Dear Neighbor:

It has been my pleasure to be your voice in Hartford during the 2016 Session of the General Assembly. Here at the legislature, we are responsible for writing laws and determining policies that govern the State of Connecticut. 

As a taxpayer and consumer, I understand the need for efficient government. As a legislator, I know our duty is to protect children, assist our elderly in health care and housing, provide for public safety and create a climate positive to business and workers alike. I did vote for the budget because it contained increased funding for Hartford. As your State Representative, I will work hard to make the changes we need to make life better for all of us in Hartford. 

This newsletter will bring you up to date on what we did regarding some of these issues.  Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve as your State Representative. I hope to continue my efforts on your behalf in the future.


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.


Budget Cuts

Although there were no easy solutions this year, after a lot of hard work we approved a budget that is balanced, without tax or fee increases, without borrowing, and without dipping into the Rainy Day Fund. Cutting $830 million is painful, but these long-term structural changes will help put Connecticut’s budget on a sustainable path – not just this year, but into the future.


Grants for Youth Services                     

Mi Casa / HHC     $54,000
Samuel Arroyo Center/Pope Park $25,000
MGLL, Inc. $54,000
Boys & Girls Club (Chandler St.) $25,000
Library  (Park Street-Lyric)  $4,700,000

Protecting Our Children

Our top priority is to ensure that children are safe when they go to school and shielding students from sexual predators. Colloquially known as “passing the trash,” a teacher who has been accused of sexual misconduct may be able to get a job in another school district or another state. This new law requires local and regional boards of education to share findings of misconduct or abuse with other boards of education to prevent them from unknowingly hiring an unfit teacher.


Ban the Box

An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment was created to prevent employers from requiring people to disclose a criminal record when first applying for a job. On job applications, people are frequently asked to “check the box” for any arrests or convictions. Under this legislation, the box would be banned and employers would be prohibited from inquiring about a criminal record during the initial application process – but would still have the ability to inquire about criminal history during the interview process. Some employers, such as law enforcement and school districts, which are required to verify an applicant’s criminal history, would be exempt.


Jobs

To ensure job growth and improve Connecticut’s business climate, We passed laws that would allow first-time business owners to receive reimbursement for the initial costs associated with starting up a business, address the teacher shortage issue in the Connecticut Technical High Schools System (CTHSS), develop programs to introduce students and their parents to careers in manufacturing, and adopt the Connecticut Uniform Limited Liability Company Act to offer companies a greater level of consistency to regulate the formation and dissolution of LLC’s.