Last year, we passed the State of Connecticut’s biennial budget with bipartisan efforts, and this past session, we followed suit and made updates to the budget through bipartisan work as well. This budget funds transportation infrastructure, restores cuts to education, restores funding for the Medicare Savings Plan, and reinvests in our energy bank – all with no income, sales or other state tax increases. It also maintains the “Rainy Day” Fund reserves at the highest level in over a decade.
Simultaneously while working on the budget, we also spent significant time creating, debating and voting on legislation that positively impacts public safety, education, workforce development, public health, commerce and the environment. Enclosed are some highlights for your review.
I am committed to building a bright future for Connecticut and am ALWAYS advocating for programs that support West Haven’s tax base and provide for a safe and healthy quality of life for our City’s residents.
Whether through e-blasts, Facebook live videos, ‘coffee and conversations’, or direct mail like this – my goal is to be as open and transparent as possible. I consider our government a two way avenue for ideas and communication and am inspired that many of you are involved and provide thoughtful feedback.
I know there are many issues facing our families in West Haven. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can be of service to you.
It is my pleasure and honor to serve as your State Representative.
As Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee, I worked on a number of important bills related to health. Here is a sample:
Regulating Sober Homes:
Last year, I cosponsored this bill and it didn’t pass. I vowed to assist in tweaking it to make it even better and this year, I’m happy to report it passed.
In the ongoing fight against opioid abuse, the legislature approved a number of initiatives aimed at curbing usage, prescribing, and interventions.
We know that oral health is the gateway to the rest of our medical health and this is why I wrote and advocated for new legislation that sets the stage for requiring children’s oral health screenings.
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products:
In order to minimize the usage of ‘vape pens,’ and other nicotine delivery systems amongst our youth, we passed a measure that requires retail establishments to keep e-cigarettes behind the counter, and also prohibits them from being sold through self-service displays.
Increasing Drug Price Transparency:
Recognizing that prescription drug prices are the number one driver of rising healthcare costs, we passed legislation to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable by increasing transparency.
Safe and Healthy Homes:
Lead abatement remains a serious issue to all residents in the state, but it is most dangerous to our state’s children. Homeowners may now access funding to address the abatement of not only lead, but other environmental hazards including mold, allergens, asthma irritants, carbon monoxide, pesticides and radon.
Mammograms, Breast Ultrasounds and MRIs:
This bill redefines ‘mammogram’ to include tomosynthesis, which is an advanced type of mammogram that takes a three dimensional image of a breast and has proven to be particularly useful for women with dense breast tissues, as well as lead to less ‘false positives’.
Protecting Our Environment
We focused on changing the landscape for a more efficient and cost effective energy programs. Some changes we made include:
- requiring reduced GHG emissions by 45% of 2001 levels by the year 2030. Under this legislation, the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection must work with electric companies to develop a long-term plan for lowering the cost of electricity while meeting this new goal;
- increasing our state targets for use of renewable energy over the next ten years;
- expansion of towns’ ability to use renewables;
- restoration of $10 million to help homeowners make energy efficiency upgrades.
$3.9 State Funding For Cove River/Tide Gates
Our shoreline is our greatest asset, pride and joy. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure $3.9 million in state funds for new tide gates located at the mouth of the Cove River (Ocean & Platt Avenues). We are being proactive in West Haven by building a Coastal Resiliency Plan that addresses the rising sea level. Replacing the old deteriorating flood gates will help minimize flooding damage to our roads, homes and new high school along the Cove River. Without a doubt, this investment will have a positive environmental impact in the region, and we are extremely thrilled for a new pedestrian bridge that will connect our walk way in the area.
State Funding Allocated to West Haven
Below is the breakdown that the City of West Haven received in state funding. In addition to these categories, the city is slated to receive $8m in funds through the Municipal Accountable Review Board (MARB). The MARB is a new State program designed to assist fiscally distressed cities to bridge the gap for a two year period, while a 5 year structural plan is developed and implemented.
|Grant||FY 19 Adjusted|
|Pequot - Mohegan Grant||$807,097|
|PILOT: Colleges & Hospitals||$5,527,988|
|PILOT: State-Owned Property||$181,198|
|Town Aid Road||$617,602|
|Grants for Municipal Projects||$147,516|
Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)