Dear Neighbors,

This year’s legislative session has concluded and with it the passage of new legislation that will shape our state for years to come. The headline from the session is the passage of a bipartisan budget that funds transportation infrastructure, restores cuts to education and restores funding for the Medicare Savings Plan – all without raising taxes.

We worked on policies that support small businesses, workforce development and making our state a place that we can proudly raise our families. I am committed to fighting for you to build a bright future for Connecticut and our community.

I hope you find the enclosed information helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can be of service to you or your family.  It is such an honor to serve our community

Sincerely,


Protecting Consumers

In response to multiple recent data breaches at companies like Equifax, I worked with my colleagues to pass legislation to protect the consumer. Companies can no longer charge a fee for placing or removing a security freeze on a credit report and consumers will now get two free years of credit monitoring after a data breach.

In addition, we passed legislation that prevents utilities from reporting a customer’s nonpayment to a credit rating agency until the bill is 120 days delinquent. This legislation also prevents cable and internet companies from reporting a customer’s nonpayment if the customer has initiated a complaint, investigation, hearing or appeal with regards to their service.

Finally, reverse mortgage lending has become a predatory practice. Lenders often 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.


Bipartisan Budget

For the second time in just over six months, the General Assembly has approved a bipartisan state budget.

Key components of the budget agreement include:

  • No income, sales or other state tax increases
  • Increases State Aid for Education over 2018 levels
  • Restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program that helps low-income elderly individuals and the disabled pay for the cost of medicine and health care premiums
  • Restores partial funding to the Energy Efficiency Fund, juvenile justice programs and developmental services
  • Maintains reserves in the “Rainy Day” fund at the highest level in over a decade

The bipartisan budget also restores solvency to the Special Transportation Fund (STF). The budget allows the state to avoid cuts to mass transit, any fare increases and keeps all of our transportation projects on track.


Investing In Middle Class Families

Women, and especially women of color, still earn less than men. 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.


Reducing Prescription Drug Costs

Recognizing that prescription drug prices are the number one driver of rising healthcare costs, we passed legislation to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable by increasing transparency. This landmark legislation creates a mechanism by which drug rebate savings are reflected in your premiums. Additionally, health carriers must submit information about which drugs are most frequently prescribed and which are most expensive.  This is part of our overall effort to lower drug costs.


Supporting Business

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. In an effort to provide some tax relief and allow small businesses to put resources into job creation, we exempted equipment worth less than $250 that has been owned by the business for more than 10 years from property taxes.

Continuing our efforts to encourage students to consider careers in manufacturing, we are working to develop mobile manufacturing training labs that will visit middle and high schools to educate students about advanced manufacturing.


Supporting Our Veterans And Military Families

Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury, or are the victims of military sexual trauma deserve and need support as they recover and reintegrate into civilian life. However, because these conditions pose unique challenges, some receive a less than honorable discharge from the military, making them ineligible for services. We successfully passed legislation this session to allow these veterans to access the state services they need and earned.

When members of the armed forces receive orders to come to Connecticut, and their spouse is a certified teacher in another state, it can be difficult for the spouse to start over as a teacher here in Connecticut. To address this issue, we created a “military spouse teacher permit” that allows spouses to work as a teacher more easily in our state.


Protecting Health Care

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

Additionally we:

  • Expanded access to tomosynthesis – an advanced mammogram
  • Improved access to insurance for pregnant women
  • Continued the fight to curb opioid use and overdose

Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)