The 2019 legislative session ended in June and I want to share some information with you regarding various laws that were passed. Some of the highlights include increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023, a $4 million increase in education aid for Hartford, and helping our seniors by protecting the tax exemption for social security income.
As always, it is an honor to represent Hartford and our district at the State Capitol. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or if I can ever be of any assistance.
Protecting Our Environment
No fracking waste in Connecticut! This is a policy that ensures the pollutants generated by fracking do not enter our state. This legislation widens the state-wide fracking ban to apply to all gas and oil extraction activities, including the selling, acquiring, handling, applying, and processing of fracking, natural gas, and oil waste.
Protecting Our Water
A major accomplishment of the 2019 legislation session was passing the State Water Plan, which identifies our water supply as a “public trust” to ensure our water resources are protected.
Common Sense Gun Laws
Banning Ghost Guns
This year we banned “ghost guns” – homemade weapons that have no serial numbers and circumvent our background check laws. The bill also regulates guns made on a 3-D printer.
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.
Protecting Our Democracy
Early Voting Increases Turnout
We took the first step toward allowing early voting by passing a resolution to amend the State Constitution. This would allow for in-person voting leading up to Election Day for any state or municipal election or referendum.
African-American, Black, and Puerto Rican and Latino Studies
We expanded the social studies curriculum to include African-American, Black, and Puerto Rican and Latino history.
Supporting Our Military Families
In-State Tuition for Military Families
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 these students to continue their education helps Connecticut support our military families.
Fighting For Our Health
Mental Health Parity
Diseases of the brain and body need to be treated equally in society and by insurance companies. The Mental Health Parity Act gives people with mental health and substance use disorders the same access to care as those with other diseases.
We expanded coverage for ultrasound screenings for any woman whose physician recommends it and is the age of 40 and older, has a family history or prior personal history of breast cancer, or has a prior personal history of benign breast disease. Charging for copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses for covered breast ultrasounds and mammograms is now prohibited.