The chart below is an example of the savings you may receive:

Cumulatively, this legislation saves Waterbury taxpayers $11.5 million in taxes. I’m glad that we have enacted a fairer system which will provide Waterbury residents with significant savings.


Supporting Connecticut's Growing Manufacturing Sector

We are working to make Connecticut the area leader in high-tech manufacturing jobs with an educated workforce that will meet the growing demand for the advanced, computer-based, and technical positions of the future. One of the measures passed establishes an Entrepreneurs Learner’s Permit Program that will allow new businesses, particularly information services, biotechnology and green technology, to be reimbursed for fees associated with state filing, permitting and licenses.