Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2019 Legislative Session has come to a close, and we have accomplished many of the goals set out in our Democratic agenda.
I was again honored to be appointed Deputy Speaker of the House and am proud to report that Wethersfield’s state funding increased by over $600,000 while holding taxpayers harmless with no income or broad-based sales tax increases.
As a member of the Finance, Transportation and Public Safety Committees, I assisted in passing bills to cover our first responders, improve trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and provide paid family leave legislation which will allow working families to tend to their loved ones without worrying about missing a paycheck.
I appreciate hearing from you about the issues that matter. I look forward to continuing these conversations. Please do not hesitate to reach out by email, phone or social media.
Making Connecticut a Great Place to Live
The state budget was delivered on time, under the constitutional spending cap and includes important advancements like a plan for debt-free community college and exempting Social Security from the income tax. The budget provides fiscal stability with no increases in income tax rates, broad-based sales tax rates, and protects Wethersfield’s state funding. 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:
- Make CT more affordable to seniors by maintaining the tax exemptions for Social Security income and the phase-in of a tax exemption on pension income
- Avoid a costly and disruptive nursing home strike
- Keep the “Passport to the Parks” fund
- Increase education funding
- Protect the Care4Kids program
- Re-open highway rest stops
- Repeal the Business Entity Tax starting next year
- Increase access to health care
- Incentivize purchasing a zero-emission car to reduce greenhouse gases
Helping Our Heroes
This session, I was happy to support legislation that increases the base property tax exemption for certain disabled service members and veterans by $500. (PA 19-171)
We also updated state laws to make sure veterans who live in Connecticut are eligible for veterans services, including admission to healthcare facilities and assistance with funeral expenses. (PA 19-33)
Covering Police and Firefighters for PTSD
We have passed legislation which will provide workers’ compensation benefits for police officers, parole officers and firefighters suffering from PTSD due to events in the line of duty. Our first responders see violence and death on a too frequent basis and we must help them cope with the effects of these tragic experiences. (PA 19-17)
This legislation will require health insurance coverage for ultrasound screenings for any woman who is 40 years or older, has a recommendation from her doctor, has a personal history of breast disease through the biopsy of a benign tumor, or has a family or personal history of breast cancer. It also prohibits insurance from charging co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses for breast ultrasounds and mammograms. (PA 19-17)
Times Up Act
This legislation lengthens the statute of limitations on reporting sexual abuse and assault. In addition, it increases the training required to prevent sexual harassment from taking place. For example, this law extends the statute of limitations for the prosecution of sexual assault and risk of injury crimes involving a person 21 years or younger. It also increases penalties for sexually assaulting a mentally incapacitated person. (PA 19-16)
More Convenient Motor Vehicle Licenses and Registrations
We all dread a visit to the DMV, so we will always look for ways to improve its services and further reduce the burden to residents. We have provided you the option to extend your vehicle registration to three years and your driver’s license to eight year durations so that you will have more time between needed visits to the DMV. (PA 19-165)
Giving Working Families the Support They Deserve
In the event of a medical emergency, Paid Family and Medical Leave allows workers to care for themselves or a loved one without having to face the threat of financial ruin. By providing up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Insurance per year, equaling up to 95% of an employee’s weekly paycheck, we will provide financial protection to those who find themselves in an unanticipated medical emergency. This will help pregnant women on medically-ordered bedrest, families with an infirm or aging parent, and new parents who want to bond with an infant. The program is funded by employee contributions. If you or your family has an emergency, there is now financial peace-of-mind. (PA 19-25)