Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for your continued support. I am proud to serve you and our great city and it has been an honor to represent you this legislative session.

In this newsletter, I would like to share some of the most important laws that passed this year. I am proud of our accomplishments, but we have more work ahead.

We passed a bipartisan budget that fully restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program, funds the Special Transportation Fund so projects can continue as scheduled, does not increase or add any new taxes, and maintains our “Rainy Day” fund at the highest levels in a decade. However, we must continue to find ways to cut spending, and do more with less — that means without raising taxes. I fought to increase state aid to Milford, specifically $746,371 in resources for our schools above what we received in Fiscal Year 18.

In addition, I encouraged leadership not to advance the toll study bill this year. We must find sustainable ways in which to fund our failing bridges and roads. We also need to provide our commuters with clean, efficient and reliable public transportation. This is something that will need to be addressed in the upcoming session, and I am open to discussing new solutions.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions as to how I can better serve you. Please continue to reach out to me by calling (800) 842-8267 or by sending an email to Kim.Rose@cga.ct.gov.

Enjoy the summer and all of the wonderful concerts and events; I’ll see you around town!

Sincerely,


Supporting Small Businesses

Tax Relief
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. In an effort to provide some tax relief so small businesses can put more 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.

Permit Process
In response to concerns that the state Department of Environmental and Energy Protection is taking too long to approve commercial permit applications, we passed legislation that requires DEEP to meet with businesses that request it for a “pre-application” meeting. Hopefully this process will help ensure the businesses are more successful in receiving the necessary permits in a more timely fashion.


Promoting Careers in Manufacturing

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. This continues our work to invest in our community colleges and technical high schools, and our belief that technical education and career training can lead students to family-supporting jobs.


Supporting Our Veterans and Military Families

Providing Reintegration Services
Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury, or are the victims of sexual trauma while serving, 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 access to the state services they need and earned.

Military Spouse Teacher Permits
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 the spouses to more easily work as a teacher in our state.


Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you shouldn’t have to fear being arrested if you call the police. However, nearly 20% of the time when a victim of domestic violence calls the police they are arrested along with their abuser. This year we’ve updated the law to discourage this practice and will now direct police to arrest the person who they identify as the dominant aggressor.


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.


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.


Protecting Our Environment

Climate change is here. As a means of protecting future generations, current law requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% of its 2001 levels by the year 2050. In an effort to speed our progress, we doubled down with legislation to reduce GHG emissions by 45% of 2001 levels by the year 2030.  Under this legislation, the Dept. 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.

In addition, we overhauled a number of our energy programs and here are a few highlights:

  • Increased our state targets for use of renewable energy over the next ten years
  • Expanded towns’ ability to use renewables
  • Better protected energy efficiency funding
  • Restored $10 million to help homeowners make energy efficiency upgrades

Ensuring Women Receive Equal Pay for Equal Work

Pay inequity is still a pervasive problem in our society. It adversely affects women, and especially women of color. 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.


Investing In Middle Class Families

We also continued to work with the business community on earned family leave. Every working person in Connecticut should be allowed to take paid time off when they or a loved one gets sick. In addition, I supported a proposal to raise the minimum wage so no one who works full time lives in poverty. Unfortunately, these proposals did not have sufficient support to become law this session, but I will continue to advocate for them.


Protecting Women’s Health Care

The Affordable Care Act contains ten essential health benefits including maternity and newborn care, prescription drug coverage, preventive and mental health services, and chronic disease management that all Americans are entitled to have covered in their health insurance plans. As Congress and the President attempt to dismantle the ACA, we passed legislation to safeguard these benefits to ensure that no matter what happens in Washington, Connecticut insurance policies must still cover these basic services. Additionally, we went a step further and required coverage for a twelve-month supply of contraceptives.


Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)