Thank you for giving me the privilege of representing you and our communities in the General Assembly. I am proud to work on legislation this session that moves our state forward in areas from making Connecticut more competitive to improving our schools and supporting our working families.
This session, we passed a budget on time that will benefit all of our communities. Some key highlights from the budget include: maintaining the tax exemption for Social Security income, repealing the Business Entity Tax, providing a tax credit to craft beer breweries, and protecting the Medicare Savings Program.
I am proud to have supported the working families in our state by joining my colleagues in the fight to increase minimum wage as well as establishing a paid family leave program for the state.
I hope you find the enclosed information helpful, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions as to how I can better serve you. You can reach me via email at Emmett.Riley@cga.ct.gov or via phone at 860-240-8585. My door is always open, and I encourage communication with my constituents.
Protecting Our First Responders
Our first responders witness violence and death on an all too frequent basis and we must help them cope with the effects of these tragic experiences. That is why we passed legislation which will provide workers’ compensation benefits for police officers, parole officers and firefighters suffering from PTSD. We are currently looking into the feasibility of expanding these benefits to include EMS and the Department of Correction employees.
Supporting Military Families
This session, I voted alongside my colleagues to reduce the cost burden of college for military families in Connecticut. Connecticut will grant in-state tuition to spouses and children of service members stationed in the state who may get orders to move elsewhere. Allowing in-state tuition to stay with the student helps Connecticut support our military and their families.
Supporting Working Families
Raising Minimum Wage
No one who works full time should live in poverty. Connecticut families will have more economic security as the state’s minimum hourly wage gradually rises to $15 by June 1, 2023. This legislation, which I proudly supported, will help over 300,000 Connecticut workers who make less than $15 an hour. The minimum wage will increase on October 1, 2019 to $11 an hour, followed by incremental increases over the next 4½ years until $15 is reached in 2023.
Paid Family Leave
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. This session, I voted along with my colleagues to support working families with the passage of PA 19-25. This legislation provides up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Insurance per year, equaling up to 95% of an employee’s weekly paycheck. 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.
This session we worked to make our communities safer by tightening our gun laws. I am proud to have supported and voted for both “Ethan’s Law” and banning ghost guns.
Ethan’s Law, named after Ethan Song who tragically lost his life due to an improperly stored gun, requires the safe storage of all firearms in a home with children under 18.
Banning Ghost Guns
We made it illegal to build a gun without a serial number, build a plastic gun that is not detectable by a metal detector, or have an unfinished firearm frame without a serial number. This legislation will close loopholes in the current law that allows unregulated guns to be used by violent people.
Reducing plastic bags
In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic bags polluting our environment and waterways, and to change consumer behavior, we are banning single-use plastic bags starting in 2021. Remember to bring your re-usables!