Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2018 Legislative Session was “short” in duration but “long” on substance. One of our signature accomplishments was reaching a bipartisan budget agreement (for the second consecutive year!) that will strengthen our state’s financial footing. The budget agreement does not raise the sales tax or income tax and restores municipal aid and education funding that would have been cut beginning July 1st.
Other noteworthy achievements include legislation to address the pay disparity between men and women who perform the same work; establishment of a fund to assist homeowners with the removal of lead paint in homes; we have continued to make important investments in Connecticut’s economy by extending tax credits for manufacturing apprenticeship programs that will give students access to the manufacturing skills necessary for high paying jobs; health care protection for women and all citizens; accountability for the rising cost of prescription medicines; a ban on bump stocks; and joining the National Popular Vote Compact to directly elect the president of the United States for the candidate who receives the most votes.
Over the last two years I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do what’s best for New Haven and all of Connecticut. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can be of service to you or your family. It is such an honor to serve our community.
Investing In Middle Class Families
- Women, and especially women of color, still earn less than men. We strengthened our pay equity laws by preventing employers from asking about wage history.
- In response to President Trump’s tax reform law, we passed legislation to protect, as much as possible, the state and local tax deduction. Now, municipalities can establish non-profit, charity-type programs that will qualify for federal deductions – reducing your federal tax burden and preserving local services.
- These efforts are receiving push back from the IRS. However, I will continue to fight for tax fairness. PA 18-49
Making Connecticut Safer
- In the aftermath of last year’s deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, where the gunman used bump stocks to increase his firepower, we made it a crime to own or sell a bump stock in Connecticut. Only licensed military contractors are exempt.
- We increased funding for school security measures by $15 million. Districts can use these funds for entrance upgrades, bullet-proof glass and security cameras.
Protecting Women’s Health Care
- Americans are entitled to healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s 10 essential health benefits, which includes maternity and newborn care, prescription drug coverage, mental health services and chronic disease management. We took steps to safeguard these benefits in Connecticut in addition to requiring coverage for a 12 month supply of contraceptives. PA 18-10
- Connecticut has a high rate of breast cancer among the 50 states. We redefined ‘mammogram’ to include tomosynthesis – a 3D image proven particularly useful for women with dense breast tissue and known to reduce the rate of false positive test results. By requiring insurance companies to cover all forms of mammograms, we can reduce out-of-pocket costs and achieve more early detection. PA 18-159
- In an effort to ensure pregnant women have access to health insurance, we passed legislation allowing them to obtain coverage under a special enrollment period within 30 days of an official medical confirmation of pregnancy.
Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault
- If you are a victim of domestic violence, you shouldn’t have to fear being arrested if you call the police. An updated law now directs police to arrest the person they identify as the dominant aggressor.
- We improved the system for collecting, transferring and analyzing sexual assault evidence kits. Now, anyone identifying themselves as a sexual assault victim at a healthcare facility must be directed to a counselor for help.
- State Police are now required to implement an electronic tracking system for sexual assault evidence collection kits.
Opportunities For All Students
This legislation allows undocumented students attending state colleges and universities to access financial aid that’s funded with the tuition and fees they pay into. We’ve leveled the playing field for all students. PA 18-2
Hurricane Maria Evacuees Living In CT
To help people displaced by last year’s hurricanes, our bipartisan budget agreement allocates $1.5 million in aid for education, bilingual education, housing and social services. Another $2.9 million in equalization aid grants will be distributed to school districts with enrolled displaced students. The combined $4.4 million adds to the funds in the Education Cost Sharing formula that were slated to be cut on July 1st. PA 18-81
Recommendations By The Department of Transportation
Parking in New Haven is often hard to find and some state regulations simply do not fit our specific needs. I worked with the DOT to allow more on-street parking in New Haven. PA 18-167
Requiring Timely Payment Of Fuel
The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program helps low-income households with their home energy bills. Local companies that participate in this program are doing a service for those residents in the community who have no other options. In 2016 and 2017, there were delays in payments made to dozens of these businesses in the greater New Haven area, jeopardizing the future participation of these vendors. New legislation requires payment to heating vendors within 30 days, ensuring the smooth operation and continuance of this program. PA 18-88