Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It has been my honor to be your voice in Hartford for the past 12 years. Together, we have accomplished so much for the people of Norwalk, and for the state as a whole. In anything I do, I always strive to leave things better than when I found them, and I hope I have done that with my work as a State Representative. Thank you for placing your trust in me. I will not be seeking re-election, but I will continue to advocate for the issues I believe in, and I will serve our community in any way I can. Thank you again, for your continued support over the years. It has been the honor of my life to serve you.

This newsletter will bring you up to date on what we did during the 2018 session. I am proud of our accomplishments, and I hope you agree.

We passed a bipartisan budget that fully restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program, increases education funding over 2018 levels, funds the Special Transportation Fund so projects can continue as scheduled, does not increase or add any new taxes, and maintains our “Rainy Day” fund at the highest levels in a decade.

Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve as your State Representative.

Sincerely,


Protecting Our Seniors

Reverse mortgage lending can be a predatory practice. Lenders sometimes prey on the vulnerabilities of those facing tough financial burdens. Connecticut now requires counseling for those considering a reverse mortgage so a homeowner will have all of the information, including the risks, prior to entering this type of arrangement.

Connecticut offers top programs and the highest quality care for seniors. To ensure that continues, we have streamlined the duties of the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to conform with the federal Older Americans Act. This will help Connecticut receive the maximum amount of funding from the federal government to strengthen our already strong programs.


Promoting Careers In Manufacturing

Manufacturing is one of the strongest sectors in our state’s economy, and I believe we should be doing everything we can to ensure Connecticut residents have an opportunity to get jobs in manufacturing. We are working to develop mobile manufacturing training labs that will visit middle and high schools to educate students about advanced manufacturing. This continues our work to invest in manufacturing programs in our community colleges and technical high schools, and our belief that technical education and career training can lead students to family-supporting jobs. Traditional four-year college is not for everyone, and these types of training can help young adults find alternate career paths.


Minority Teacher Recruitment

A new law, that I led the way on, codifies a lot of good work that we have done with the State Department of Education (SDE) and the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force over the last few years. It also implements some new policies aimed at a thriving and diverse teacher workforce in our state. SDE will work to develop new alternative routes to certification for paraprofessionals, charter school teachers and veterans. Additionally, SDE will work with vendors to allow certain teachers to retake their licensure test for free if they do not successfully pass the first time.


Investing in Middle Class Families

Pay inequity is still a pervasive problem in our society. It adversely affects women, and especially women of color. This inequity is perpetuated by the practice of asking for salary history during the hiring process, ensuring that women who were underpaid at their first job continue to be underpaid. This session we strengthened our pay equity laws by preventing employers from asking about wage history.

We also continued to work with the business community on earned family leave. Every working person in Connecticut should be allowed take paid time off when they or a loved one gets sick. In addition, I supported a proposal to raise the minimum wage, so no one who works full time lives in poverty. Unfortunately, neither of these proposals had sufficient support to become law this session. These policies are essential and I will keep working on them as a member of our community.


Protecting Women’s Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains ten essential health benefits including maternity and newborn care, prescription drug coverage, preventive and mental health services, and chronic disease management that all Americans are entitled to have covered in their health insurance plans. As Congress and the President attempt to dismantle the ACA, we passed legislation to safeguard these benefits to ensure that no matter what happens in Washington, Connecticut insurance policies must still cover these basic services.

In an effort to make sure that pregnant women have access to health insurance, we passed legislation that allows them to enroll in insurance under a special enrollment period within thirty days of a doctor or physician officially telling them they are pregnant. The United States has the highest infant mortality rate among all developed nations, and the average cost for a premature birth is $55,000. By allowing pregnant women to enroll at any time of year, this policy change will lessen the financial burden and stress for those without coverage who become pregnant.


Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)