Dear Neighbors,

Together we led the way in passing significant legislation during the 2016 session of the General Assembly to help protect and improve the quality of life for Connecticut families. Please know that I sincerely appreciate hearing from the constituents who reached out to me to express their opinions and concerns on this year’s legislation. I know these are tough times; please know that your concerns were definitely heard.

This session was dominated by the budget. Although there were no easy solutions, we approved a budget that is balanced, without tax or fee increases, without borrowing, and without dipping into the Rainy Day Fund. Significant spending cuts were made.

Improving public health, increasing public safety, and encouraging financial security for everyone were featured elements in some of the major bills approved by the legislature this year.
As always, it is truly an honor to serve the town of Ansonia and Derby and its residents. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I hope you have a wonderful and safe summer.


Consumer Protection

We addressed important consumer protection concerns this year by providing increased privacy for cellphone and internet subscribers, controlling the disclosure of customers’ information in criminal investigations, and requiring service stations to post a notice informing customers if a 24-hour hold will be placed on their credit or debit card account.

Gift Cards

The legislature has passed a law that will allow consumers to receive cash back on gift cards with a remaining balance of less than three dollars. This is a simple and fair measure to help consumers hold on to more of their own money.

Tackling The Opioid Epidemic

In recent years, Connecticut, like other New England states, has seen a heartbreaking increase in fatal opioid overdoses. Earlier this year, we passed ground breaking legislation to combat this crisis. This lifesaving law will allow any licensed healthcare professional to administer drugs that reverse opioid overdoses, require municipalities to equip their first responders with the opioid reversal drug Narcan, and cap first-time opioid prescriptions at a seven-day supply.

Recruiting Minority Teachers

New legislation broadens the size and scope of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force. Through a pilot program in select towns, we hope to encourage minority students to pursue a career in education. The program includes an introductory course in education and the chance for high school students to earn college credits.

Looking Out For Our Firefighters

It is important that we recognize and take care of firefighters. They are fearless in the performance of their jobs, sometimes risking their lives to protect us and save our property.

Studies have shown that firefighters are exposed to numerous carcinogens and toxins that can lead to serious illness and sometimes death. We passed legislation establishing a wage replacement fund for career and volunteer firefighters who are battling work-related cancer.

We also passed legislation that:

  • Grants a municipality the authority to offer property tax relief to retired volunteer firefighters, fire police officers and EMTs with at least 25 years of service.
  • Allows for municipalities to enter into agreements that continue eligibility for property tax relief in a city or town other than where a retiree was a volunteer.


Regional Performance Incentive Program (RPIP) grants provide funds to municipalities and regional entities for jointly performing a service, conducting a study on joint service provisions, or sharing information technology services. The bill expands eligibility for RPIP grants – promoting regionalism and efficiency. Grants will be provided to municipalities to promote shared services and combined back office functions between municipalities and boards of education.  Consolidating these services will result in greater savings to taxpayers.

Standing Up For Veterans

I am proud to report that we passed new laws that enhance areas of job attainment, entrepreneurship, and quality of life issues for veterans. We also passed a resolution urging the federal government to provide VA benefits to Blue Water Navy Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.
The legislation will:

  • Give a price preference of up to 15% for veteran-owned businesses bidding on state contracts.
  • Require the Labor Commissioner to establish a clearinghouse to help highly-trained veterans and armed forces members find jobs that match their unique skill sets. A database will be created to match them with available jobs.
  • Depending on the veteran’s income level, allow municipalities to assess up to $20,000 less than their property’s actual value. Municipalities must also, in certain circumstances, waive the interest on delinquent property taxes owed by members of the active military when they are serving out of the state.

Supporting Our Seniors

Taking care of our older citizens is a priority. We passed legislation to make sure patients are notified of their rights and available services when nursing homes or long-term care facilities close or reduce the number of beds. We also required nursing homes to allow residents being discharged to pick a caregiver to help them with their discharge plan. Other legislation allows for elderly or disabled tenants of state-assisted housing to pay security deposits in installments.

Capitol Update 2016 (pdf)