Dear Neighbors,

As your Legislator I helped lead the way in passing legislation during the 2016 session of the General Assembly to help protect and improve the quality of life for Connecticut families.

Although this was a session dominated by the budget, we were able to work together to pass many laws that will help our students, seniors and veterans.

We worked hard to keep Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family despite the 2016 legislative session presenting one of the toughest fiscal challenges in decades.

I hope you find the enclosed information helpful. As always, please do not hesitate to call if I can ever be of assistance.

Sincerely,


Public Health - Tackling CT's 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 groundbreaking 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.



Aging - Long-Term Care Ombudsman's Notice To Nursing Home Residents

When nursing homes or long-term care facilities plan on either closing down or greatly reducing the number of available beds, those facilities don’t always do a fair job of notifying residents of their options. This legislation tasks the Long-Term Care Ombudsman along with the Department of Aging with submitting a letter to each patient notifying them of the rights and services available to them upon closure.


Aging - Expanding Utilization Of Patient-Designated Caregivers

Thanks to recent Connecticut laws, patients discharged from hospitals are now given the option of designating a care provider who can work with the hospital to determine the appropriate home care for the patient. Now, nursing homes will also be required to allow the resident being discharged an opportunity to designate a caregiver who will work with the nursing home on a discharge plan which will include any necessary instruction in post-discharge tasks.  This will not only free up space in hospitals and nursing homes, but allow for patients to spend more time in their own homes.


Housing - Replacement Of Housing Projects By Housing Authorities

Under law, the Commissioner of Housing must approve of the sale, lease, transfer, or destruction of a housing project that receives state funding. In order to approve such a measure, the Commissioner must find that it is in the best interest of the state and the municipality, and also that an adequate supply of low or moderate income rental housing exists in the municipality where the project is located. The Commissioner must also find that there is access to adequate housing for the same income group served by the housing project in question.


Education

The legislature made numerous changes to the hiring process for school employees that both ensures that applicants with a proven history of sexual misconduct or abuse involving children are identified, and that those against whom unsubstantiated claims of same were made are not discriminated against. This includes greater disclosure by past employers and the State Department of Education when there is knowledge of a substantiated incidence of abuse or neglect, or otherwise pending criminal changes. This new law also standardizes the fingerprinting and background check process and sets reasonable standards for hiring districts to vet their employees.


Veteran's Affairs - Labor Department And Veterans

Veterans and armed forces members are highly-trained individuals with specific skill sets that can be valuable in a number of  different professions. New legislation requires the Labor Commissioner to establish a clearinghouse (Special Operations Resources Network) to help these individuals find jobs that match their unique skill sets. The Labor Department, Adjutant General and Veterans Commission will create a database that matches these skills against available jobs requiring those skills. Once a veteran or service member’s application to be placed in this database has been accepted, their information will be cross-referenced with job opportunities.  Anyone interested in hiring will contact the Labor department who will facilitate the communication between the parties.