Our regular legislative session ended on June 7th, and it ended without the adoption of a state budget. Closing a nearly $5 billion deficit for the next 2 years requires many difficult decisions, and trying to adopt a responsible, structurally sound budget that can garner the votes to support it is a daunting process.

My priority is to minimize any funding cuts to Milford while finding a balance between many of the long-term long structural reforms necessary to stabilize future budgets while still protecting the most vital safety net programs.

On July 24th, we took the first step towards balancing the budget when the House adopted a $1.2 billion state employee concession plan that will also save $24 billion over the next 20 years. Although not perfect, these savings will help provide much needed stability for future budgets down the road. If we rejected the concession agreement and forced renegotiation, it would essentially hand the budget over to the Governor and he’s made it quite clear that all towns and cities will suffer greatly.

While our work is not done yet, I would like to recognize several important pieces of legislation that passed this session.

I hope you find this newsletter informative and please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance. Have a Safe and Happy Summer!

Sincerely,


Jobs and the Economy

Increased Access to Funding and Resources for Small Business
Most business owners have no trouble investing their time and effort, yet sometimes struggle to find the financial backing and resources to get off the ground. This package of legislation I co-sponsored will help foster small business expansion and real job growth.

  • Legislation we passed establishes a fund of accredited investors to support small business and provide access to business mentors. (PA 17-110)
  • We established a business information hotline that provides prospective small business owners with one-stop customized advice, education, and network resources. (PA 17-158)
  • We created a new Workforce Training Authority to help both businesses and workers to have access to customized training programs that link to hiring and coordinated services. (PA 17-207)


Rep. Rose proudly welcomes Milford residents and businesses for the 2nd Annual Milford Day at the State Capitol.

Women in the Workforce
Rather than wait for Congress to assure protection of pregnant workers, we’ve strengthened state anti-discrimination laws, requiring reasonable accommodations by employers and assuring employment security. We also sought to assure equal pay for equal work for women. The legislation passed the House, but failed to be called for a vote in the Senate. As Chair of the General Assembly’s Women’s Caucus I will continue to fight for passage of this legislation. (HB 5591)


Protecting Taxpayer Money

Economic Oversight
Expands the review of economic development programs, including tax credits and loans provided in order to make sure taxpayer money is being used efficiently, wisely and that such investments are achieving their stated goals of creating jobs. (PA 17-226)

Blocking a Mileage Tax
A new law prohibits the Department of Transportation from spending any state money on a study of, or other activity concerning, a mileage-based user fee system without legislative approval. A mileage-based user fee system is one in which motorists pay a fee for each mile they drive.


Transportation

Regulating Ride Share Companies
As “ride-sharing” companies like Uber and Lyft grow more and more popular, we ensure they are safe and accessible to all. This commonsense legislation protects both passengers and drivers, by establishing requirements for minimum car insurance coverage, driver background checks, accessibility and nondiscrimination policies. (PA 17-140)

Transportation “Lockbox”
CT’s aging roads and bridges mean we need to prioritize funding to ensure transportation infrastructure projects are completed. Because we passed this resolution, a question will appear on the 2018 ballot asking voters to weigh in on whether CT should amend its constitution to “lock-box,” or protect, special transportation funds. If enacted, the legislature would be prevented from spending transportation funds for other purposes. (RA 17-1)


Education

Education Mandate Relief
This bill eliminates a number of unfunded mandates including duplicative training requirements for staff, alternative education requirements for expelled students and indefinite employment look back period for new hires. The bill also requires the Department of Education to survey school districts to recommend a common, digital way of storing and sharing education records. (PA 17-120)

Lowering Costs of Textbooks
This new law I co-sponsored takes important steps aimed at lowering the cost of attending our state’s public colleges and universities. First, we cut some red tape for these institutions, making it easier for the schools to secure certain goods and services. Second, all state schools will establish guidelines to minimize students’ out-of-pocket expenses for textbook costs. (PA 17-130)


Seniors and Veterans

Honoring our Veterans
A new law establishes an additional optional municipal veteran’s property tax exemption by allowing municipalities to provide a property tax exemption to certain veterans who do not qualify for existing property tax exemptions (i.e., wartime, disabled exemptions). A municipality may exempt up to $5,000 or 5% of the property’s assessed value. (PA 17-65)

Protecting Seniors from Financial Fraud
This law establishes requirements for financial planners who are not otherwise regulated by state or federal advertising laws. It prohibits them from expressing or implying special training, education, or experience serving seniors unless they meet certain educational requirements. It also requires them to disclose to consumers, upon request, whether they have a fiduciary duty with regard to each recommendation they make. (PA 17-120)


Opioids and Prescription Drugs

Opioid Abuse
This year in Connecticut, more people will fall victim to drug overdoses than from car accidents and gun violence combined. This session, Connecticut took action and passed legislation I co-introduced to combat drug abuse and addiction. The legislation reduces the maximum opioid drug prescription for minors from a 7 day to a 5 day supply, requires health insurers to cover medically necessary detox treatment, requires medical providers to discuss opioid risks with patients, and eases restrictions on destroying unused medications. (PA 17-131)

Fair Costs for Prescription Drugs
Eliminates restrictive “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling customers how to reduce drug costs. It also bans “claw back” provisions which result in consumers paying more than a prescription drug actually costs. (PA 17-241)


Silver Sands
I led the passage of a bill that I co-introduced which would have put on hold a controversial construction project at Silver Sands for at least 2 years. Unfortunately, the bill fell short of passage on the last night of session in the Senate after an amendment to the bill had passed earlier that day in the House. I am continuing to work to stop this project by putting pressure on DEEP and the Governor’s Office. We continue to have ongoing meetings. (SB 605)

Affordable Housing 8-30g
I am proud to report that I led the passage of a bill I co-sponsored which will implement the most important affordable housing change in decades. Although vetoed by the Governor, I did not give up and was successfully able to work to get the two-thirds vote necessary for the override. This is truly an historic bill and feat. PA 17-170 will help us reach our much needed moratorium. (PA 17-170)


Rep. Rose speaks on 8-30g. Affordable Housing Bill.


Capitol Update 2017 (pdf)