Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is an honor to have the opportunity to represent the West Haven community in the state legislature. The 2019 legislative session has come to a close and I wanted to update you on our many accomplishments.
The policies we passed support our small businesses, invest in our children, protect our environment, and ensure that we are making Connecticut a better place to live for all of our residents.
For West Haven in particular, education funding was increased by $3.2 million, and vital programs for our seniors and children most in need were funded. In this fiscal year, our delegation secured an additional $5 million grant for the reconstruction of Elm Street.
Our West Haven delegation also secured grants specifically to divert our youth from violence. Those grants include Incarceration Diversion programs, the Community House, youth camps, and funding for our anti-drug and alcohol programs in our schools.
I hope you find the enclosed information helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can ever be of service to you or your family.
Protecting our Environment
Offshore Wind: We have cleared the path for offshore wind energy generation so Connecticut can become a leader in green energy technology and achieve our renewable energy goals. We anticipate a positive economic impact with the creation of good-paying jobs.
Green New Deal: Seeking to use innovative ideas to help us address our environmental and energy challenges, this law will create a Green Jobs Career Ladder website with information on the green technology industry, including a list of careers and the jobs available in the state.
Fracking Ban: I am proud to share that the state-wide fracking ban passed nearly unanimously and is now in effect. This ensures that the pollutants generated by fracking do not enter our state.
Elimination of Single-Use Plastic Bags: As a member of the Environment Committee, I co-sponsored legislation to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags beginning July 1, 2021.
Support for Working Families
Raising Wages: No one working full-time should live in poverty. Connecticut families will have more economic security as the state’s minimum hourly wage gradually rises to $15 over a four year period. More than 300,000 people in the state of Connecticut will see their hourly wages increase.
Debt-free Community College: We required the Board of Regents to develop a plan to provide a debt-free community college program for certain Connecticut high school graduates who enroll as
first-time, full-time regional community-technical college students.
Health and Public Safety
Ethan’s Law: We passed several sensible gun safety measures this year including “Ethan’s Law,” named after Ethan Song who tragically lost his life due to an improperly stored gun. The bill requires the safe storage of all firearms in a home with children under 18.
Banning Ghost Guns: We also banned “ghost guns”– homemade weapons that have no serial numbers and circumvent our background check laws.
Covering Police and Firefighters for PTSD: We passed legislation to provide workers’ compensation benefits for police officers, parole officers and firefighters suffering from PTSD due to events in the line of duty.
Expanding Access to Healthcare: We codified the expansion of health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions for short-term healthcare plans into state law, and expanded access to mental health and substance use care.
Tobacco 21: We made the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaping products illegal for anyone under the age of 21. This law seeks to keep nicotine out of the hands of minors.
Helping Connecticut Veterans
West Haven is home to nearly 3,000 veterans. As newly appointed chair of the CT Veterans Affairs committee I am proud to have championed legislation that will provide support to Connecticut veterans.
In-state Tuition for Military Families: Connecticut will grant in-state tuition to the spouses and children of service members stationed in the state who may get orders to move elsewhere. This legislation allows reduced tuition to follow the student.
Increasing the Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Veterans should contact the assessor’s office at City Hall to learn how they can benefit.
Protecting Our Democracy
Early Voting Will Increase Turnout: Voters should have options for exercising their right to vote. We certainly have our share of elections in West Haven and I want to make sure every vote counts. I believe in early voting, but it’s not up to me to change the process; it is up to you. That’s why I voted to allow the question of early voting to be on the ballot in the 2022 general election so that the voters of CT can decide whether to adopt this process which is now acceptable in 39 states in some form.
Coverage for Mammograms and Ultrasounds: Women with dense breast tissue did not always have the same coverage for their breast cancer screenings as ultrasounds were not covered well. I’m proud to have championed a bill that now covers not only breast ultrasounds but also eliminates much of the mammogram cost share.
Sexual Harassment Prevention: I supported legislation that lengthens the statute of limitations on reporting sexual abuse and assault. It also increases the training required to prevent sexual harassment from taking place. Now specifically, it extends the statute of limitations for the prosecution of sexual assault and risk of injury crimes involving a person 21 or younger.