Dear Friends and Neighbors:

It is an honor to serve you and our City in the Connecticut General Assembly and I am very proud of the work that was done at the Capitol during the 2018 Session. We passed legislation that will help working families, veterans and seniors, and ensure quality health care for all of our State’s residents. I hope you find my annual newsletter helpful and as always, please do not hesitate to contact me at 860-240-8500 or email me at matthew.ritter@cga.ct.gov.

Sincerely,


Key Budget Highlights
  • Funding the Medicare Savings Program, which helps seniors and people with disabilities to pay for health care
  • Funding Husky A health insurance for children and their parents who otherwise could not afford health care
  • Providing extra funding to Hartford Public Schools for costs associated with students displaced by Hurricane Maria
  • Funding summer youth employment

Making Connecticut Safer

The tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas last year demonstrated the danger of bump stocks turning semi-automatic firearms into a weapon that can shoot as fast as a machine gun. We responded by making it a crime to own or sell a bump stock, or similar device. PA 18-29


Pay Equity

Women in Connecticut earn, on average, 80 cents on the dollar for the same job as a man. This important new law prohibits employers from asking about your salary in previous jobs which is a major contributor to perpetuating low-paying salaries and the gender pay gap. PA 18-8


Protecting Women’s Health Care

The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation to safeguard the health care benefits contained in the Affordable Care Act,  including maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, mental health services, and chronic disease management. This law ensures that no matter what happens in Washington, D.C., Connecticut policies must still cover these basic and essential health services. In addition, we required coverage for twelve-month contraceptive prescriptions. PA 18 -10


Planning for Climate Change

As a means of protecting future generations, we passed legislation to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 45% by the year 2030. Under this new law, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection must work with electric companies to develop a long-term plan for lowering the cost of electricity while meeting this new goal. Additionally, we provided $10 million to help homeowners make energy efficiency upgrades. PA 18-82


Education News

Minority Teacher Recruitment
Despite students of color making up more than a third of Connecticut’s public school population, approximately seven percent of the teachers identify as non-white. It is important that our classrooms reflect the diversity of our state. This new law implements policies aimed at growing a thriving and diverse teacher workforce in our state, which includes developing alternative routes to certification for paraprofessionals and veterans. PA 18-34

Holocaust Education
The study of the Holocaust and other genocides will now be required in our schools. This new law will help ensure that we – as a society – never forget what atrocities have occurred and work together to prevent them in the future. PA 18-24


New Consumer Protection Laws

Protecting Victims of Identity Theft
Have you been the victim of a data breach? Responding to the Equifax data breach, we passed a new law that will provide consumers with free access to credit freezes, and two free years of credit monitoring after a data breach. PA 18 - 90

Ensuring Health Care Access
In response to disputes between insurers and large healthcare providers, we passed legislation ensuring consumers are properly notified and can remain “in network” while these disputes are resolved. Now if health carriers and hospitals terminate their contracts, they must abide by that contract’s terms for 60 days after the contract ends. Oftentimes, patients develop relationships with specific doctors and practitioners and this grants them a grace period to figure out what to do should their provider contract change or be terminated, assuring continuity of care. PA 18 -115


Laws for Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces

Members of the Armed Forces and veterans have sacrificed much for the freedoms we enjoy. This session, we passed several measures for them:

  • Allowed cities and towns to increase the income limit for the veteran property tax exemption
  • Created a military spouse teacher permit to help those spouses who have taught in another state to work more easily as a teacher in our state
  • Allowed veterans who were less than honorably discharged because of  post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or who are victims of military sexual trauma access to the state services they need.

PA 18-144, PA 18-47, PA 18-108


Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)