Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We began this session energetically in January, with an ambitious agenda, many new members, and a new administration.
Regarding the budget, robust revenue allowed us to restore many damaging cuts, especially to health coverage. Youth programs such as concerts at Davis School, juvenile justice, violence prevention and others were funded, as was Westville Village Renaissance.
Initially, the new administration halted many projects, including aid to homeowners in upper Westville. Luckily, we were in session when I learned about these cuts and I intervened. The Executive Branch has assured me the program is back on track.
Every new administration requires relationship building. Also, the House of Representatives and the Senate have many new members. I’m excited that we united on so many issues. However, the Governor’s ‘debt diet’ policy will be an ongoing conversation.
This was an exciting year. Destructive policies on the federal level underscored the power of government and demonstrated that we cannot take anything for granted. We have monitored the effect of federal changes on our state and acted when possible. In addition, we adopted positive changes for the people of Connecticut.
I am a deputy majority leader and continue to serve on Appropriations, chair the Health subcommittee and also serve on Judiciary and Environment.
Thank you for your support and confidence.
Rep. Dillon in the News
- Toured Fellowship Place with area legislators, heard about the importance of state dollars to their mission
- Participated in workshops about proposed Rte. 34 housing at Immanuel Baptist Church
- Attended Black Clergy Day at the State Capitol
- Participated on a panel with the Greater New Haven Arts Council at Davis School
- Spoke on a panel about tolerance and school curricula with the Jewish Federation at the State Capitol
- Spoke at monthly meeting of 100 Black Women in Milford
- Honored with Beth Weinstein Award by Connecticut Public Health Association for pioneering work on AIDS, school based health centers, and other public health initiatives
- Attended Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Regional Healthcare Breakfast that honored the Latino Behavioral Health Network with its Clinical Award. My role in support of Latino behavioral health was acknowledged
- Met with merchants and artists of Westville Village and learned about their progress and challenges
- At Southern CT University, met with students and faculty. Learned more about food insecurity among college students
Creating a Greener Economy
- Extended renewable energy programs, including traditional net metering and the Green Bank’s renewable solar investment program
- Expanded virtual net metering cap to reduce energy costs for municipalities
- Required DOT to maintain a land inventory for lands suitable for Class I energy resources such as solar energy
- Protected clean energy funds
Support for Working Families
- Minimum Wage: Gradual increase, reaching $15 an hour in 2023
- Paid Family and Medical Leave: Employee funded, benefits starting in 2022
Educating Future Leaders
- New Haven Education: $2.7 million in new dollars for Education Cost Sharing (ECS)
- African-American, Latino and Puerto Rican History Studies: Mandated a robust curriculum
- Food Insecurity and Hunger: Initiated a study on college campuses
- Youth Violence Prevention Grants: Protected
Protecting Our Health
- HUSKY A eligibility: Restored coverage to 4000 working parents
- HIV prevention: Access to PrEP, a viral blocker: Young people aged 13-24 make up 22% of all new HIV infections, but some who fear going to a parent will forego treatment. This bill permits access to medication to protect them from HIV infection, but requires physicians and nurses to document the reasons for providing HIV prevention medication to a minor, with the minor’s signature in their medical file.
- Governor’s Mental Health Proposal: Rejected proposal which had included cutting the research unit at Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) and ‘privatizing’ its functions. Added back dollars to grant accounts.
- CMHC and Latino Behavioral Health: Retained structure
- Governor’s Asset Test for Medicare Savings Program for Low-income Seniors: Rejected
Income Security and Tax Fairness
- Social Security Income Exemption: Social Security benefits for individuals with less than $75,000 in annual income and couples having less than $100,000 in annual income are exempt from Connecticut income tax, effective this year.
- Teachers’ Pension: Dedicated $380.9 million of surplus dollars to a Teachers’ Retirement Special Capital Reserve Fund (TRF-SCRF.) to strengthen our Teachers’ Pension Fund. In past years the assumptions on returns were too high. This is a step to put the Teachers’ Pension Fund on a solid footing.
- Business entity tax: Repealed.