I would like to start this letter by thanking you for the opportunity to serve our community in the House of Representatives. Although I started my term in late April, I am proud of the results that my colleagues and I were able to deliver for the State of Connecticut.
As a member of the Environment, Government Administration & Elections, and Banking Committees, we passed bills to protect our planet by banning fracking waste in our state, improved voting access by passing a resolution to allow early voting, and passed legislation that would give employers a tax credit to help their employees with student loans.
I appreciate hearing from you about the issues that matter and look forward to hosting conversations in our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out by calling me at (800) 842-8267 or reaching out to me on social media.
Moving Connecticut Forward
Our biennial budget was delivered on time, under the constitutional spending cap and includes important advancements like the social security tax exemption.
We successfully pushed back on Governor Lamont’s efforts to cut education aid and increase taxes on seniors. The budget provides fiscal stability with no increases in income tax rates, broad-based sales tax rates, and doesn’t include cuts to municipal aid. It is balanced and protects taxpayers into the future. We are protecting our most vulnerable citizens, investing in the middle class, and encouraging economic growth for all of Connecticut.
This legislation will:
- Maintain the tax exemptions for Social Security income and the phase-in of
- a tax exemption on pension income to make CT more affordable to seniors
- Avoid a costly and disruptive nursing home strike
- Keep the “Passport to the Parks” fund
- Increase education funding
- Re-open highway rest stops
- Protect the Medicare Savings Program, and increases funding for
- Meals on Wheels (PA 19-117)
Research shows that if you haven’t started smoking by 21, you likely never will. We have made the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vape products illegal for those under 21. Nicotine creates addiction in teens, and 95 percent of adults who smoke started young. Nationwide, e-cigarette use, also known as “vaping,” is on the rise among middle and high school students. This law seeks to keep nicotine out of the hands of minors. (PA 19-13)
Computer Science Instruction
We are now requiring that schools teach computer science, specifically making computer programming a required part of computer science classes. Computer science is a foundational skill for 21st century jobs, and impacts almost every industry in the state including manufacturing, financial services, cybersecurity, health care, law, construction and technology. Computer science builds students’ computational, critical thinking and deeper learning skills, which will help them create the next generation of technological tools. We must make sure our students are prepared to succeed in the digital age. (PA 19-128)
Helping Those With Autism
In an effort to facilitate communication between police officers and citizens with autism, we passed legislation which will provide a blue envelope to autistic drivers that contains their driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. The outside of the envelope will provide written guidance for enhancing effective communication between police officers and people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This would provide an opportunity to improve communication between those with ASD, who can sometimes be nonverbal, and police officers. (PA 19-161)
Ethan’s Law, named after Ethan Song who tragically lost his life due to an improperly stored gun, requires the safe storage of all firearms in a home with children under 18.
This legislation will:
- Keep children safe from gun violence, reducing gun deaths
- Demand greater responsibility by those storing firearms
- Provide for firearm safety education in public schools (PA 19-5)
Pre-existing Insurance Coverage
This session, we expanded health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. Passed unanimously, this protects Connecticut residents against any changes to federal law. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, if someone had a pre-existing or chronic condition, insurance companies could refuse to insure them – impacting 50 million people. As a result, hospital emergency rooms and Medicaid were forced to absorb these costs, resulting in higher prices for everyone.
This legislation will:
- Assure that patients receive treatment and insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions
- Codify federal Affordable Care Act protections
- Save lives and money
- Prohibit some types of short-term health insurance plans from containing a pre-existing condition provision (PA 19-134)