Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am pleased to share with you this update on the recently concluded legislative session. Each year, our goal is to forge a path for a stronger Connecticut, and the 2017 session was no different. We worked to pass bipartisan legislation that improves the lives of working families, encourages economic growth, and makes critical investments in the future of our children, as well as our state.

I am committed to fighting for you and building a solid Connecticut for future generations. The policies we passed support our small businesses, spur workforce development and ensure that we are making Connecticut more affordable for our young people and our seniors. Although the regular session has concluded, I will continue to work to keep Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  

I hope you find the enclosed information helpful. Our future is stronger when we work together, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can ever be of help to you or your family. It is my pleasure and honor to serve as your state representative.

Sincerely,


Honoring Gold Star Families

Senate Bill 918 allows municipalities to provide a property tax exemption to a parent or surviving spouse of a service member killed in action while performing active military duty. Municipalities may exempt up to $20,000 or 10 percent of the property’s assessed value. This is a small thank you to the families of those that made the ultimate sacrifice.


Budget

The bipartisan budget is balanced, protects our communities from the Governor’s Executive Order, and includes critical support for our schools and small businesses. It also includes smart structural reforms that will help address Connecticut’s fiscal challenges.

The budget strengthened our existing spending cap. Under the new cap, funding for pensions, distressed municipalities, and money used to receive matching federal grants will all come under the cap over time. This is important because it more accurately reflects what we are spending as a state and will force future legislatures to prioritize spending on programs that work and our communities need. In addition, because it passed with such a significant majority, it will be harder to change the definition of the cap in the future.

The budget also created a $1.9 billion cap on state bonding. This cap will help to control the projected increases in debt service payments, and will require the governor and State Bond Commission to prioritize what projects are most worthy of bonding. With this cap, by reducing bonding this year, we expect to save nearly $30 million in debt service payments in the next fiscal year.

I supported the removal of the car tax. It is an antiquated tax that is an unnecessary burden for working families. While we were unable to repeal it this year, I expect this discussion to continue next year. To be sure, our fiscal challenges aren’t over but this compromise budget is a step in the right direction.


Wage Discrimination

The gender pay gap bill is one of the most important, far-reaching issues we face as a society today. It affects not only working women, but their families and their communities as well. When it comes to financial fairness, nothing is more fundamental than equal pay for equal work. I supported HB 5591, which will help close the gender pay gap. Additionally, the bill addresses gender-based discrimination in workplace policies and strengthens anti-discrimination laws. Unfortunately, the bill was not called in the Senate this Session but I will fight to bring it back next year.


Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Last year we passed historic legislation to combat the opioid epidemic, and this session we strengthened our opioid overdose and addiction prevention efforts.  The new legislation reduces the maximum first-time opioid drug prescription for minors from a 7-day to a 5-day supply, requires health insurers to cover medically necessary detox treatment, requires medical providers to discuss opioid risks with parents, and eases restrictions to facilitate the destruction of unused medications.


Helping Small Businesses

Running a small business is difficult and time consuming.  We must give entrepreneurs the tools and resources they need to succeed. PA 17-158 creates a statewide information hotline providing prospective and existing small business owners with customized advice, education, and network resources.


Capitol Update 2017 (pdf)